A HIGHER AUTHORITY

It seems to me, if a word is in the King James Bible multiple times – ‘He adorneth the humble with salvation’ – it should be allowed in Scrabble. Discuss.

FREE TEXT MESSAGING

Mark Langenderfer: ‘Did you know you can email a text message to any cell phone with the www.teleflip.com free service? Just email to a cell phone ten digit number, (example: 2125551212@teleflip.com), to text that cell phone.’

TIMES SELECT

Carl: ‘Better than subscribing to the New York Times on-line, subscribe to Audible.com. For as little as $14.95 per month, you get one audible book per month, plus a free NYT digest every weekday. It’s great …. there are 2 or 3 stories from each of the major sections (Front Page, Business, Sports, etc.), plus of course, Krugman’s column. It’s about an hour if you listen to the whole thing, but each story is on a separate track, making it easy to skip past the ones of no interest.’

GETTING ALONG (Continued)

Matt Ball: ‘Often, people like David D yesterday like to adopt the ‘pox on both your houses’ pose, to imply that everyone is equally complicit. It has been good for BushCo – that everything is always presented as ‘he said / she said,’ ‘Oh, the Democrats are just being negative.’ No matter how corrupt, no matter how incompetent, no matter how dishonest, they are always seen as just one side of a debate in which there can’t possibly be a right or wrong answer – where reality and facts have no place. Meanwhile, the deficit continues to expand, as does poverty, as does chronic joblessness, hatred of the U.S., abortions, etc. And the market remains flat to down for another year.’

NTMD

Steve Stermer: ‘Do you typically buy in or out of the money puts? I guess the out-of-money ones are cheaper, but you have a better chance of losing it ALL, while the in-the-money puts are more like selling short, but with less capital at risk, right? What do you typically prefer? When do the Sep puts come out?’

☞ The September puts are out, and I own a bunch. You have sussed this out correctly. Every situation is different (and usually, puts and calls are not such a great idea), but with NTMD I have been buying mostly way-in-the-money puts. Because they’re way-in-the-money, there is almost no ‘time premium’ to pay, and it really is much like being short the stock, but without having to worry that some nutty irrational thing might drive the price sky high, if only temporarily, and wreck your life.

If I were more worried that the stock would run back up by September – it might, of course, but I doubt it – I might have gone the other way and bought out-of-the-money puts (e.g., the September 10s, which don’t yet have any intrinsic value because the stock is above 10).

The easiest way to get a feel for the tradeoffs is just to do the math. (Well, it’s not even math – it’s arithmetic.) Pretend you have $3,000 to play with, and then run the numbers to see how you’d make out with puts of different strike prices (the September 10s, the 15s, and so on) depending on what happened with the underlying stock.

Monday (I hope): TransAmerica, Berkeley and Yale

 

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