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6.27.2018 - Free Investing Newsletter Bookmark

Field Day Follow up
Last weekend I had mentioned that on Saturday and Sunday, the 23 and 24th, was going to be the “open house” field day for all the ham radio operators across the country. Once a year, people that enjoy playing with short wave radios, go out into “unusual” areas and set up their equipment, to show how they operate, especially during an emergency.
I went to our local club, who had set up at the local Red Cross station. But it was a bit more than that, as I didn’t realize the Red Cross had “donated” a small room in their building, for a permanent “short wave emergency communications” station. We’ll chat about that in a minute.

The wife and I went on Saturday just before operations were supposed to begin at 2 pm. When we pulled into the Red Cross parking lot, the first thing I saw was an antennae that was erected in the parking lot. It was about 30 feet high, and I was quite impressed with how they had stabilized it. Across the other side of the parking lot was another antennae, this one about 8 feet high, but with huge horizontal “arms” coming off of it. I’d guess it was maybe 15 feet in diameter. I spent a few minutes checking them out.
A woman came out and greeted us and invited us into a room that they had commandeered for the “field day” show. Inside were several folks, each with their “transport” boxes full of radio’s all set up. We met the people, and they each showed us their equipment, and the way they had set up their boxes.
Basically a “transport” box is a wooden or plastic case, in which they mount their radio’s, filters, microphones, antennae tuners, etc. It’s all self-contained so that in an emergency situation, they can grab their box, toss it in the car trunk and set it up out in a field, safe zone, or what have you.
From there, the President of the club took us back to the permanent emergency center, and there we met some more folks that were getting ready for the “field day”. In that room, they have 5 permanent set ups, and from what I gleaned, in the case of a Hurricane or what have you, they have permission to go to that room, and start broadcasting about the storm, and relaying any emergency information the police might have given them.
Along with checking out the different radio set ups, antennae set ups, and the way they had created their transport boxes, the “fun” part of field day was getting involved with their “game” so to speak. See, they all belong to the big national organization called The American Radio Relay League (ARRL). So what they do is turn it into a friendly competition for points. The idea being to see how many other “hams” you can connect to, and log their position/time and call sign.
I hovered around a gent named Dennis right at 2 pm, and amazingly he’s one of the old school that had to learn Morse code to get his operator’s license. Years ago, you couldn’t get a license to operate short wave without passing a test that included sending and receiving Morse code. Well, “Den” had the ability and he quickly locked onto another ham that was Morse coding his location and call sign. It was from Georgia. We were in Sarasota, Florida.
He logged that into his notebook as his first contact, and so it went. There were people scanning 10 - 15 meter wavelengths right on up through folks scanning 80 meters. Then someone would shout out that they had contact, and would log it in their books.
It was really quite interesting to watch, and it once again reminded me that in a real SHTF situation, short wave is the only reliable thing there is. When storms knock down the cell towers, and the call distribution centers, and poles are down with wires all over the streets, Short wave still functions. That is what those transport boxes were all about. With a little inverter and a car battery they can power up literally anywhere, and “speak” to the outside world.
I’m not saying that everyone should go out and spend a thousand dollars on a shortwave set, and go take the test from the FCC to begin to use the public radio frequencies. But it’s not a bad idea. I do however think that a high quality radio and antennae that can RECEIVE such broadcasts, is almost a must.
Likewise the little handheld radios that they make now are quite impressive. I was shown a little Chinese made radio that can probably reach 2 miles, with an impressive array of capabilities to it. It’s under a hundred bucks.
Let me end with this; I’ve written to you all over the years about disaster prep, self defense, guns, how to stay warm, basic survival training etc. But MY biggest weakness is by far “communications”. I never write about something like I know what I’m talking about if I’m not fluid in it, and this is one area that I’m really only still learning about.
In a way, it’s sort of funny. Having been an offshore boater all my life, I know exactly how important a good VHF radio is. There’s a calming feeling when you’re 90 miles offshore in the NJ canyons, deep into the night, and you know you have the ability to call one of the other boats in the area if something was to happen.
But even though I’m the farthest thing from an expert on short wave, or emergency communications, I know EXACTLY how important it is. That’s why I continue to learn, continue to read, continue to rub shoulders with the folks that are expert in this area. One day, I’ll know enough to maybe “teach” you but that isn’t today. Just know it IS something I consider important and something all of us should be involved in to some extent.
The Market:
This is a horrible market. For all the hoopin’ and hollerin’ from the talking heads about how great things are, one look at the chart of the S&P or the DOW and you see a different story.
The DOW has now plunged through its 50 day and its 200 day moving averages. The S&P has now lost its 50 day. The financials are in the toilet, having fallen for 13 sessions.
Look at today. We came roaring out of the gate and in a rather short term, we had gained almost 285 DOW points. It looked for all intents like they were really willing to put in a nice bounce. But the air started hissing out of that, and we rolled right over. By the time the day was over, we had not only erased those 280 points, we went RED for 165 more.
We are almost 6 months after the market set its all-time highs back in Early January. In all that time, all we’ve done is pop and drop, shuck, jive,rally, stall, puke, slide, etc. In a nutshell, we’ve gone sideways on the S&P, and sideways and down on the DOW.
The techs and the small caps which “had” been the market leaders, have rolled over too. Is nothing sacred? Not today there isn’t.
Unlike so many so called guru’s that never seem to get it wrong, I’m never afraid to say when I’ve goofed. My guess was that the market was going to mount a 2 or 3 day rally, to get some distance from the moving averages. I had thought a couple days ago that MSFT was going to mount an attack on 100 and break through. It tried for three sessions, and then today it gave it all up. I sold it for a loss. I hate losses.
So what happens now? Here’s the only way I can explain it. The technicals look horrid. The market has been in this choppy mess for 6 months. Lots of people are still trying to say that this was just profit taking and the bull is still very much alive. I don’t buy that for a minute, and I’ve said repeatedly that I believe the January highs will NOT be broken.
If and it’s the ultimate If, this wasn’t a market that gets “helped” by hidden hands, hands that can print money out of thin air and buy futures and stocks, I’d be screaming that this market is done. Put a fork in it. But as you all know this isn’t your daddy’s market. This is a manipulated hot mess, that can roar higher in the face of almost any nasty it encounters.
Consider just last month. In early May the DOW put in an intra day low on May 4th at 23778. In just 6 sessions it was at 24994. Over one thousand points of up, and for what reason?? No reason. It was just time for the cabal to jam the market higher and burn some short sellers. Could that happen again? Hell yeah, it could happen tomorrow.
A few weeks back, I mentioned that it might be time to think about starting to take on some long dated put options, as I felt the market was probably destined for lower. But I said that I wasn’t going to institute them just then, I thought maybe they had one more “hurrah” run higher. Well, we got that right.
From the end of May to the middle of June, we did the same as back in the beginning of May. We went from 24247 on May 29th, to 25402 on June 11th. Over 1000 points in 9 sessions. Once again, burning shorts.
My mistake was in not shorting that pop. I should have jumped all over it, and didn’t.
We have fallen a LOT in the last 12 sessions. A counter bounce WILL happen. It could happen tomorrow for all I know. But once that bounce fades out, I have to think we’re going all the way down to test the January/February lows.
This is a traders market folks. If you’re nimble and can move fast, there’s money to be made. I’ve put out dozens of stocks that I was looking at that gained a quick buck or more. But the runs don’t last. When the market rolls over, the “trades” roll over. But it’s work and you have to “be there” to catch the moves.
If we were to lose the Jan/Feb lows, there’s a long way down that this could go. Are they going to let it happen or are they going to engage their magic levitation machines again and we see yet another blistering run higher for 1000 points? We’ll see shortly.

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