Journal of Poor Recent College Grad

Discussion in 'Journals' started by knocks420, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. I'm going to start a journal to track my trades, mostly for myself, but hopefully there are others that are in a similar situation or in a position to help. Here goes:

    Bio:
    25, male, Boston (moving to D.C. [Boston is weak])
    Hometown: Fairfield County, CT
    College: Johns Hopkins
    Occupation: Project Engineer for manufacturing company (recently quit to pursue trading, either via MBA or prop shop. Let me know if you've done something like this, I would love to talk about it.)

    Broker:
    Ameritrade ($5K yep, completely undercapitalized) Added additional $3K later.
    Oanda ($2K)

    Current Balance:
    Ameritrade ($4.9K)
    Oanda ($850)

    Net:
    Ameritrade -$3.1K
    Oanda -$1.1K
    (Stellar! Duration is 9 months trading)

    Now to the trades:
    Currency markets has been an oscillating decline to $850. Made some extremely stupid trades for large losses. Has now taken a back seat to equity trades.

    IMDS - Penny stock a got a tip from a co-worker. This guy made bank in '00 on this stock, bought a huge boat with the proceeds. I saw dollarsigns and went all in with the $5K at around .50. Sold at .19. Big time loss.

    ACR - Read Darvas book and ran Yahoo stock screener. Bought at $14, sold at $14. Two weeks later was trading at $18. Sold too early.

    ELN aug. 7.50 calls- +$500 on a short term news announcement.

    ELN oct. 10 calls - -$750. Expired worthless waiting for the stupid FDA.

    Current Portfolio:
    ELN (100 shares @ $8)
    ELN Jan 08 Calls (1)
    MO Jan 07 Call (2)
    Cash ($1.5K)

    Yep, totally undiversified. But not enough cash to diversify properly. No specific strategy, mix of fundamentals and technicals. Looking at the following stocks: NKE, SIRI, AGIX, AMHC
    I really like options and would like to swing trade long term, near the money options. Also trade OTM options if I get wind of announcements/earnings. Probably missing some vital info but thats about it for now.

    BTW, I got a paper account on optionsxpress. Started $100K in Aug., up $15K right now by selling some puts on MO, KFT, ELN, Covered calls on MRK, ECA, Combo on DNA. The puts are the most profitable.
     
  2. Only one order today:

    Covered Call:

    Buy 500 JDSU
    Sell 5 JDSU 2.50 Jan '07

    Was looking for a net debit of 1.50, then upped it to 1.60. The calculated return:

    Unchanged: 31%
    Exercised: 48%

    NO FILL

    Long time to wait but the returns speak for themselves. I just don't have the capital yet to do some shorter term covered call plays, only on the paper account. I'm probably going to put in another order tomorrow, same set up. Although I've been eyeing NKE as it closed above 85. We shall see.

    Further down the road, I'm thinking of buying some SIRI puts in late Dec. or Jan. I think there will be a lot of profit taking then.
     
  3. Question:

    It seems aparent that in trading, and in most things in life, a mentor can be invaluable in learning the game. How does one go about finding a mentor? Here is where I think most people find them:

    1) Current job (Prop, Wall Street firm, etc.)
    2) Friend or Relative
    3) Paid mentorship

    Let's see, I'm an engineer so 1) is out. Any friends or relatives are long term investors and not swing/day traders so 2) is out. Don't have money to burn and a little cynical of paid mentoring so 3) isn't attractive. Anybody have any novel ideas to find a mentor? I tried posting on Craigslist but no luck.

    Just a random thought.
     
  4. nkhoi

    nkhoi Moderator

  5. I would recommend trading the smallest amount possible. For example with your JDSU play only 100 shares would be better.

    Why are you trading instruments that are governed by the pattern day trading rule? Futures are a much more level playing field.
     
  6. Im in the same boat. Take smaller profits and limit loses-dont just go for the kill all the time. It took me two trades to get my account down and 5 to get it back. The lesson I learned is choose the stocks yourself after you have evaluated several. All im doing is riding the current trends in well known stocks:adbe, yhoo, msft, amd etc..they have high volume and are trending up.

    Adbe has made me money twice, and yhoo twice. Im eyeing amd and msft now-if it goes up .75 or more i'll take a profit on 200 shares.

    I started recovering when i was decisive and confident in the picks I made, not just some hot tip.
     
  7. i think you're now on your way to ruining a good part of your life :)
     
  8. Hi guys,

    I'm looking at the JDSU covered call trade as more of an investment. I know its an extremely small amount but the ROR is excellent;

    B 500 shares @ 2.35 = $1,175
    S 5 Jan '07 2.50 Calls @ .70 = -$350
    Total Cost: $825
    Return if Exercised: 45%
    Return if unchanged: 37%
    BE point: $1.65 per share

    This was such a good opportunity I thought I should take it. Unfortunately I have not been able to get filled. More of an investment then a trade. If I did get filled I would've transfered about $1k out of ING making 3.15% into my Ameritrade acct.


    I was looking at buying some NKE if it broke $85. Trading @ $87 as of now. I missed that trade but don't feel good about chasing it.

    I'd like to develop into a swingtrader rather then a daytrader. I don't want to be glued to my screen all day. I find it easier in to do so in equities then spot forex. I will try and daytrade a news announcement or earnings report but I have to be very confident in the outcome.

    Thanks for the responses, hope to hear more soon.
     
  9. 11/4/05

    B (2) MSFT Jan. '07 25 Calls

    MSFT crossed its 200 day MA few days ago. Good story with XBOX allready sold out, Vista, etc. Gotta see if it meets/beats expectations on sales. This is more buy the rumor sell the news type trade.

    Looking closely at the financials. Specifically JPM, C, WB. Fed should be winding down interest rate increases by next year. C is trading 10X p/e, MER 13X p/e which seems low to me. I'll have to check their historical levels.

    Anyone have a thought on the financials for the next 3-6 months?
     
  10. What's going on bro,

    i'm a 2004 hopkins grad. I just joined the forum and noticed your thread. Just wanted to say hi.

    I just got a job at a proprietary trading firm here in boston (actually it's salem nh, bordering mass.) I am also an engineer like you, i got a cs degree from hopkins, but after 4 years. i'm so done with it.

    I start work at the trading firm next monday. Can't wait, i'll keep you posted.
     
    #10     Nov 5, 2005