May 2004

Fireworks explode over St. Vitus cathedral at Prague Castle to mark the European Union (news - web sites)'s enlargement at midnight, Saturday, May 1, 2004, when the Czech Republic together with nine other countries, joined the EU. (AP Photo/CTK, Jan Trestik)

May 15, 2004

Well, it is absolutely clear that I stayed in these long funds for way too long.  I had hoped that a bit of a hedge would help, and it did, but not enough.  The fundamental mistake is to be influenced, in the light of a clear sell signal, by a redemption fee.  In the end, you pay the fee and lose more money.  I should have known that.

At this point, I am entirely in short funds, including short bond funds.  Small profits there, at least.  All of the commentators say now is the time to buy, but what do they know?

May 19,2004

Well, maybe those guys knew something after all, since the markets are up big time today, and I am closing out the short positions with a loss.  Still too early to go long, but at this point cash looks very good.  Dave Serbin's timing system said to go to cash, and not to short.  So also one other guy.  Maybe they were right, or maybe the market will turn around and I will regret closing those positions.

This is the most confusing market I have been in for a while, and this is shaping up to be a bad year.  But actually, I made money today because the market closed down in the last hour.  I posted the above in the morning, when the market was up big time.  Again, very confusing.

Ah,Those Brits! So reserved! So Calm and Collected! Such Sang Froid!

Naked students ride the 'Nemesis Inferno' roller coaster at Thorpe Park in Surrey, southern England, May 21, 2004, during their attempt to break the world record for the most naked people to ride on a roller coaster. The group successfully set a new official world record on Friday with a total of 81 volunteers completing the attempt. (Howard Sayer/Reuters)

 And, Why the Rich Live Longer

Their solution to the age-old mystery of health and status is at once utterly original and supremely obvious. The rich live longer, they write, mainly because the rich are smarter. The argument rests on several different propositions, all well documented. The crucial points are that (a) social status correlates strongly and positively with IQ and other measures of intelligence;(b) intelligence correlates strongly with "health literacy," the ability to understand and follow a prescription for disease prevention and treatment; and (c) intelligence is also correlated with forward planning--which means avoidance of health risks (including smoking) as they are identified...

An American whose IQ is in the range between 76 and 90 (i.e., well below average) is eight times as likely to be living in poverty as someone whose IQ is over 125...

Noncompliance with doctors' orders is demonstrably rampant in low-income clinics, reaching 60% in one cited s tudy. Noncompliance is often taken to signify a lack of patient motivation, but it often clearly reflects a simple failure to understand directions...

Smoking, obesity and sedentary living are more prevalent among low-status citizens. A 2001 study by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention found that college graduates are three times as likely to live healthily as those who never got beyond high school. Not clear is what the government can do about this.

Read the whole article.

May 29, 2004

A horrible month.  The market has been full of head-fakes.  MICROC2X went on a buy Thursday, but I decided to wait and see what happens over the long weekend. Other signals are still on a sell.  

Meanwhile, my favorite show is now the object of academic studies.  Personally, I am fascinated by the Spike character, the bad boy vampire who turns hero in the end.  I am also interested by the fact that in spite of saving Buffy's life several times, he gets so little gratitude.  I also think that Buffy trying to save the lives of the trio of evil nerds by protecting them from Willow was a mistake.  Well, at least she got Warren.  Now Arnold would never have been so nice.  Remember the scene in Commando? "You promised you would kill me last."  "I lied."  [Arnold drops bad guy off cliff].  That's the way to deal with bad guys.

Scholars Lecture on 'Buffy' Show

Sarah Michelle Gellar plays Buffy Summers in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' television series in this undated publicity photo. (AP Photo/WB Network,James Sorenson)

World War II Memorial

World War II veterans wave as they have their photo taken at the World War II Memorial in Washington, Saturday, May 29, 2004. The memorial was officially dedicated earlier Saturday. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick

May 30, 2004

All of the major indices are at the top of a major descending trend line.  If you look at QQQ, for example, there is a descending trend line through the local highs at 1/26, 4/05, and 4/23.  If these indices break out of this descending line, then we may well see the market move up significantly.  On the other hand, the terror news from the Middle East, where there was recently a major incident in Saudi Arabia, may send the market down when it opens on Tuesday.  Most of the signals are still in sell mode, although MICROC2X did go on a buy.  Shorting does not look good, and so cash appears to be the best choice for now.  The market did turn around, and I did get out with small profits in my short positions.  Other than that, a terrible month.


New Toyota Prius

Finally, after almost 6 months waiting, I got the Toyota Prius I had ordered. I bought the car for my daughter, Jennifer, after her car was totaled in Ohio where she is going to school.  Some idiot went through a closed garage door, became airborne, and landed on top of her Mercury while it was parked outside of her part-time job. I gave her my old Dodge Intrepid to drive for a while, and ordered the Prius.

Now that it is delivered, I think that I will keep it for a while. It is really such a nice car that I just ordered another one. Now the waiting period is about 9 months. The Intrepid will turn 100,000 miles by then, and I will be ready to get rid of it.

The nice thing about the Prius is that it is pretty much a no-compromise car. Our other car is a Jaguar X-type, which is certaily faster. Nevertheless, when you get into the Prius after driving the Jag, the Prius does not feel slow. I got the model with everything on it possible, including the navigation system. Oddly enough, for a car that has a 6-CD changer available, two things were not available: power seats, and leather interior.

Anyway, the car performs and handles beautifully, and we have friends who are actually getting the advertised gas mileage. The hybrid parts are on warranty for 100,000 miles.

The next one will be red.


Name Symbol SYS Starting No. Starting Individual Total Current Total Result % Result
Date Shares Price Starting Starting Price Value

Value Value


1,106,175.17 1,106,175.17


1,106,175.17 1,106,175.17
1,106,175.17 0.00 0.00


Name Symbol
Starting No. Starting Individual Total Sale Sale Total Result % Result
Date Shares Price Starting Starting Date Price Sale

Acadian Emerg Markets AEMGX
03/08/04 3,389.831 17.70 60,005.00 60,005.00 05/11/04 15.64 52,481.79 -7,523.21 -12.54
U. S. Global Eastern Europe EUROX
02/02/04 1,342.282 22.35 30,005.00

03/01/04 1,195.219 25.10 30,005.00


60,010.00 05/11/04 22.65 57,469.40 -2,540.60 -4.23
03/08/04 2,313.030 25.94 60,005.00 60,005.00 05/07/04 26.04 60,231.30 226.30 0.38
Scudder Latin America SLAFX
01/15/04 1,171.875 25.60 30,005.00 30,005.00 05/07/04 22.60 26,482.80 -3,522.20 -11.74
Rydex Juno RYJUX
05/06/04 4,662.005 21.45 100,000.00

4,587.156 21.80 100,000.00


200,000.00 05/19/04 21.65 200,245.00 245.00 0.12
Rydex Small Cap Short RYSHX
05/06/04 976.181 51.22 50,000.00

1,862.891 53.68 100,000.00

150,000.00 05/19/04 53.47 151,805.18 1,805.18 1.20
Rydex Tempest RYTPX
04/28/04 978.474 51.10 50,000.00

1,863.933 53.65 100,000.00

150,000.00 05/19/04 53.37 151,699.26 1,699.26 1.13
Rydex Venture RYVNX
04/28/04 1,853.225 26.98 50,000.00

3,536.068 28.28 100,000.00


150,000.00 05/19/04 28.24 152,193.63 2,193.63 1.46