Forward Flickr to Thing 9

So here we find I have run out the steam or the honeymoon period of the 16 things. Flickr, ok I get it, a great place to see awesome photographs from around the world. Sticking with my financial blog theme I have found a really calm photo of wall street. I can’t say I am entirely thrilled about this part of the web 2.0 experience, but I will do my best to provide some insight.

View the Picture Here!


This photograph was flickred by Peter Gutierrez and i found it by searching through tags of “wallstreet” and “new york.” I love the calm dark look of this photo the black and white matches the ship i have as my blog header.

Flickr can used in a fortune of different ways for school projects and professional work flow. For school we could take events and post the pictures to help promote local activities the Institute might be involved in, or students could use Flickr to post images and screen shots from projects they are working towards. The online hosting is probably the safest way for students to keep their work safe in case of accidents. What? Accidents! : )

I am using Flickr as a photo hosting service now. My mother has been begging me to bring photos to her house an hour away for a year now. Instead I have posted them to Flickr and will let her view them going to my url (you can view my west coast road trip here) I have not used another service at this time other than Flickr.

The public life has brought with it a variety of issues concerning sharing. Copyrights can be a big problem for professionals and work groups. I am a pretty liberal person and most people are not going to to be able to do much with my non-professional photo shooting skills. If someone wants to take the time to go digging in my photo album so be it. I hope they enjoy. If they can take one of my pictures and make something great with it, more power to them. Better yet, if they can get paid.

Stay hedged, stay happy,

Margin of Safety

Wikis are number 8

A wiki is a wonderful concept and probably the biggest instigator of the web 2.0 concept. Wikipedia the original wiki experiment to be noticed by the masses has created a level of production we simply didn’t have before. The features of the wiki are things we as competitive Americans can be a little off-culture. For example: if you have a great idea, you don’t particularly like to share it with the world, but the wiki requires that sort of openness. Information needs to be shared and displayed for the system to work.

Institutions of many kinds can benefit from the advantages of the wiki. A school could take a roster of classes and let everyone write the descriptions for the course, versus the 100 character description in the back of our class guide. Art Museums could have a wiki for all of the observations on makes on a piece of art in an exhibit. As traders we can gather tons of information about different strategies and opinions of those strategies.

When teachers proclaim a ban of tools we all use on a regular basis it limits the availability of information. It also limits opinions of unqualified critics. If wikis are going to be used to inform the public there almost needs to be a qualified system of citation for the information written. Opinions are simply that, opinions are should be taken with skepticism and caution. On the other note I have used wikipedia for project where it is not allowed. This completed by following citations back to the source and citing the original record. It works perfectly.

In this experiment I took the liberty of editing the Autodesk page on Wikipedia. Go to the page here! I added a section called sustainability and briefly described the 2006 PBS program “e^2” on sustainable building design.



I posted these screen shots, for the page may be edited by the time you make it to the link. It is a wiki after all.

After doing a bit if wiki editing I thought it best to create a wiki of my own. Follow to link below to head to the Zoho Wiki I created on international markets. The purpose of the wiki is for contributors to add an exchange market to list i have started. This is geography scavenger hunt. Search the web for cities other than New York or Chicago that have exchanges. After you have found one post the name of the exchange and location so we can all learn where are money is going if we invest it.

This link brings you to a market exchange wiki?

Have fun searching.

Stay hedged, stay happy,

Margin of Safety

#7 While we write, they write and we’re all …

The two document cloud computing programs in the following analysis are Google Doc and Zoho writer BEta. Each has a unique set of possibilities, yet they were created with the same objectives in mind.

Google Docs is quite simple. You open your Document using your registered Google account, which is free, and edit any supported document with the basic word processing tools. Then simply invite friends and co-workers to play along.

Zoho is a far more specific editing platform. They also have the Wiki feature I will examine in detail later. But Zoho looks to be designed to handle far bigger tasks than Google Docs. It has an HTML tag editor which could be used to post web browser instructions, the javascript written into the platform makes navigation exciting, and the tools are simple enough any person familiar with word or open office could edit a document.

I do think Zoho has the better interface and is a better platform all together, yet the only concern I have in group settings, certainly with students, getting people to log in to a new account can be arduous. If most people already have a Google account they don’t really need to sign up for a new service. This put both people at a disadvantage along with Zoho. It is simply human nature to go the easier path.

In thinking about Founding Fathers these tool would certainly leave a strong impact; considering no electricity even existed in their time. The tools provide a great place to put things together, but I can imagine the conflict needed to argue the ideas in the constitution was better received in face-to-face communication.

This begs the question, would the constitution have been better if these great collaboration tools had been available? After using Google Docs in a team project I would say yes. Online collaboration like so many web 2.0 features help us reduce time and free-up the mind to think more creatively. I know, I know, you will say, “the founding fathers didn’t have anything else going on, why would they need to free up time.” Whatever else they were doing back then: farming, raising family, dodging the British, hanging on facebook, chopping wood, or exploring the south could have been simpler if the were web 2.0 literate.

Below I have embedded a copy we are editing on Zoho.

Here is a second example of some of the powerful tools we have at Zoho.

Wow! If you’re not impressed after all that I don’t know what else I can do. Zoho takes the cake for today. With so many powerful tools this is a great way to embed, share, and work in web 2.0.

Stay hedged, stay happy,

Margin of Safety

Thingy #6 Diggit, Dugg-it, Done-it

This has been an entirely new experience for me in the Blogisphere. I read about the power and spread of crowd psychology in the news world. I had no idea how powerful “Digg” really can be. I have played with stumbled upon and have friends who send me video most days which beg the question where do they find all that stuff. Now it is becoming clear.

In the realm of a design project or a research assignment one may find the categories of the Digg very helpful. Here we can select a topic and up comes thousands of articles related to your topic. Finding new material has never been easier. Google has done a pretty job at finding what you need, heck we don’t even need to think or remember much anymore, but there is so much to sort around when you need new unadvertised information Digg is here for us.

Personal reputation and creditability is easy among your parents, friends, and classmates, but what about the rest of the world. We choose our associates in real life based on a number of bias we carry with us. Tools like Digg set you on a center stage letting the public choose if you are worthy to be seen and heard concerned not with where you are from, or what you look like. Just this morning I posted one of my blog posts on Digg to see if I can get anybody to care in the least about what I have to say. Like twitter once you get a follower the ego notches one step further. I can’t wait to get a blog post Dugg!

To make matters even more fantastic I found an application on Facebook that allows users to see what you are posting on Digg asking them to go Digg it. This is just one of the hundreds of connection tools Digg is part of. All the social network sites seem to understand that more they are available the more people will use them. Article posted in your Digg account can be linked to Twitter letting all tweet followers in on the magic.

This connection between Digg and Facebook, Reddit and Twitter, or all with everything is making the online experience more and more transparent every minute. Scary…..nah! This is cool as cool could be. It leaves those unable to adapt far behind those who are willing to stay connected to faster and faster changing world. One thing that does become obvious in all of this connectivity is we are showing more of ourselves to so many more people. We exposing ethical issues contradictions and hypocrisies. Our leaders are going to have more questions to answer when we are looking over their Diggs and Tweets from the last 25 years.

Credibility is of course an issue to concern your self with while online. People (Humans) seem o have a history of lying, cheating, and stealing. God forbid all of this will go away with the increased transparency we find in this connected information age. I still use a good old MLA resource citation for anything I intend to publish in an academic or political argument setting. This allows the citer to find out who is actually writing the article, and gives the readers of the argument the possibility to track back and validate or disprove the claim.

After creating an account with Digg I found it very simple to use. More simple than stumble-upon indeed. The capabilities are quite basic. Post articles and Digg them. Find the category they best fit into, and show all your Facebook and Twitter followers what you have posted. On Digg I have a profile image and a page indicating all of the things I Digg. I believe they have an algorithm which will send me in the right direction to finds things I like. There is even a Digg toolbar for Firefox

To put Digg in an educational setting, we should consider the openness of the program. Digg, Reddit, and Stumbleupon are fantastic tools which someday may even replace libraries all together. For a Library to incorporate the Digg bar on the computers would be a fantastic way for educators and students to connect to their own interests. If the media center had a large screen monitor on the wall displaying the most current and popular Diggs everyone studying in the center would only have to look up and see what the crowd of the world wide web was clammering over at that very moment. Just an Idea!

Tweet Tweet!

Hey Ya’ll, Ya tweeting yet?

Could it get anymore Minnesotan than that? In this blog post I am going to give a little insight to the micro blogging and how it has changed my life.

My micro blog of choice is the Twitter Platform. I love it. I use it everyday and have posted over one hundred times under two months. Because my business revolve around the market, and market is only one huge mass of people, micro-blogging allows me to have many eyes on the market at every minute. Twitter is simple more popular than any other microblog I have heard of until this time. It’s customizable background and connectivity tools leave me feeling like the support is there to be connected at any time.

The online journal is fast, concise, and useful. My favorite part about facebook is the “Brett is …….. ” header at the top of the page. This makes facebook alive with changes every few minutes. The microblog gives us blogger’s the possiblity to share brief observatioins, links, funny jokes without all of the other clutter we find on the larger social networks platforms. I am not sayign those other platforms don’t have a place, but the the Twittter idea is just one great part of the revolution we are experiencing. The micro-blog is different.
If the question to the Newbie or sceptic is how does this thing work for my work? I know that was my first question. There are a thousand answers, but the most prominent I believe is that the mico-blog is a reflection of your interests. For example I love to trade and I am always looking for new ways to learn about web development. So on my Twitter I follow traders and I also follow developers. I also follow classmates and news organizations. Like the RSS capabilities it gives me a place to catch up on the latest in under five seconds. Just this morning the market started to act a little funny, so I opened my Twitter page. To my knowledge I notice the Philly Federal reserve had released some bad data on the factory production. This was posted on Twitter from Reuters. Immediately I turned and changed a few of my positions in the markets and profited nicely.

On the flip side it is possible, and I have experienced it already, some people will follow you only with the hope of getting your information as to spam the crap out of you. I have been followed by names such as; AVSJ98uehelty. What does that even mean? Well after checking out their Twitter page you see that they have started following thousands of people and only post one note liking to a money making scheme. I am sure there are thousands of other techniques people have used to fraud other, so it is best to simply keep your eyes pealed and if it seems weird it probably is.

In short the Micro-blog is the difference between a latte and a triple shot espresso depth charge. Fast, furious, and productive.

stay hedged, stay happy,

margin of safety

What the heck is a Social Network?

We are the generation of the social network. I would have to say that four out of five of my closest acquaintances are close because of the social network abilities we have. Years ago I had two myspace pages, now I could care less if it still existed, linkedin has become a more serious side of the social network for many people, but the best network for us class “A” bring on the stress and workload people is twitter.

I hear this all the time on the radio about how employers are googling their applicants and checking their Facebook page. Facebook does have the advantage of only allowing your friends to see what you are hiding. I must ask the question, who are these employers and when are they hiring? It seems like very few people are even advertising jobs, at least the types of employment that requires a google check.

To elude on this fact of potential employers and the candidates they search for, a person may use social networks for many things and this can help us all get a better sense of the type of creativity we may see from a candidate. I know if a candidate was too scared to say anything original online they may be showing the fear they have to try new things. Or worse yet, when you attempt to search for a candidate as an employer and you can find no information about them. What have they been doing in their free time? SITTING ON THE COUCH.

Not to say we should all go out and try to dump thirty milligrams of something toxic into our blood stream with a video camera nearby, but the workplace home life barrier has eroded and we are all on display.

Building a professional network online is exactly the same as building a social network. I should not even use the terms separately. We are a generation(post 1980) raised in ultra consumerism and “work the love of what we do” attitudes. Our social network is also our professional network.

The building blocks of this online personality you exude must honest, well rounded, and diverse in its outlets. Something like Facebook or Myspace is a good place to start. After a few weeks on Facebook one can really start to see how fast the web changes now and what kind of people are better suited to be professional partners. Then one should move to establish a home front. Linkedin seems great for many people as platform, because it has the verbiage of a professional office atmosphere. I believe it was a group of Harvard students who were the first to participate. Now you can really see how your web community can grow.

Invite, Invite, Invite: If there is one thing I learned from throwing huge house parties as young kid it is; if you don’t invite anyone, nobody will come. And if you invite twenty you may get a crowd of eighty. Be strategic in your additions as you set up style and feel for the new web tools you are using. Think about your goals and how inviting certain professionals or friends will affect those goals you have.

What to share with everyone?

If you are strategic in your invites for your new web world the things you share can be different in different applications. For example I mostly use Facebook as place to laugh. I don’t do much work or try reach too many business contacts. I am more casual and write with a style of candor. It is my stress relief.

My blog is much more professional to me as it represents my busniness, and the development of the blog is a great example for my interactive interests.

Linkin is a place where I update quarterly and commonly add professionals I come across slowly building a network for when the time comes to use that network it is at my disposal.

Stay happy, stay hedged,

Margin of Safety

On a quiet day adjust your delta

From the rainy Midwest it was a flat day today in the indexes.

Today was just the right sort of day to adjust my deltas. We have been trending higher the last three days and my positions were starting to look a little bull heavy. I was running about a 300 delta. All right stop right there you say…what the hell is this guy talking about.

So my Delta is a number that indicates is the security I am holding moves 10 points how much money will I gain or lose based upon my position size — number of shares I own. 100 shares = 100 delta

The same principle holds true for options. Exampled by a short call in say $XLF. If I am short a call in $XLF at $12.5 I may have a negative 100 delta. Meaning if the stock goes up 1 point my option will show me a loss of $100 dollars. A little more math is involved with the delta in an option, but the principle is the same. It is the multiplier of your holdings against the product you are trading.

Deltas are most complicated with options, for stocks deltas are always equal to the amount of shares you own in the direction you are playing, but options, especially spreads have deltas that change quickly and everyday with the adjustment of time decay. I will keep posting on the greeks (DELTA

OLS and Ecommunication

Yahoo! Avatars

This post is all about the OLS at my institute. I write a bit about the interesting aspects of the application and how this is a great resource to students. I then indulge on a few specific resources the OLS provides, and finish with a few of the troubles OLS can bring to a student.

In this first prompt I have to say the OLS is interesting because web portals are becoming, or should I say have become, a basic staple for us millennials. I indicate portal because we all have an online base to take care of many things we need for our education. This application (OLS) AIM puts in our hands is full of useful tools. We have 50mb of free web space, 2 databases, and an email address any student/faculty can find us at. There are also the basic classroom resources like a place to check grades, a degree audit, and none of it accessible if a student has holds. The tech people have really taken all of our administration and loaded it into a web server.

For all these reasons this resource is perfect while a student at Ai. I don’t have to stumble through phone numbers of directors and advisers. If I need to search for a missing email address I can use the tool on the OLS. It makes the educational experience more about learning new skills and less about trying find the registrar.

Most specifically the grade checking tool is my favorite. As an achievement driven student every Monday after the end of the quarter I sign in first thing and get my grades. I love it. Other schools I have attended have dragged the process of distributing marks for weeks after a class ends but not Ai. They are so fast. It is like I finish the last day of classes and boom I know how I did.

I have had a few challenges with the OLS in my first quarter or two at Ai, but as with all technological thing we learn out of necessity. Sometimes my password jams and I need to visit a director to reset me, or I had a hold once and couldn’t access my account. Mostly I just didn’t realize how big a resource the OLS was until I loaded my first database, and utilized the web server. So my biggest challenge has been to learn all of the tools for the site.

stay hedged stay happy

Tips are for waiters

Yahoo! Avatars

In my days before trading for living I was a full fledged table waiter. As late nights of college homework and early morning classes require the flexibility of a second shift the restaurant provided abundance for me. Tips are we live in this profession. And all to often, I see and hear tips all over Wallstreet.

In an age of hyper speed transmission we are all sending information faster than sharks chasing a bloody meal. In this array of info us traders are letting each other know what we are doing and what we are seeing. The tips we give are in two very different fashions. One is the cold blooded tip of a single security to buy or sell short at a specific moment. The other is a more thoughtful approach of tipping.

The dilemmas I find with the cold blooded tips are many. For example if I go out and tell you to buy ($GOOG) tomorrow and you do you may make money or you may lose. My reason for telling you to buy the security could have been I have a large position to unload without trying to send the market lower, or I could have a tip of my own from somebody on the inside with knowledge of a certain company news release. Whatever the reason may be you have gone out on my recommendation expecting to make money. When do you sell it? How often can you go back the exact same source and get a sell signal on those shares of ($GOOG)? This sort of tipping leaves the tip taker to really have a false sense of control over his/her trades. If they make money they believe they have found the secret to the market by taking somebody’s advice. They are refusing to learn about their own psychology, the market in general, and how to profit on their own accord.

There is a type of tip I think is crucial to traders in this century. This is may be a direct recommendation of a security, but it includes a logical explanation of why one should consider its purchase or sale. The simple difference here is traders become willing to learn about the securities they trade. They think about the reason why the market moves after they have invested their money. They also take into consideration what another trader may seeing. What that traders indicators may doing. How the community a trader surrounds him/herself can be conducive to making money educating. Teaching the man how to fish instead of simple donating to his/her charity.

In closing my bias is this. Don’t take tips from random or even trusted sources. Take a tip only after learning why the tip-giver is handing the tip your way. I think you find if the tip-giver is really into helping you intrinsically they will want to teach you to make money. Without a subscription to newsletter, and without the profit from sharing the information. If a trader/investor is smart enough to steer you down a good path in the market they will not need to charge for sloppy tip.

stay hedged stay happy,