Sunday, May 31, 2009

Musings for a Sunday

Here are some of my random thoughts on things - some of which may actually translate into investment strategy.

First, gasoline around my house is no longer creeping higher. It has jumped higher with regular pushing 2.70 and premium at 2.97. Yes, three bucks for the picky eaters.

Oil went from an indicator of the health of the economy (weak demand for energy from a weak economy) and now that it is at 66 per barrel (from 35 just 12 or 14 weeks ago) I would say that it is starting to become a drag once again.

One more time = I say "there goes the deflation argument."

The next musing is about customer service. Have we not learned that the customer is precious at all times and in these times especially? I have no specific beef here so you can channel your own on the customer front. Although, I still wonder how big doctors' balls really are by the way they create a built in wait time.

Don't tell me it is because patients don't show. I know they don't. But how about a phone call to let us know how late they are running? For g-d's sake, the airlines do it and they deal with thousands of passengers every hour. Surely the solo doc can have his/her receptionist make the call. They already call they day before the appointment to confirm, don't they.

Finally, the way employers treat employees still gets me. With so many at risk for losing their jobs, employers might feel that they are in the driver's seat. Don't give me lip! Get back to work!

From what I've read, the truly enlightened companies are trying to keep their employees so that they will be ready to hit the ground running when the economy turns around. Cut back hours. Cut back hiring. But cutting an entire employee means the need to invest in retraining later.

Yes, I am out of my area on this economic stuff but it just boggles the mind how some employees can piss off their top producers with ancient management methods. This goes right back to the bottom line, doesn't it, when the top guns peddle their wares elsewhere.

My customers have my cell phone number and can count on personal service for questions and problems - period. I know who's boss.


paulocuana said...

Hey Michael,

This is completely unscientific but I sometimes think that the best way to evaluate the market is to "listen" to your own emotions. Call it the "intuitive" approach.
This weekend I was ready to throw in the towel. I got interested in this stock at $14. It closed Friday at $18 but still the yield was good.
I interpreted my willingness to give up as a sign that a top is near.

Also, a double top between today and the January 6th high of 941 is still in play, I think, with the S&P closing at 942.87.

Then again maybe my willingness to see a top is a sure sign that stocks are ready to take off.

Paul O'Cuana

RPS said...

Hi Michael.

I'm a doctor (and a trader) and I'd guess that over 95 percent of the patients in my office are seen at or before their scheduled time. When they aren't, it's sometimes because of emergencies or walk-ins. I see them before scheduled hours, at lunch, whenever.

I'm in the hospital around 7 AM each day, often work late, work one in five weekends (61 consecutive hours) and take night call another three nights a week.

And I'm not getting any younger either, after four years of college, four years of medical school, six years of training, four years as a military staff physician, and eighteen years in private practice.

In fact, I felt like a complete jerk when I had to cancel an afternoon because (as power of attorney at a closing) I got held up for six hours by CitiMortgage (ex-DJIA).

Yes, I am far from perfect, but I don't think I'm any better than my patients and they don't deserve to wait.

RPS said...

Correction...another three nights a month.

Quick Takes Pro said...


OK I should have added the qualifier that there are good guys (and ladies) in every profession and the bad ones get all the press. But all I can go by is my experience in waiting rooms and hospital wards. Perhaps - and probably due to where I live I encounter too many people of all professions who think the rules do not apply to them. Pass a school bus with blinking lights? My kid is not on it. Red light? My right to turn no matter who is there. Handicapped parking spaces? Puh-lease. What line at the cashier?

Rant over. Once again, that juice bar in Key West is calling me to buy it.

Quick Takes Pro said...


Can't call a double top with January. "Top of what?" is the question. Not a rally.

With that said it is resistance.

As for intuition, mine stinks. That is why they say the sicker to your stomach you feel after making a trade the better the odds you are right.

See previous comment. Hello juice bar.