Track Advertising Success With Barcodes

Looks like barcodes are finally going to become a consumer product thanks to ScanLife. I've heard for years that they are huge in Japan. There are a TON of ways this can be used to enhance and track marketing campaigns. What I didn't expect is that it would take the iPhone to finally bring them to us.




Nissan Plugs In

Nissan-LogoSo yesterday (Sunday night... odd timing?) Nissan announced a huge investment of $115 million in NEC Corp. to start producing lithium ion batteries for their vehicles. I wonder what type of implications this has for Hybrid Technologies (HYBR.OB). I still havn't determined what (if any) patents HYBR has on lithium ion vehicles.

"By 2012, Nissan plans to mass-market electric vehicles to consumers globally. It is also planning to make available on a wide scale zero-emission vehicles in Israel and Denmark in 2011."

Related Posts:
Investing In Hybrid Technologies



Investing In Hybrid Technologies

I am the first person to admit that investing in penny stocks is shady business. One of these days I will write a full explanation of why I do it anyways. My most recent penny stock investment is in Hybrid Technologies(HYBR.OB)

Hybrid Tech. makes lithium ion powered vehicles. Basically what that means is that they have found a way to power cars with the same technology that powers our cell phones and laptops. They have a full line of cars most of which take between 6-10 hours to charge and can be charged up to 1,500 times before needing replaced batteries. If you charge your car every single night (which isn't necessary), thats still over 4 years of battery life.



The hype around this company is huge and they have a very aggressive PR company fueling the fire. Recently Popular Mechanics Magazine Experts reported that Hybrid Technologies has a real chance at winning the Xprize.

Four years ago the stock was trading at about $100! Shares has been acting pretty crazy lately and took a giant hit recently after the company payed a large cash dividend (shaddyyy). After getting knocked down to $2 it is making a comaback on strong volume. It will be interesting to see how much this stock can recover from the big fall.

I bought in at $4.65 on Monday 5/12/08 and already find myself up 23%. I am going to hang on and see if this is the penny stock that makes me rich =)



PriceLine Negotiator

william-shatnerI was recently stunned to find out that PriceLine.com(PCLN) was a $5.3 billion company. I see the commercials every week and figured that since the economy was in bad shape, they were just trying to convince people to travel. But in reality, they are spending their advertising dollars to fuel the biggest bull run I have seen in a internet stock in some time.

I had always compared PriceLine.com to a Interactive Corp.(IAC) style company. One of those sites that is owned by a parent company and just never really gets anywhere. Turns out, PCLN has been ramping up its international sales and buying a couple international travel sites to stay ahead of the US meltdown.

Their recent positive earnings have sent this stock soaring into uncharted territory. While there is seriously no way you can get short a trend like this, how long can a web company in such a competitive space remain so bullish? I am going to keep it on the radar just to make sure I am there when it falls. The video below does an excellent job of analyzing PCLN's chart.




About The New Disqus Commenting System

Disqus-LogoI spent some time today installing and customizing the Disqus comment system you see below. I am super impressed with this company and thought I would "Disqus" how it works and some if its benefits.

At it's core, Disqus is a commenting with advanced features such as voting and threaded commenting. Aside from being a simple commenting tool, Disqus adds various social aspects to your site allowing your community to better interact with one another.

After creating an account, your profile travels with you to every website that uses the Disqus system (and the number of them is growing at a rapid rate). Your comments will display your avatar, link to your accounts on other social websites such as Twitter, Facebook etc. and most importantly, it displays the recent comments you made on other websites using Disqus. This makes Disqus a great tool for finding similar websites you might be interested based on where other people are commenting.

Disqus also offers publishers a bunch of cool widgets they can add to their blog including: recent comments, popular threads & top commenters. On the back end, Disqus gives you a simple, beautiful interface for managing your comments and interacting with your website's community.

Not only is the look of your comments fully customizale with css, but I was able to customize the threading so that whichever link you are viewing this post from, the comments stick together. I have always been a fan of CuteNews, but one problem has caused me endless headaches and thats the multiple URLs for every article.

This post alone can be viewed at:
http://www.brainbackup.net/rss-index.php?subaction=showfull&id=1210730609&archive=&start_from=&ucat=3&

http://brainbackup.net/post/about-the-new-disqus-commenting-system.html

and

http://brainbackup.net/tech_webdesign/post/about-the-new-disqus-commenting-system.html

As you can see, all of the comments still stick together no matter what url you use. I documented the Disqus/CuteNews integration over at SplitP if you are interested.

Special thanks to Danial Ha for helping me get this up and running to perfection. With such a dedicated founder, and amazing product, I see a very bright future for the Discus system.



Flashback: My Very First Trade

I will never forget the first trade I ever made. It was March 7th '05 and I was exploding with excitement that my $2,000 had just become available in my newly opened Scottrade account. I saw dollar $igns everywhere I looked and was absorbing information about the market like a sponge. After reading a few books, scanning every page of Investopedia.com and asking some experienced investors for some hot stock tips, I was anxious to pull the trigger. That morning I was up at 6 am ready to dive into the market full steam ahead.

Through fundamental and technical analysis I determined that INTC was the symbol that would transform me from a boy in West Hills, into a Wall Street hot shot. I remember spending extra time analyzing Intel because if the first stock I bought didn't go up, my investing career would be doomed from the beginning. I knew that I needed to be diversified, so I allocated 25% of my portfolio to the trade and waited for the perfect entry point.

Symbol "INTC" | Market Side "Buy" | Quantity "20" | Type "Market Order"

I patiently anxiously with my mouse pointer on the "Send Order" button. My heart was pounding out of my chest, this is it, I think INTC is about to break out...

CLICK!

AHH popup windown...
You've entered a Market Order to Buy 20 shares of INTC. Is this correct?

CLICK!

10:25:36 You bought 20 shares of INTC at $25.36

Success!!!

I remember just watching the chart all day. INTC's price didn't fluctuate as much as some of the other stocks on my list but I didn't care. I felt like this was the first day of the rest of my life.

The next day I bought TIVO and NAPS(Napster), both super exciting, but nothing like my first trade. It wasn't for about 6 months that I learned the exciting heart pounding excitement I was getting from trading was the primary reason most investors lose their shirts in the stock market. When trading stocks, "You must control your emotions, never let your emotions control you".

After following INTC for the next couple days, I realized that the homework I had done about analyzing the fundamental and technicals of individual stocks was no help for the awkward situation I found myself in. After two days the stock had fluctuated no more than $1 up and down which amounted to only a $20 fluctuation in my portfolio. When you calculated in the fact that I was paying $7 a trade, if INTC was up a full $1 that would ammount to me making a whopping $6! I calculated that in order for me to make $100 off this trade INTC wold need to go over $30! That could take a year at this rate! (INTC still hasn't hit $30 in the last 3 years)

I ended up selling INTC just four days later at an $18 loss. I didn't care because I had learned what I believed to be some valuable lessons:
1) If I wanted to get rich, I needed to buy cheap stocks. If the stock price is low, I can buy way more shares!
2) Figure out how much you want to make off a trade first, then find a stock that will get you there.

That first rule helped me lose about $2,500 my first 18 months of trading. The second rule turned out to be a good one that I still use today.




It was three years ago this month when I opened my first brokerage account and started trading. Looking back I can't help but notice how my investment strategies have changed. The reason I started this blog in the first place was so that I could keep track of my trades and trading strategies. What works? What doesn't? How could I have done better? What did this trade teach me? While I have learned a lot about investing by reading books and articles by other people, there is far more to learn by analyzing your own investing experiences.

Unfortunately I didn't start blogging about my trading experiences until Jan '07, but I remember my first trades like they were yesterday. I spent some time tonight looking back on some of my early trading records and it brought back some of the most memorable, exciting experience I have had in the market.

In "The Flashback Series" I will highlight some of my most memorable trades as well as the most valuable lessons I have learned so far. Hopefully my experiences will help someone else out there avoid some of the gut wrenching losses I have had, or maybe I can help them make 150% in 3 days like I did in July of '05 =)



AMZN Trade Update & Plan

Almost every stock in my portfolio has been following their plan. AAPL, FMCN, LOCM & GLW have all been up nice. UA, which I am short, has been going down for some time now. The only stock which was actin up has been AMZN, until this week.

I sold AMZN short on April 10th at $73.02 when I built out my portfolio. I sold ahead of earnings with a long term outlook based on my theory that the market is in pretty bad shape. What I hadn't expected was the all mighty Google having an unbelievable quarter and sending every stock with a website up 10%.

After AMZN's "ok" earnings the stock took a small hit and has been trickling downward ever since. While I was looking like I was in pretty bad shape for a couple weeks while AMZN was hanging out at the $80 level, the trade has gone into the black and I think it will turn out to be a pretty profitable investment. Like most of my trades, I have a fundamental as well as technical reasons for the trade.

On the fundamental side, I feel like the economy is in pretty bad shape and just about anything you buy on Amazon.com is more of a "want" than a "need". For the most part, people are going to be leaving a lot of their "wants" in their wishlist for the next couple months as appose to placing orders. Amazon's web services look promising, but are not at the point where they can make any significant difference. The Kindle, I think it is way too early to tell what will happen with that. I say Apple comes out with one and for absolutely no reason other than the fact that they are Apple, steals the market and starts selling books and magazines on iTunes.

The technical analysis of this chart looks pretty promising. AMZN made an unbelievable run up 150% last year on good earnings and good outlook. Since then, the speculation has gotten out of control and analysts are setting the bar too high for AMZN to have a chance. Back in March the 50 day simple moving average dipped down below the 200 setting off a pretty bearish signal on all the trend followers systems. When the averages crossed the stock turned around and trekked back up towards the 200 day SMA. The big GOOG quarter sent AMZN soaring up to the 200 day SMA where it couldnt break into the $80+ trading range. What you see in the chart below was AMZN unsuccessfully breaking through the 200 day SMA and then getting punished for it. As of today, AMZN has broken through the 50 day SMA and should continue its downward journey as the economy worsens.



I plan on hanging on to my short position in AMZN for some time. My target price is down between roughly $55-60. This I plan on making this more of a "log term" trade, I am looking at the long term support and resistance levels. My target price is just between the high in Sept. '03 and the high set in Jan '06. This level also just so happens to lie directly in the center of the monster jump AMZN made in May '07. If you look at a 2 year chart, AMZN has been as low as $26-27 so you never know =)






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