Monthly Archives: October 2013

Success with Fiverr

FivrrThe web is rich with ideas. I enjoy testing those ideas, playing with the concept and drawing my own opinion in the absence of spin. My latest little experiment is with Fiverr.com (don’t ask me why there are two r’s in Fiverr).

My profile on Fiverr.

So let’s go.

What is Fiverr? Wikipedia says it better than I do (here). But even Wikipedia displays a little warning: “This article appears to be written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by rewriting promotional content from a neutral point of view and removing any inappropriate external links.

Fiverr, stylized as fiverr, is a global online marketplace offering tasks and services, referred to as ‘gigs’ beginning at a cost of $5 per job performed, from which it gets its name. The site is primarily used by freelancers who use Fiverr to offer a variety of different services, and by customers to buy those services. It effectively acts as microtask marketplace.
 Currently, Fiverr lists more than 1.3 million services on the site that range between $5 and $500.

Fiverr is a microtask marketplace. ok, if you say so, and they’re apparently serious, my favorite lines from the site are:

Whenever you want to mention us, please use the ® sign next to our name, like this – Fiverr®.
Also, the word Gig® is a trademark of Fiverr, so the previous rule applies.

They trademarked ‘Gig’? Now I have to go back and copy-paste the ® symbol all over my Pussy Riot posts. Merde. (Has anything shorter ever been trademarked?)

Lets give this thing a try. I’ve oodles of talent, some hidden some less so, but I should be able to make $5 sharing information obviously worth hundreds, shouldn’t I?

It took me about 5 minutes to set up a Gig®, the only hiccup was when I did something against the rules! I posted a link to Brandnet® referencing examples of what might be in store for the lucky micro-client. My bad. Lesson learned, Gig® updated.

My first impressions left me hoping for something a bit more serious, but it looks like fun. Optimistic by nature, I imagine the serious microtasks float to the top. Or do they? I was actually tempted to have my full name written on a grain of rice.

Now I’m waiting. I’m going to prepare a video. I’m thinking of dressing up as a giraffe. They seem to be popular recently.

UPDATE: Here’s the Gig®

Using the VIX for Trade Entry Signals

With the popularity of the VIX and VIX futures being overly used as a volatility hedge, I’ve been thinking about the signals it might give for medium term entry or exit points. If you chart the VIX and overlay Bollinger Bands (20,2,SMA) and look at the SPX, you’ll notice something interesting. Remember the VIX is forward-looking. The other indicators are price biased, and historical.

When the VIX breaks over the upper Bollinger band, you’ll see a low point directional change in the SPX. This isn’t a completely new idea, I was at a seminar recently which looked at combining this with Chandelier as a trading strategy. I’m going to just stick with the Bollinger Bands, the VIX and ATR. That’s where I see the most interesting information.

I mention ATR (Average True Range) because the 1 day ATR helps confirm long entry points.

Everything is in the chart below. The long signals look better than the short signals.

VIX SPX Bollinger

Good Trading.

Social Media Euthanasia

Every time I open Facebook I see a baby, a kid, a pet, or a plate of food. Sometimes I see a guitar, a bike, nail-art, a mountain, or a religiously inspired collection of words – though these, rarely in French. I also see likes, dislikes, thank yous and you’re welcomes. Depending how advanced in life you happen to be; crushing candies and farm animals. Most of what I see looks like what you see. But I see more babies than my 15-year-old daughter who sees more nail art and boy-bands; my mother sees more silver-haired trips to Europe…  But there is something none of us see.

L1002599Facebook ignores death. They do everything they can to mirror your every movement and sentiment, apart from putting a phone in your pocket, or no, they’re trying that as well. Facebook just can’t decide how to deal with death, a bit like in real life. How do we deal with death? Obviously, each individual deals differently, but in some fashion everyone celebrates death. They put flowers on the side of the road, throw flowers on the sea, bow their heads in prayer, or gather for a dinner. You can quit Facebook of course, but how do you celebrate your departure?

If I’ve had enough of Planet-Facebook, and I can’t take any more hamburgers, smiling kids in Halloween costumes, senior prom photos, or inspirational phrases, and I decide it’s time, it’s time for me to leave and find an electronic resting place with fewer cats, what can Facebook do for me? Nothing, absolutely nothing.

I’m sorry to go, I’ll miss you my friends, those that I’ve met on my travels through life, all of your kids and brilliant sayings. I’ll miss you, but you should all have fair warning that I’m leaving, shouldn’t you? We might want to fix a meeting on the other side of the curtain.

I’m imagining a Facebook Death-0-Timer or a kill switch Zuck. (Don’t hesitate to steal the idea, it’s all yours and I promise I won’t come after you for a little check, not before the movie.) I imagine my profile disintegrating, slowly, based on my Facebook death settings. Slowly my old photos disappear, my insightful commentary fades away, all of my data goes in the trashcan on the corner of your screen, and on the day and time of my choosing my profile goes black.

My friends, might even like it.

Grant Williams

Math and TTMYGH

I read Grant Williams religiously (and I don’t do much religiously).

I was pleased to see Grant’s stab at perspective. I’m paraphrasing, but my recent rant on JPMorgan’s legal fees (here, here) gave me the urge to give Mr. Williams a high-five. Here is a good example:

  • In 1995, $1.3 billion was enough to bring down Barings Bank.
  • In 1998, Long Term Capital Management required a $3.6 billion bailout from 14 financial institutions after losing $4.6 billion in less than four months.
  • In March of 2008, Bear Stearns received a 28-day, $25 billion loan from the Federal Reserve in order to avert its collapse
  • Six months later, on September 15th… Secretary Hank Paulson (or, as they were known back in those days, “Los Pollos Hermanos”), crafted a $787 billion bailout package. Continue reading

AT&T Launches Trial Balloon

According to Reuters:

AT&T Inc has been exploring a possible bid for a European carrier such as Vodafone Group Plc, but faces resistance from some investors concerned about the continent’s cut-throat competition and complex regulations.”

That’s not half the problem…

Just to be clear on a few misconceptions that AT&T might have:

  • Europe as far as telecom goes, est le cours de grande, I hope you don’t expect the same monopolistic margins you command in the US.
  • Whatever spin your financial (or marketing) people are spinning, represents desperation.
  • Americans would be better served if a European telecom bought AT&T.
  • Hello. Remember T-Mobile?

I wonder who runs this company.

Austin Powers

JPM, $9.2 Billion Legal Expenses

Wi$e-Guy  Money Roll
These numbers just boggle the mind, but $9.2 billion is pre-tax, so…

Lets do the math.

Continue reading

Debt, Veterans and the Non-Essential, Republicans

Drama Abandoned Land  ... HDR

The drama being played out in Washington and across the press spectrum reminds me again of manufactured drama, so I re-tell myself, avoid the excitement.  But anecdotes and humor abound and that’s where, head in hands, I have to bring “au moins” some words to blog.

  1. Open Air Memorials
  2. Essential vs. Non-Essential
  3. Debt Ceiling
  4. The Unthinkable
  5. Killing Jesus
  6. Market Reaction(s)

Continue reading