Monday, December 31, 2012

End of 2012

So the end of 2012 is upon us. Things are not really much different in these last few hours of trading than they have been in the last few months.

The Wall Street indices look to be ending the year up overall. That is good news and hopefully some of you are on the receiving end of those profits. I personally count this year as a very good year, with the market up about 12%, I managed a 7% rise in my accounts, ok I wasn't in the really hot stocks I plodded down the middle of the road but I didn't lose out and any year that you can say that is a good year.

Next year I predict a series of stumble.s.

Congress is not doing much over the budget and fiscal cliff and that will add more volatility to the markets, It may also act as a brake on the economy in general so I will be looking for  a bumpy ride in the first half. Early 2013 will possibly look very much like the last few trading weeks of 2012. 

All in all though I am looking at transport stocks still, I still hold and acquire utilities and the top retailers and entertainment stocks look good too.

Bear in mind I am just an average investor, no items in this post or blog should be taken as financial advice, it is my opinion alone and predictions are not supportable as fact.

I wish you all very well for the New Year.

Back to quarter 1 again. Yippppeeeee!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Plan Now For Next Year

This is a good time to check over your investment strategy from this year and plan any changes for next year.

What about the fiscal cliff?

Well one cannot ignore the fiscal cliff, but one should still plan to go on investing in the new financial year, so have cash ready to pay into your IRA and ROTH IRA as soon as the ball falls on Times Square. Well maybe not at that very moment but at least begin investing in the earliest days of the New Year in order to get as much money working for you as you can.

You can look at all kinds of strategies for the new year too. A common favorite is the "Dogs of the DOW", a strategy whereby investors look to the worst performers of last year (2012) and invest a few bucks in those hoping for a bounce in those stocks.

I already think I have a dog in my pocket (it's not in the Dow, but is in the S&P 500 and NASDAQ) Yes Apple Inc. (AAPL) since September it has fallen almost $200 from highs of just over $700. I sold off some of my stock back then giving me an average price after costs of $326 per share. So I have some way to go to lose money but I'd rather be further away from that losing position than I am. I'll hold AAPL though till the summer of 2013 before I re-examine my ownership, unless of course it makes a dive toward the $400 level.

As things stand today, I have made a decent 7% return on my account for the year. That has been funded mostly by the jump of AAPL from $550 to $700 when I sold off some of my holding and a nice little dividend stock ING Prime Rate Trust (PPTR) that stock was under $4.90 when I bought it a couple of years ago. It pays a monthly dividend and has an annualised rate of around 6%. This little stock has motored its way in the last few months through the $6 level and stands now just above that.  I have on a couple of occassions trimmed my holding in PPR to reduce the downside risk, but I still hold some for the future mainly because of the great and regular dividend payment.

One area I am looking at expanding my holdings is in Transportation. I have held CSX Corp (CSX) for a couple of years, they are a pretty steady stock in the $18-22 range mostly, paying a reasonable dividend and profitable. Another Stock I am watching to buy is Union Pacific (UNP). a little higher in cost at around $120 per share UNP has a large portion of the Western United States within its coverage.

I am bullish on the economy begining to grow in the next couple of years and CSX and UNP offer a good chance to cash in as goods move to and from ports across the North American continent.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fiscal Cliff

Ok so we can't avoid talking about it even here.

The six hundred pound gorilla in the room is the fiscal cliff.

Well in reality its probably not much of a cliff for most of us. Not even a six hundred pound anything.

It has been talked up and up by the media into a frenzy of turbulent maelstroms converging upon us poor investors. Sorry us incredibly rich 1%ers.. But really if you had been really careful you will have invested as much in tax efficient products anyway. Your IRA or ROTH IRA for starters.

Then most of us will not pay so large an amount of tax for this year. Next year we may take a hit but so far we are ok.

Next politicians love to create a crisis. This crisis could be settled quickly, but as in the old time Westerns the cavalry must wait until at least the most popular old settler in the wagon train has been wounded before charging over the hill to chase off the marauding indinas. US politicians seem to have one fatal flaw, they love to play at the cavalry. Sometimes more often than not however they are playing at being the 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn.

The fiscal cliff will not so much harm investors in their bank balance. We can survive taxes and make adjustments over time. We will get used to them.

The damage is done by the constant brinkmanship of politicians playing hero.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Special Dividends

This December we will be seeing a glut of special dividends from corporations across all sectors.  We are told that these special dividends are in order to reward investors prior to the forthcoming possible tax hike in January 2013.

But are these special dividens really as rewarding as they seem?
I say NO!

These special dividends are nice chunks of money of course. But that money is coming out of the various companies in many forms. Some are using cash reserves, some are even borrowing money.

Using cash reserves is only ok if the company can really do without that cash in the short term. Personally I would rather take a slow steady smaller dividend and accept the risk of a tax hike myself, after all I have most invested in tax efficient vehicles such as a ROTH IRA for my non efficient brokerage account I have strong allocations of stocks in Muni Bond funds generating cash so limiting tax there.

Companies borrowing money to pay special dividends is stupid in the extreme. Why borrow money to give it away. If you can't pay a dividend then don't put yourself in debt for the future.

Some of the biggest earners from special dividends are members of the boards of some of the companies. They are in fact lining their own pockets  and claiming to have the best interests of shareholders in mind.

In order to reecover from these special dividends we will probably see dividends as a whole reduced for a year or two at least. This is because companies will need to either service the debt of loans or have little cash in the next year to maintain investment in growth of their business.

These special dividends are not the free money that they are hailed as. They come at a cost and I just hope that we the shareholders do not pay the ultimate cost, loss of our money.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Floating Along

Well, the past couple of weeks has seen a pretty dramatic fall for some stocks.

Personally I am waiting until after the election here in the U.S. to buy much more. Past experience tells me that stocks will continue to drift until we know who wins.

Generally there is a little bounce as we learn the result and another dip towards Thanksgiving week. I will buy that dip.

Wall Street loves a long vacation weekend and stocks rise as brokers look forward to a break.  Cautious buying should be the rule. I get defensive myself, stocks like Consolidated Edison (ED) and Walmart (WMT) , both of which I own , attract me for short term holdings as well as long term holdings.

Following the Thanksgiving break we could see a dip as wall street catches up with other markets if they drop over the long weekend, but after that I see a steady rise towards the Christmas "Bonus" season.

Call me a cynic but who would not want a nice holiday bonus from a nice rise in the markets?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Day After a Stall

Did you notice yesterday was a stall day?

Stall days occur periodically in both up and down markets.

You have a rush for several days, weeks or even months where things  maintain an up or down trend. Then suddenly prices of stocks which had traded freely for a while judder to a stop. A stock moving dollars moves for pennies. It just happens.

You are in a Stall condition.

When this happens look for the markets to reverse for a while. Pundits and media advisors will give you reasons for the Stall. "Bad employment numbers", "Good  employment numbers." "A broker changing from buy to hold" any excuse will do.

What is happening is the market makers are running out of steam. They have pushed the market to where they wanted it to be. Now they momentarily hesitate, prices hover before the reverse.

Don't move to buy in the immediate aftermath of a stall. They can overstoot on the reverse, going too low in the down. Rising too quickly for you to catch the bus on an upturn, then leaving you stranded as they over correct again.

Yesterday saw a stall. I would hold tight for the next month or so. Pundits will blame economic factors and election uncertainty, but we will see a bouncy period in the markets until Thanksgiving, I feel.

After Thanksgiving however look for a surging rally towards Christmas. This is the period of Annual Bonuses so look for a major upturn in the markets as the end of the year approaches.

The old proverb, A Broker loves a Christmas Bonus should be writ large on every investors calendar.

Then plan to rebalance to cash for a New Year buying spree at the Wall Street January Sales.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer's Gone. Starbucks Anyone?

If, back in May you had taken the traditional advice espoused by many stock market pundits, "Sell in May and go away!" you would have missed this summers rally in the market and now becoming back.

Over the summer I did not do much. It has never seemed to be good practice to sell in May to me. This year proved it to be very unwise.

Last weeks extra little jump in the markets however caused me to pause and look at my portfolio's and rebalance them.

One stock I had bought with some hope a while back was Qualcomm (QCOM) this chip company never really performed well for me, so with the Apple (AAPL) move up last week Qualcomm made a rise which took it into reasonable profit territory for me, so I sold out in order to look for another more profitable opportunity

. With Bernanke's move on Wednesday last, I am thinking that some US consumables might be interesting. I am still a hold on Apple (AAPL) buying on that pullback in early summer has left me with some nice earnings. I plan on holding to about $700 and then clipping off a few shares that will return most of the initial purchase for all the shares I bought, back at $550. Any pullback then will mean the stock would have to fall along way for me to lose all of my money.

Another stock that looks interesting at under $60 is Starbucks (SBUX). I plan to use a good portion of the Qualcom sale proceeds to buy in here.

Why Starbucks?

Well a couple of reasons.

They have paid a reasonable dividend, 17cents per share.

With the forecast of lower coffee prices over the next few months and an acquisition of a food supplier for bakery services things look good to expand breakfast and snack services

. If Bernanke's policy works, We could see the American people move back to spending more money on small treats and rewards. Starbucks has always been seen as an indulgance and a reward. A daily life luxury and I see a return, if only a brief one, as people will see themselves as a little more prosperous following the stimulus and possibly post election euphoria may help, depending on the winner.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Investor Tip to Remember #1

This is the first of a series of investmenrt tips for you to remember throughout your investment career.

Beware saying "It is only ..."

You will often hear this phrase followed by a sum of money. "It is only a penny per day." The person telling you this wants to convince you that something costs you so little that you'd be a fool to refuse to buy-in.

So in the example one penny per day is $3.65 per year. In an average year. OK still not a lot but you get the drift, it still builds to something substantial.

A bank salesman once told me that an investment would "Cost ONLY 5% per month." I could easily make that up in the stock market, it was rising and "You'll Earn 10% easily at current investment rates." He told me that in September 2007. The week before the slide in the stock market. Of course he could not forecast the crash of 2007-8, what he could forecast was HIS commission on my initial $15,000 investment. A nice little earner for him.

You will also tell yourself "It's ONLY ..." whatever as you look at stock prices. Penny stocks look like a bargain, the are only $1.30 that is much more affordable than Apple Inc at $600. I could buy hundreds of those penny stocks compared to one Apple (AAPL) stock. But realistically, Apple deserves to be higher and is cheaper than that penny stock. Apple has global impact that penny stock may be little known outside one corner of Noname City, Peoples Republic of Nowhere. But because of the theory of, "It is only ..." you but 500 shares and see it disappear over the next few months.

You will tell yourself trading charges "Cost only $9.99" then order hundreds of different trades, seeing various stocks rise and gove you a profit of $10, you will then rarely say "My profit is only ..."

See "It is only ..." as your greatest investing enemy. It will become a red flag to warn you of possibly poor decision making or someone trying to convince you to make a mistake to their advantage.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Of Falling Knives. Missed Boats and Markets

There is an old saying that investors should bear in mind; "Never catch a falling knife."

OK so much for the knives in this post. Be sure they will cut you and can cut your profits.

But what do investors do when markets rise so far that things get dizzy and there looks to be a fall, or as the professionals call it 'a correction.'

We should be sitting tight, waiting for the knife, erm stock market to drop.

Riight now we are in a falling market. I am sitting tight on some orders right now. I and you want to maximize our profits and things are looking good for us to buy in on this correction.

Some good stocks are getting reasonable pricings.

I stated in an earlier post that Apple Inc is going to be a buy for me below $550. that holds true not matter what the results posted this week say. Unless they are totally disasterous.

Another interesting falling stock today is Walmart (WMT) the have been accused of paying bribes to Mexican authorities, in order to open stores. So on that news their stock is falling. The bad news is an excellent opportunity to buy in stock. I am an owner of WalMart (WMT) and this fall is an opportunity  to top up on a few less expensive stocks as the initial panic stops and the stock regains its basic confidence.
The trick now is to pick the stocks you like on fundamental levels, good stocks, good profit stream, lots of strong cash flow and set a level where you like a company. Buy in at those levels or cheaper and keep buying until the stock rises then follow it up.

It is easy to say but hard to do.  Buy in as market and stocks reach you value levels not those of a TV or press pundit. If you wait for the good news, you'll be waiting too long and miss the boat.

This 'correction' is a boat you should look to catch, even the correction of 2007-8 was no Titanic for those who bought in on the down turn.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Begin Tax-Planning for Next Year

It may seem strange to think at the end of this tax season of preparing for next tax season.

Planning now however can make investing while paying lower taxes next year much easier.
For instance, many of the tax breaks given to investors in previous years expire on December 31st 2012.

This means a possible increase in dividend taxes and also Capital Gains taxes.

Planning now to invest the maximum in tax efficient products will pay off in the long run.

You should put as much money as you can into an IRA or ROTH IRA these vehicles shelter your investmentsfrom taxation both State and Federal.

Anyone under 50 can add $5,000 in the current tax year, over 50 and you can invest $6,000.

If you add $600 per month to your IRA you will find at the end of the year you will have filled up your savings and not have a struggle topping up your allowable sum.

Also look towards tax efficient products such as Municipal Bond offerings.  I personally invest in A municipal bond fund, (Ticker MUB) it trades at about $109.00 at the moment, but it pays a reasonable yield about 3% and it is free of state and federal tax on its dividends. A nice little earner if you top out your IRA and need to save more money on dividends.

These products are available at a wide number of retailers such as banks and brokers.

One tip, don't waste time putting a product like MUB into your IRA you waste your tax allowance on a product which at present pays no taxes at all. Save your IRA for taxable resources.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Week Ending April 20 2013

Have you had fun this week?

All the talk of above expectation results, collapsing Spanish Bond sales (turning out quite positive) woes of hard landings in China, and not forgetting a mild winter and early spring creating havoc to results. All this talk is, from the respect of the investor, BULLS##T.

The stock market over the long term will "not longer remember waht we said here." It will fade into history as being a mere typical week for the stock market, with little to allow us to discriminate it from most other weeks.

Truth be told the stock market is a mere gambling house. We buy and sell stocks for their own value. The stock is a representation of a portion of a company, but in the market the stock has little to do with the underlying company. A stock is an instrument unto itself.

Take for instance Apple Inc. (AAPL) A couple of weeks ago it was tradiung high on the hog. Then the stock fell for several days. Now it seems to be entering a phase of running at $580-$620 ahead of results.

Did Apple Inc. suddenly lose billions of dollars in market capiutalization because it is a bad company? No.

Did Apple Inc. (AAPL) find itself at the whim of traders moving the market using dump and buy strategies. Possibly.

This case points out there is little correlation between a companies real status and its stock. True a good company will have a better chance of being  highly valued but in the end. The stock market is not about the company, the stock market is about the stock.

The sentiment of buyers, whether they be trraders or investors makes the stock price. If the seller sells into a market which wants to gobble up stock as fast as it can, prices rise. If a seller sells into a market which looks to holding  back prices fall.

Also don't forget the human element. You are dealing with people. They hear and spread gossip. Things look bad or great at the tip of a hat. Prices rise or fall because of the herd or speculators, traders and investors making up their minds with limited information.

See the stock market for what it is. A place to sell instruments in companies, a place of long and short term speculation. Ignore most of the crap about Eurozone and Chinese hard landings, chip shortagers or the sun shining when it should be snowing. Who cares in the long term it doesn't matter.

Assess your chosen stock against its undelying company but remember that you are joining a fluid human driven market. If stocks truly reflected the value of the underlying company we would not see 2% fluctuations from one day to the next. The markets would be almost glacial in their speed of movement.

The stock itself is the purpose of the stock market, not the company, nation, or continent. Stick to the facts and follow the stock. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Apple Moves towards a Buy

Today, Apple Inc. (AAPL) continued doenwards. At a good margin below $600 for me it is beginning to look attractive.

There is some speculation that Apple has burst its bubble, but I believe that all this selling of the Apple stock is merely large investors taking profit and moving into other stocks.

This idea , I think, is supported by the move of the DOW upwards while the S&P and NASDAQ lingered or fell. Apple Inc does not form part of the DOW but does contribute to the other two market groups. To me this indicates money from Apple stock profits was being moved into DOW component stocks, supporting that market while hitting the other two.

At these new levels Apple Inc. is looking more attractive and I am looking to move some cash into that stock if it falls to $550.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Case Proved Markets watch Cramer

Yesterday Jim Cramer talked to the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) on the show Mad Money.

The CEO was very upbeat about the natural gas pipeline and distribution companies prospects. The company does look interesting to me.  I am looking to buy in a few weeks or so.

In a previous post I warned about jumping in too soon after such a presentation on TV. ETP stock price today is a perfect example.

The stock opened today at $46.40 and in minutes was trading at $46.83 as the morning closes it is trading at $46.74 a little off the high but still at a premium. 

Trading volumes are also high, yesterday the stock traded 400,000 shares today it traded 428,000 shares in the morning session alone.

My case, Market Makers make a killing when popular programs like Mad Money on CNBC talk about a partuicular stock. 

Watch out for the sudden urge to jump into a stock picked on programs such as Mad Money, they are not neccessarily bad stocks, but you will see inflated pricing on them for a few days. Hold back, ok you may miss this spiike in price, but you will also not be paying over the odds for a stock that begins to fall to its old level in a few days.

Mark the stock, wait patiently on the sidelines and when the stock stabilises buy then and enjoy reaping greater profits.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Good Morning March 30, 2012

Good morning to the last day of this first quarter of 2012.

Today will probably see some selling off of stocks for the profits gained in 2012 so far.

Don't worry that is not a bad thing. In fact I would recommend everyone to take and lock in profits at some time.  It is really the only way to make money on stocks.

Don't fret about seeing the stock rise even after you sell. You have just allowed someone else to make a little profit. 

But I admit it does feel good if you sell at the top, and watch the price fall.

Then of course you can often make plans to buy in a stock later.

This afternoon may see some good opportunities for buying in some stocks that have been sold off this week.

Keep an eye out for that and look to buy if you feel there are some bargains to be had.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Prediction for the week Ending 30th March 2012

This week is a nice week to end the first quarter of 2012.

Because it has a clear cut ending there is little vaguery as to what the effects of the second quarter will be.

My theory is that all the major players in Wall Street will aim  to lock in as many profits as possible this week.

So the bull run on the market willl continue Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday March 28 to the close of business on Friday will see some downward pressure on the markets as institutions seek to close positions and pull in profits.

Look for major sectors that improved dramatically to fall in this last week of the quarter. Sectors such as Financials,

There will of course be lots of reasons given as to why the market will fall, from Europe, through housing concerns, consumer confidence to threat of war with Iran.

Most of these reasons may be made to sound plausible, but over thirty years of experience I have seen this scenario many times.

It happens far too often to be pure chance. It must just be institutional profit taking.

Be prepared to follow the roller coaster down a little, it can be a good buying opportunity in late Friday trading as some bargains may be had.

Monday April 2, 2012 will see some recovery as the climb through a slow second quarter will begin. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Watch Advisors on TV With Care

It is ok to watch programs on stock investing.

Watch programs such as Mad Money with Jim Cramer and Fast Money with care. These CNBC programs are great sources for fiinding out about possible investments.

Be CAUTIOUS: Analysts and Market Makers also watch these programs and you will often see tipped stocks on these programs rapidly increase in price.

Why is this?  Market Makers and Analysts know that stocks tipped by experts on these shows will attract a lot of attention from the average investor. The average investor will see the price rise as a positive and buy-in too quickly. They will though also see the stock proce often fall within a few days.

The wise small investor will watch these pundit programs and make notes as to the stocks talked about.

Put them on a watch list and leave them alone for several days or weeks.  Yes you will miss the initial upsurge of the stock but you will not be locked in when that surge washes through and the stock falls to its original trading point.

As the stock falls to near its old trading level. If things still look good to you, then consider buying in that stock

Buy in good quantities if you can in order to reduce the trading costs by averaging.  Trading costs are the death of many a small investor.

If a trade to buy and sell costs $10 each your single share of stock will need to rise #20 before you can break even.

If you buy 10 shares then a stock needs only rise $2 to break even.

Buy 100 shares of the same stock and it need only rise 20 cents to break even.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A 6% Dividend

Where can you earn 6% on your cash these days?

The INGPrime Rate Trust (PPR) is one such source of income.  The Trust specializes in short term loans to major corporations and trades in a range of $5.40 - $5.60 per share.  It has spiked up to over $6 a few months ago and fell recently down to below $5. Now it is back within its normal track of around $5.50

Declaration: The author owns Stock of PPR within his portfolio.

I have this stock within my portfolio for its income potential. The stock pays a dividend monthly and is therefore more like a Bond than a Stock. Current dividends are around 3 cents per share. I have this stock as a long term hold and buy on any fall of the stock below its normal trading range.

At a whopping 6% return on average dividends this stock has maintained a good dividend throughout the past three years. I think you should maybe consider the investment if you think that it might fit in with your investing style.

Monday, March 19, 2012

What May Be Good for APPL May be Good for T

With Apple trading at over $600  per share that may be a little out of the average investors range.

Where might you go to follow their success?

Possibly look to AT&T (T) trading in the low $30's AT&T have had some good dividends and have a long standing contract to serve Apple's iPad customers with wireless service.

Disclosure:The Author holds  AT&T (T) Stock in his portfolio.

AT&T has recently looked to increase income by slowly raising it's data prices, this has been coupled with investment to expand current networks and it seems that as fast as they expand the pipeline for wireless users the pipeline fills and data usage increases to fill available capacity.

AT&T has coped well with the demand and I believe that they will continue to look to serve the Apple users within their contracts successfully maintaining their market share as other carriers come into the market in order to compete.

AT&T therefore could be a medium term play for those looking to gain from iPad sales without the risk of having a very major portion of their portfolio in Apple (APPL)

Thoughts on Apple Inc.

Bank of America?

Just watching CNBC's The Closing Bell I was struck by the amount of excitement expressed that Bank of America (BAC) hit $10 this morning.

I am a long term holder and buyer of Bank of America. Sadly it has been one of my dogs.

Some of my first investments were made back in 2006 and 7, then folks where was this stock trading? Up around $50 -60 per share. It was also paying a pretty nice dividend of around 50 cents per share too.

Since then of course I saw my stake plummet and about a year ago it was bottoming out at around $4 per share. and struggled to get approval to pay anything more than 1 cent per share.

So it is nice to see this old dog coming back. It is nice to see CNBC getting excited that the stock has doubled in a year. But folks reality check here, I am waiting on a share price of 18.20 per share.

Why $18.20 that is my break even point to get back the money invested five years ago and which has been dead as I bought down to the bargain basement. Even that amount may be a long time coming.  Though with recent financials moves it may be that Bank of America begins to look cheap.

Welcome to the First Day

Welcome to my new blog.

I have been investing in stock markets for over thirty years now.

I began investing in the London Stock Exchange in 1980, soon after I got my first job.

Those days one had to call a broker, lodge funds with them and buy or sell real share certificates. There was no online direct trading as today and the whole process was full of strange jargon. Jobbers, At Market, At Best, Going Short, Longs. All very confusing. Though the jobbers are now gone. Much of the jargon remains.

I hope to lead you through the jargon if you are new, If you have been around for a while then hopefully I might lead us to some golden leads for good investment. If you are a professional, then maybe you may learn something from this very old Muppet.

Apple Anyone?

Today the news on the web and on CNBC was full of Apple's conference call.

The Board of Apple announced today that they would begin a dividend payment and also announced a share buyback to the tune of $10 billion.

So what do I as a non share holder think?  Do I want to jump on the Apple steamroller?

Honestly at over $590 per share and looking towards over $700 Apple is way beyond my means as far as investing directly.

Is it a bad investment?  No Apple seems to be a very good investment, if you have at least $500,000 to invest.  The cost of buying enough shares in order to make a decent profit and compensate for risk is too much.  I would advocate never buying less than 50 (fifty) shares in a company. Good companies even deserve 100 shares.

Why this policy?

It is in order to decrease the cost per share of all the added costs from brokerage.

Say we take Apple at $595.

Buy one share at a broker charge of $10. We need the price to rise to $605 to break even. But we must hold because our broker charges another $10 to sell. So to sell and break even we need a selling price above $615 but even that $20 doesn't give us profit.

So Apple is too big to be a worthwhile small quantity purchase.

The more shares one buys at a time the better. If one could afford 100 shares on that same apple stock one would only need a twenty cents rise to break even.

This is my first rule.

Consider brokerage in the equations before buying or selling.