Friday, January 30, 2009

life and all that good stuff

Some of you are probably wondering how the coaching business is going with the economy in a tailspin, people being laid off left and right, and the USD headed for debasement and devaluation. Triathlon coaching is much like personal training in the sense that it is a luxury for most. Our bottom line is down about 20% from the same month last year, which is painful but not debilitating. This puts us back in line with 2006 earnings. The crunch will slow our plans for acquisition of a mountain getaway.

From a business standpoint a period of economic malaise like this is a good time for healthy businesses to work on expansion and advertisement in advance of a rebound in one, two, or three years time. The survivors pick up all the customers of those companies that had to shut their doors.

Of course if this turns into a depression I will probably be picking up any additional odd jobs to help pay the bills. I am debating looking for a 3 or 6 month tech writing contract to help us out. That is a good thing about the technical writing profession, a lot of places prefer short term hires to help out with one-off documentation products.

In World of Marty Poker news, I finished up 75% at the Wednesday night game.

In the World of Marty Stock, ETF and Option Investing newsletter, I picked up 100 shares of USO at 28.65 and wrote a February 31 covered call. USO tracks oil and natural gas. Believe it or not we are up about 12% on our trading cash since beginning to take action in late November. If the SP gets back to 900 I'm going to get out of our domestic mutual funds for a while. If it doesn't we'll ride it out.

In World of Marty Survivalist & Armageddon Magazine, I checked out a Mossberg 500 pump action 12 gauge at the local sporting goods store today. BAM!

In World of Marty Training News, I am feeling tired today after having a 10+ hour 5 day week. Yesterday I ran 25 minutes with Bri in the AM, then rode 1 hour with an athlete, then rode 1.25 hours with Bri.

We are off to VA to hang with the niece for her birthday this weekend.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Had a good swim workout this AM with our masters crew, and then went to meet Bri at lunch for a 6 mile run through Research Triangle Park with a few intervals. It was a good run and I had the poops for the rest of the day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

weekly totals 1-25-2009

Run: 3 hours 40 minutes
Bike: 4 hours 30 minutes
Swim: 5,500 yards (1.5 hour)
Kung fu: 1 hour
core strength: 20 minutes
Total: 11 hours

I made a $29.37 profit in short term stock trades this week (accounting for trade fees), with two remaining open positions. Scottrade made $84.00 in trading fees. Not the best week but still an up week in a down market. Of course, my long term investments are still taking a poop.

Friday, January 23, 2009


PokerStars Tournament #135897187, No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $0.25
90 players
Total Prize Pool: $22.50

Dear tassie12,

You finished the tournament in 6th place.
A $1.18 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

You earned 27.07 tournament leader points in this tournament.
For information about our tournament leader board, see our web site at

Thank you for participating.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the stuck market

The dangers of trading leveraged ETFs when you're betting it all and not using any discipline: (from the Google message boards):

"I am really sad that even market is down more than 5% and financial
sector down to second biggest percentage day drop in the history. Its
10:30pm and now news about Fed & Obama plans to tackle this financial
crisis. If nothing arrive by tomorrow then we may see another drop.

This is very serious situation for me as I am down from 55k to only
11k i.e, 80% decline. I don't even hope if I will be able to recover
my previous losses or not. If I am unable to recover my money in the
coming future then I may decide to quit stock market and invest in
bonds & fix percentage gain."

He was betting it all on the FAS ETF, a 3x financial bull with no stops. Went from 25 at the beginning of the year to 7.60 yesterday. Ouch.
Bri and I had a nice run through the snow yesterday with Alisha Lion, while her husband Joe played with the dogs at Bond Park. There were a bunch of people riding sleds down the hills at the park, check out Bri's blog for info on all that. Then we both rode the trainer later in the evening. Today there's a frozen layer of snow/ice on the ground but it should finish melting by tomorrow.

Snow day

Today is snow day here in NC. I am sure Bri will have a ton of pictures for you. We have about 4 inches on the ground and it is coming down in droves at the moment.

We're going to bundle up and get a run in through Bond Park.

Bri gets to stay home today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Geithner to take your back taxes

Timothy Geithner, Obama's nominee for Treasury Secretary, has vowed to make everyone in the US pay their taxes in a concerted effort to shore up the balance sheets of the Federal Government. It is estimated that tax dodgers cost the US approximately 200 billion dollars each year in lost revenue.

"It is criminal that individuals and small businesses around this great country have failed to uphold their duty as citizens, and pay their fair share of taxes," said Geithner, sipping leisurely on a Double mocha latte at a Manhattan Starbucks. "I mean, where do people think they live, Mexico? We have computers here."

He went on. "I mean, how hard is it to know how much you owe in taxes? If you want to do it yourself, you get one of those software packages and it walks you through it. It's dummy proof. Or you can pay your local accountant a few hundred and make sure you don't have any problems. With us. The US Government. Down the road. You know?"

Geithner, who has reigned supreme at the New York Fed for several years, continued. "When I'm Treasury Secretary, things are going to be different. We're going to tighten down on cheats like Wesley Snipes, and Billy Ray from West Virginia, and anyone else who fails to pay FICA or Social Security taxes, ignorant they may be of the law or not."

"The law doesn't care if you're ignorant," said Geithner.

He then finished his coffee, checked the time on his Gold Rolex, and signaled his driver it was time to leave.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

poker, trades, training

I made a 'bet' in the stock market yesterday with an ETF called UYG, which is a double long financial. My bet was that today we'd rebound a bit. Wrong! Fortunately a tight sell stop order limited the loss. I expect this one to rise soon but it's tough to say how much lower we will go. I do expect to see 7,000 before we hit 10,000 again. The question is will we go up to 9,000 next week, or down to 7,000? The market is entirely controlled by daily news these days.

In poker last night however, I returned 105% for 3.5 hours work. We are moving to Vegas soon.

Training is going well. Going for a run with Tassie today and then a MTB ride with Bri tonight. Good times.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

covered calls, limit orders, and clinics

Part 1: The Powerstroke clinic went well, we will hold our next one on March 28 at 11AM. Check the website for all the details.

Part 2: Today I wrote my first covered call option. 1 option contract is for 100 shares. I have owned 100 shares of a company for a couple months and finally got around to getting permission to trade options in my IRA. I didn't realize you could do that.

Writing covered calls is the most simple option trade. You have to own 100 shares for every 1 contract you write. I wrote an out of the money (OTM) option. You can also write in the money (ITM) options and that is sometimes worthwhile if the return and time horizon is good. Anyway. So for this dividend paying stock I am planning to hold onto indefinitely, I was paid $95 to promise someone I'd sell them the stocks at a price that was $2.50 higher than today's prices on the third Friday in February. Chances are pretty low that the stock will climb that high. If it does then my loss is the additional upside I am missing out on.

The major risk of writing covered calls is actually holding onto the stock, as it could plummet to zero. The more volatile a stock is, the higher the yield on the options, since more people are looking to hedge their positions/lock in profits etc. A less volatile stock, like Coke (KO), has less return on the options since it generally trades in a narrow band (meaning it is more predictable).

If I can keep this up for 1.5 years, the options trades will have entirely paid for the underlying stock I own. I also get to keep dividends. My plan over the next few months is to acquire 2 or 3 more blocks of 100 shares in other relatively stable dividend paying companies, and write these calls each month for an extra $300-400.

Part 3: I am playing poker tonight, since the odds are probably better than making picks in the stock market.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

booya. Poker.

This time I built a stash and then sat out and watched TV for an hour. I sometimes play better when I don't play at all.


PokerStars Tournament #133396196, No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $0.25
90 players
Total Prize Pool: $22.50
Tournament started 2009/01/11 19:26:43 ET

Dear tassie12,

You finished the tournament in 5th place.
A $1.57 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

You earned 29.65 tournament leader points in this tournament.
For information about our tournament leader board, see our web site at

Thank you for participating.

good week

This week I managed:

8,300 yards swimming (2:45 hours)
20 miles running (3:30 hours)
4:45 hours riding
1 kung fu class (too wiped out to go on Friday)

a total of around 12 hours of training. Not too bad. On the ride today I completely bonked after 1.5 hours. Had to coast to the finish and then dragged Bri to Los Tres Magueyes (a great affordable Mexican restaurant here in Cary) for some calories.

Set Up Events should be announcing the White Lake training camps sometime this week.

If anyone is debating our St Pete Beach Training Camp, let me know. We have had a couple people back out and now have two open bedrooms in the beach house.

I have been in charge of picking a vacation spot for our five year anniversary in May. The plan was to make the destination a surprise for Bri, but after wrestling with the various prices and destinations, I sought her input and we settled on a cabin near Asheville. We can bring Tassie since it is pet friendly. Affordable, stuff Bri likes, the dog can go, and microbrews in Asheville. Not bad.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Poker. Booya!

Tournament started 2009/01/09 20:25:00 ET

Dear tassie12,

You finished the tournament in 4th place.
A $1.41 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

You earned 23.44 tournament leader points in this tournament.
For information about our tournament leader board, see our web site at

Thank you for participating.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Weekend update

It has been a good week of trigeek training for me, but I am under the weather with cold #2. Bri got sick then I got sick then she got well then she got sick then I got sick again. I don't like using got that many times in a sentence, but sometimes you got to do what you got to do.

Tomorrow we're running a Powerstroke clinic 8-2. We're going to recapture the footage for the presentation portion, the sound and some other issues with our first two attempts were nixed by my crack design and presentation team. The Powerstroke DVD is going to take longer than planned to release, but having a good delayed project is better than a poor released project.

I made a little money with a couple ultrashort ETFs this week, bought them on Tuesday just before the close and sold them both the next day when the market went down. I've slowly averaged out of some domestic funds in our IRAs to free up some cash for trading.

I have found a couple nice small log cabins in the mountains, but can't justify the payment just yet.

I am stocking up on guns and ammo for the end of days.

Still trying to work out a way to get to the beach for a couple months this summer. That is harder to pull off than it sounds.

Do you ever think the word elite is overused? Elite this, elite that. It just means better than you. How about the Better Than You category at triathlons? Or the Better Than Yours Hedge Fund? Better Than Them Travel Agency. Hotter Than You Modeling Agency. You get the picture.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

does money buy happiness?

No, it does not.

So my planned weekly training schedule for the next few weeks:

Monday: short run w drills, PM master swim
Tuesday: track workout, PM kung fu
Wednesday: AM masters swim, lunch group ride (I will drop off the first few weeks)
Thursday: AM easy-steady trail run, PM cross bike or mountain bike ride
Friday: AM short swim, L optional easy run w drills, PM kung fu
Saturday: long run, short ride, short swim
Sunday, long ride, short run

My New Years resolution was to read more and drink less beer. I'm allowed 1 beer at dinner during the work-week (2 if I beg nicely) unless it's a special occasion. This should help get me back into skinny triathlete mode. And clean out Leon the Liver.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year

Welcome to 09. Lots of stuff over the past few days, traveling, visiting friends, and so on. A bit worn out. Am 15+ lbs over race weight and it is high time to get back into shape.

OSB will be hosting 2 2-day camps at White Lake NC during the week of May 4-8. More details in a couple days.

Ran a 5k on Sunday morning after drinking, fishing, and oyster roasting all day Saturday. Miserable.

Hiring a young coach to help out with the masters swim team. So I can swim.