Dear rss free blog,


Two people named Lewis will
not be taking any salary this year. One is Ken Lewis, the
soon-to-resign chief honcho at money-losing Bank of America. The other is me. I
have foregone a salary because I am funding the restart of this
publication. Ken (no relation) has other issues.

Just as Ken Lewis might have
stashed away some of his extraordinarily generous pay packets from
prior years, I am also getting compensation in a form other than a
paycheck. Last month, we hit a big enough level of paid subscribers that I could
take back the 5-figure sum I used to re-capitalize my company earlier
this year.

And since I eat my own
cooking, I have made quite nifty gains on the stock market, some of
which I talked about yesterday. Now I have been a stock market
investor for well over 50 years, and in case you were wondering, I do
not run a newsletter from benevolence (or rachmones). My
ability to generate profits depends on access. This is something
quite different from illicit forms of publishing like stockpushing,
insider trading, or pump and dump games.

If you are a financial
analyst or a corporate CEO and get a phone call from a little old New
York lady (me), chances are you will brush her off. If you get a call
from the editor of
which your IR tells you is a real site with a real following, you
will make an effort to be helpful. It might even work with Ken Lewis,
except I do not cover US shares.

While I do not pay myself, I
do pay my writers. Yesterday I did a summary of their contributions
to reader wealth, including my own. Frida Ghitis is annoyed at a
convention we observe, of counting only half the profits of stocks
where we sold half our positions, in calculating the gain both on the
sale, and in the portfolio. While our champion stock picker, Fei
Chen, came out first despite also being subject to the half-only
count, Frida thinks it silly.

I agree. If you have invested
money in a share and continue to own part of your original stake,
then you have made a gain regardless of the sale of another part of
it. We use this half count because it is imposed on us by newsletter
performance trackers.

It is impossible to tell my
readers how much to invest in each position in the model portfolios
we are about to automate (yippee!). First of all some people have more money to
invest than others. We could do it with a fixed percentage, but that
ignores peoples’ different tolerance for risk. Not every reader has
the stomach for every pure speculation we tip. And not every reader
wants the boring old Big Board listed foreign blue chips we also cover.
So in fact I leave it open.

But doing this is considered
imprecise by the newsletter trackers, and they don’t like our rather
large-sized portfolio in any case. Half positions have to count for
half, they say, because otherwise we would double count gains on
reduced positions.

To keep on being tracked by
services like Hulbert’s
Financial Digest
, I will half-count positions where we
sold half. More news for paid subscribers followed, including more
about Frida.



Bonsai Boy

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