Friday, October 31, 2008

Working Around Morons

As you can see the market rallied hard in the past 30 minutes of yesterday's trading. The Dow shot up near 200pts as the sheeple no doubt piled into their mutual funds on the close.

Out most of the day, I didn't get back to my PC until just after 4pm. At that point I needed to use the *extended hours* trading arm of my broker. But the online interface would not let me *short* the NASDAQ-100, the QQQQ. In fact, it wouldn't let me short anything. So I called the trading desk to see if they'd do it for me. Guy told me, "We don't allow any shorting after the close." Great.

Now mind you, this is a retail brokerage account - but still, no shorting? Why???

How did I not know this? It must have been quite a while since I tried to short something after the close? Either that or they changed the rules, again.

So I told the guy I was just going to buy QID instead. That's the Ultrashort NASDAQ-100 ETF. Because of its double leverage, I bought half as many shares as I wanted to short with the QQQQ. I got long at 64 at about 4:15 yesterday and at 8am this morning I dumped it at 66. It's always nice to make $$$$ while you're sleeping!

Another annoyance was that I had to wait until 8am to sell my shares. This piss-pour brokerage doesn't start its extended session until then.

These days, compared to years past, I trade small and infrequently. Nevertheless, one day these stupid restrictions are going to cost me some serious money. What if Wells Fargo, my biggest short gapped down 20 pts at 7:30am but rallied back to say down 10pts at 8am when I would first be allowed to trade?

Something like that is totally within the realm of possibility. It'd be a complete disaster and the final impetus to transfer my money elsewhere.

They banned shorting of financials - the bears just piled into the SKF.

Then they banned buying of SKF - so we just piled into puts.

And when puts got too expensive - we just sold calls and shorted synthetic stock.

I hate having to constantly work around Morons, but without this species, the good trades would be few and far between.

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