Thursday, June 25, 2009

Margin Update

Logged into my TD Ameritrade account this morning and found that Hospira (HSP) is still trading in the same range. My "SMA" is still about $2,000 and I'm still not going to tap that line of credit, let alone use my buying power to purchase up to $5,700 worth of stock. Good thing I took the $5,000 loan against SMA for educational purposes only, because this is a losing proposition as a so-called "investment." See, Hospira isn't paying any dividends, and even if they were, it's pretty unlikely that any stock's dividend yield is going to outweigh the margin interest that the "investor" is paying, even after-tax. As at the casino, the margin investor needs really fast movement on the stock, preferably in the correct direction. I'm lucky I have the $5,000 in checking because if HSP announces bankruptcy or that one of their I.V. systems accidentally killed 27 patients nationwide, the stock could drop to $2, or zero even. Probably not going to happen, but it's always a possibility when you're dealing with a stock. Investing in the stock market always involves market risk in general and non-systematic risk specific to the particular company. To then buy that stock on credit is to take an already dangerous animal and pump it up with steroids, which probably explains why I'm having so darned much fun with this. I'm a guy. I take stupid risks. What can I tell you?

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