Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Market?

I'm now on day 8 of my consulting project. So far nothing has blown up. I was able to process and get payroll out with nary a glitch. The nice thing about seeing and working with lots of systems, is that you realize that there are only so many different ways to get to the end result. The software interface either makes it an efficient or frustrating experience. And....I learned a long time ago that you do not mess with people's pay. So, I spent the better part of the weekend entering, checking and double checking payroll. It's an environment with producing employees so there is job costing involved for 80% of the employees.

But I've had to sit in an emptied seat and figure it all out for myself for every job that I've ever had (consulting and employee). While it's not a comfortable experience flying an airplane blind, I'm an intrepid pilot--though I would likely never land a plane so smoothly on the Hudson. The trouble is that these positions are pretty isolated and not one other person in the company knows how to do anything that seat does. They all just know what they get from the seat.

Being away from the market, I'm reminded as to what a foreign world the market's daily machinations are to working folk. The respite away from the dips, soars and wiggles has been very refreshing. I still look at charts, mind you, and I'll look at a few after I press the send button.

I had to have my car serviced. I stopped by to visit my salesman--he is a professional salesperson, and if you buy a car from him, he will take care of you. You will find NO auto salesperson more successful than he. My husband and I have bought every Ford car we've owned from him. He's been at the same dealership for years, except for a little tiff he had and left for a very brief interlude to work for a competitor. He said his volume is down 50% and his income is down 70% as they are offering employee discounts to customers to move product.

I heard Dennis Gartman on Gary K night before last. He believes, as does many others, that the market has already bottomed. I'm trying to be agnostic. I've enough long exposure to not feel like I'm missing out on any of the the good moves.

I've been watching the Utilities. I have some FEB XLU 30 calls. Lots of constructive action in several names.

Today I hunt for W-2's.