March 24, 2015

Stock Picks–November, 2014 to March 24, 2015

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 4:09 pm

Pardon my absence since just prior to Thanksgiving, but I had some website issues which I neglected and only recently got fixed (hired a freelancer in New Zealand–ah, the times we live in!)

Much has happened since then. For one thing I was featured at FORBES online. Marketocracy–of which I have written much here–approached me out of nowhere to remind me how brilliant I’ve been with my picks (I now have an 11-year record with them, far surpassing the market as a whole, in 2 different mutual funds I ran there).

I had been neglecting my Marketocracy funds the last several years after they shut the investor forums down. My funds suffered accordingly (I guess “Buy and Hold” doesn’t really work that well), but with the impending article I started getting active again, sold off my losers, and picked up others to match my “real world” holdings.

Marketocracy started offering a “mirror fund” to my own picks (and my own real world holdings) December 11, 2014, and as of this writing a little over 3 months later I am up 16.47% compared to the S&P500 increase of only 3.95% during the same period. Information on investing in this mirror fund–all buys and sells managed by me–are available at the Marketocracy site. (Minimum investment amount is $100,000. HOWEVER, “friends and family” can get in for $25,000. You can contact me at the blog to become my “new best friend”, I suppose, by commenting below–I will have your email then and we can private message…)

Just to get up to date here at the blog with my picks since Thanksgiving: they are China XD Plastics Company Ltd. (cxdc), Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (ASPS), Methode Electronics, Inc. (MEI), PRA Group, Inc. (PRAA), Panhandle Oil and Gas Inc. (PHX), Bancolombia S.A. (CIB), The McClatchy Company (MNI), and InnerWorkings Inc. (INWK).

June 4, 2009

Taking A “Sick” Day

Category: Technology — jerry @ 11:32 am

Somewhere in there is a somewhat unnecessary organ called the gall bladder.

I’m having mine removed today after 3 emergency room trips in the last 2 weeks, while the doctors tried to figure out what the problem was in connection with the AGONIZING stomach pain I was reporting with. (Dr. House only exists on television, apparently).

If all goes well, I’ll be back home tomorrow, but just in case I have a more extended stay, I’ll have my Blog Bots posting over the next few days.

Eat right and exercise, people!

November 2, 2009

My Heroes, Part 2–Perry Mason & Mike Hammer

Category: Books — jerry @ 5:57 am

While I was escaping (in a literary manner) to faraway places and faraway planets with the books of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Kenneth Robeson, I was also enjoying more “realistic” fare reading Erle Stanley Gardner’s series of Perry Mason mysteries. Perry Mason has been portrayed in at least a couple of TV series, most famously by Raymond Burr.

When I was growing up in the Midwestern US (Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa), our old pre-cable television struggled with reception and we were pretty much stuck with CBS. NBC came in a little cloudy. ABC was nonexistent. (I don’t remember having a color t.v. at all until high school).

The Perry Mason show was on CBS, so I got to watch it. For a while, there were quite a number of “lawyer shows” on t.v., but Perry Mason seems to have been the early classic. (By the way, the first two seasons are available for viewing online here. You’re welcome!)

Perry must have had some effect on me over the years, as I ended up being a lawyer for 31 of them…

Having watched the Perry Mason shows pretty much since the series began in 1957 (!), I was drawn to the books in high school and read almost all of them. I remember our local librarian asking me with concern one day whether my parents were aware that I was reading these “adult” books. I would expect that kind of question from Sarah Palin, but I remember being surprised at the time with the question and I quickly assured her that “They don’t care.” The Perry Mason books were actually quite tame, with pretty much no sex at all (despite the implication in the often semi-lurid covers).

Which brings me to Mike Hammer.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to bypass the librarian to get at the steamy Mike Hammer novels by Mickey Spillane (pictured left, and yes–he did play Mike Hammer in at least one movie).  They were available as 50-cent paperbacks at the local drugstore.

For a while, Mickey Spillane was the #1 selling author in America–only The Bible outsold him.  (What fools these Christians be!)

Man, those books were good.  Real page-turners, and always good for a drop-your-jaw-oh-my-god shocker in the last paragraph.  Mickey was one sick (but enormously entertaining) fellow!

Which brings me to my Honorable Mentions for private-eye heroes:  Spillane’s Mike Hammer was patterned after the original private-eye heroes that started with Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, and Lew Archer–characters created by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross Macdonald, respectively.   Look ‘em up kids–those books were great.  Raymond Chandler, in particular, gets a lot of literary respect and most of his Philip Marlowe books have been made into movies.  The Paul Newman movie Harper was based on a Ross Macdonald movie.  Humphrey Bogart was the quintessential Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon–but don’t watch any of these movies until you’ve enjoyed the books.

Read more, people!

November 19, 2014

Stock Picks–Nov. 19, 2014

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 2:04 pm

Interesting development for me in that FORBES Magazine interviewed me last week in connection with their upcoming December “Retirement 2015″ issue. I remain one of the “stars” at the Marketocracy site I’ve written about here (although not lately), and Marketocracy had passed along my name. I have given the FORBES writer the following 2 stock picks, which I will be purchasing myself today: Fonar Corp. (FONR), which engages in the design, manufacture, sale, and servicing of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, and Maiden Holdings, Ltd. (MHLD), which is an insurance company.

I now have a 10+ year record with Marketocracy. Those of you who are curious can see the records for my 2 “star funds” at the following links:

Pettit Mutual Fund #1

Pettit Energy Fund

October 29, 2014

Stock Picks–Oct. 30, 2014

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 3:45 pm

A couple of unenthusiastic picks this time around.

I’m going to take a small position in Barrett Business Services Inc. (BBSI), which barely makes it onto my screen and looks really boring–but sometimes you can make money with boring.

I decided to also put some what-the-heck money into Winnebago Industries, Inc. (WGO), also because it made the screen. Do people really still buy recreational vehicles? Winnebago is the leading brand of them, as far as I know. Maybe they’ve started making “hybrids” (?), because I thought these things got about 5 miles to the gallon and thus just don’t make sense at all–but the stock has been doing okay the last little while. Is it because We Boomers are prematurely senile and forgot we have a fuel crisis? Hey, I’d personally like to have one, but what with costing so much to buy and with the fact that I’d have to leave it parked in my driveway unless I went back into the work force…I just don’t know who is crazy enough to buy these things. Oh, yeah–me, I guess. Because I just bought a bunch of their stock and I can’t even “drive that around to visit the grandkids”…

[EDIT: I wrote this post a couple of days ago, aware that I would be traveling yesterday and unable to actually consummate my purchases until today. Turns out that BBSI plunged 34% yesterday and I dodged a bullet. I ended up buying it anyway–the PE ration is even better–but only half as much, since a plunge like that is “nervous-making”…]

October 8, 2014

Stock Picks–Oct. 8, 2014

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 12:57 pm

Truly terrible several months for me–underperforming the market, which always is upsetting.

Deep breaths…

Okay, I’m going to split my money up between two similar investments: Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG) and Apollo Global Management, LLC (APO), both companies being in the investment management business.

Which also describes me. (At least for myself).

More deep breaths…

Good luck!

September 18, 2014

Stock Picks–Sept. 18, 2014

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 12:02 pm

Well, after a dearth of picks the last time I looked (August 27th), I found several this time around:

First up, I’ll be taking a half (limited confidence) position in both JMP Group Inc. (JMP), which is in the investment banking industry, and REX American Resources Corporation (REX), which is in the ethanol business, and which I actually purchased once before a couple of years ago, although I don’t recall how I did–I think pretty well.

I’m also going to take a full position in Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK), hoping to be able to get cheap airplane tickets to go watch the next Palin family brawl.

August 27, 2014

Stock Picks–Aug. 27, 2014

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 11:02 am

I think I’ve only done this once before, but…

Sitting it out for a few weeks.

Nothing showed up on my screen that I want to buy.

I’m just going to hold on to what I’ve got.

Call it My August Vacation, I guess.

Good luck!

August 6, 2014

Stock Pick–Aug. 6, 2014

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 11:29 am

Ouch! Taking a hit lately, but I keep on plugging.

Today I have two selections: Appliance Recycling Centers of America Inc. (ARCI), which apparently recycles appliances. A noble pursuit.

And BBVA Banco Franc (BFR), which provides financial services in Argentina–to the extent that Argentina HAS “financial services”. They defaulted a week ago and their market tumbled some 8%–making this a fairly risky pick, as so many of mine are.

The market is a little nervous-making these days, so…Good Luck!!

July 17, 2014

Stock Pick–July 17, 2014

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 1:36 pm

I’m going to jump back into AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (AFSI), which I bought in July, 2010, and sold a couple of years later, pretty much doubling my money. It has kept running up (me missing most of it) and now is back on my screen, so I guess I’ll try, try again.

Good luck!