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In Honor of John Lennon

Thirty years ago today John Lennon was killed in front of the Dakota in NYC by David Chapman. Today, YOKU (That is Chinese for Yoko) makes it trading debut up 200%.   IMAGINE a stock up 200% in one day?   Time to sell?   Nope, LET IT BE, LET IT BE!!!!!


“Hot DANG”-  An expression of  joy or excitement, like Bitchin.  “Hot Dang” I made 100% on my money buying stock in DANGDANG (SYMBOL DANG, duh) a Chinese online book store!!!!!”

HedgeFundLive.com does not endorse the speculative purchase of any or all Chinese internet stocks like YOKU or DANG unless done entirely on margin with rent money.

Visualizing Mortality History - 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes


Hedge Fund Live does not endorse the use or consumption of this or any other illegal or dangerous drug or substance.   The reference to Purple Drank here is made solely to educate blog viewers as to the meaning of  “drinking sizzurp in my ride, like a 3-6″ - a line referenced in “Far East Movement’s” hit song “Like a G-6″, and used in the YouTube cartoon “Inside Trading-Sex for Money”.


Purple drank is a slang term for a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southern United States, originating in Houston, Texas. Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine.[1] Cough syrup is typically mixed with ingredients such as Sprite soft drink or Mountain Dew and pieces of Jolly Rancher candy. The purplish hue of purple drank comes from dyes in the cough syrup

You down with OTB??

Does this picture look familiar??

It may not look familiar to you, however, it does to me. These men are at their local off-track betting station. If you’ve been fortunate enough to enter dirty bus stations such as the Port Authority on 178th street in NYC (near the George Washington Bridge-a bridge connecting New York and New Jersey) this scene of guys looming around the station is not a surprise to you. Their appearances are not far from the homeless people who are speckled around the station as well. In the days of my youth, before driving was an option and the idea of incorporating the more popular 42nd street Port Authority in my NY/NJ commute entered my mind, I would cringe at the thought of entering the bus station and waiting for my bus amongst these “loonies.”

‘Who are these people, anyway? Don’t they have anything better to do with their lives than walking or standing around with pieces of paper in their hands, starring at TV screens all day? These guys look shady. Am I safe? If they dont have day jobs, will they eventually rob everyone in the station?’ These thoughts of curiosity, combined with a little fear, entered my mind every time. 

Needless to say, I eventually opted to use another bus station in my commute after a few short months. I eventually learned that these men were not your typical “loonies” but an example of typical men addicted to off-track betting, better known as “OTB’s”. Shortly after that, I learned that these OTB’s were not only located in the creepiest of bus stations, but scattered all over NY. Well, until today that is.

On this past Wednesday, December 1st, the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. -the bookmaking enterprise  of 40-years-decided to shut its doors for good. The unanimous vote of the OTB board agreed to shut down today, December 3rd. Although it may help uneasiness in some Port Authority commuters such as I, the upcoming Christmas Holiday will not be as bright to the 800 employees who work directly with the company, including the extra hundreds or thousands of indirect jobs in the racing industry. Hundreds of people have already lost their OTB jobs over the prior months due to the company’s reorganization. As the OTB faces competition from casinos and other gambling operations, as well as its payouts to Governments and the horse racing industry, they have no choice but to shut its doors permanently.

One Year at Hedge Fund Live

What a long, strange year it’s been.  One year ago today, I made my first descent to the third floor of 12 Engle Street as an employee of “TFG Investments.”  I came with no idea of what lay before me.  My interview had been brief, almost alarmingly brief, and while I learned the textbook definition of a hedge fund in college, I barely understood what went on behind closed doors.  That day I took the following notes:

o   Ambiguity is the killer of trading desks

o   Kill the trade before it kills you

o   Trades are easy to get into but hard to get out of

o   When you are having a bad day, you need to learn a lesson and not repeat mistakes;  think of lost $ as tuition

There was no warm up round; I was thrown into the pool headfirst told to swim.  While it seemed painful at the time, in hindsight I am thankful for my trial by fire.  If you need any proof, realize that these four lessons are just as applicable today as they were a year ago.   Over the course of the past year I have learned an immense amount of information including the answers to my question from that day including  “What does it mean when the market is coming in?” “Define a shakeout?” and most notably “What are orders?”  I only hope I am fortunate enough to spend another to spend another year in this seat to learn, experience, and continue on my journey.

My Movie Continues: AK47s and High School.

School Supplies

High School wasn’t so much a place as it was a state of mind. It was more like “Always High” School. Truth is I just didn’t care. I was in an “I just don’t give a shit” state of mind from 1982 to 1989. As rebellious as they come and every so often pretty dangerous to myself and those around me. I did just enough work to get by, and wasted a great deal of my potential. As you get older you realize that while you cannot go back, you can move forward. I feel a strong obligation to make sure that the next generation of family and friends do not repeat the mistakes of my past.

1982, was not the most progressive year in the field of Jewish Education. The only person who seemed more screwed up than me was the principal. He was a bit crazy. In hindsight I think I played a big part in his insanity. All my predecessors at the school probably brought him to the breaking point, but by senior year, I was the kid that made him snap. I feel awful about that. But, he was quite mad when I met him. More precisely the schools conflicted ideology drove me and all my predecesors crazy, which then in turn helped to unhinge the principal, and perhaps much of the rest of the academic staff.

I arrived at the Frisch High School  sophmore year. It was after a series of disturbing events, culminating in one really screwed up experience, as a freshman at the Yeshiva University High School called as M.T.A……. An all Boys school which I still find to be a very unnatural concept. I could review all the strange behavior of the principal, the wrestling team practices, the Rabbis’ violent tempers and the study of barbaric rituals of punishment for the most obscure and odd religious transgressions, but it was one final event that was the tipping point that allowed me to finally escape that demented school. There, at the mature age of 14, on the last day of school while most of my class was taking NY State Regents exams inside the school, which I and a few others had taken in eighth grade, I found myself playing an arcade game in a Diner on 186th and Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights, a quite insane address for a Jewish Private School, but hell, who am I to question the wisdom of my elders. There I was playing a classic arcade game called Digger at the front of the diner, the back of the arcade game facing the storefront window. I heard a few popping sounds. POP! POP! POP! And then I saw little holes appear in the glass above the arcade machine. Everything felt like it was in slow motion. The game screen got fuzzy and shook as a bullet hit the back of it. The fluorescent lights above the dining booths shattered as bullets pierced the fixtures. All hell broke lose and people were yelling, “get down”, “get the F**k down”. “It’s a drive by shooting”. Anti Semitism? Maybe. Just as likely in 1982 that it was a drug driven joy ride by a local gang who happened not to like Jews but were not ideological about the whole thing. I am told that their weapon of choice was an AK47. Again, great location for a high school. I have no idea how long I crouched beneath the table I had crawled to on my belly. Glass was everywhere and my ears were ringing with the screaming and shouting of whomever had been unlucky enough to be in that diner, that fine June morning. The following is the only excerpt from the NY Times web site, that I could find referencing the shooting.

THE CITY; F.B.I. to Examine Yeshiva Shooting

Published: June 25, 1983

The Justice Department yesterday asked the F.B.I. to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the shooting Wednesday of three students in a restaurant across the street from Yeshiva University in Washington Heights. A Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman in New York City said the inquiry would be undertaken at once.

William Bradford Reynolds, the assistant attorney general for civil rights, said the inquiry was to see if the incident, and two other recent shooting incidents in the area involving the university and a Jewish hospital, represented a violation of Federal civil-rights statutes that would warrant a full-scale investigation.

The inquiry had been requested by the Metropolitan Council of the American Jewish Congress. On Thursday, Mayor Koch announced a $10,000 reward in the case. The New York chapter of the American Jewish Council yesterday pledged an additional $10,000 in reward money.

I don’t think they ever caught the culprits. I was lucky to be alive. But in my own F**d up way of manipulating situations I quickly realized that this was my ticket out. There is no way my mother could turn down my wish to transfer schools now. I was overjoyed. Yes for a few moments I actually thought how lucky I was to be in this restaurant. Yes that seems pretty screwed up. But I examined myself quickly, realized I was alive and acclimated quickly to the predicament. I had seen enough movies to know the drill. Fort Apache The Bronx, The Warriors, Night Hawks, and Scarface were just a few of the movies that helped children in the late 70’s and early 80’s prepare for drive by shootings. Reality set in. The ringing in my ears was replaced with moans from some wounded and sirens as the police rapidly arrived on the scene. Those of us not hurt were ushered into a classroom in the school. We were checked over and each given a chance to call our parents in private and tell them we were ok. Right before I got off the phone with my tearful mother, I quietly asked “Mom, may I please change schools now?” “Of course Jeremy” she said, “I promise”. And I knew it was sealed, she would not break her word to me. I hated that school but more importantly I did not like the Principal, George. Not liking authority figures, particularly school principals had  become a bit of a habit for me. Again not too proud of that. With age comes wisdom and, I am discovering, a decent amount of remorse.

A few minutes more of settling in the classroom and receiving instructions from George. “Children, we will be escorting you to your school busses to take you home. There are many reporters out there. Do not respond to any questions or we will take disciplinary action with you”. Real nice presentation to a bunch of mentally scarred kids. I had no idea what the hell he was talking about, or why we couldn’t talk to the reporters, nor did I care. I was out of there. 10 more minutes and I would never step back in that insane asylum ever again. Freedom and more importantly my new high school was coed. As we stepped out of the school in single file marching toward the busses, rabbis, teachers, police and reporters all over the place, all the kids looked down. They were frightened of the Principal’s warning and would not make eye contact with the reporters. All of a sudden there was a microphone shoved in front of me, “Were you afraid?” a young female reporter inquired of me. I could feel George, who again, was not particularly fond of me, or me of him, staring right at me. Slowly I turned to look at him. I gave him a big “F**k You Smile” turned to the reporter and gave her my full expletive recounting of the event. There was pandemonium as the Rabbis rushed to push me on the bus. All the kids were cracking up as all the reporters converged on us while we were racing in full sprint to the busses. It was pandemonium. I turned to see George’s gauntly raging face staring directly at me. I waved goodbye, both of us knowing we would never see each other again. And we didn’t.

At 14 I was evolving from that “living in my own world, in my head stage.” Many 14-year-old boys experience it. Looking back on it, 14 was like one year of a single long “trip” where you wake up in the real world. Freshmen Year is that transition period. Some kids experience it a bit earlier some a bit later but it is all the same in the end. It’s the year a guy changes over to kissing chicks from karate kicks. It’s the year you move from enjoying action movies to getting “some action” at the movies. You transition from riding your bike to the 7/11 for a Slurpee, to riding the bus to Time Square for a peep show of a girl named Slurpee. I was being weaned off of Jan Michael Vincent movies like Defiance and Bruce Lee’s enter the dragon in favor of watching Jennifer Beal’s strip in Flashdance or Jodie foster getting high in foxes. Dungeons and Dragons is replaced by some violent first person killing video game, and flipping baseball cards is replaced with a game of poker, risking bar-mitzvah money for some kid’s Warriors VHS tape or handheld Coleco football game. It’s also when that blindfold gets taken off and you finally see your parents as parents not mommy and daddy. Parents are very different than mommy and daddy. Mommy and daddy say “no sweetheart, please don’t use those words” parents say  “&*@&%$  %@$#* @$%^”. One year you’re home sick at camp and the next year, you are sick at the notion of returning home after living free in the wilds of summer camp.

My group was referred to in more than a few conversations as “the f**k ups”, it meant that we had all this promise and potential, but we kept wasting it. Of the 55 kids in my grade, we represented about 20%. I had a bad attitude. The Jewish private school, or the more prominent “modern orthodox yeshiva”, as it was known, was a world of rules. We spent half the day in secular studies and the other half studying the religious rules that were to encompass our life until the day we died at which point we were told we would be greatly rewarded for obeying the rules. The reward was kind of vague, but the alternative, the punishment, I understood. I was alittle fuzzy on Heaven, but Hell seemed crystal clear. As a teenager I wasn’t a fan of rules in general. This is not something I am advocating but rather an attempt to establish a point of reference. Refer to this point the next time you are sitting at a parent teacher meeting right there in your kids own desk as you get a lecture on how your child has no respect for authority and is undisciplined. That same kid who the next morning will occupy that desk may grow up to be a wonderful husband, father, respected in the business community and involved in outreach and charitable programs. He may have scores of employees who rely on his discipline and authority to maintain the balance at a business, day in and day out. Then again he may turn out to be pretty screwed up as well. Either way, food for thought.

I often confused no with yes and yes with no. I believe it’s genetic, as I have found my children today stricken with a similar disorder. As high school progressed I became more aggressive, it was more than just my attitude, it was calculated. I took thinking everything through to an extreme. I started to see the whole world as a giant game of Stratego. I wasn’t a big chess player, Stratego was more my speed. I was able to see how actionstaken in the present would affect the future. I became obsessed with mapping out my future. My aggressiveness led to a sort of internal as well as external expectation of personal success. This then led to a form of self confidence and security that others found off putting and probably arrogant, and in hindsight was on my part, quite delusional.  It was more of a sense of self-inflated purpose, or a bit too much self-awareness. It rapidly evolved into a hunger for success. An exaggerated desire to win.  I became insanely competitive. Not in the classic sense where I couldn’t stand to lose a board game. More in the disturbed sociopath way where I actually believed the whole thing was one big competition. Life was just a long ongoing game. Ultimately this natural progression led to competing with myself, constantly trying to one up myself…… A competition in which the only way for you to win is for you to lose. Then you hit bottom.

“The more freedom you have in life the happier will you be. I strongly believe that in order to reach the top in life – you need to hit rock bottom first. You just have to be down there if you want to get the willpower and motivation to climb to the top of “Mountain Success”. (Fight Club)

Credits end.

Drink Responsibly this weekend…

Cops: Drunk driver can’t tell his Fairfields apart
Published: 07:03 a.m., Saturday, November 13, 2010

A man charged with driving drunk Thursday night in Fairfield also missed his intended destination — by two states and more than 60 miles.

Luiz Perez, 70, of Paterson, N.J., who told local police he thought he was in Fairfield, N.J., was charged with driving under the influence and failure to drive right about 7 p.m. Thursday after police said he was spotted driving on the wrong side of the Post Road.

Fairfield authorities had been alerted by Easton police to be on the lookout for a dark-colored Toyota Previa, as it had been involved in a hit-and-run in that town. Perez’ vehicle had heavy front-end damage and its headlights were not functioning, said Sgt. Suzanne Lussier, a Fairfield police spokesman.

When Perez was pulled over near Westway Road and Pequot Avenue in the Southport section of town, he failed to pass field sobriety tests.

Police said he appeared to be so intoxicated that thought he was in Fairfield, N.J., which is 14 miles from his hometown, according to mapquest.com. He wound up, however, nearly 63 miles from home.

Have a Social Networking page??…Better bring your ashthma pump..

Do you have a Facebook page??..If so, you better keep an asthma pump handy.

This was the case for an 18-year old Italian man who was “unfriended” by his girlfriend on Facebook. After being dumped by her, the depressed young man tried “friending” her again with no luck. He was, however, successful after creating a “fake page” on the networking site and requesting her under a new alias . What he found on her page next, literally, took his breath away. His ex-girlfriend not only broke up with him, but also started befriending new guys right after their breakup. This was too much for the young man whose asthma was triggered after looking through her page, latest pictures and status updates.

This 18-year old “Facebook/Social Networking Stalker” (as some may refer to him) may have received more than what he bargained for.

But how in the world can Facebook or any other Social Networking site cause an asthma attack, you might ask? According to Doctors, smoking and poor air conditions are only some of the few causes of asthma. Other things can trigger it such as stress and anxiety. For this young man, who previously had his asthma condition under control, the stress from seeing his ex-girlfriend’s behavior right after their breakup was too much for him to handle. The man was only able to control his asthma again after seeing a doctor, psychiatrist and concluding to keep off Facebook.

Moral of the story: If you suffer from Asthma, keep a pump nearby just in case you decide to start snooping around your ex’s social networking page. What you find just might take your breath away.

Apple, where art thou?

I still remember the disappointment I felt years ago after finding out the iPhone would be carried exclusively by AT&T instead of coming to Verizon Wireless. How torn I was. I really liked the iPhone. But I liked Verizon more. All those years of reliability. In the hills and valleys, no matter where, I always had service. My contract was up for renewal when the first iPhone debuted but I refused to just up and leave my trusted carrier with the blink of an eye! And WHY did Apple decide to go with AT&T instead of Verizon? I would ask my self this same question over and over again. (Sigh). I guess I’d just have to wait for the new all-touch blackberry Storm (iPhone’s rival at the time) instead and search high and low for a theme I could download to make it look like the much adored iPhone.

That was me about 2-3 years ago. Fast forward to about 3 months ago, when I thought I’d put all of my wishes and desires of the iPhone behind me. I was proved wrong the minute I heard the iPhone would be coming to Verizon later this year. I couldn’t believe the news! I searched for new news articles about the iPhone/Verizon merge every day. It seemed like everyone was blogging, tweeting, and talking about it. But as the days, weeks, and months passed, I found the new news topics and opinions of its editors to be not only contradictory, but frustrating. One day headlines would read about the introduction of the iPhone to Verizon as early as the end of 2010. The next would state the phone’s unavailability until early to mid 2011. Others would quote CEO’s denying any knowledge of  the merge between the iPhone and Verizon in the near future, while speculators supporting the merge thought the denials stemmed from VZ not wanting to affect current Android sales. And still others stated that the much wanted iPhone sales coming to Verizon was a rumor and actually confused with that of the iPAD.

Needless to say, I have stopped searching the news every day to keep track of the so called merge between my favorite Verizon and iPhone. Like most, I have been burned by all of the media attention which, although good for the two companies involved,  can be a consumer’s best friend or worst enemy. My contract is up for renewal again. In fact, I have been eligible for an upgrade since the early summer. I was, however, awaiting the iPhone’s availability through my carrier before upgrading. Things have changed now and I am tired of the old bait and switch. I have now set my affections upon a new operating system. At least I know where Android stands.