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  • Written by Gary Wolf and Joey Anuff
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780375504679
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Dumb Money

Adventures of a Day Trader

Written by Gary WolfAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Gary Wolf and Joey AnuffAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Joey Anuff

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List Price: $13.99

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On Sale: April 18, 2000
Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-0-375-50467-9
Published by : Random House Random House Group
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis


As you read this, five million Americans are day-trading. Not since gold was discovered in California have more people dropped out of their old lives and come running for the promise of a big score. For a time, Joey Anuff was among them. He has emerged-enriched, enlightened, and exhausted-to share his story.
        
In a marriage of Anuff's own experiences with the brilliant investigative work of his Wired and Suck colleague Gary Wolf, Dumb Money explores and explains the world of day-trading as has never been done before. No strategy is too crackpot to try, no news break too dubious to play off, no so-called guru too shady, no online chat room too pathetic. Using the rhythms of a day trader's typical day as its frame, Dumb Money is a dispatch from the front lines of the stock-market revolution, a brutally Darwinian battleground on which some become wildly rich and more become part of the body count. It is essential reading for online investors, off-line investors, voyeurs, concerned citizens, and adrenaline freaks alike.

Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

These are the years of opportunity. In the late-afternoon sunshine of the twentieth century, good fortune has beamed down obligingly on equity owners everywhere. Rarely have capital gains been so easy.

Some people had the good luck to be born in a tropical paradise before European conquest. Some had the luck to be born wealthy in an enlightened age. It was my destiny-the equivalent, in contemporary thinking to genius-to reach adulthood at the beginning of the most phenomenal bull market ever known.

At least I know enough to be grateful. I have earned little, but I have been denied less. Among the beneficiaries of unearned wealth, I rank, if not first among equals, squarely in the middle of the graduating class.

This is my story.

It is not a story about Wall Street. The image of a street is an inaccurate metaphor for where my form of wealth creation takes place. Wall Street, from its earliest days, was a kind of a club, with membership regulated by an evolving administration of gentlemen devoted to monopolizing the easy money. in exchange for guaranteed wealth, they undertook to bring order to the market.

With the help of the government, they succeeded. Since the Roosevelt administration, regular crashes and depressions have been tamed by close collaboration between Washington and Manhattan. This alliance has blessed us with deposit insurance, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. It gave us a set of dull and restrictive laws that enforced separation between the insurance industry, retail banking, and speculation in the financial markets. It gave us mutual funds, prosperity, and a stable post-war system.

And that, my friend, is the last of you'll hear of any of those virtues from me.

Many years ago, the New York Stock Exchange attempted to lure crash-wary small investors into the market with a patriotic campaign. "Own your share of America" was the slogan. "There is no stock exchange in Moscow," added G. Keith Funston, the president of the Exchange, "nor is ownership of promising enterprises in Russia available to the public." Funston's hope was that democracy would be safer in the hands of people who had pride of ownership in capitalist enterprise. This was the altruistic motive. The pecuniary motive was expressed by fixed trading fees of as high as 12 percent.

This situation has evolved somewhat in recent decades. For one thing, trading costs have plummeted. Also, nobody needs to be reassured anymore about the moral legitimacy of stock ownership. Patriotism, having served its purpose, no longer intrudes. It is just as well. In my view, which I take to be the majority opinion, the only reason to own your share of American enterprise today is to sell that share to somebody who is just a little bit more eager than you to bet on its future.

To understand what I have to say about day trading, it is important to get into the right frame of mind. When you think of stocks, do visions of companies and products float into your head? Does Nike mean running shoes? Does McDonald's mean hamburgers? Does Microsoft mean computers?

You must break that habit. Purge these associations from your memory banks.

It won't be easy. The day-trading environment is designed to confuse. That interview with the beefy, shifty-eyed metals-industry executive on CNBC suggests that there are people and products behind the symbol on your desktop, that somewhere tropical heat bare-chested exfarmers are digging metal deposits out of ex-forests. This may in fact be the case, but it has nothing to do with you. The chart of the mining company's stock, if extended back far enough, tells a complicated story of its long-term relationship with its workers, its customers, and its investors. But remember-you are not a worker or a customer. Unless things go very wrong, you are not an investor, either. Nothing causes day traders more amusement than evidence of a core group of believers married to the stocks they buy. By married I mean they keep their shares through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer.

To follow this story, you will have to gain mastery over your common sense, and learn to scorn the reality you are conditioned to think controls stock prices. You must not fear delusion and mania. As one well-known hedge-fund trader wrote recently, "The toughest thing in the world is to not blow out of an overvalued stock that is up 10. That is the definition of discipline in this market."

Finally, if you want to experience the glories of the new stock market, even vicariously, you need to have its main rule inscribed not just in your brain but in your stone-cold heart. Here is the rule: You are not an owner. You are not an investor. You are not an employee, customer, or stakeholder. You are not a patriotic American waving the flag, glad to go long in the name of freedom. You are only in it for the money.

There have always been pipsqueak brokerage customers who hustled for an inside line on a sure thing, or plunged their entire account plus margin on a tip about tomorrow's news. But the bull run on the Internet has produced an obsession with speculation that has no equal since Joseph Kennedy noticed in 1929 that the shoeshine boys were offering him market tips. All across America, people of limited means and intelligence have gotten rich buying and selling companies like Yahoo and eBay and Amazon.

We live in an era of unprecedented opportunity for unearned riches, and nobody can ignore the fact that if they don't grab for the

Dumb Moneygold ring now, the merry-go-round might jerk to a stop before they get another chance. it is already possible to look back with devastating hindsight. If I'd only put ten thousand into America Online stock when I first opened my account, goes the internal diatribe, I'd already be a millionaire.

Thousands of unremarkable people have already become ultrarich. Last year I finally woke up to the Big Question.

Why not me?
CHAPTER 1

VISUALIZE MONEY


Dawn-4:50 A.M. Pacific Standard Time

I am in bed, but I'm not sleeping.

Things could be worse. I could be long.

There was a time when I would hold a position overnight, but I found it destroyed even the distant dream of shuteye. Mornings are bad enough without wondering if I'm going to start the day screaming obscenities at my computer screen as the shorts go bonkers dumping some scandalous POS I was stuck with at yesterday's close. POS is one of the many acronyms that have come to pepper my speech in the year since I became a day trader. An IPO, for instance, is an initial public offering of stock, perhaps in an Internet company with dwindling cash reserves and no profits. SEC stands for the Securities and Exchange Commission, a federal agency that does various things that remain obscure to me but that often figures in the stories of stocks I am following. POS is an acronym used with dismaying frequency on the Silicon Investor message boards by a stock guru named Anthony Elgindy, whom you will meet in a few hours-under less than ideal circumstances. POS refers to many of the stocks I make money on. Since this story is governed by the rules of full disclosure, I have to admit that POS stands for "piece of shit."

My problem this morning is that without a position to worry me, I have trouble becoming alert. Every day I wake to the voices of CNBC, set to come on automatically at ten minutes before five A.m. And every day I have my first mini-panic right then, at the moment the lucidity of my predawn dream is replaced by the calmly alternating voices of Mark Haines and Maria Bartiromo, who seem like they've been talking to each other forever.

Wait, I say to myself, still too groggy for an exclamation mark but troubled all the same, how long has the TV been on? Have I missed the open? Did I oversleep? And it takes all the effort in the world to turn my head and look for a quote from the red numbers on my digital clock. It says 4:50:06. The TV has been on for six seconds. I have won my first victory over the numbers.

Attentiveness slowly builds from there. Lying in bed, I notice a sensation that is halfway between Christmas morning and the day of your first sphincterotomy, a creeping sensation not of alertness but of anticipation and anxiety. I couldn't go back to dreamland if I wanted to. But I'm far from awake enough to make split-second financial decisions that will make me rich or ruin my life. In ten minutes or so, promarket trading will begin, and between now and then I have to remember how to cogitate.

If I were long overnight, thinking would be easier, but more painful. When I was an innocent new speculator, ten months ago, I would go to sleep with positions open, and my first thoughts of the day would be of multiplication tables. In the seventeen and a half hours between market close and the next day's open, revolutions in perception are commonplace, especially in the volatile lowcap stocks where I've made my biggest money. All night long, the amateur traders battle on the Internet message boards, insulting each other and trying to pump the price up or down, depending on whether they are long or short. When I held my positions, I was motivated to follow the battle as it dragged on for days, and I would spring up each morning, eager to loam how fate had treated me. Instead of doing jumping jacks, I got revved by multiplying 1500 shares of YHOO by 2, 4, or 578 dollars.

But in the year gone by, I have grown up and put away childish things. These days, if I need to tabulate my folly I simply refer to the handy promotional mouse pad I got from a day-trading brokerage. The gimme pad features a grid showing the gains or losses on trades of 200, 500, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000 shares on stocks that move in 132 increments. No need to work excessively hard: here is the subtotal at a glance.

And anyway, I no longer need to calculate subtotals in the morning, because in the fall of 1998 1 became a day trader, not in the loose, vernacular sense of the phrase encompassing as it does everyone from the casual Yahoo investor to the sixteenth-point penny-stock scalper-but in the true, volume-trading, ending-the-day-in-cash sense. When I became a day trader, I made it my rule not to hold positions overnight. Therefore, I no longer get up each morning to the possibility of a miracle or a disaster. The downside is that this makes it a lot harder to bring the world into focus. I have to get going from a dead stop. No profits, no losses to prick the brain.

It is now five A.M., and I put on a pot of coffee, though I know it won't work. Next I turn on my monitors. The computer whirs all night, but that's okay; to me it sounds like the ocean. I reboot the system and turn my modem off and on again, flushing out any voodoo irregularities that may have built up. I do the same for my digestive system, munching a cold, cinnamon-flavored frosted Pop Tart.

Coffee is preposterously overrated is as a stimulant, though it does have other, healthful effects. The masterful Martin "Buzzy" Schwartz, who promoted himself as "Wall Street's Champion Trader," pointed out in his piquant autobiography how important it is to take laxative precautions in the hours before trading, as an unwelcome bathroom break can be damaging to your net worth. Thank God, coffee still has the needed effect.

After the third cup of coffee comes the high point of my morning (up to the point I make money). I open the friendly white box and chew a tab of Nicorette. I marvel at how many ashtrays I'd need if I were trading as a smoker. Good traders are supposed to be bloodless machines, according to the stereotype, but my Nicorette gives me a feeling of sensual, reflective pleasure as profound as any experienced by poets or mountain climbers; plus, I can make money at the same time.

Finally, it's time to got busy. I open a chat window or two, logging in to various real-time day-trading discussion rooms: free ones with names like daytraders and bastages, and some I've paid for, like mtrader and mtclass. At best, I'll find the time to follow one of them, but if I don't have all of them open, all through the trading day, I tend to get stress headaches. I bust open an Internet Explorer window to briefing.com, enjoying a special thrill if I've done so before they release the first of what will ultimately be fifty or so 150-word bulletins on trading stocks. And then I pull up the quotes.

Unfortunately-maybe it was the Nicorette-now I'm too relaxed. The day is dawning lavender and pink over Mount Diablo in the east, and with the FDA-approved two-milligram dose of orally administered nicotine coursing through my veins, it feels good simply to be alive, even if I haven't made a million dollars yet and here I am almost thirty. I am tempted to cut class. What would happen if I bashed my bare heel through this whirring, whining bank of monitors and went out for a stroll in the brightening city?

This is a mental trap I've learned to recognize and avoid. There will be plenty of time for enlightenment later, after I've banged the market up and down and retired on the tax-free municipal bonds I plan to purchase with my profits. The key to getting rich is wanting to be rich. And the key to wanting to be rich is not meditating on everyday beauty but thinking about other people-especially people you don't like-who are already rich. Success in this business is all about motivation, and although this book is not a training manual, I would like to share with you the special process I use when my attention wanders. Other successful traders hold weekend seminars and charge thousands of dollars for secrets of this sort. I don't need that extra cash. Here's my technique, revealed for free.

First, I close my eyes for a moment and imagine myself rising out of my body, through the twenty-four-foot coiling of my loft and into the skies above my neighborhood, which is south of Market Street in San Francisco, near the foot of the Bay Bridge. To the east, facing commuters driving into the city, is a neon billboard announcing the week's Lotto jackpot. The prize this morning is three and half million dollars. I rise above the sign and look down upon the new construction. Auto shops and printing businesses are being replaced with two-story structures that look like the shells of racquetball courts but are really the wooden frames of one-room, $600,000 live-work condominiums. Waiting to buy the new homes are people I've worked with in the Internet industry for the past five years, every one of them more successful than me. I imagine my Internet colleagues looking up at the lottery sign and laughing with warm condescension at its puny payoff. One of them repeats a statistical factoid for my benefit. "You are less likely to win the lottery than you are to die from an infection by flesh-eating bacteria." He chuckles, winningly.

I think back on the time I had lunch with Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, the year after he founded his company. We were sitting together at an outdoor buffet during a dull technology conference, and I smidenly considered asking him for a job. After all, I read books. Perhaps I should renounce my labors at an Internet start-up and join the quiet side of the industry. Go write reviews or something. But I was too busy with the dessert plate to give this serious thought. We finished our petits fours, shook hands, and parted. That skinny, balding guy in the open-collared white shirt with a bit of cream from an eclair leaking out of the corner of his mouth is a multibillionaire now, I remind myself. Then I think of a person I once interviewed for a job, and turned down, who went over to Netscape to write press releases six months before their initial public offering. He currently lives in Hawaii, where he is learning guitar.

Finally, I drift west, over the Mission District, and stare at a billboard that carries a giant advertisement for SportsLine.com, an online sports information network. Tiger Woods, many times larger than life, stands beside two slogans. The first says "Expect Greatness." Slightly below, there is an even more inspirational tag line: "NASDAQ: SPLN. " SPLN is SportsLine's stock symbol. It is on the billboard to remind people that while they may never play a game of golf with Tiger Woods, they can still get a piece of the action. And not merely by visiting the SportsLine site that's almost beside the point. The story of SportsLine—SPLN-lies in the opportunity to purchase one or many shares of the company's stock.

The billboard works: somebody made big money off of that tip. And that somebody wasn't me.

I feel my concentration sharpening. By the time the market opens, I might even be ready to trade.
This is a mental trap I've learned to recognize and avoid. There will be plenty of time for enlightenment later, after I've banged the market up and down and retired on the tax-free municipal bonds I plan to purchase with my profits. The key to getting rich is wanting to be rich. And the key to wanting to be rich is not meditating on everyday beauty but thinking about other people-especially people you don't like-who are already rich. Success in this business is all about motivation, and although this book is not a training manual, I would like to share with you the special process I use when my attention wanders. Other successful traders hold weekend seminars and charge thousands of dollars for secrets of this sort. I don't need that extra cash. Here's my technique, revealed for free.

First, I close my eyes for a moment and imagine myself rising out of my body, through the twenty-four-foot coiling of my loft and into the skies above my neighborhood, which is south of Market Street in San Francisco, near the foot of the Bay Bridge. To the east, facing commuters driving into the city, is a neon billboard announcing the week's Lotto jackpot. The prize this morning is three and half million dollars. I rise above the sign and look down upon the new construction. Auto shops and printing businesses are being replaced with two-story structures that look like the shells of racquetball courts but are really the wooden frames of one-room, $600,000 live-work condominiums. Waiting to buy the new homes are people I've worked with in the Internet industry for the past five years, every one of them more successful than me. I imagine my Internet colleagues looking up at the lottery sign and laughing with warm condescension at its puny payoff. One of them repeats a statistical factoid for my benefit. "You are less likely to win the lottery than you are to die from an infection by flesh-eating bacteria." He chuckles, winningly.

I think back on the time I had lunch with Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, the year after he founded his company. We were sitting together at an outdoor buffet during a dull technology conference, and I smidenly considered asking him for a job. After all, I read books. Perhaps I should renounce my labors at an Internet start-up and join the quiet side of the industry. Go write reviews or something. But I was too busy with the dessert plate to give this serious thought. We finished our petits fours, shook hands, and parted. That skinny, balding guy in the open-collared white shirt with a bit of cream from an eclair leaking out of the corner of his mouth is a multibillionaire now, I remind myself. Then I think of a person I once interviewed for a job, and turned down, who went over to Netscape to write press releases six months before their initial public offering. He currently lives in Hawaii, where he is learning guitar.

Finally, I drift west, over the Mission District, and stare at a billboard that carries a giant advertisement for SportsLine.com, an online sports information network. Tiger Woods, many times larger than life, stands beside two slogans. The first says "Expect Greatness." Slightly below, there is an even more inspirational tag line: "NASDAQ: SPLN. " SPLN is SportsLine's stock symbol. It is on the billboard to remind people that while they may never play a game of golf with Tiger Woods, they can still get a piece of the action. And not merely by visiting the SportsLine site that's almost beside the point. The story of SportsLine—SPLN-lies in the opportunity to purchase one or many shares of the company's stock.

The billboard works: somebody made big money off of that tip. And that somebody wasn't me.

I feel my concentration sharpening. By the time the market opens, I might even be ready to trade.

Like other day traders, I am interested in stocks that move. I don't care if they stay up when they go up, because I'll take my profits at the first hint of a downturn (or, if I'm short-selling, at the first hint of an uptick). But the bull market is important to me all the same. The "average investors"-my victims-are natural longs. People of average and below-average intelligence won't plunge into a stock unless there is clear evidence that prices are going up. Slow, careful accumulation by cautious mutual fund managers doesn't make any stock quadruple in value over a few weeks, For that kind of action, you need Mr. Smith to come home from work with a little brain fatigue and sit down in front of the television set and hear for the millionth time that the Dow has broken through to a new high, and that the leading gainer for the day is one or another little-known Internet stock that does something earthshaking, like selling dental floss over the Web. Eventually, all the Mr. Smiths will pile in. My goal is to beat them by at least a few seconds.

But it's not just Mr. Smith I'm playing against. There are also all my fellow day traders, who are themselves trying to get on the bus ahead of Mr. Smith. I have to beat them, too. And when lots and lots of us have piled in, and the stock has shot up, and the dumb-money interest has waned, I've got to jump off quickly, before the damn bus slows down to less than fifty miles per hour and explodes. I'm not really worried about jumping off ahead of Mr. Smith. He'll leap, eventually, but not until he's lost a substantial amount of his money. It is the great virtue of Smith that he is willing to suffer losses. (Thank you, thank you, and thank you again, Smith!) But the day traders-they're a different story. They will fake me out and push me aside and, if necessary, run me over in their race to beat me off the bus. As I would them.

Day traders are very competitive. But beside our mutual desire to screw each other is another sentiment we share: regret. Regret is the day trader's most intensely felt emotion. It is the key to his or her personality. What lust is to Don Giovanni; what rage is to Rambo; slack-jawed, head-shaking disappointment is to the men and women who make their living via the sale and purchase of listed stocks. I've been around lots of traders, and I know that the only thing they like better than bragging about their profits is mourning the profits they didn't make.

It is truly maddening to miss a great bull run. It would have been so easy, you tell yourself. Or maybe you try to comfort yourself with the idea that a Wall Street tycoon is as distant and untouchable as a Hollywood star. Both fit comfortably on the cover of Vanity Fair and have homes designed to impress the editors of Architectural Digest. Millions dream of kissing the face of one and the ass of the other. Yet they are not the same. The wealthiest names of Wall Street-the Warren Buffetts and Peter Lynches and George Soroses-were not born with pretty faces or beautiful voices or even gargantuan superbrains. They simply started small and bet well, and got good seats on the best buses. And just think, you were standing right next to them on the curb! What's your excuse for not sipping wine with them in your Gulfstream IV right now? You don't have one. Regrets: that's all you have.
So fabulous are the market's hypothetical rewards that even the missed opportunities of other traders bring you down. Day traders often appropriate each other's celebrated blunders and castigate themselves for not having gotten in on somebody else's great deal. David Wetherell, the chairman of the Internet incubator fund CMGI, has said that his biggest mistake, one that took him years to overcome, was passing on an early investment in eBay. Every time eBay runs up another 30 percent, I join in his remorse, berating myself for not having put a few dollars into the company back in 1996-even though I didn't have a few dollars in 1996.

In 1994, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen sold a 25 percent stake in AOL at a split-adjusted price of less than a buck a share, missing out on approximately ten billion dollars in profits. I cringe in embarrassment-I didn't have faith in AOL then, either. If only I'd put $10,000 in AOL in 1994, it'd have turned into a million a year ago.

On the other hand, in 1994 1 was still being tossed off AOL for sending around pirated copies of Doom. Embracing the corporation as a long-term investor was low on my five-year plan. Nonetheless, my failure pains me deeply.

A few years back, a reporter asked Bill Gates what type of Internet company he thought would be successful. Gates answered, "All of them." Anyone who'd taken him seriously would be seriously rich now. The wild flight paths of the most famous stocks play games with the imagination. The very bets that seemed the most foolish in 1998 provided the greatest gains of 1999. You could've bought $10,000 of Yahoo when every expert was laughing at its sky-high valuation, and seen your pittance turn into well over $100,000 before a year was over. The same plunge in E*Trade would have produced a $150,000 windfall. In fact, you could've bought just about any Internet stock in August of 1998, when the bloom appeared to be off the rose, and by thumbing your nose at common sense you would have "earned" 1,000 percent in less time than it takes to manufacture an infant.

Many contemplate what it would have meant for them had they pulled this off, but it goes without saying that almost nobody did. It's a lot easier to check a stock's fifty-two-week high and low at finance.yahoo.com than it is to buy YHOO at the high and sell it at the low. The seductive fantasy of maximum gains keeps millions nibbling at the market-and contributing to momentum when a run begins.

For the day trader, humble pie is constant snack food.

Why didn't I buy Netbank last month when it was getting play on the Yahoo message boards? Why didn't I buy TCI Music a few weeks ago when the first rumors of the Liberty Media acquisition started goosing its price upwards? Why didn't I buy Schwab two days ago when it started running in advance of today's split?

Can you grasp the agony? This isn't about not buying Microsoft stock back when I was twelve years old. It isn't about failing to invest in eBay back when I was filling out resumes at Starbucks. And it isn't about failing to keep my AOL investment back when I was Paul Allen. This really almost happened. I had an account. I was paying attention. I had my finger ready. True humiliation is knowing that you missed a chance at effortless riches not a year or a month or a day ago but five seconds ago. Hindsight, they say, is always twenty-twenty. To be a day trader is to watch the unknowable future pass into the obvious present every second. To be a day trader is to make regret into a lifestyle.

Each day, in the hours before the market opens, a thick layer of bullshit spreads across the trading community. Well, you call it bullshit. I call it fertilizer. My job is to sift through the muck and guess where the beautiful flowers will pop up.

Earnings reports from yesterday afternoon are reexamined. Is it good that Amgen beat the First Gall earnings estimate, or bad that it missed its whisper numbers? Press releases tell of partnerships, great-big plans, and unexpected windfalls. Emusic.com got mentioned in Barron's! Acquisition rumors worm their way from telephone to message boards to TV screens, 100 percent true until denied. If Bell Atlantic doesn't actually merge with Vodaphone it'll be a shame; they should! Stock splits are announced that would be meaningless but for the widespread belief that somewhere in Iowa there's a dentist who thinks a split will make the price go up. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as thousands of day traders scramble to beat the dentist. Shares of Harmonic Inc. and Conexant bid up 8 112 and 2 points respectively on two-for-one split news! Analyst recommendations-invariably upgrades, invariably on companies the analysts' firms took public exactly thirty days ago-hit the digital airwaves. DLI starts coverage of recent IPO Wink Communications with "buy!" Merrill Lynch starts recent IPO Netro Corp. with "buy!" Hambrecht and Quist starts recent IPO Novamed Eyecare with, hold on a second ... yes, with "buy!"

Below it all runs the S&P futures, which foretell whether all or any of the above will live to see market close. Today, the S&Ps put everybody in positive territory. It's going to be a pleasant day.

If it were Friday morning, I'd have more fun stocks to watch. On Thursday evening, traders start pondering the immediate growth potential of at least three stocks: the picks for next week's "Inside Wall Street" column in Business Week. A little while back, one of them sounded good to me: SPGLA, the symbol for Der Spiegel, or maybe just Spiegel, I can't recall. The story had something to do with the immediate acquisition potential of the media powerhouse, which is either a catalog or a magazine. It didn't really matter. The stock was at eight bucks and "Inside Wall Street" thought it could be worth twenty in a takeover. Although takeover targets mentioned in "Inside Wall Street" never actually get acquired, I saw some nibbling on my Level II screen. I bought. Before the market opened Friday, I sold it all for a handsome profit. By Monday, it was back below Thursday's close.

Unfortunately, it's not Friday. Which means I'll have to search just a little harder for today's hot air balloons.

I'm not too concerned; there's sure to be something juicy; and now market is about to open and start calling me on my bullshit in real time.
Praise

Praise


Advance Praise for Dumb Money

"Joey Anuff and Gary Wolf have done the impossible: Dumb Money, an early-21st century crossbreed of Dostoyevsky (The Gambler), Matt Groening (Homer Simpson), and the Motley Fools, fully conveys the addictive, populist thrill of online stock trading, but also stands as a cautionary tale about a certain kind of life—twitchy, sweaty, lonely—on the internet."
        — Kurt Andersen, author of Turn of the Century and co-chairman,          Powerful Media

"Read Dumb Money and never again will you worship at the shrine of day traders or most any other Wall Street or Web guru. It is easy to be irreverent, you say? Yes, but it isn't easy to be funny, or wise, or to write so effortlessly. This is Bright Lights, Big City without the cocaine but with the highs felt when a writer captures a moment of mass insanity."
        — Ken Auletta

"Dumb Money is the truest and most entertaining book about the allure of seemingly easy money since Edwin Lefevre's classic, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. Fusing a riveting and often hilarious personal narrative with a contemporary history of the rise of day trading, Anuff and Wolf cut through the frustrating mix of hype and horror that envelops most writing about the stock market. This is a clear-eyed and painfully honest book, and ultimately a moving one as well. Day trading is now responsible for at least one good thing."
        — James Surowiecki, Slate.com

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