Dan Zemke

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About Dan Zemke

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    New Member
  • Birthday 01/11/1949

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Ridgefield, CT
  • Interests
    Photography, snow skiing, fly fishing, computers, HDT and Solar.
  1. A brief update. If I had sold all of my puts at Friday's market close price, I would have made a 17% profit. I haven't sold any of them so far.
  2. Yes it has, and I fully participated in most of its gain. Like any thoughtful investor, I didn't ignore the hopelessly optimistic types, nor did I ignore the gloom and doom types. I weighed both of their inputs along with many other sources of information to make my decision. Am I hoping that the positive trend continues? Nope! As a buyer, I'm hoping for lower prices. Why would I be hoping for price increases? Dan
  3. I'm still 100% in cash in all my accounts and have been since the end of March. I lost out on about 5% of potential market gain by not being invested (I sold some in Jan and Feb at lower prices than my biggest sale in March and collected interest that was lower than the dividends afterwards). Last Friday, I bought SPY puts at $140 for Dec 22 and $135 on Jan 19. The last time I bet that the market was going to go down (spring of 1999) was a few months before the dot com bubble burst. But I shorted 4 internet stocks and lost a LOT of money. At least this time, I've limited my exposure by using puts instead shorts. Dan
  4. John, You referenced John Hussman as a source several times, which is fine. I prefer the blogs from Paul Krugman, Simon Johnson and John Taylor. They tend to be shorter and more focused than the Hussman stuff I've read. IMO, the first two are nearly polar opposites of third. They provide a good range of opinions. Krugman is as least as data intensive as Hussman. He can go off the deep-end, with his unabashed liberal leaning, but I find his data analysis and sources to be sound (unlike many think tank pieces). http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/ http://baselinescenario.com/ http://johnbtaylorsblog.blogspot.com/ BTW, I finished moving to 100% cash equivalents at the end of March. I'm not a market timer, but even after one big change, I found my portfolio mix to a mess - indefensible. So I decided to sell at a time that looked like it was more likely to be near a high than a low. I plan to start buying again at S&P 1275 and be fully invested (or not) by about 1140. And for my contribution to entertainment, here is a little comic satire: http://www.dailykos....-The-Austerions Dan On edit: Of course, neither I, nor anyone else knows what the market will do. So if the market does not decline as much as I think it will this year, I'll join the buy on the dips crowd.
  5. The XP firewall did not monitor outbound stuff. But Vista's and Win 7's firewalls do. I used Norton for years - provided by my employer at the time. Norton began to have a significant impact on performance. So I switched to ZoneAlarm, at my own cost, along with many of my IBM peers. I then tried MS's bundled firewall with Vista and subsequently switched to it for all of computers Dan.
  6. I essentially agree. But I'm not convinced that individual stock selection or market timing will do any better (I have a lot of experience with both and I switched to only doing strategic tweaks). You've disparaged "buy and hold" but haven't disclosed the specifics of anything better. What's your secret? Dan On Edit: I looked backward and discovered your Aug 8th post. I see that you appear to have held your money in cash and assets. In retrospect, that was a very reasonable strategy for the last decade or so. But it would have been a lousy one for most earlier time periods. To me the real question for investors is about the future. IMO, hard assets are near to, if not at, their peak. Although cash is likely to be safe from significant inflation erosion for at least several years, interest rates will remain very low. Bottom line: things don't look great for our investments regardless of preferences on where to put your money.
  7. Linda, All of the trial software that comes bundled with PCs are advertisements. The responsible software companies pay the PC retailers to bundle their software as a trial. I paid for Norton and Kaspersky subscriptions for several years. IMO, for your use, with the advent of Microsoft's free Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) you'd be wasting your money subscribing to Norton or Kaspersky virus protection. Their motivation is brand protection - they don't want Windows to become synonymous with unsafe. In addition to being "safe", MSE was far less intrusive than Norton or Kaspersky when it was introduced. Is it today - I don't care. It's effective, not intrusive and safe. Dan On Edit: Didn't read your prior post before this one
  8. I basically agree. I also used the lower market values to shift some of my taxable investments from Europe to Latin America and Asia. If the market fully prices the expected future into current prices, the shift shouldn't matter, but it shouldn't hurt either. And I'm more comfortable under weighting Europe at this point. If anyone is considering converting IRA, 401K or their ilk to a Roth, doing it when the market is lower results in lower conversion taxes. Rightly, or wrongly, I'm 90% invested in a broadly diversified portfolio consisting primarily of EFTs. I do have a limit order in for some DEM for my Roth account, hoping I can catch a little more higher yield, at "reasonable" risk during the volatility. Dan