Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value, and laughter;  a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place.

 

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Songs of Speculation

Lyrics by Laurel Kenner and Victor Niederhoffer

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More Songs from Speculators

Buy and Hold

(To the tune of "Night and Day," by Cole Porter)
Like the steady support of a 
lifelong friend, 
Like the flow of Victoria Falls
Like the steady state of electric 
flow,
Like the steady rise of the Dow
Like the ching-ching-ching of the 
cash flow
As the ships come in to dock
So a voice in me keeps repeating
"Stocks, stocks, stocks…"
 
Buy and hold's a good strategy
Ten thousand-fold returns in the 
Twentieth century 
Just buy some good stocks now,
Pass them on to your kids, 
And they'll be saying, "Wow,
My mom bought me stocks, 
And life is carefree." 
 
Bonds aren't so great
Next to the stocks
Forget the crude oil, the gold 
And all the bear talk.
The Triumphal Trio have proved
That stocks held a long time 
Will rarely lose
It's a chance that you really 
Shouldn't refuse
 
Buy and hold, that's the best way
Just buy after five bad years, 
And you’ll be OK. 
Don’t struggle against the drift
If you buy and hold, you get a good 
lift
We've tested this, 
Every way. 

The Hedge Fund Song

(To the tune of "What Is a Man?")

Intro: There are so many, so many
Hedge funds to choose
Which one is the best hedge fund for me?
They all are long-and-short, as far as I can see
Seven thousands fund, one strategy.

1. There is no risk
None whatsoever
Win, lose or draw
They take my fees
I'll prob'ly lose all my money
Something about it seems funny.

There is no risk
With a long-short fund
They charge me fees,
'cause they are so good.
Thank goodness I'm in a long-short fund!

First ending:

They'll take my fees,
Fees upon fees,
I give it all to them!

Final ending:

It's a good deal,
Really a steal,
The manager wins in the end.

(Spoken interlude)
Five percent
Quite a low commission
Four percent management fee
Plus one-fifth
Of my profits
One-third if they're good
Goodbye, goodbye gains!

2. What's a good fund?
Is it a black hole?
Taking more fees
'Till I'm bled dry?
Paying a bite to a fund of funds?
It's a good deal,
Really a steal,
The manager wins in the end.

Keep Those Contracts Rollin'

(to the tune of "Rawhide;")

Roll 'em, roll 'em, roll 'em
Keep those contracts rollin'
Think of all that growth in
Shanghai
They'll all want copper
Copper's a whopper,
Ain't enough copper
Supply
Don’t try to understand em
Just pay the spread and grab em
Soon we’ll be living high and wide.

(Chorus)
(Duncan)              (Wil)                (Both)
Move em’ on,   roll 'em up,
Roll’em up,     move ‘em on,
Buy‘em low,    sell em low,        Free Ride!
Move em’ on,   roll 'em up,
Roll’em up,     move ‘em on,
Buy ‘em low   sell ‘em high,       Free Ride! Free Ride!

(2nd verse)
Roll 'em, roll 'em, roll 'em
Keep those contracts rollin'
Think of all that growth in
Shanghai
The rain and wind’s unsettled
Hell bent for metals
Wishin’ my gal was by my side
All the things I been missing
Cause I’m rollin’ grains and risking
No cattle in Manhattan should reside.

(Chorus)
(Duncan)              (Wil)                (Both)
Move em’ on,   roll 'em up,
Roll’em up,     move ‘em on,
Buy‘em low,    sell em low,        Free Ride!
Move em’ on,   roll 'em up,
Roll’em up,     move ‘em on,
Buy ‘em low   sell ‘em high,       Free Ride! Free Ride!

(3rd verse)
Keep movin’, movin, movin’
Locals disapprovin'
Keep those contracts movin’
Free Ride.
So where’s all the lumber
Lumber’s a wonder,
Ain't enough lumber
Supply
Don’t try to understand em
Each quarter we’ll grab em
Soon we’ll be living high and wide.

(Chorus)
(Duncan)              (Wil)                (Both)

Move em’ on,  roll 'em up,
Roll’em up,     move ‘em on,
Buy‘em low,    sell em low,        Free Ride!
Move em’on,  roll 'em up,
Roll’em up,     move ‘em on,
Buy ‘em low   sell ‘em high,       Free Ride! Free Ride!

Free ride!
Free ride!

Old-Hearted Men

(to the tune of "Stouthearted Men" from "The New Moon"; music by Sigmund Romberg, original lyrics by Frank Mandel and Oscar Hammerstein)

Spare me from men
Who are old-hearted men
Who've been short ever since '82.
Who always call
For the market to fall
Who have always the same point of view
Shorting the dollar,
They don't like the dollar,
They don't like the market at all!
Spare me from old men
Who don't like high vol or low vol
Cynical old men,
Who don't like
Anything at all.

Give me some guys who buy stocks when they dive
And get out when the panics are through.
Give me the spec that will rise up from wrecks
with an optimist's point of view
Spare me from old men
who don't like growth or tech or vol
Cynical old men
Who don't like anything at all.

Just in Time

(Music by Jules Styne; original lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Intro: I was resting comfortably face down in the gutter
Life was serene, I knew where I was at
“There’s no hope for him,” my brokers all would mutter
I looked like something dragged in by the cat

A. Just in time,
Stocks rallied just in time
Before they rose my funds 
Were running low.
I was lost
The losing dice were tossed
My brokers all were cross
Nowhere to go

B. Bulls in debt
The stocks looked like they could be heading 
Down still lower yet
But something changed
Stocks rallied just in time
They rallied just in time
And put me in the black that happy day.

C. Just in time,
Stocks rallied just in time
To save me from
That margin call 
Five down days 
My mojo went away
It looked like fund flambé
I tried to stall

D. Clearing said,
You’d better lighten up or 
Else we’ll all be in the red
Then something changed
Stocks rallied just in time
They rallied just in time
I had a nice bounce back that happy day.

B. Bulls in debt
The stocks looked like they could be heading 
Down still lower yet
But something changed
Stocks rallied just in time
They rallied just in time
And put me in the black that happy day.
What Should I Trade?

(To the tune of “What Is a Man?” from “Pal Joey,” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart)

There are so many, so many ways to trade
But baseball is the model that’s for me
It tells the Average Joe
How he can make some dough
Times change far too much to trade without it

1. What’s a good trade?
Should I buy stocks now?
Am I a bull? Am I a bear?
Am I the value or the growth kind?
Am I the old or the tech kind?

What’s a good trade?
Trading's like baseball
Win with a bat, or win with a glove.
Value has lagged since the world began
What should I buy? What should I sell?
What makes a winning trade?

Hello, beans.
Can’t buy you just now.
Loaded up on Spooz.

Hello, bonds.
Have to buy some stocks now.
Good time to go long.

It’s time … to go… long.

2. Home runs expand
Stocks set to fall then
Next, runs contract -- bull’s horns are sharp
It’s all so easy after the fact
Vol first goes down, Bulls are set to frown

When balls are dead, Time to steal bases
When balls are live, Swing from the heels
Cycles have changed since the world began
Offense at times, Defense at times.
That makes a winning trade.

Old-Hearted Men
(to the tune of "Stouthearted Men" from "The New Moon"; music by Sigmund Romberg, original lyrics by Frank Mandel and Oscar Hammerstein)

Spare me from men
Who are old-hearted men
Who've been short ever since '92.
Who always call
For the market to fall
Who have always the same point of view
Shorting the dollar,
They don't like the dollar,
They don't like the market at all!
Spare me from old men
Who don't like high vol or low vol
Cynical old men,
Who don't like
Anything at all.
*
Spare me from men who like
P/Es of 10
And a price less than two-thirds of book
Men who can't find a good stock anywhere
In the market wherever they look
Nothing for sale in the market appeals
When the trade deficit is so wide
Spare me from old men who don't like
Growth or tech or vol.
Cynical old men,
Who don't like anything at all.
*
Give me some guys who buy stocks when they dive
And hold on till the panic is through
Give me the techs that will rise up from wrecks
And an optimistic point of view
Spare me from men
Who like P/Es of 10
Who want stocks priced at two-thirds of book
Spare me from old men who don't like
growth or tech or vol
Cynical old men,
Who don't like
Anything at all.

Things Are Seldom What They Seem
(on the Income Statement)

(To the tune of the Duet of the Captain and Little Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore, by W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan)

1. Things are seldom what they seem
Public’s wrong at the extremes.
Prices climb on Wall Street hype
Big guys sell when time is ripe
Very true, so they do.

Hide the debts in towns offshore
Then go out and borrow more
Option costs they don’t deduct
Public is the goose they pluck
So they do, in full view

REFRAIN
Managed earnings laid on thick
Inventory hides the trick.
Lies obscure the bottom lines,
Ac-cru’-als shroud cash flow declines
So they are never at par

That is how they play the big con
On Wall Street, on Wall Street

Turn around, the profit’s all gone
It is checkmate when they restate.

Gone the billions that they borrowed
We will learn the truth with sorrow
Here today and gone tomorrow
Easy go, now you know.

2. Mergers work accounting gimmicks
Analysts are only sidekicks
Profit forecasts are precut
CEO has time to putt.
Even so, no cash flow.

Worst of all is the write-down
Officers they all leave town
Gild the earnings, steal the till
What is left is sure to kill
Yes, I know: Dow will go.

REFRAIN

A Little List

(To the tune of "As some day it may happen," from The Mikado by Gilbert & Sullivan)

As now is a good time to finally clean up this town
We've got a little list  
We've got a little list  
Of charlatans and pessimists who should be underground  
Who never would be missed
Who never would be missed.

There's the foolish blusterers who never have a losing trade  
And all the brokerage analysts who never say "downgrade"  
And the pessimistic guru who lost hope in `65  
And the floor broker who says your order never did arrive.

Chorus:  
We’ve got ‘em on the list, We’ve got ‘em on the list; and   
And they'll none of them be missed  
And they'll none of them be missed.

There's the billionaire complaining taxes really are too low   
And the tout who likes to write about his own portfolio  
The journalists who publish charts with lots of colored lines  
And the bear who's always seeing a new kind of danger sign.

Then the people selling systems that with just a tweak or two  
Would clearly beat the hedge fund guys with hardly a snafu   
And the worshippers of Buffett who show up in Omaha  
To pay homage to the miser whom the media holds in awe

Chorus: 
We’ve got ‘em on the list, we’ve got ‘em on the list; and   
And they'll none of them be missed  
And they'll none of them be missed.

And the personal finance writers who take chapters to explain  
Everything that's obvious or not much of a strain  
The purveyors of newsletters of technical analysis   
They’d none of them be missed  
They’d none of them be missed.

And whosoever will, with sophistry resist   
Their well deserved inclusion on this soon forgotten list,  
Shall banished be to lower realms where artful sinners dwell.  
And join their brethren howling, from the seventh circle of Hell.  
But it really doesn’t matter whom you put upon the list   
For they’d none of ‘em be missed  
They’d none of them be missed.

Chorus:   
You may put ‘em on the list  
You may put’ ‘em on the list  
And they’ll none of ‘em be missed  
They’ll none of ‘em be missed.

You Spooz

(To the tune of “Blue Moon," by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers)

Once upon a time, when I was deep in trading
I took a big position
Prices went against me
Reserves were quickly fading
I put on some more trades.
That’s when the margin call came.

“Please close your trades right now.”
That might have been the moment
I took my final bow.

You Spooz,
You saw that I was exposed
Without enough in the bank
To meet my margin calls
You Spooz,
You knew just what I could spring for
You heard me saying a prayer for
A trade to give me 10 points more

And then there suddenly appeared before me
A re-verse’ retrace’-ment never before made
With doub’-le in-ver’-ted head and shoul’-ders
And Neptune in retrograde

You Spooz
Now I’m no longer exposed
Without enough in the bank
To meet my margin calls

You Spooz,
You saw that I was exposed
Without enough in the bank
To meet my margin calls
You Spooz,
You knew just what I could spring for
You heard me saying a prayer for
A trade to give me 10 points more
And then there suddenly appeared before me
The finest trade that I have ever known
I called the floor and told them please to hurry
And when I looked the Spooz had turned to gold!

You Spooz
Now I’m no longer exposed
Without enough in reserve
To meet my margin calls

 

Golf: 10; Stocks: 1

(to the tune of “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three”  from A Chorus Line)

Golf: 10; Shares: 1
My stock is still a laggard
People think that I’m a braggart
Too much putting, too much fresh air.

Golf: 10; Shares: 1
The stock keeps falling!

Left the green and
Called my banker for
A guidance to buy…

A company course!
Cut the R&D outlays
Tightened up the pension plan
Sponsored a big tournament
All that goes with it.

A company course!

Cut my handicap to 3.
Suddenly I’m on NBC!
A great golf game goes with great returns,
Everybody says so.

 

A Taste of Money

(To the tune of  “A Taste of Honey”)

A taste of money … trader, put out a line.

I ran some regressions, and then,
I ran the R-squared yet again
A taste of money … trader, put out a line.

I will stay long, yes I will stay long
I’ll stay long in the Nasdaq and Spooz

Then came a move that broke through my stops
And triggered sells almost off the chart
That taste of money … trader, put out a line.

I will go short, yes I will go short
I’ll go short (he’ll go short) in the Nasdaq (for the money) and Spooz

 

Bidin' My Time

(Music and original lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin)

(Refrain)
I’m bidin’ my time
‘Cause that’s the kind of guy I’m
Jobs report on Friday
That’s my buy day
Now’s not the time.

Jobs day, jobs day
Somethin’s bound to happen
And until then
I’ll just keep on nappin’

and

Bidin’ my time
‘Cause that’s the kind of guy I’m
There’s no regrettin’
When I’m setting’
Biding’ my time.

 

 

(Our last column for CNBC Money was published Sept. 4. The site was our home for 3 1/2 years as we pursued what we finally realized was an impossible dream of helping the public escape its traditional role as prey in the ecological system of the market. )

So Long, Farewell, CNBC Money!

To the tune of “So Long, Farewell,” from The Sound of Music, original lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, music by Richard Rodgers.)

So long, farewell, dear readers, friends, goodbye
We're sad to go, but now's the time to fly.

We've tried and failed in our quixotic quest.
It's time for us to take our bows and rest.

Goodbye, farewell, we hear the time clock's chime.
We've given you some meals for a lifetime.

Jon Markman's edits were always top-flight.
If  any credit's due, he shares by right.

Goodbye, we fly, pursued by many bears.
They growl, they claw, they must defend their lairs.&

Remember, growth will always win the fray,
In panics, buy; in up times, stay away.

Thanks for the e-mails; most of them inspired us
Good riddance to those who sent us a virus.

So long, farewell, we hope that you all thrive.
Remember that the key is to survive.

The cycles change, and so must you and I.
So long, farewell, dear readers, friends, goodbye.

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.

 

(We also used "So Long, Farewell, for our last column at the worldlyinvestor.com Web site: “Speculators Head for the Hills That Are Alive With Music,” May 18, 2001.)

Speculators Head for the Hills that Are Alive With Music

There’s a sad sort of whining from Greenspan in his tub
And the Sage of Nebraska, too.
And down at the weekly an
old bearish bird is telling us to sell the new.

But economics tells us,
Regrettably compels us,
To say goodbye to you.

So long, farewell, dear readers, friends, goodbye.
We’re sad to go, but now’s the time to fly.

It’s been great fun to write our thoughts by byte
We hate to go and leave this worldly site.

So long, farewell, we’ve missed many big moves,
At times, the bears have stolen Victor’s shoes.

In pointing out mistakes you’ve not been shy
And we have eaten lots of humble pie.

So long, farewell, thanks for all your insights,
If any credit’s due it’s yours by rights.

So long, farewell, to all our Friday guests,
McNabb and Doctor Brett and all the rest.

Adieu, Greenspan, and Warren Buffett, too,
We hope they go and fade away from view.

Doc Niederhoffer would not miss those two
And Laurel feels that way about them, too.

Much thanks, headliners, editors Ed and Ted
You kept us from being locked by the Fed

Thanks to J. Pink for giving us a forum
He never flinched and always had decorum.

Success to our new bosses and McDermott
For laughing at our jokes, we think they’ve earned it.

So long, farewell, goodbye, our loyal claque,
We’d like to stay till 5,000 Nasdaq.

So long, farewell, we hear the time clock chime,
We’ve tried to give some meals for a lifetime.

Recall that growth will always win the day.
In panics, canes will triumph in the fray.

So long, farewell, we hope that you all thrive.
Remember that the main thing’s to survive.

The cycles change and so must you and I.
So long, farewell, good readers, friends, goodbye.
Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye.

 

NASDAQ Crash Dance

(To the Tune of “Charleston” by Cecil Mack and Jimmie Johnson)>

1. NASDAQ! NASDAQ!
When will you be back?
Tell me sometime soon.
(How ‘bout tomorrow?)

NASDAQ, NASDAQ.
Lord how you can crash now
Every move you do
Makes us feel more blue
You just fell right through
5 – 4 – 3 – 2
Thousand. Where’s the floor?
We’re not buying any more, and the
NASDAQ keeps going down down
Down to the ground

Chorus:
Someday, we’ll see it
Rising and we’ll buy
Q-Q-Q-Qs, and we’ll be long again.

2. Thank you, Greenspan!
You popped that bubble
No cash, big crash
All our options are worthless now
Thanks to Alan
He popped that bubble
Just like in Japan
Stocks won’t rise again
One big healthy pop
Growth just had to stop

Dot-bomb billionaires
Let those brats try welfare
NASDAQ, NASDAQ
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 Thousand

Chorus:
Some day, we’ll see it
Rising and we’ll buy
Q-Q-Q-Qs, and we’ll be long again.

3. (All together)
NASDAQ! NASDAQ!
Made in Palo Alto
Chip stocks, software
We say, There’s nothing finer than the
NASDAQ. NASDAQ!
Let’s buy a few contracts
Lots of biotech
We’ll avoid the dreck
Fade the value stocks
Let the NASDAQ rock

Dow Jones, Schmow Jones
Give me that NASDAQ.
Big banks? No thanks
No sir, Give me that NASDAQ

Chorus:
Some day, we’ll see it
Rising and we’ll buy
Q-Q-Q-Qs, and we’ll be long again.

That's Amore

Lyrics by Andrew Moe, after Harry Warren
Tune made famous by Dean Martin

The Nikkei
Soared so high
In the blink
Of an eye
That's Amore.

Market's up
Market's down
Buy the DAX
Short the Pound
That's Amore.

Lack of oil
World turmoil
Tempers boil
Price recoil
That's Amore.

Short some cubes
Spook the rubes
Watching boobs
Down the tubes
That's Amore.

Buy the Dow
Don't know how
Goes Ker-Pow
I'm broke now
That's Amore.

Back again
Trading yen
Using zen
Perfect ten
That's Amore.
 

Performed by
The Soprano of Speculation
with piano accompaniment by Laurel Kenner

 

  1. Just in Time Music by Jules Styne, Original lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
  2. What Should I Trade? To the tune of “What Is a Man?” from “Pal Joey,” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.
  3. Things Are Seldom What They Seem (on the Income Statement) To the tune of the Duet of the Captain and Little Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore, by W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan.
  4. You Spooz To the tune of “Blue Moon.” Music and lyrics by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers.

More Songs from Speculators

Johnny Cash sings "Walk the Line" But some Specs sing "The Bottom Line”"

Lyrics by Kevin Depew

I keep a close watch on this stock of mine
I keep eyes wide open all the time
I set a loose stop in case a big decline
I hope you mind, the bottom line

I find it very, very tempting to sell you
I find myself alone in owning you
Yes, I'll admit, I paid too much for you
You didn't mind, the bottom line

As sure as value is dark and growth is light
I keep you on my watch list day and night
And since momentum says you are alright
I will not mind, your bottom line

You've got a filing to show me what you hide
You give an earnings call to plead your side
And yet your stock price will not turn the tide
Because you're mine, I curse my pride

I keep a close watch on this stock of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
Oh Lord, I fear a very big decline
Who cares about, the bottom line

Let's Get Alpha

Lyrics by Kevin Depew to Chet Baker's tune "Let's Get Lost,"quot; slightly adjusted for financial considerations)

Let's get alpha, alpha in each of our trades
Let's get alpha, let them send out brigades
And though they'll think us just a rube
Let's tell the world we're in that crazy mood.
Let's defrost all the bearish myths 
Let's get crossed off every doomsday list
To celebrate this difficult endeavor, mmm, let's get alpha

[horn solo] [piano solo] 
 
Let's defrost all the bearish myths
Let's get crossed off every doomsday list
To celebrate this difficult endeavor, mmm, let's get alpha
oh oh, let's s get alpha

Shape of My Heart, by Sting

Forwarded by Laurence Glazier

He deals the cards as a meditation
And those he plays never suspect
He doesn't play for the money he wins
He don't play for respect

He deals the cards to find the answer
The sacred geometry of chance
The hidden law of a probable outcome
The numbers lead a dance

and

Well, those who speak know nothin'
And find out to their cost
Like those who curse their luck in too many places
And those who fear are lost