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Mailbag Grab Bag!


Good luck as we edge through the muck, Minyans, and let's put some jingle in our jeans.


"The new phonebooks are here! The new phonebooks are here!"
Navin R. Johnson (aka the cat juggler, Pig Eye Jackson, Engineer Fred),
The Jerk

It's a jammy session at MVHQ as we officially roll out Buzz 2.0 to a standing ovation of giggling critters. We take great pride in what we do and how we do it and, while we fully expect some opening rust--it happens with any launch--we're quite sure that ye faithful will dig our next-gen application of information delivery. You can expect the same great Buzz content--which will uptick with the addition of some big ticket scribes--and you should look forward to more exciting Minyanville news in the weeks, months and years to come.

If you're new to the 'Ville or not yet a Buzzer, please click here to read President Fish's introduction letter or here for frequently asked questions. And, should you have any thoughts, ideas, opinions, questions, constructive criticism, cute jokes, funny anecdotes, amusing stories, embarrassing situations, energizing tales or "other" input, please feel free to contact me directly. It's why I'm here and it's what I do, from soup to nuts in the heart and guts.

Alas, as I'm somewhat "time challenged," (which is to be expected given the Buzz launch, my 6:00 AM personal trainer and the re), I'm gonna slink and slack through a few Minyan Mailbags this morning. Thanks kindly for your continued support of Minyanville. I've long said that a dream is only as powerful as those who believe in it and folks like you allow us to do what we love each and every day. Good luck as we edge through the muck, Minyans, and let's put some jingle in our jeans.


That was a nice little "schnitzel" in (and out) of your bull costume last week. Do you use those costumes any time you make a directional bet? I remember that you "dressed up" more often when you used to write your (excellent) trading diary at Thanks, Minyan Sarah."

Minyan Sarah,

First, thanks for the snaps. As far as the costumes, I don't use them as often for a few reasons. First, I've been trading a bit more "balanced" (longs and shorts) as a function of sector rotations, secular forces and the previous trading range (adapting to the market). Also, while I pull them out on occasion (when I deem the risk/reward to be advantageous), I don't use them whenever I make a directional bet. I'm very active during the day and often times, I'll be in and out of a situation before I have the chance to bang the keyboard. I'll always try to put my best foot (and ideas) forward--Minyans know that--but it's certainly not a prerequisite. Remember, Minyanville is an educational forum rather than an advice site.

With that said, and as discussed late yesterday, I was in "pick not press" mode during yesterday's slippage. I'm still somewhat balanced but I did nibble anew on the downside disconnects in my favorite metal and energy names (Goldcorp and Weatherford among them) while shaving some puts in the financial complex. Nothing crazy, mind you, and I'll be watching the recent lows along with my good friend and savvy soothsayer Jeff Saut of Raymond James. He is, my friends, as good as it gets.


Good Morning! I was wondering how you determine what month puts to buy? Why did you buy autumn paper in the financials instead of July? Aug? or Sept? Just trying to learn as I am not very experienced in analyzing options but like to try to use them for some exposure.

Thanks! Minyan Scott from Wellington Fla.

Minyan Scotto,

I rarely trade--or try not to trade--front month paper as I hate the gun-to-the-head decay (especially in the summer). If I see a volatility I deem 'worthy' (as I did in early May), I'll try to lock it in for an extended period of time. When vol "pops" as it did (+100% in a month), I'll either lay off the other side (spread 'em) or limit my long-side exposure. With regard to the banks, I wanna give the smoke plenty of time to trigger the fire alarms, particularly if I've got some extended time horizon long-side plays on.


I am in the process of leaving a regional bank trust department (read: single screen, asset allocation driven, buy-and-hold investing) to work with a few select clients who desire more aggressive investment and risk management strategies. What is your recommendation on the tools (hardware, software, and data services) I should have? In other words, what are the bare essentials a small firm needs to take advantage of short-term market movement while also implementing longer-term strategies? Thanks! Soon-to-be-Minyan Nick

M-I-T Nick,

Presently, I've got eight screens. Four bloomie terminals, commodities, charts, charts, global roadmap (subindices, world bourses, emerging markets, commodities, fixed income, currencies), two screens dedicated to my trusty ThomsonOne system (my mainstay platform) and two screens dedicated as a work station (emails, Minyanville, instant message, other apps). When I ran a large fund, I also had Ez-Castle as a risk management protocol, which I found to be a tremendous service. As far as actual trading tools, those are acquired and practiced on a daily basis--no service will ever be able to teach you the acquired acumen or consistent discipline you need to succeed. That's all you!


Hey there how goes it? I'm on the road visiting my folks out here in Southern AZ.
After Grandma's passing two months ago, I find myself requesting a little white light for my mother, Athena Callas Johnson, who is going under the knife for appendicitis/pancreatitis this morning.

Barb and I met you at the Delray Beach Minyanfest this year, just to jog your memory banks. Thanks buddy....hope Vail is a blast for ya, as you deserve the positive vibes....and our best to your Queen V! Yours in true Minyan spirit....Will V.

Minyan Will,

You got it pal--much white light to Althena this morning from myself, those at MVHQ and any Minyans who wanna join us in sharing the love. Ruby taught me to think positive and it's amazing how powerful that process can be. While we're in a "good head," I would also like to channel some vibes to Jules Francis Saut and Mama Kessler, who came through yesterday's surgery with flying colors. Thanks for the note and thank YOU, Minyans, for keeping an eye on the important stuff.

Good luck today.

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positions in metals, energy, gg, wft

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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