What’s lost in the daily news cycle is something far more precious than just the latest polling numbers or the markets last jot and tittle.
In fact, it’s not just the news (which has an abnormally tight strangle-hold on our attention) but all of modern life that militates against the most important and meaningful part of our existence – our relationship with those around us.
In order to make a living, ‘get ahead’, ‘keep up with the Schultzs and generally be considered one of the in crowd, we do any number of ridiculous things to our loved ones and friends, some of which have drastic consequences.
Take, for instance, our penchant to farm out our children to day care – from as young as six months old! And after that, to turn them over to preschools at age three, junior kindergartens at four, after school ‘enrichment’ programs as soon as they’re able, summer camps and whatever the hell else we can sign them up for in order to keep them out of our hair while we earn that extra buck to pay for the illegal who’s cleaning our house and let us vacation in Nauru over Xmas (‘hmm… should we bring the kids this year?’)!
It’s absolutely pathetic.
Sure, we comfort ourselves with some notion that a well-programmed child is actually an important and healthy undertaking, that the extra Kumon classes we shuck her off to will actually help little Abigail with her math later on, and that ritzy pre-school will help set little Vaughn on his course toward Harvard and beyond.
But the truth is different.
What we’re really doing in sending our kids off to every possible institution (but the home) is abdicating our parental responsibilities and setting up our kids to be less independent – not more, as the current wisdom suggests – than they would’ve been had we kept them with us until age five or six.
Yes, it requires effort. Yes, it’s less fun. And yes, we get to do less with our time than we’d like. But why are we here, in the end? To spend a few more hours searching online for the right goji berry beef recipe that will just decimate our friends at this weekend’s pot luck? That’ll show Wanda Taloola Bigshought once and for all who’s the true queen of the Hillside foodies!
And it’s not just limited to our children. Our neighbors, too, have lost their humanity in our eyes. They’ve become nothing more than ‘home-value influences’.
Today, most people view the Rutherfords down the street as either an asset to the street’s real estate value or a detriment. So, if they’re good with their lawn and garden, upgrade their kitchen regularly or renovate some other aspect of their home annually, then they’re in our good books. But if they leave the paint job a year too long or don’t paint the right color or aren’t the right color themselves (egad!), then woe betide – they’ve gotta go! We have no place in our hearts or on our street for them.
And if they keep the kids at home through the summer (heaven forfend!) or don’t send them to the Choke Cherry Academy or Romper Room U. for early etiquette training, then we’ll have nothing to do with them.
We’re simply not good parents any more.
Nor good neighbors.
Because we’ve let our desire for wealth and status trump our most basic relationships, and our family and friends and neighbors have become mere items to be utilized in our quest for greater prestige. Do they help in that quest? Why, then, trot them out and introduce them to the Clydesdales and the Mumpkins, the good families who also want to keep home values on the rise. Do they hurt? Well, then, better just wave from a distance.
It’s absolutely pathetic.
And at the same time, we pretend to take an interest in the plight of the needy and the downtrodden of some far-flung tribe beyond Timbuk-Tu. We send our money half way around the world, attend seminars and working groups to advance their cause, and talk about the issue as if it were our own. And we’re passionate. As if something need be done immediately to remedy the suffering.
In the meantime, as we walk out to the car, we have no qualms about stepping over the body of some misfortunate homeless type for whom we have absolutely no pity, because, after all, “tsk, tsk, how could he let himself get to this stage…?”
Pathetic we be.
And in the end, we earn the suffering that comes to us from the willful neglect of those very relationships that matter most – our family and neighbors.
And we end up alone.
Why!? Why does it have to be!?
The story of a veteran from New York who killed himself last week outside a V.A. hospital after being refused treatment broke our heart.
Where the hell have we gotten to…?
We’re going to leave off the rant at this stage to update two trades and offer a fresh one for the week.
May it be a good one.
We’ll start with an initiative opened on June 7th in a letter called Brand New Trading Regimen, wherein we urged you to buy the UNH January 110 PUT for $2.51 and sell the NKE January 50 PUT for $2.66. Total credit on the trade was $0.15.
The UNHs are going for $1.53 and the NKEs for $0.89. Sell the former and buy back the latter and you net out $0.79 on nothing expended. Accounting for minimal commissions, that’s 427%.
And that’s great.
And that brings us to last week’s trade. The letter was called Military Efficiency and in it we told you a retreat was in store for LMT stock. We advised you to sell the LMT September 30th 225 PUT for $0.81 and the LMT September 30th 260 CALL for $1.11. Total credit on the trade was $1.92 per pair.
The two options now trade for $0.77 and $0.30 respectively, and we say buy them back. That’s a take of $0.85 per pair on nothing down. Call it 467%, and call it a day.
This Week’s Trade
In an age where money matters (and little else), one would figure that banks and brokers would be the best place to invest a nickel.
And the charts would definitely back you up.
It recently came to our attention that the long term, weekly chart for the banks was exhibiting a reverse head and shoulders pattern (in red).
See here –
It’s a fairly textbook pattern, playing out over the course of exactly one year and backed up accordingly with breakouts on both the RSI and MACD indicators (in green).
For a reverse head and shoulders to be activated, a break above the neckline (in blue) has to occur. And we’ve got it.
The upside count brings the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSE:XLF) to $29.50. And we say that happens over the next twelve to eighteen months.- Content protected for Normandy Executive Lounge, Wall Street Elite, Executive Lounge members only]
With kind regards,
Hugh L. O’Haynew