Thursday, July 31, 2008

Credit Card Transfer Game

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to play the credit card 0% balance transfer game. I recently closed on a real estate transaction so I have no more worries for the time being of maintaining a pristine credit rating. I receive a few solicitations in the mail offering 0% transfers, but they often carry a 3% transfer fee with no caps. I’ve been looking around for a good credit card site with 0% balance transfers with low fees. I discovered this credit card site Balance Transfer that contains exactly the information I’m looking for. You can compare various credit cards offering balance transfers. I find this very helpful since all of the information you need is located at one location. If you’re into the credit 0% balance transfer game, you should definitely take a look at this site.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Trying To Catch A Poisonous Spider

One of the first rules of trading is never try to catch a falling knife and that’s what I tried to do with the purchase of the financial spiders last Friday. Today’s news on Fannie and Freddie should have rallied the financials, but traders sold into the news. I didn’t have a good fuzzy feeling and bailed out of my financial spider position. I managed to pull off a 0.93% gain, but it was only a tiny position. You just have to go back to what’s working which are selected biotechs, ag and of course black gold.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Panic Mode

What a crazy day today with the market. The New York Times piece on Fannie (Ticker: FNM) and Freddie (Ticker: FRE) really sent the financials and the market into crash mode. In situations like this, you have to advantage of inefficiencies that will take place. I made some gains by trading around Apria Healthcare Group (Ticker: AHG) and the financial spiders (Ticker: XLF). The market just tossed the financials out the window. With so many people bearish on the market and especially the financials, I started building a tiny position in the financial spiders.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Singles and Doubles...

This is a very difficult market environment; you have to go for the singles and doubles. You don’t want to go for the home run swing and strike out. I’m continuing to play the arb game with positions in Choicepoint (Ticker: CPS), Inc and Apria Healthcare Group (Ticker: AHG). Hopefully, both of these should close at the end of Q3 or early Q4. I’ve also been writing some covered call positions against some of my holdings. The next couple of weeks should bring a lot of action with companies reporting Q2 results.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Getty Done, Choicepoint Next

Getty Images (Ticker: GYI) finally closed yesterday so I made a nice little return on this arb play. I started building the position on 5/19 and continued adding to it until the week of the closing. My average cost basis was $33.39, which equates to a net return of 1.83% or 14.81% if you annualize it. I used leverage in this arb play to maximize my return.

My next arb play is Choicepoint Inc (Ticker: CPS), which is being acquired by Reed Elsevier for $50 per share. I started building a position today. This deal was announced in February, but is being held up by an antitrust investigation. I see very little risk in them blocking this deal. I’m not concerned with any financing concerns since this is not funded by private equity money.

As I’ve said, you have to be careful with the arb plays because it’s a mine field out there. Today, Penn National Gaming (Ticker: PENN), which I was considering, fell apart. You have to be patient and not get too greedy in the arb game. I have to admit that I got carried away with Getty Images and built up a position that was way too big. I would have been vaporized if the deal fell apart.