Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yahoo! Finance

My favorite site for (free) stock market data is Yahoo! Finance.  It's really complete and well organized, one of Yahoo's best services.  Type in a ticket symbol to get a quote and the quote page has a menu on the left of all sorts of information. The reports I find most useful are Summary, Profile, Key Statistics and Analyst Estimates.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Name change

I've decided to rename this blog.  The word "Fundamentalist" is most often associated with religion and not the stock market, so it was confusing.  I hope the new title better reflects what I'm writing about.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

All this Facebook publicity that I've been reading included a mention of  This website lets you buy and sell stock in companies before they go public.  You do have to be fairly wealthy and knowledgeable about the stock market to participate.  I happen to have some private stock in a company that I worked for in the 1980s, still private, so this may be a way to cash out.  Other folks used it to buy Facebook before it went public.  Interesting resource, in any case.

Out of curiosity, I ran my models to see at what price I would be a buyer of Facebook.  Works out to about $2 a share - ha!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stop Loss Orders

The flash crash of 2010 was bad for me. I had a stock with a large profit, that I was losing enthusiasm for, but felt it still might go up.  So instead of selling, I put in a stop loss order about 20% below the market, thinking that if there were further appreciation, I would get it, and if it started drifting downward I would at least get out before all my profits were lost.  A trailing stop strategy like this is good for high flyers - just keep bumping up your stop order as the stock goes higher and higher.

But what happened on May 6 undid all that.  Like many other stocks, mine plunged way down for a while, stopping me out, and then closed near where it opened.  My feeling is that the stop no longer worked because the specialists and market makers who used to not let things like this happen, are no longer there.  There's just the order book and it may be thin. On the flip side, a far off the market G.T.C. limit order starts to look attractive.

Now the S.E.C. is on the job and they have insisted on "circuit breakers" that halt trading in these situations.  A little too late for my trade.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Facebook IPO

The much-hyped Facebook IPO is the sort of thing I hope I have learned to avoid.  Sure it may go up and sure it may be a fad like MySpace and Friendster.  It's a gamble, a speculation.  So easy to get burned.  Revenues last year were $1 billion and "they" are talking about a $100 billion valuation, i.e. a P/E of 100.  Yikes!

Going with the crowd is often a good strategy in life, but not in the stock market. Not what I would call an investment.