Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

My Brush with Greatness

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I'd like to share with you the story of how I met one of Silicon Valley's greatest entrepreneurs (and a multi-billionaire) who funded my company back in 1992. This isn't just a story about the funding, but is more about the kind of person whom I admire in this technological center of the world.

This story is from back in early 1992, when I was working at a little financial data firm in Los Altos, California. A person came into our office to buy some data, which was unusual in itself, since almost all our sales took place on the telephone. Stranger still, he said he wanted to buy everything we sold, which was something like a $4,000 sale. For a company accustomed to selling data in chunks of about $50, it was pretty cool to have someone come in and just buy everything all at once.

I was curious who this mystery shopper was, and after a little exploration, I came to learn that he worked for a man whom I had never heard of – Andreas von Bechtolsheim or, simply, Andy. Andy was one of the four co-founders of a company I definitely had heard of, Sun Microsystems, which at the time was one of the biggest forces in the Silicon Valley. I tend to be fairly proud of my knowledge of Silicon Valley history and its figures, but Andy (being pretty much the opposite of Donald Trump with respect to self-promotion) was new to me.


Long PCYC at $56 (by Ryan Mallory)

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I took the trade in Pharmaclyclics (PCYC) this morning – as it appeared in my scan as having higher than normal volume in the AM. Having traded and watched it quite a bit of late, this is one of those trades, where I saw it teste the 10-day moving average like it did previously and thought it would be worth taking a stab at, assuming it would hold again. Solid movers day-after-day like PCYC don't just lose interest from traders overnight, instead usually there is a large crowd waiting for it to pull back ever so slightly to jump in on the parade.

The worst case is I lose a little over 2% on the trade, and if the trade DOES work out, it could easily creep into the $60's. I'd say this is a valid buy anywhere between $55.50 and $56.60. Anything after that and your risk is greatly increasing compared to the possible reward of the trade. Bounce plays don't always work, and they don't even need to work 50% of the time, because when they do, the gains are usually very solid, if you can get in at or near key support levels, and keep risk as a bare minimum. 

Here's the PCYC trade

 Pharmacyclics PCYC

Be sure to check out Ryan's Blog at

Dealers Decline Bernanke Twist Invitation

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Second item down, check it out from Bloomberg.

In this week's letter we noted a situation (via in Treasury bonds where Wall Street strategists were bullish T bonds and bearish the stock market to epic proportions.  Now, here comes a Bloomberg article (the Sentimentrader data was compiled with Bloomberg as the source) showing Wall Street dealers in direct opposition to the Fed and its desire to buy long dated Treasuries.

NFTRH is on a caution stance for the short term and reading things like this makes me all the more firm in that stance.  Not because I want to go against what could be a contrarian setup, but because things are very uncertain at the moment and it says here that we should always manage risk first, speculate second.