Friday, August 21, 2009

More from the Margin Front

Well, things in the old margin account have certainly gotten interesting. Hospira, which I plan to sell in order to pay down the "debit balance," is doing okay--in fact, it's worth about $3,600, which is enough to pay down the initial loan. But, well, things got a little complicated. I had inherited 200 shares of FMBI, which is a bank holding company. Why did my 70-year-old mother hold shares of a bank holding company headquartered in Itasca, IL? Apparently, her father--my Grandpa Olson--was a founder of the Farmer's Bank of Wyanet, which was purchased by FMBI along with about a dozen other small Illinois banks. Why Mom had never mentioned any of this--who knows. In any case, the stock had been devastated, along with all other financial/bank stocks, and I was not willing to watch it drop to zero. So, I placed a sell-stop at $5.99. As you know, that meant that if the stock dropped to $5.99 or lower, it would be sold.
It did, and it was.
Well, I suffered the usual seller's remorse and started to worry that the stock would eventually rise without me. So, I placed a buy-stop on 100 FMBI at $10. As you know, that meant that if the stock rose to $10 or higher, it would be purchased.
It did, and it was.
This being a margin account, $1,000 of stock (plus a $9.99 commission) was purchased and placed on my tab, a tab which is now $4,557.78.
Hmm. I should probably place a sell-stop on HSP right now. That way if it plummets, I won't lose my best chance to pay off most of this silly margin loan.
I don't know. Every sell-stop I enter seems to be sold a few days later, at--by definition--a lower market price.
Oh well. Nobody forced me into this loan, and it isn't like I owe Tony Soprano. The interest rate is right around prime, and is tax deductible, unlike the juice I would have to pay to Mr. Soprano. I'll survive. I just want to win this one, even though I know how quickly I could end up losing.

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