Would you buy a stock from this man?
By day I'm a software engineer for a leading supplier of real-time financial graphics and market information. I get to work at my avocation! I've written a lot of software to analyze trading systems and develop new ones. I do futures, options and mutual fund switching -- timing the market. Of course recently market timing has been a losing strategy; buy-and-hold has done extremely well -- but that appears to be changing. If the stock market has indeed topped out (or is "only" near a top) then buy-and-hold is about to become a very unwise investment strategy.
In the interest of balance there is another factor to consider. The year 1998 was the sixth year of a U.S. Presidency. Historically the DJIA gains a spanking 50% from the low of the sixth year of a President's term to the high of the seventh year. That is a huge gain! So far, the low for the year 1998 came in at (roughly) DJIA 7600. An average 6th-7th year gain results in DJIA of around 11400 sometime in 1999. But no guarantees!
Most of my portfolio is in and out of mutual funds, based on my market timing models. For fund switching I use the Rydex Nova fund, which allows unlimited toll-free exchanges, and tries to perform at 150% of the S&P 500 index (both up and down :-). For down markets they offer the Rydex Ursa fund, which mimics a 100% short position in the S&P 500. Rydex' number is 800-820-0888 or 301-468-8520; I have no special relation with them except as a satisfied customer.
According to the Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator my personality type is ISTJ. Don't think of me as aloof, I'm just drawn that way.
Click here to read about my 1996 cruise to Alaska!
I also indulge in a moderate amount of gambling, usually card games such as blackjack and poker. My best hand ever was a diamond Royal Flush (KdTd holecards) in a 1-4-8 Hold'Em game at Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas. Fortunately an opponent held Aces full and raised me all the way to the felt. Aside from that hand, though, I've never held anything better than a full house in casino play (jeers from rec.gambling.poker denizens). As a blackjack player I play single-deck games and use a gestalt count with side counts of aces and fives. (Howls of laughter from patrons of rec.gambling.blackjack). That's not enough to win consistently, but I don't get to play enough to where it's worth it to learn to count properly.
Additionally, I write and maintain the Keno FAQ, a compendium of Frequently Asked Questions about the game of Keno as played in casinos.
I'm a science fiction fan from way back when Ace double pocketbacks sold for 25 cents. Besides all the Recognized Masters, I enjoy Keith Laumer's older works and Spider Robinson's stories from Callahan's Crosstime Saloon. (More! More!) These days I have little time to devote to SF, though I always make time for the latest episode of Babylon 5. I enjoy Star Trek too, but Babylon 5 is a lot better. Not only is Babylon 5 good Sci-Fi, but Executive Producer J. Michael Straczynski spends a lot of time on the net answering fan questions and in general giving netizens the behind-the-scenes view.
Like puzzles? Try this one, which just celebrated its 100th year.
My wife changed careers mid-life and after 3 years of law school
(the last 2 also spent in the State Legislature) passed the New
Hampshire state bar exam, and is practicing civil law, especially
"family law", in central New Hampshire. Take it easy on the lawyer
jokes -- she's respectful of her clients and considers herself a
problem solver. When I call her an "ambulance chaser" I'm only kidding.
"You just have to look for the tornado; she's always at the bottom of it."
-- New Hampshire State Representative Bob Lockwood, describing my wife.
Goddaughter Sabine, age 3 3/4, with newborn brother.
Last update: 9-Jan-1999
Thanks to the good folks at BHI for providing homestead service!
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