Saturday, November 22, 2008


I'm mad. Or, I was mad today. There is such an utter delay with this post because something that shouldn't have happened...actually happened. At around 3:20PM, my exceptionally high-speed ISP cut off. Now remember, this is the last half hour of the trading day (and usually the most critical). You would understand why I yelled at them. I was so pissed off and explained to them (with enough force) why it was so important for me to have internet from 3:20-4PM. They gave me 6 months of service free as a result. The most important thing? It's my fault. It's my fault for not being prepared for it. I didn't panic because I was in 90% cash, but I'm sure I would have reacted differently, let's say, if I was 100% short. Ouch.

The most interesting and disturbing part? I issued my last order to cover short positions at 3:07PM (I, myself, covered 90% of my shorts and kept 10% as a spec play). Keep in mind that these are original positions from yesterday afternoon. This means that if I delayed covering my shorts, I would have been screwed. 13 minutes could have changed everything and there wouldn't have been anything I could do about it. Therefore tomorrow, I will get a backup ISP, most likely Comcast cable, along with a Verizon BroadbandAccess card for my laptop so I can access the internet from everywhere. I don't care how much it'll cost me because I am not going to take any more chances. Learn from this experience, and realize how close I flirted with a serious loss. This is part of risk management and it didn't even cross my mind, until now. The market gods must have anointed me at the close.

I missed most of the Tim Geithner rally as a result, but I'm more happy that I covered my shorts 13 minutes before I got cut off from cyberspace. One must ask themselves if this rally truly has substance, or if it is another news item rally. The short-term significance of today is the fact that the candle neutralized yesterday's loss. However, there is still a lot of ground for the bulls to recapture. This requires sustained positive catalysts and I don't see too many of them. What do we look out for over the weekend? See if the autos are still functioning, Citigroup is still alive, and if any surprise government regulations or gov't-assisted deals pop up. This weekend just feels like something is going to happen. Either way, the government will be busy this weekend, and I am in 90% cash and 10% short (because I can afford to). I did lose 2% today but still sit at +65.6% for November's gains. Can't win everyday, but better than getting your sack nearly chopped off by your internet service provider.

And by the way, the service became operational around 9:30PM, 6 freakin' hours later. Thanks a lot.

SPX 1-day

SPX 3-day

SPX 10-day

SPX 6-month

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N. said...

Welcome back to the information highway J ; ) Good going on the 6 mth free. lol. Lets see what next week brings. I like ur analysis on what the indices need to achieve; Always opportunities either way. Good Trading.

VKC said...

Sounds like I need a backup device. Which handheld device do you recommend or use?

John C. Lee said...

oh man oh man, I don't know. I'm not a technology person so I couldn't say. I guess the PDAs such as the Blackberry or the iPhone are easy. Don't get a Palm Treo cause I have a Treo and it sucks.

Anonymous said...

Toni Turner writes about the ISP backup importance in her were lucky not to have a bigger problem...and your chart work is really good

Complacent Panda said...

I've had problems with my ISP too. I always put in a stop somewhere because my cable is a little iffy at times. Don't have the luxary of multiple ISPs, but it definitely is somethign to think about if you have a lot of cash on the line.

PS: The iPhone is really good for internet browsing, if your broker has a control panel accessible from a browser. The blackberry has applications supported by various brokers. I haven't tried either out, but I'd probably stick to those two. They are the most in demand and the most supported from what I've read, heard, and seen.

John C. Lee said...

That was pure luck. No question about it. First time it happened in 3 years. I got cable and the Verizon USB card now.

Larry said...

I follow you're posts in my reader and chuckled when I read this post. The same day I entered a short position in COF at about 11:45 am. about a minute later my electricity went off in my house and my entire street! I just stared at my computer screens knowing I was screwed. I ran outside to see if maybe the electric company was changing my meter (they did that to me once before also). Luckily I had my brokerage firm's telephone number programmed in my cell phone and was able to call them finally at about 11:53. (The last time this happened I didn't have the phone number with me). Luckily for me, the markets sold off into the 12:00 hour and I was able to get out with +2% on the trade.
I will be getting a wireless card for my laptop this coming week for sure.