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  1. Been a while since this page had any action. Would be fun to pick back up again. Stunning call, SBM. I never understood the idea of mining to create money out of thin air, but the concept of an alternative to the US $ as reserve currency has always seemed inevitable as China econ expands. I still don't understand why Bitcoin other than black market exchange. But I do understand booms, like Tulips, Dot Com, etc. Clearly I wouldn't say Bitcoin is just getting started, but 10K is not out of the question in a hurry. The problem I see is there is significant Bitcoin demand from everyday folk, but there are not many simple, liquid ways to invest. So for the time being, Demand outstrips Supply. As WS buys in to the mania, they will flood the market with ETFs. And then, it will begin to collapse. Haven't done my annual NFL draft stock picks for the year, but I still share them every year with a group that likes to mirror my investment funds. Last year my pick was SCTY, which ultimately became TSLA at 150. I recall some were onto TSLA very early. I do not have a model S, but I did plunk down a deposit for a Model 3 the first wk it was available to do so. I did not own much TSLA stock beyond a token buy at 100 year ago. So SCTY was intended to be a tracking stock to TSLA with the backdoor idea that Musk would one day buy his cousin's company. TSLA acquired SCTY a few months later, lol. This year, I gave 2 picks. The first was NVDA at 100 with buys down to 75 if you remember how I like to build via Pyramid scheme. It never went much below 100 so we didn't get much of the pyramid built. The second was X at 23 with buys down to 10. We got buys at 23 and 20 but have yet to get more than that. It trades at 26 today. I traded the steel names via X and MT in front of the last econ cycle over a decade ago. If you pull up any of those charts, you will see what a fun ride that was. I expect it to double and triple from 25 assuming this cycle repeats every other one. So far, it is repeating verbatim. I expect it to continue to consolidate before ripping again Dec/Jan (which is always the month steel stocks typically run). And then the next legs higher happen in 2018 thru to 2020. Still have half the original SIRI from under a buck. And FB from 25. I also lost my entire investment in Blockbuster. But I get even many weeks by trading NFLX options, lol. If this thread gets any interest again, I'll make sure I post my 2018 picks next year. Anyone else have any interesting ideas this year?
  2. RobV - I've found opening a second browser or the draft board in a separate tab helps. Draft board is delayed a few seconds but if you have sound on, it still warns you when on deck and then up to pick. To me, simplest way would be to add time clock to the draft board but slight time delay may come into play? Either way, Draft board is easier to follow vs draft results on the selection page. Try that vs cumbersome scroll.
  3. Thanks for responding, Alex. Glad to hear on the filling of leagues. I'll stay tuned and only switch days/times if necessary. Fair enough on the Double Up response. Haven't exactly been lighting up the payout board in the ffpc in recent yrs, but it was just the idea of only receiving credits vs a hard payout that kept me from joining them. That said, it's not like I wouldn't be back next year one way or another, lol. And it certainly would have been nice to get something out of those 3rd and 4th pt finishes that keep piling up, lol. I'll prob end up entering one or two as the season approaches.
  4. 2 part question here. Typically sign up for a few 77 DE lgs in addition to and leading up to the ME. Could be just me, but I'm getting the impression these leagues are filling slower than in years past. For example, it's still a wk out but I'm still the only one in a 77 DE lg. And I'm 1 of only 2 in another I thought would be a fairly popular time slot. Not a huge deal if this is the case. I'm fairly flexible on days and can always attempt to join another should my lgs not fill. So this part isn't really a question, just more an observation. I'd assume likely as a result of increased competition due to the weekly FF stuff, But if I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me here. I mean no harm. So on to the second part and true question. I see the $35 Double Ups as a new option. It's intriguing. But why is the payout only applicable to future FFPC entries? Why not pay out directly? Even if only 5 of 12? Just a thought. Only reason I ask is I'm sure I'm not the only one that likes to enter the DK/FD weekly double ups. So it's a nice idea that maybe doesn't go all the way to capturing some of that audience. Apologize if this has already been discussed elsewhere. If so, please feel free to point me to that thread.
  5. Is anyone even following this stuff anymore? Here's an update on our current thread active positions within the past year. GMCR +165%, LGF +115%, GPS +30% (but this one's still early), and SAN +15% (the laggard). Not to mention SIRI +300% since the original 2010 call @ 85c. Heck, I even gave you the precise price levels to target on AAPL at the $425 and $385 gap fills. Adding insult to injury, CNBC is now pumping my airline (LCC) theme ad nauseum in recent months. I gave up too soon as you know but it was still a decent return when liquidated. Just funny to note the thesis is playing out 1 year after I laid it out. You see, even I can leave a position far too early. Someone once laughed at me on this thread when I suggested a pick that went to 0. Hey, we all get things wrong, right. But if you happened to put a portfolio like this one together, an index fund will now need years just to catch up to your returns. The days of being a great stock picker haven't mattered in recent years' past. That is why I have talked about Macro Theme-based investing. However, in the past 12 months, being a great stock picker has mattered tremendously once again becoming the Mother's Milk of this game. It's that time of year again. When you get the shopping list out and cross your fingers we get market or stock declines to buy those stocks at a discount. I've got 2 new picks for you just in case you would like to keep at this thing. The first is a name I was only luke-warm on just a few months ago. It is FB. This is a bet that Zuck and Dorsey continue to change the world. Forget old search. New wave search is to start on your social media sites like FB, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and let your family, friends and follows tell you what to search for the day. It doesn't get rid of google or anything by any means, but this is a generational shift that advertisers are only starting to figure out how to react to. Once they do, some of those old search ad dollars will find new homes. And a large recipient of those dollars should be FB and whatever empire Zuck continues to build either organically or via acquisition. Start with a buy at $26/27 and use the old rules for building a position. In this case, use $2-5 declines and 3-5 buys. The stock goes to $38 easy. Twitter IPO excitement set to come later this year or early next year could even press the stock to $50+. If I'm right, we collect another double within 12-18 months. How many of these do I need to hit here before someone takes notice. The second one is a homerun or bust pick. It is much like my Blockbuster pick years ago that unfortunately went to 0. Picks like this only warrant a small amount of your speculative capital. The stock is NBG. Like my SAN pick, this is a financial stuck in the deadzone that is Europe. In fact, it is even worse in that it is in you guessed it, Greece. The bank keeps finding ways to raise capital to stay alive, albeit at significantly dilutive measures. But in this case, you get to buy AFTER at least one of their latest capital raises and cross your fingers the economy actually gets marginally better in Greece. That might sound like a silly thing to bet on but then again BAC was $2 once as well. To me, NBG is a statement name that must be maintained. If it were to be nationalized, much like the talk of nationalizing BAC during our recent financial crisis, it would be a disaster for all of Europe. In fact, I believe it would add substantial pressure on our own US financial system hanging on by the assistance of our Fed. Start with a buy at $1.20 and look for 3-5 buys down to 50c, at say 15-35c declines. The target is $3 to sell half of the position you've built. Laying this out for you now because sometimes these kind of all-or-nothing picks can double overnight. You wake up wondering what the heck to do with all this newfound money, panic-sell everything only to then watch the stock go up another $3-5. You plan this stuff ahead of time and you save yourself the panic and potential heartache. Besides, you sell half at $3 and it's at least a double. And you can't lose another dime on the stock no matter what happens - another one of my old golden rules. And if it ends up the start of something better, you've let your winner run.
  6. A Year in Review: 2012 Grab some coffee if you want to read this crap. As promised, here’s a recap of my Hits and Misses on the year. You may recall that I was quite cautious as we closed out 2011. Go back to a post on Dec 2, 2011 to see for yourself. Boy was that wrong. All the indicators I follow turned wildly Bullish in a hurry to kickstart 2012 and I was watching the game from the sidelines. But just as pullbacks are akin to Death and Taxes, I suggested using the decline in the market near the end of Jan to shift gears and get Long til Apr/May again – same pattern I gave you in recent years past. I missed the first 5% rise of the year, but this game is never about the rips you miss. It is about the dips you’re lucky enough to avoid, are able to manage through or even better, predict altogether. See my Mea Culpa on Feb 2. Now, you also learned something else in this Dead Wrong post from Dec 2011. IF the inflection point resolved into a Bull, you would be looking at your average 2 year Bull run in the market. Meant you could throw out the noise and buy the dips. Better still, I told you a larger dip would occur in Apr/May again like clockwork. And it did. I also told you the Bull resolution meant SIRI was on its way to $3. On Dec 18, it hit $3.01 before closing the year at $2.89. And you had some significant buying opportunities in that stock throughout the course of the year, including a low all the way down at $1.78. I’m not going to get much better (or luckier) at predicting price moves within 1c. So please, don’t come to expect that sort of accuracy. Time for the Picks and Pans: SIRI – see above. A huge trading winner in 2012 if you’ve learned anything from me on the stock since 2010. The stock is up 270% since my prediction from 85c. It’s pointless to even benchmark against the S&P with that kind of return. I could tell you what I saw playing out in the stock back in 2010 but you probably wouldn’t believe me, considering most of it has all gone according to plan thus far. Do this stuff long enough and you will start to see apparitions as well. WSM – I said to leave the stock in Apr at $36 with next to nothing in gains other than dividends over 9 months. It finished the year at $43. The money was spent better elsewhere but it’s still a miss. Not only did I waste 9 months holding the stock, I sold only to watch it rip higher a few months later. I can’t even tell you what I missed and that’s just how it goes. You start accepting that kind of crap is going to happen to you in this game, A LOT, and you’re on your way to playing well. LGF – In Apr, I suggested starting at $12.75 and building the position at each $1 lower. Unfortunately, you only got 2 of those 4 designated buys down to $11.75 so call the average purchase price $12.25 with a $20 price target. In 2012, the stock saw a high of $17 and it has so far moved over that price in 2013. The stock is still on track to print that price target in 2013, especially with the second film of The Hunger Games series coming near the end of the year. Low-to-High from Apr to close the year, the stock generated a 39% return versus a 16% return in the S&P. SAN – Similar to LGF, in Apr I said to start a position at $6.75 and buy every $1 decline from there down to $2.75. And similar to LGF, you only got the opportunity to buy 2 of those targets at $6.75 and $5.75. Got darn close to $4.75 by printing $4.88 at one point but fair is fair, call the average purchase price $6.25. The stock closed the year over $8 and has also been continuing its move higher so far into 2013. Low-to-High from Apr to close the year, the stock generated a 31% return versus a 16% return in the S&P. You also earned 20-50c in dividends by holding the stock – good for another few points of return – though the S&P has dividend payers in its own right. GMCR – This one was not without excitement. If you’re betting with me, you’re betting against one of the more famed Hedge Fund titans in David Einhorn. He’s still on the opposite side of the trade and I still do not agree with him. Let’s go to the tape. Like LGF and SAN, I started off at $43.25 and looked for buy targets $5 lower than the last down to $28. But shortly after my first buy target, the stock got annihilated on an earnings report and the stock got cut from $50 to $30 overnight. Good news is, the story hadn’t changed in my opinion so on May 7 I gave you what I considered the gift that keeps on giving in this new Bear World and how you play these things when they go against you in extreme fashion. You cut out the buy targets that are gone and replace them with new, lower ones. Go back and read the post if you want to see how it was done, but in short, $38 and $33 became $18 and $13 until the trend reversed. So here’s the buys we got with all the price action: $43.25, $28.25, $23.25 and $18.25. Call it an average purchase price of $28.25. Not to be outdone by the Bears, the Bulls ripped the stock after the most recent earnings report and the stock was right back to $40 to close the year. Plus, it left things all the more exciting for 2013. I’m still looking for a price target of about $50 in 2013 that could even present more interesting buying opportunities before then as well. Low-to-High from Apr to close the year, this call produced a whopping 50% return versus a 16% return in the S&P. LCC – I suggested closing out of the position at $11 and not to start looking at it til $8 again. Had a nice return on the $11 sale and the stock almost got back to $8 in the $9’s but it just never happened. The stock closed the year approaching $14 and has ripped that into 2013. Nobody ever got hurt taking a profit, but this is a lesson in giving up on a theme too soon. FB – The IPO was a disaster. None of the potential trading opportunities I suggested worked out but you’ll recall I wasn’t all that excited about them going in either. It’s going back to $38 again one day, just as I said it would. It’s now looking like that day will be in 2013. My how the tide has turned. The boys sure do miss Steve Jobs. They would like Zuck to somehow replace him. I still don’t yet love the stock, fundamentally; but technically, I can spot a trend and it is Long FB in the 2013 Wall Street Fashion Show. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it print $50 in 2013. That about sums up 2012. The Hits far outweighed the Misses in my book. A select few shattered the S&P benchmark in 2012, while the majority failed to impress as usual. 2013 has so far been a little easier to predict. As I told you before, Tune out the Noise. We’re going to get more of it come Feb. If anyone cares, I’ll be back within the month with more 2013 predictions. For those of you that thought my SAN pick was a bit crazy, boy do I have one in store for you.
  7. A New Stock Pick As Dave once pointed out long ago on this thread, LULU has been taking the Yoga market by storm in recent years, and women have been flocking to the trend and brand ever since. While I’ve only taken a few Yoga classes myself, I do have plenty of friends both male and female that partake in the exercise regularly. So I can appreciate the trend. I wasn’t much of a fan of LULU the stock mainly because I couldn’t get my hands around its valuation at the time. Many have though, including Dave if I recall, and the stock has been a big winner. As the stock pulled back earlier this year, it would appear this was yet another buying opportunity for the stock. Still not my thing but at least the valuation looks more attractive than before. Now what if I told you that you could get a piece of the same Yoga theme on an up and coming brand. One that, while currently on a smaller scale, is seeing similarly blistering sales growth, is already receiving strong, comparable reviews to LULU and is operated by a long-established brand. The brand is called Athleta and it is owned by none other than The Gap (ticker: GPS). Yep, the same Gap that was wildly popular decades ago when everybody was rocking denim and khakis and watching 90210. Feel free to do some female research and see for yourself how this brand stacks up to the likes of LULU. My personal research so far has been very favorable. And the sales growth has so far delivered further confirmation (+30% in its most recent quarter). A lot of it has been done online but they are starting to expand the number of stores and doing so quite strategically if you ask me. They locate near and undercut LULU. Margins on this high cost merch is still pretty attractive, even if slightly undercut. Now Athleta only makes up a very small segment within GPS (less than 5% of sales). But this is THE growth driver for the company in the coming years. Not to mention, the rest of the company has already been operating a turnaround plan of consolidating and revamping its flagship stores. A plan that has already started to show signs of success, and has even more work to come in 2013. The valuation is relatively cheaper than a growth stock like LULU for obvious reasons, but in the case of GPS you also get a small dividend (currently around 1.5%) just for hanging on to the stock. When you pull up a chart of the stock, you’re probably going to say ‘why the heck didn’t you tell me about this stock a year ago’. Doesn’t matter, this is a theme that has the potential to span another year or 2 on the Wall Street Fashion Show. Remember, buy stocks in stages...never all at once. Forget about finding stock bottoms and instead focus on admiring Yoga bottoms on your wife or certain flavor of the month. Let’s start at $31.50 and look for 3-4 more buying opportunities, each at $2-3 less than the last. As always, good luck! It’s almost that time of year again. I’ll be back in the coming weeks for my year in review for picks and calls on the thread as well as a look into 2013 beyond this GPS pick.
  8. A 5% rule seems fair to me. 5% fits a better tail risk than say 1% IMO. Plus, this allows it to fluctuate with the overall size of the competition, need not be updated or discussed again ever and holds up better in defensible argument to those that finish outside of a round number per se. Not to mention, it won’t add much of anything to the total number of finalists competing for the grand prize since the top scoring team in a given league has already received an auto-berth. So the goal of limiting overall prize participants to 20% remains intact.
  9. Really great stuff here guys. Sure saves the time of going player by player to see who can pass you on Monday night.
  10. I'd only consider myself a novice skier. Sometimes I only go once, sometimes 2-3 times per season. But it's always a blast. The wife has tried to get me into cross-country with her but she wasn't successful. That's a workout, not a thrill. Not sure where you go locally in PA, but Seven Springs / Hidden Valley is a nice little resort area. It's about an hour and a half SE of Pittsburgh. Haven't been there in a while since I moved to MN several years ago, so unfortunately you're on your own for destinations around it (maybe someone else can add some input). Just thought I'd throw it out there in case you hadn't been.
  11. Don't agree. Keep the waivers Wed and Fri as is. Serves the dual purpose of the once per week managers if that's your thing, as well as the latest injury news managers (as much as can be known on Fri). Sat info doesn't often matter and you can't possibly monitor a Sun pickup thing. Though it's a bit of a disadvantage to the once per week-type managers that have to make their FA plans on Wed - when injury info may not be fully known - you can find a little extra time on Fri to swap something out if those plans are foiled. Seems to me this ends up as more a personal decision of how many teams you want to manage as a result.
  12. I would agree with the start of this thread. Have always thought that H2H in HSFF (especially a points championship) is fairly meaningless and should be treated/rewarded as such. In a local or office league, I’d argue the exact opposite. JMO. I’d even take it a step further and do some other things to the prize structure or playoff contenders, but this proposal (2-wk point accumulation playoffs) is a nice suggestion if it goes anywhere. As for extending to a 13-wk regular season suggestion, I don’t like it. It introduces further scheduling randomness (how to decide what 2 teams to play twice) and ownership negligence.
  13. Unfortunate, but for cracks like this auto-bids should go out to something like the top 25. H2H record getting an auto-bid to an overall points championship over a team like this doesn't add up. But good luck to you in the playoffs. Maybe you'll 'sneak' in and it'll be moot.
  14. Thanks for the input, Alex. I can certainly understand the business side of it. Your scenario makes sense as well. We'll finish tied for best record at 8-3, and will probably end up some 50-60 points ahead of the next closest point team. We’ll end up about 150-160 points ahead of the other 8-3 team. Looking at the top team overall, Boobs Love ‘Em...they will go 11-0, end up 170+ points ahead of the next closest team and only win Best H2H record; yet they have a great shot at winning other regular season high points awards. A similar but more extreme example goes for The London Gentleman in FPC. I’m sure we could go back and forth on scenarios here. But staying true to the theme, FWIW I’d still be ok not winning a dime under your example. Ticked off for missing out, well now that’s another story. I guess part of the problem for me could be that I don’t put as much emphasis on H2H in HSFF to begin with, but that’s getting off track. Didn’t mean to bring this up again on you. I glossed over the ‘remaining’ wording in the rules section long ago and here my partner and I thought we just raked in 2 big wins. Having The Gronk and McGahee on the roster, this just added to a bad news Monday for us to realize that we would only be winning half of what we were hoping for. Sucks to be T.I.T.S.
  15. Alex - Couldn't find much of a discussion on this to hear the opinion of folks, so please disregard my ignorance on the topic. Please point me to a specific discussion thread if anyone has it handy. I'd be curious what more, including you, think about this. IMO, this rule should be changed. If a team is fortunate enough to pull off both best H2H record and most regular season points, they should be rewarded for both. Why reward a 2nd placed team for either Best H2H record or Points scored in a regular season? I do appreciate the FFPC's split prize structure of awarding regular season and playoff in-league performance to avoid the significant award tied to a one-game championship. Also support the 4-team playoff structure vs a 2-team structure. These 2 concepts alone should do enough to keep enough folks happy and coming back IMO. Now admittedly, this stings a little more this year being as we were lucky enough to have won both and won't be rewarded for it. But if we were on the other side of the coin and won one of these by default of someone else winning both, I wouldn't feel right about it. Don't get me wrong, the award would be nice in the wallet But handled the other way around, I wouldn't be upset about NOT winning. If someone wins both, they deserve to win both. I guess the only thing I can think of in favor of the rule is to attempt to keep as many folks happy and coming back to the event as possible. Folks put up a lot of money for this stuff. So it's nice that more of us have a chance to get some of that money back. But other than this line of thinking, what are some other reasons in favor of it?