I fully expect that all of you have stopped checking my blog. It has been 16 days since I have last posted. What can I say...I'm not the internet junky I once was. My level of internet-addiction has downgraded from "junky" to "moderate surfer". However, thanks to Josh's comment and my wife's suggestion, I am finally posting a new message. We'll just see how many of you leave a comment!
It is 11pm, the night before we "induct" our son into the Hall of Life. Moments ago, I ask my wife, "So...what are you thinking you'd like to name our son?" I got a laugh and a "I have no idea." I have four names I like: Colin, Michael, Alexander, and Zachary, but I don't know which one I like as a first name and/or middle name. Maybe we'll put the names in a hat and just draw. HA! I guess it may be interesting to some people to finally find out what we will end up naming him. Others probably are rolling their eyes in disbelief at how ridiculous it is to not have a name picked out!
Today was absolutely the busiest and most stressful day at work. I sat at my desk from 8:30 this morning until 8:30 tonight, only getting up a time or two for a brief moment. I knew going in this morning we would most likely hedge our high yield positions with some inverse high yield moves (not that anyone cares, but that allows us to reduce our high yield bond exposure without actually having to sell bonds, thus creating a taxable event), however, our forecasting model this morning showed a significant weakness in equities, so we had to scale back some of our large cap and international postions as well. For those of you still tuned in, I'll give a very brief rundown of what this entails. We have about 900 accounts ($145million) spread out among 25 different custodians, mutual fund companies, and annuity companies. Each one of these 25 companies has between 2 and 10 different allocation styles. Today we made between 2 and 5 exchanges in each of these allocations across all 25 companies. Sound like a lot? Well, it is. My portfolio manager (and boss) gives me new "targets" for each allocation and then I have to decipher what he's wanting to do, calculate the most efficient way to buy and sell to arrive at the new targets, and then delegate these moves to my operations staff, HOPING there are no mistakes along the way. A significant amount of these moves today had an early cutoff of 12pm, so we were racing frantically to get them done, and then some other funds had 2:30 cutoffs, and then the rest at the normal close of market (3pm). My boss was coming in frequently to see how things were going and questioning whether or not we'd finish them all. It was very stressful. A HUGE amount of work to do in so little time. Well, we did not finish, but completed about 85% of them. My Trader will finish the remainder tomorrow while I am at the hospital. Anyway...I know I've lost Alyssa by now so I'll start a new paragraph.
Alyssa, it's still boring, so skip to the next paragraph. If anyone is interested, the reason we reduced our market exposure is actually the result of many things. I personally think the impending hurricane and the 52nd straight rate hike (ok, maybe not that many) is what sent our model over the edge. The last report I saw was that approximately 70% of our oil refineries in the Gulf were closed/evacuated, which obviously reduces oil supply further. Just when we think we are seeing relief in gasoline prices, there is renewed fear of rising oil/gasoline prices. Inflation has also been a recent buzzword in the market commentaries. Barges are still moving slowly along the Mississippi river, straining the supply of grains and other commodities, thus increasing prices (inflation). There's also the fear by some of tax increases to fund the New Orleans recovery, despite the opposing "claims" by the government. It's a little surprising to see Bush creating a "big government" to help control the recovery. A little ironic for a republican who is such a big believer in entrepeneurialism. I love our president and I support the idea of recovery, but I don't know why he hasn't pushed more for privatization. Has anyone heard of any municipal bonds being issued yet?? Anyway...I just pray that hurricane Rita weakens and stays in the southern Gulf, missing as many refineries as possible.
I spent all weekend putting together our new entertainment center for our new 36" tv and surround sound system. I still need to install the rear speakers, but I haven't felt motivated to climb up in the attic and fish wires yet. I have thoroughly enjoyed the TV though! Football is great on the bigger screen, and I know hockey will be too!! With my son!!
Speaking of, it is 11:40pm and we are getting up at 4am to go to the hospital, so I better sign off and get in bed. Maybe Jenn and I can decide on a name...
Hope all is well and I hope you all leave comments!