The Day Ahead: Free Advice, Up for Grabs

 | Feb 07, 2013 | 8:00 AM EST  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

cmg

,

jcp

Two weeks ago a friend remarked to me, "You are a very mysterious person." This casual remark has inspired me to open up slightly more to the world at large, and I've chosen to focus my efforts on greater personal interaction with investors. On Tuesday evening, for example, I went so far as to put my email address on Twitter, because I truly felt people needed behind-the-scenes guidance on the erratic after-hours action in Chipotle (CMG).

To say that I have received very interesting emails would be an understatement. Overall everyone has rocked and been completely encouraging, while definitely serving up a dose of sharp insights -- such as stocks I have never heard of! However, there was almost an equal number of mildly disturbing inquires, including:

  • "Where do I go to find a 10-K?"
  • "Where can I listen to an earnings call? They don't appear on a Google (GOOG) search."
  • "Love your work, but how'd you calculate that gross-margin thing?"
  • "Earnings calls are a waste of precious time. They're short-term focused, and I enjoy buying and holding high-quality businesses."
  • "I still don't understand why you think a promotion will harm profits and rattle the cages of the Chipotle bulls."

Since the start of my career, I have believed there to be a seriously large gap between the knowledge of the pros relative to the Joes. As evidenced by the above sampling, the gap may actually be widening. The inability to locate a cost-free earnings call is a serious red flag to this market-education freedom fighter.

So, for this one day only, I am halting my daily market rituals (which are near and dear) to field your questions on investing and general concerns regarding "putting money to work."

I can't offered individual portfolio advice, but for all elase, go right ahead and email-bomb me. If my computer breaks down, that will only mean I issued a ton of help.

Often people are asking the wrong questions about investing from the beginning. This has to change, and I am here to facilitate that process.

To that end, here is my personal email address.

Quick Notes on the Market

ā— At this juncture, do engage in profit-taking. I sense my bullish luck is poised to temporarily expire based on the market's action, which includes initial signs of technical breakdowns in already-sloppy sectors and toppy-looking charts in sectors that have remained resilient against an uptick in volatility in the past couple days.

ā— J.C. Penney (JCP) almost, almost has me sold on reversing a long standing Sell call from February 2012. There was something to CEO Ron Johnson's comments that left me highly intrigued. I can't necessarily explain it -- just a feeling, I suppose.

Columnist Conversations

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