Selling some stock

I happen to have a need to raise some cash, so it’s time to sell some stock. Some of it, I’m going to liquidate, and call the loses final. Others, I’m going to shave back and get the cash, but leave as much as I can in there, so that they continue to grow.

APRN – Man, what a stinker. I was using the Blue Apron service, and loved it (for a while), so I bought in shortly after they did their Initial Public Offering (IPO). The next day after, one of the stock guys I listen to said (essentially) “don’t buy APRN – this IPO is just a liquidity event for the initial investors; they are going to take your cash and run. It’s going to be a terrible stock.” That information was too late – I’d already bought. Worse, when it was near it’s bottom, my pride told me to put in some more, so as to dollar-cost-average my loss, so that if it did come back, it would be easier to cross into the black. All in all, I will be down 91%. All I’m really getting is peace of mind, to no longer be reminded of this stinker.

ADXS – Another stinker. This one was supposed to be a good biotech play; but something happened, and the entire market has just trashed this stock. I might as well get out, because it looks like it will never come back. Down 99%. Worse – the trading commission is actually more than the liquidation reap of what is left. Thankfully, I only had $500 in there in the first place. Again – peace of mind, getting rid of this stinker.

AA and ARNC – Way back when, I heard that Alcoa was a good idea, so I went with it. There was probably a momentary opportunity to make some money (listening to stock picker guys who don’t have that great a track record (again)). There was some sort of corporate fight over control of the Board, and it split into two stocks: Alcoa and Arconic. And then both fell. I don’t have much of this loser, but I’d like to get rid of it anyway. Down 15% on Arconic. Forgot to look at the down percentage on Alcoa.

XOM – At one time, Exxon-Mobile was the greatest petroleum company in the world. Might still be. But I had a single share, and I’m down 20% on it. I’ve held it a long time, but it never quite ever made it back into the black. Might as well be done with the mental overhead of seeing it on the list.

NUAN – Nuance Communications. This was another stock suggestion by one of the guys I listen too. Problem is, someone whispered in his ear that with all the AI stuff going on, these people were going to get swept up in the growth of the industry. But that’s not how technology companies work. So it’s been dead money for a long time; I will be down 1%, but at least I’ll have the cash I put in way-back-when. By the way, after I bought the stock, (months later) out of the blue, the networks team sends me work order to help integrate the Nuance software with our email system. I had no idea; but the fact that they were making sales (well, at least one) caused me to hang on to this stock probably longer than I should have.

SQM – This is a South American mining company; I bought it because I thought they had a lot of metals needed in the high tech battery industry. But the more basic resources are down, and South America in general is not a fun place right now, so I’m down 54%. I’m getting out.

REMX – VanEcke Rare Earth Metals ETF. Similar idea to SQM, but ETF’s are probably not a good long term hold. I’m down 40%, and getting out.

CRSP – Crispr Theraputics. Actually, I’m up 142% on this stock, so I’ve sold enough to cover my initial cost, and will let the rest ride.

INTC – Intel. Similar story: I’m up 90%, so I’m selling not quite 1/2 so that what remains is “free money”.

MU – Micron Technology. I bought both Intel and Micron about the same time, because I love the idea of their Optane memory technology. The two companies have a research / manufacturing partnership for this technology, and I think it’s great. Since I’m up 44%, I might as well sell enough to cover the cost I initially got in at, and let the rest ride as “free money”.

CY – Cypress Semiconductor. This was a 5G play, and I’m up 63%. Same story: sell what it cost, so the rest is free money.

SWKS – Sky Works Solutions. You know that stock picker guy I listen to, who so often steers me wrong? Well, he was talking to a different stock picker guy, and they both liked this stock, and they were right. Apparently the company makes wireless modem chips that go to a small cell phone company you might have heard on named Apple. I’m up 19% (although at times, this stock was up 50%). I needed to get the total amount a cash from today’s sales to a certain point, so I sold five shares.

And there you have it: thirteen sales to generate cash I will need in a few days. Some of it was getting rid of losers that make me feel bad. Some of it was selling the same dollar amount as it cost me to get in; what is left in, I am happy to let ride. If it goes up, that is great! If it goes down, I don’t really care, since I’ve gotten my initial investment out of it.

Stock market ideas: Surveillance technology

An idea I like, is the personal body cams that law enforcement is adopting. I have some personal friends in law enforcement who have expressed dislike of them, as liability engines. But a link to a video that one of them provided showed me, non- law enforcement, that officers put up with an amazing amount of abuse, and still can be polite, restrained, professional, and tolerant. So I think it’s a win-win: the officer can prove honest behavior, and, the member of the public knows that their bad behavior is on the record.

So one of the companies I like is the former Taser, now known as AXON Enterprise – stock ticker AAXN.

I don’t yet own this stock. It’s currently at $43, although two weeks ago it was down to $40.

But I do think they are in a growth market. Many (if not 99%) of law enforcement agencies already have a relationship with AXON / Taser, with the pistols that apply non-lethal force. Although bigger law enforcement agencies have already bought body cams, I don’t think that penetration within the smaller markets is anywhere near complete. I think that 65% of of law enforcement is still in the adoption phase.

I previously had done well with Ambarella – stock ticker AMBA – getting in around $30 and selling at $70. Ambarella was more of a technology play, being a company that makes CCD sensors for GoPro cameras, and other cameras. My point is that there can be growth stocks in these areas. I don’t think AXON is going to sell as many body cams as GoPro sold their cameras; but, they will probably a decent percentage of them, still.

Semiconductor technology

I have four stocks in this category; three I’m pretty happy with, one is a “meh”.

Intel is my current favorite, ticker symbol INTC. One of the pieces of advice I had gotten was “find the clear leader in an industry, buy that, and hold on”. Intel seems to me, to clearly be the leader in semiconductor fabrication technology. I bought it at $24 per share, and it is currently at $47.

I do like that Intel pays a dividend.

Another thing that I liked about Intel is that they had a partnership with Micron, on a type of memory they named “Optane”. I know that everything in computer technology is about the pipeline of storage into the registers of the CPU. If we could make the CPU have enough storage, and, we wouldn’t need external storage, and everything would be going at the full speed of the CPU.

But that isn’t physically possible, if only because once in a while, the power goes out. CPUs use Dynamic RAM (it is the registers the CPU manipulates, and on-board memory called L1 cache). Dynamic RAM is dynamically refreshed with electrical power. When the power drains out, so does the data. Some sort of storage is needed, that doesn’t lose it’s data when the power is off. Since the 1950’s, the “storage” has been external to the CPU, and is orders of magnitude slower than the CPU itself.

I think the Optane idea could (potentially) flip computing on it’s head: the memory becomes so fast, that the pipeline of storage into the registers (and back), can be made direct. Or put another way, the CPU could run at the speed of memory – which is the storage. What if the external storage was the same speed (not orders of magnitude slower) as the CPU? What if the RAM was the disk? What if every register retrieve and store were permanent?*

Now really, even Optane memory does not run at the 2.x or 3.5 GHz of a CPU. Most Dynamic RAM access is in the 1.2 GHz range. So most modern computers spend a lot of hardware design on fetching data from the comparatively slow RAM, keeping as much of it on the CPU chip as possible, and then dealing with cache misses, and branch prediction misses, and all sorts of work to keep things in sync when the whole scheme isn’t perfect.

But what if 1.2 GHz was fast enough? Could it be fast enough, if there was no difference between RAM and storage? If the RAM addresses were the storage addresses?

Optane memory is essentially the next wave of solid state disk; and has capacities of same. How does the game change, when your 2 Terabyte Optane storage means that really, you have 2 TB of RAM? In six years, it will be 16 TB of RAM; eight years = 32 TB, ten years = 64 (if not 128) TB of RAM.

I expect that ten years from now, the Optane memory will have CPU electronics on the Optane chips, and the computing will be done on the memory chips. It’s a lot of work to ship bits off chip to a CPU, have the CPU alter them, and then ship those bits back, across the backplane, to end up back on the storage chips. It’s time consuming, too.

This is what I mean by turning computing on it’s head.

Anyway, it’s probably obvious that I’m a fan, so I like both Intel and Micron Technology – ticker symbol MU. I bought MU at about the same price as it is today. However, six months ago, it was double what it is today. I should have sold 1/2 my position then, and made a note somewhere that what was left is now free money.

*Not “forever” permanent, but from the point of view that “if the power goes out, we don’t care, because the data has already been written to storage”.

Cancer immunotherapy / Biotechnology

I currently have two stocks in these categories; one is doing well, and the other, very poorly.

The poor one is Advaxis ticker symbol ADXS. I bought ADXS at $4.82, and today it is at $0.22. That’s right: I’ve lost 95%.


So, having lost so much, is there really much of a reason to liquidate at such a loss? The original idea was that Advaxis had, through research, found some evidence they could use the immune system to fight certain cancers. I don’t think the company is just going to give up. Immunotherapy is working for other cancers. But the problem is that the company could run out of cash before they have a product they can market. But if they keep plugging away, they might finally be able to publish that breakthrough. And then, they should be able to get a good price for their technology.

My other stock is CRISPR Therapeutics AG – ticker symbol CRSP. I bought CRISPR Therapeutics at $20 per share, and today it is at $31.

At one point, six months ago, it was at $70 per share. I should have sold 30% of my shares, and been on a free ride since then. 😉

But really, I still think the technology is good. So I’m not going to lament not-having-cashed-in. Long term, I think I’ll be happy that I still have all my shares.

One of the things though, with this blog, is that if I do get to point of cashing out the purchase price of a stock, I can record that here. In the past, I had cashed out the purchase price of a stock, but then later sold everything when it continued to drop (in the short term). I couldn’t tell, from the view of my holdings that my stock broker gives me, that I was already riding on free money. So I sold. And then the price jumped way up, more than 8x what I bought in for.

Stock market investing ideas

I figure that since this is a place I can record longer term ideas, and, that ideas I have regarding stock market investing don’t really have a good home, I can put them here.

Now really, I’m a fan of putting my notes about data near the data. So what I would really like, is inside my stock market portfolio management web page, that the vendor provide me with a small text field that I can update with a short note. But I don’t have that, so elsewhere, the information will have to reside.

On to the ideas:

  • 5G cellular towers
  • Neodymium miners (or processors)
  • Cancer immunotherapy / Biotechnology
  • Semiconductor technology
  • Surveillance technology

5G cellular

I think this technology has a huge growth potential. One of the trade-offs though, is that higher frequencies are required for higher bandwidth. Higher frequencies emit more power; but, electromagnetic power drops off with the cube of the distance (I think – it could be that the power drops off with the square of the distance). The upshot is that if the two antennas (sender and receiver) are going to be heard at the higher frequencies, they will need to be located closer together in physical space. So today, “good coverage” has one tower around three miles from the next tower (4G cellular).

With 5G cellular, the distance between towers will be 250 meters / 820 feet / .15 miles. The growth in towers (“base stations”) is going to go exponential (at least during the startup phase).

Perhaps it would be smarter to buy stock in the companies that make the transceivers (chips or whole power+chips+antenna). Problem is, I don’t know who these companies are.

But I like the idea of rent; that American Tower can make the initial investments, and the recoup their cost over the next nnn years. When I first heard of AMT, it was around $140 per share; today it’s at $168.