Adroit Investor

An investor's attempt to record his investing history and attempts to learn along the way.

Updates every business day, plus occasionally on weekends.

Current holdings (updated occasionally; see recent entries for changes and value) include:

150 shares AEM
1700 shares Coeur d' Alene Mines (CDE)
700 shares Central Fund Canada (CEF)
140 shares GLG
2 shares Chico's (CHS) (by request of my wife)
600 shares Hecla Mining (HL)
800 shares NAK
855 shares Silver Standard Resources (SSRI)
170 shares NG
7 Jan '07 20 calls in Placer Dome
5 Jan '08 30 calls in Barrick Gold
4 Jan '07 15 calls in Pan American Silver
10 Jan '07 29 puts in XLF
6 Jan '08 28 calls in Materials Select Sector (XLB)
5 Jan '08 26 calls in Microsoft (MSFT)
6 Jan '08 35 puts in Clear Channel Communications (CCU)
5 Jan '08 5 calls in Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI)
plus a small amount of cash.

Click here for my regular blog--new entries daily.

Click here for my Marketocracy "fund."

I am neither a permabull nor a permabear.

My goal: beat the S&P500 by 30 points a year. Bold? You betcha.

I tend towards GARP investing--Growth At a Reasonable Price.

Currently, I believe a lot in silver, and tend to hold silver instead of cash positions. When I have a lot of silver, it is because I am staying away from regular stocks.

I will be updating once a day when the market is open, and tracking the account on an NAV basis, so that comparisons can be made with the S&P500 and other indices.

None of what I write can be construed as advice for anyone else, though I hope it's interesting to read. It does not ever constitute a solicitation to buy or sell any security. I have no plans to warn ahead of time when I will buy or sell a security--I usually do so with limit orders anyway, and especially cannot predict sales ahead of time.

Though I try always to be an adroit investor, I am always learning more. I hope you'll join me.

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Monday, November 05, 2007
gold still over $800

S&P500 change since start 1/17/05:  +26.8%  My NAV change since start:  +183.1%

The market was down, I was up.  Oil was down some.  Gold finished higher, staying above $800.  Silver was up a bit as well.

I couldn't find a whole lot of news today to talk about.


Posted at 04:11 pm by brandonstarr
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Friday, November 02, 2007
Up and down day

S&P500 change since start 1/17/05:  +27.4%  My NAV change since start:  +181.7%

The markets were volatile today.

Oil was up.

The jobs report was stronger than expected, at 166,000 jobs (slightly above the population growth of the country, so not fantastic, but expectations were way lower).  Frankly the jobs number is so massaged--and so changed by later updates and adjustments--that it's a wonder the number receives as much attention as it does.

Between those two things, the worries were that the economy would slow.  The market started down.  Late in the session Citigroup announced an emergency weekend board meeting, which mollified the markets, especially the routed financials.  The markets ended slightly up.  Of course, liquidity has been injected into the system, too.

Gold and silver started flat but ended higher.  My portfolio followed the commodities upward.

I'm still doing that Marketocracy faux portfolio.  It's doing quite well.  Check it out here.  Lots of similiarities to my very very real portfolio here--lots of commodities stocks.  But a broader mix of others too, since it's supposed to be more of a mutual fund, and not a sector fund either.  As of now, if the M100 (made up of a rotating mix of the best-performing faux portfolios, and turned into a REAL mutual fund) included my fund, it would be doing better than it is!  This is especially true of the long-term, as you can see by the chart.


Posted at 03:15 pm by brandonstarr
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Thursday, November 01, 2007
Ups and downs

S&P500 change since start 1/17/05:  +27.3%  My NAV change since start:  +173.0%

The market was up and down the last couple of days.

Tuesday was a smaller, inverted version of Monday, where traders hedged what happened on Monday.

Wednesday was yet a smaller re-reversal of Tuesday.

Today, it all went down the tubes.

Oil was somewhat different.  Due to an unexpectedly bullish inventories report, oil hit a new high near $96 on Wednesday, then went down a bit today.

Gold and silver pretty much followed the same pattern, except instead of tanking today they were only down slightly.

The market went down today because the economic numbers were troubling (Exxon reported poor profits due to low refining margins; the ISM numbers contracted to barely-above-growth levels for manufacturers) in part, but also because the Fed indicated that inflation was a concern, and therefore the interest rate reductions may end sooner than expected.

My portfolio went down a fair bit, though not as much as I expected given the gung-ho nature of options.  It was held in check partly from the not-so-bad outing in commodities I expect.



Posted at 03:45 pm by brandonstarr
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Monday, October 29, 2007
All up

S&P500 change since start 1/17/05:  +30.1%  My NAV change since start:  +178.3%

The market, oil, and precious metals were all up today.  So was my portfolio.

Oil was up mostly on news of a storm that shut in a good portion of Mexico's production.  Crude went to over $93.50, and gasoline is approaching its post-Katrina highs.

China let its currency move 0.3%, which is the most since China let its currency start to slide.

Between the oil and China news the dollar slid to further lows, and gold and silver benefitted.

I really don't know why the broad market went higher, though with a Fed meeting tomorrow and a possible rate cut I'd say it's higher on hopes of further easing.


Posted at 02:01 pm by brandonstarr
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Friday, October 26, 2007
Catching up

S&P500 change since start 1/17/05:  +29.6%  My NAV change since start:  +169.1%

Sorry, I had a busy week personally.

Precious metals and oil had a rough start to the week, but came roaring back.

Oil gained as inventories were sharply lower.  Crude is now nearly $92 per barrel, and gasoline is approaching the records set during Katrina/Rita.  Some international tensions, including the Turks sending troops into the Kurdish portion of Iraq, and new sanctions placed on Iran, helped.

Economic news was almost uniformly bad, with housing numbers down, and consumer expectations down and below expectations.  The oil news, plus the economic news, helped push gold and silver up after a bad start to the week.  Silver especially did some serious catching-up this week.

I was lucky in that my XOM calls and my OIH calls were both bought via buy limit orders during the recent turndown.

All of the above may seem pricey to some, yet the economy hasn't actually turned down, just slowed a bit, so far.  Oil may well fall if we go into serious recession.  Gold and silver, however, may not, since the way out of recession for the Fed has always been to lower interest rates and pump money into the system, both of which are bearish for the dollar and bullish for gold.


Posted at 02:39 pm by brandonstarr
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Saturday, October 20, 2007
ugly Friday

S&P500 change since start 1/17/05:  +26.7%  My NAV change since start:  +158.9%

Friday was quite ugly.

The market tumbled over two percent on Friday, plagued by worries of various kinds.  Crude oil was down but is still very high, gold and silver were off slightly.

I found two articles about Black Monday.  This month is the 20th anniversary of that fabled day.

If we had a Black Monday Part Two, the Dow would drop 3,000 points in one day.  Woof.  We've had some volatility the last couple of years, but nothing in that magnitude.

You know what they did to relieve the pressure of Black Monday?

Yep, they lowered interest rates and pumped the money supply.

Guess what would benefit from that if we had Part Two?  You're right, commodities, and especially the precious metals.


Posted at 02:07 pm by brandonstarr
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Thursday, October 18, 2007
Oil closes near $90

S&P500 change since start 1/17/05:  +30.0%  My NAV change since start:  +166.5%

Oil was up on a weak dollar.  Gold was up, silver slightly up.

Oil is on a bull run, which I feel is unlikely to be sustained.  Some bearish thing is going eventually to knock this one on its butt.  Still, it's charging upwards for now.  I have plenty of time in my two oil calls, and have no plans to sell on this rally.

There is more and more talk that the Fed will be forced to lower interest rates, which would further weaken the dollar.  This led to fresh all-time highs of the euro vs the dollar.  I think that they may soon be forced to make a stand publicly on interest rates, though privately they'll be pumping the money supply like crazy to make sure any letdown doesn't freeze up the markets.


Posted at 04:24 pm by brandonstarr
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Oil ignores inventories

S&P500 change since start 1/17/05:  +30.1%  My NAV change since start:  +162.8%

My XLE calls were sold via limit order.  I have a limit buy order in to get some 2010s near the money.

My OIH buy order is still outstanding because the price never came down to meet me.  I will soon have to reevaluate if it's time to look at another security or up my bid.

Gold and silver were basically flat today, and the miners for whatever reason were down.  My portfolio followed.

I still have two oil positions, in CHV and COP.  Because they were bought near highs a couple of months back, they are basically around breakeven, and I have no immediate plans to sell them.


Posted at 01:10 pm by brandonstarr
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Catching up

S&P500 change since start 1/17/05:  +29.9%  My NAV change since start:  +167.4%

Sorry I didn't update much lately.  We had some things going on in our lives that made it a little crazy.

Anyway, oil has been marching upward on supply and Middle East concerns.

Gold and silver went down today, but was up last week.  My portfolio was down today--oil positions were up, but couldn't make up the headwind from both precious metals declines and the broad market declines.

My portfolio is still up from the last update, though, and during a period the S&P500 went down.  Not bad!

As things deteriorate economically, and as the massive U.S. debt it too big to repudiate, it must happen:  the Fed will print money like there's no tomorrow--and there may not be, for the dollar.  The U.S. will inflate away the debt, and by paying back good debt with cheapo dollars, we will also have massive inflation.  The inflation can't stay in the debt forever, it will (and already is) spilling over into the real world, including in all kinds of commodities, and especially gold and silver.


Posted at 02:20 pm by brandonstarr
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Thursday, October 11, 2007
Oil and gold up, market volatile

S&P500 change since start 1/17/05:  +31.2%  My NAV change since start:  +163.8%

Stocks started up and hit several records (NYSE, NASDAQ) before ending lower after was lowered, hitting the techs especially hard.

Oil, gold, and silver were all up, and my portfolio managed to stay above water due to that fact.

crude and distillate inventories were lower than expected.  Gasoline inventories were higher than expected.  Still, the overall effect was higher energy prices, and that seems to have helped the precious metals.

Clearly the intraday turnaround drop in the broad markets is not a good sign.


Posted at 03:45 pm by brandonstarr
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