Sunday, September 17, 2006

Back to the Beach

Ah, Kiawah. I'm back on the beach for a week, here celebrating Alana's 16th birthday and to watch her defend her No. #1 seed position on her high school tennis team against two formidible South Carolina Independent School Association Class AA opponents.

The flight Saturday was uneventful. I bought a copy of The New Yorker in the Spokane airport and read it cover to cover during the two legs of the flight to Charleston. The first leg was consumed by a three-hour read on Bill Clinton, a very long article written by David Remnick who followed Clinton from the World Cup final game to a tour of Africa meeting with heads of state in an attempt to do something about one out of four African's having contracted exposure to the AIDS virus. Well written and fascinating, whatever you think of Clinton.

On the second leg, from Chicago to Charleston, I read the rest of the magazine, including an article on the neurological goings on when we are faced with risk:reward decision making as it relates to buying and selling of stocks. It ends up that we are neurologically programmed to be chicken-shits when it comes to economic risks. We make the wrong decisions by giving much more credence to risk then the risk:reward parameters suggest. And that most successful gamblers, traders and investors are able to intellectually overcome this general population's tendency to avoid risk and to view any economic choice for what it is, an issue of probabilities.

At 5:00pm ET I landed in Charleston, picked up my Hertz rental and was off to Kiwawh. I stopped first to pick up Alana who will be staying with me the week, but she insisted on driving her car over to the villa, the BMW X-3 that I shipped to her last month. The Villa is overlooking the beach and has secure wireless high-speed internet, which should help me make the cost of this trip back in trading next week.
Soon Sarah, my 18-year-old joined us and the three of us went to the local grocery store for supplies for the upcoming week. Ilene would be proud. I checked all ingredients for partially hygrogenated gunk...before buying it.

A couple of observations about being back in the southeast. First, instead of a heavy dose of Pac-10 football everywhere on TV, there are ACC and SEC games. Secondly, whereas Washington state is barely aware of tropical storms in the Atlantic, local news here is obsessed with these storms. On the other hand, it's still summer here.

So today will be a combination of beach and birthday activities, with just enough time to write a new blog before Alana wakes up and I become a dad again.



Anonymous said...

Hi Allan,

I've been reading and enjoying your blog for a long time, for both your stock market meanderings and for your more personal feelings about your life. Everytime you write about your daughters you strike a chord with me and because I am a much more private man then you, I will not explain why that is the case.

One thing is abundantly clear to me. You are a good father. Caring, loving and full of concern for how your decisions on how you have chosen to live your life has had an effect of Sarah and Alana's well being. Your pain is so clear and palpable that it just leaps off the screen and grabs your readers by our own most private, hidden and unspoken regrets in our lives. I don't know how you do it, but you have a gift for communicating so much more then is simply spelled out on the surface of the written word.

Having "been there, done that" let me just say to you, in a way of thanks for this entire series of wonderful blogs, that you are more of a father and have given your children more of yourself, your dreams, your sense of life and love, then most us can even imagine doing for our own children.

No matter what you have done, you have shown your daughters what life is all about. Do not be sad for them, Allan, as you have shown them a path that very few parents have the courage to take, let alone so brazenly and openly share with the world.

When I read your blogs, especailly your personal blogs, I come away with a piece of you that then becomes a piece of me. And I have never been more alive, as a father and as a man. Thank you.

Anonymous said...


Congrats on taking a vacation, getting to warmer beach climes and family gathering! Your generosity with cars and support for your daughters is an inspiration as we debate cash for trading vs investing in the intangible relationship factors.

Trading system idea:

- One of the email letters I subscribe to: "The Daily Reckoning" always walks the line of being too wordy and not worth my time. Along with Rude Awakening and Gunpowder letters.

A headline made sense: Bet the Jocky and not the horse. This is so true! I've worked for companies with nuts at the helm who ruined a good business plan and vis versa.

A Sally filter: You probably already are doing this?

- You can associate a "jocky" ranking by who the institutional holders are. That is if you can rank institutions for their buy strategy that includes "jocky" effect. I bet some leg work can do this! The recent email mentioned a fund, Fairholme Fund , who's manager follows this strategy. Buffet I believe always stressed betting the management.

- Add in the taylor effect.

What comes out of this filter probably would have a high success ratio for 2 month out at the money calls.

Any thoughts or refinements?

Thanks and enjoy the end of FL's summer Allan.


A said...

curt, all i can say is try it, see if it works. My mantra for many, many years.


Anonymous said...

I could not disagree more, people are more obsessed with the reward side of the equation.

I teach my students:

"The perceived value of any wealth creating activity is related in inverse proportion to the quantity of goods possessed at the outset of the endeavor."

The psychology of investing, playing roulette, the lottery, etc. is skewed primarily by the reward side of the equation.

Professor John Kercheval

Anonymous said...

Isn't "Back to the Beach" an Annette Funichello movie?

Do you ave copyright permission to use this name?

I hope your next blog title is not "Witness for The Prosecution."

JK in DC

Anonymous said...

Would you ever consider expanding your writing into another forum? We're staring an ad-revenue shared blog area on Zecco specifically for financial bloggers with sound insights and wanted to see if you might be interested. If so would you drop me an email at Thank you for your time

Anonymous said...

It looks like you are only two of you: anonymous aka Pr. K and Allan !!!

Is that right?