Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Take Stock in Yourself and Ride a Bike.




I don't offer investment advice here.  I don't tell people what they should do, pretending like I know the outcome of stocks or coin tosses in the air, like the pundits on TV and other sites do.

But if I did give advice, I would offer one tip.   Invest time in yourself and try to improve your character, skills at endeavors that are worthwhile, and our health.  Life throws many curve balls at us along the path to enlightenment or at least greater wisdom. It is better to be in good shape to take on the curves of life.

Today, I will touch on an investment that has been one of the best I ever made. ready?

Ok --  It is a $99 bike.


This bike is a single speed bike called the Thruster by Kent that is geared for basic riding that challenges on the hills and runs at a pretty good pace on flat land. You can typically find it on a web site like  Walmart or other department store.  I consider this a good training bike for people that enjoy riding at their own pace.  If you have a lot of steep hills, I would advise a multiple geared bike.  But for basic training, fitness  and riding , I have enjoyed this bike for about five years and gone through at least one set of tires.  I ride about 10 to 15 miles as often as I can, usually at least 3 or 4 times a week.

I am not pumping anybody to go out and get this bike.  Any bike will do.  Many people have a bike sitting in their garage collecting dust.  Get a rag and dust it off, spray the chain with some WD 40,  put some air in those tires and ride on friends!

I  often enjoy the bike trails in a local park with bike paths and various rides in neighborhood where the traffic is not too heavy.  Sometimes I ride to the grocery store and pick up a few items and hang the plastic bags  over the handlebars and ride carefully home.  Although my brother who is a much more avid biker tells me that's a bad practice and says to use a backpack.  I am pretty careful although there are risks with everything.  Usually, I am just out training on the bike going at various speeds that suit me at the time.  Sometimes, the biking can feel like a flying experience as you glide over the paths and look ahead and  around at the landscape whizzing by.  Biking is a fun way to get and stay in shape for the challenges that happen.

A lot of times, I find myself being physically challenged and I am glad that my biking has helped keep my fitness level stay pretty good.  I heard of a study that showed that those who bike at least 20 miles a week lower their risk of heart attack by 50%.  That's a lot!   Just 20 miles a week for such a good benefit?  wow.  that study found that there is something about bike riding that the human body likes and responds to in a healthy way.

Just 20 miles a week does it -- But once you get on a bike and start riding, you'll probably find that the routine is fun enough and also there is a mind clearing refreshing aspect that makes one want to do more and go farther.

On my rides, I often stop at a particular favorite scenic spot in the park and work out for a few minutes in a cross training mode.  There is a pretty large flat rock that I'll lay on my back and do various sit up crunches for 5 minutes to try to work my core. Then I will do leaning pushups off that rock and do about 30 to 50. Then it is some stretching and maybe a session of various Tai' Chi style moves as I look over the park lake and then off I go to finish my ride.

Well, I share this because if someone is interested in improving their own stock in themselves, I would suggest bike riding as a great way to start. 


I have to thank my brother Joe for leading me to the path of biking again.  While we always biked everywhere as kids a few years ago, my brother reminded me again about how biking is a good way.  Although our styles  are different in that he enjoys long treks on high end racing  bikes in groups - we both enjoy biking in our own way.  I typically bike alone at my own pace.

I used to be a runner where I would run about 5 miles a day.  That was good, but as I grow older, I find that biking is a lot more fun and less stressful on the body, back and knees  too.

Now, when I ride past people struggling to run and the look like they are wobbling around in pain, I feel like shouting hey buddy! get a bike - it's more fun !  Ok Sometimes I admit I do.  But usually I just smile and maybe they figure why am I smiling while they are struggling to jog a straight path.

But here is something else,  Riding a bike can be whatever challenge you want.  Yes it is easier to dog a workout by gliding when you want to rest.  But if you want to get fit , you try to keep up a good pace and challenge yourself to speed up in intervals.  I will pick it up and stand up on the pedals and ride for so many cycles as I count them to myself. Yes that's the game I play on single speed bike. Sometimes, on steeper hills there is no choice but to stand up and pedal on a single speed bike.

Well, when I am mowing the yard on a hot day, I am glad that my biking has kept me in descent shape to tackle the task.

Yup, that $99 is one of the best investments I ever made.

Take stock in yourself someway.  That's a wrap here for awhile.
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ALL in my humble opinion, scroll down and read more..

This site does NOT make Buy / Sell recommendations.
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why I don't buy Cramer's " just pay up" - Gilead thesis.



Stock Talk:

Recently the Biotech sector has been affected by Congress questioning why Gilead thinks they can charge $1000 per pill for a regimen of treatment for Hepatitis C. Yes, the nucleotide based drug is a breakthrough that cost a lot of money to develop and take through the maze of FDA testing. Today, we see Jim Cramer and Celgene CEO proclaiming how we, the little people and our insurance companies, just have to pay up at the pharmacy counter because these drugs "cost so much" to develop.

However, if you examine the history in this case, you will see that Gilead acquired the drug in an acquisition of VRUS which they paid up in an historic $11 Billion buyout. Now had VRUS been left alone to complete the development, how much more would they have had to spend? maybe $100 Million dollars ?

Well my point is that just because GILD paid too much for VRUS, does not mean that exorbitant prices at the pharmacy counter should go unquestioned.

I think that Congress is right to question it and look into it further because a single pill costing $1000 a pop when Gilead overpaid for VRUS is passing bad business practice onto consumers.

They overpaid for VRUS with apparently bad business decisions. Why should we the consumer pay for their bad decisions?

I am saying the actual costs for the development would have been a LOT lower than the $11 Billion that Gilead paid up for to buyout VRUS.

instead of $1000 a pill , maybe it would be a profit maker at $100 per pill if Gilead had not stepped in?

It all bears further review in my view.


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ALL in my humble opinion, scroll down and read more..

This site does NOT make Buy / Sell recommendations.
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Monday, March 17, 2014

This Morning's market interpreted.


Market Talk:

The Crimean's voted for inclusion into the Russian fold. They apparently celebrated the vote in the streets, if you can believe it. This morning's market is responding in a relief rally, as shorts cover.

The market is saying that Crimea's secession from the Ukraine whether by hook or by crook was a foregone conclusion, once Russia started their takeover games. If a foregone conclusion from the start, then why all the games and maneuvering with this n that threat. It could be that defenders of democracy as in our US state department have to rattle sabers or sanctions to send the Russian's the message that there are repercussions in sieging upon other countries assets and land grabbing. The question is how far should we take it? At some point threats and objections become hollow whining. especially when many in the US are sick and tired of being the world's police outside our boundaries.

There are still troubling signs all around the world. For now, the market wants to put all that on ignore and is back in a relief rally mode. The shorts that thought they got the memo last week may have mistimed the whole thing yet again.

Oh well, those who live by the dark side of the shorting sword, die by the sword. Or run away to fight another day.

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ALL in my humble opinion, scroll down and read more..

This site does NOT make Buy / Sell recommendations.
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Markets climb the wall of worry.



Market Talk:

The Russian / Ukrainian standoff seemed to ease yesterday as Putin made some conciliatory words about not expanding an offensive unless Russian interests are threatened by the new Government forming in the Ukraine. Well, how Russia perceives things going forward is open to question. He also raised concerns about economic sanctions by threatening to retaliate by doing things that would have a negative impact on the US dollar in world markets. All in all, the market took to the notion that the immediate threat of an all out Russian attack beyond the sea port Crimea is off the table. Who of us in the US even heard of far off places like Crimea before three weeks ago? The majority of us would likely say - where's that? But it is a peninsula that Russia apparently has strategic interests with a naval fleet there.

Part of the Ukraine seems to have Russian sentiments and part of the Ukraine wants to be part of Europe. Hmmmmm .... That's up to them to figure out. I also don't think NATO wants to get too involved at least yet. However President Obama has been doing a lot of jawboning to Putin about the Ukrainian right for self determination. We know Obama has the gift to gab but I'd have to say maybe it helped make Russia see that world repercussions in terms of sanctions could be very negative if they pursue aggressive tendencies towards the newly forming government.

That Russian propaganda machine is portraying the new Ukrainian government as fascists in their view is a troubling indicator and Putin reserves the right for future actions should they feel justified. That Putin has threatened retaliation to the US dollar is another concern.

In the meantime, the day to day market shrugged off the immediate threat just means that the Ukrainian situation will be put on the back burner in the market's view until it becomes a problem again.

In the meantime, the market looks at economic indicators for growth and corporate earnings and is back to watching fundamentals. With the market flirting at historical highs, the ongoing concerns affect the bull market in terms of corrections as each new high is reached. And thus we have see the dynamics behind the old adage that - "the market climbs a wall of worry".

When valuations are determined a bubble, the market will correct itself. In the meantime the players will play, the traders will trade and the games will go on. I'll stick to watching the fundamentals and avoid the hyped up BS that they dish out all day and night.


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ALL in my humble opinion, scroll down and read more..

This site does NOT make Buy / Sell recommendations.
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What was that?


Market Talk:

What was that yesterday? The market off over 300 points on the dow? And today? Morning trading looks like a bounce.

yup, volatility is back. Yesterday's sell off was just a correction to some and they buy today.

But the correction may be based on the reality that home and car sales are quite sluggish. Yes, perhaps it's the weather and perhaps not. Perhaps it's just fabricated stories that the financial media puts out there to suit big money and their sponsors positions.

Well, that's the market, mostly made up of BS firmly fixed on a base of jello.


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ALL in my humble opinion, scroll down and read more..

This site does NOT make Buy / Sell recommendations.
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Friday, January 24, 2014

Is the market like a Flying Dream ?


Market Talk:

Do you ever have a flying dream? I get them once in awhile. It can be a fun dream. Often when these dreams come to me, I am perfecting a particular technique or movement that brings aerodynamic lift and then flight suddenly happens.

When my daughter was just a kid we used to have fun in the pool this way. I would throw her as high as I could and tell her to work on an arm gesture to catch flight. It never happened but we had fun trying. Sometimes it got so silly that we would crack up laughing and try again and again, perfecting the ones that took her higher.

But in my flying dreams, sometimes I will fly back to my old neighborhood and try to teach my old friends how to fly. It usually starts out with a running start and then taking leaps with my arms out as far as I can. Then there's some unusual flipping out of a leg with the nuance of a turned foot in a certain position and arms outstretched and voila! flight happens.

In other dreams sometimes I just jump as high as I can and then believe I can fly and rather than come down, I float about longer than gravity would take and then catch the air and off I go, in amazement to myself and gawking bystanders.

These dreams, while not often, can be quite fun in dreamland.

However, there are some flying dreams that happen to go too far. Not all landings are graceful.

For example, sometimes we get too much altitude and then suddenly lose the technique that got us there. It could be the "belief" that we can indeed defy gravity . Suddenly falling victim to the notion of "what goes up must come down". Then as the fun flying comes to an awkward end we flail about and wake up with our arms and legs moving in the bed.

Well, take the market yesterday and today. After reaching all time highs, the Dow has faded below the 16,000 mark as of this midday Friday report. Some say the overall market got ahead of itself. Some say it's just a normal Friday's profit taking and will snap back after a slight correction.

Sometime the collective macro market is looking ahead predicting future sentiment for some unknown reasons or another. There is posturing by China over some uninhabited islands in the South China sea that both Japan and China claims ownership. China claims airspace rights and that is a potential source of trouble in the Asia pacific region with our ally, Japan.

Meanwhile Apple has started their cell phone business with China Mobile. It's about time from Apple's view because they have been manufacturing I phones in China for years. Billionaire hedge fund investor Carl Ichan has been buying up Apple shares on the dips and becoming more an activist towards Apple management. I'm sure they now think he's a pain in their ass. Meanwhile. Microsoft had a nice quarter and is defying the gravity of falling stocks today as the Dow is now off over 200 points.

Well, the future of the market is dependent on a lot of things like a continued economic recovery and investor belief that corporate earnings will continue to show growth. But some individual stocks appear way ahead of their current earnings or future growth projections. These stocks are vulnerable.

Well, is the market entering the flying dream stage where the belief is starting to wane as maybe the Fed starts tapering the money supply? Or is this all just a profit taking bounce on cold Friday here in the east.

The winds of the future will only say and they are not speaking to me yet.



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ALL in my humble opinion, scroll down and read more..

This site does NOT make Buy / Sell recommendations.
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Oncothyreon makes a bold move to transparency in the Cancer fight arena.




Market Talk:

The bull sentiment seems to be holding on the notion that US and world economies are stabilizing and improving.  Here in the US, I listened to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke give what some consider his farewell remarks at a convention of economists.  He seemed to be somewhat  sanguine about the prospects for a continued recovery and at the same time caveating optimism with notes about  a sluggish economy and reasons for it.  The unemployment data can be misleading as more people lose benefits and go off the record books it makes jobless claims appear to be decreasing when it's just that some people gave up.  The thing to look for in an improving economy are indicators such as new car and home sales.  Recessions are typically preceded by lackluster sales.  For now, the auto and home business have been doing pretty good as the recovery from the crisis has been fueled by accommodative Federal reserve policy.

Stock Talk:

I have been reluctant to post as noted the other day.  But today, I will highlight a situation that has impressed me in term of transparency. Oncothyreon (ONTY) recently presented some early results on their cancer therapy and compound known as ONT-10.

http://www.oncothyreon.com/pdfs/ONT-10/SITC-poster.pdf

The details of the ONT- 10  immune boosting treatment in the Phase 1 clinical trial are presented in the above PDF file.  The compound has been designed with the goal of demonstrating both cellular and antibody responses to help fight cancer tumors.  From the data, we can see that they have targeted a broad range of cancers in order to target the most productive indications to extend the trial into Phase 2.

In theory, the Muc1 target presents itself in just about all cancers, but in practice there may be pathways in particular forms that make ONT 10 more effective.  Both the theory and practice are described in the above research note.  One item of the presentation is quite interesting because it gets down to the details of the initial results.  I am not going to interpret these results in this note because it is too early to draw complete conclusions.  However, some of the early data is promising in that in ovarian cancer actual tumor reductions have been reported with one being 44% reduction at time of record.

The Blue/ green chart on each individual patient is the most transparent report I have ever seen by any company. As they continue the trial, as they enroll new patients applying learned practices such as increasing the ONT 10 dose to 2,000 ug's in a cohort of patients, the metrics of how well ONT 10 is performing  will become clear.  I consider this format as a bold move by Oncothyreon and note that other companies have not been as transparent.  Researchers and investors alike should look forward to seeing updated reports as ONT-10 progresses through the maze of the FDA trial and approval process.

Such a blue/ green  chart format is a bold and transparent move by Oncothyreon because it illustrates both the potential risks and rewards in trying to fight and beat cancer.  Sometimes things work , sometimes not.  It provides a quick picture of each patient's fight within the aggregate of all the others in a similar fight.

In a way, the blue / green chart represents a challenge to all others in the cancer fight game to do the same and follow ONTY's lead in presenting transparent results. The blue green chart format tracks each case from start to end.

We'll see.  It all bears watching and would hope to see updates to the chart every three months or so..


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ALL in my humble opinion, scroll down and read more..

This site does NOT make Buy / Sell recommendations.
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