I’ve spent the past several days noodling over what I want this website to be when it grows up. It’s been an interesting past two years, especially since I’ve been doing what I, and most everyone on Wall Street, have always believed was impossible.
I started pebblewriter as a Blogger site on May 2, 2011 because I thought the market was about to top out and it seemed like no one else was talking about it (that was the high for 2011.) I gained a bit of a following by calling (to the exact day and within 3 points) the 20% crash two months later.
In March, 2012 I converted it to a subscription website — almost on a lark. But, enough of you joined up that I took it seriously. I refined my strategies, paid more attention to trade management and began posting trade decisions on the site.
Since then, we’ve hit all the big tops and bottoms and averaged over 10% per month — more than the average hedge fund gained for all of 2012. It’s been a kick. Even with the technical hassles, the paperwork, the member lock-outs, etc. I’ve come to really enjoy this old blog and value the relationships with those of you I’ve come to know.
Several months ago, many of you — digging the results but not interested sitting at your computers all day — asked if I’d be interested in running a fund. A couple of old Wall Street chums even offered to help me launch it. The idea sort of took off.
Now, with the launch roughly 60 days away, I have to make some tough choices. I’ve struggled to communicate good information and ideas quickly and effectively enough for day traders while still meeting the needs of swing traders and buy-and-hold types.
This past April was instructive in that: (1) our strategy still generated solid returns (14% v 2% for SPX) in a month of nothing but volatile chop; and (2) the volume of trades involved in generating those returns was too high, especially for swing traders.
This will probably continue to happen at times. In trending markets, if we nail some big patterns, analogs, etc. we might deliver great returns with a handful of trades. In choppy or uncertain markets, we might have to choose between low returns or higher trade volume.
In a fund, it probably won’t matter as long as the returns are good. Judging from the way the list is growing, that seems like a safe bet. For do-it-yourselfers, I’ve considered having three different types of memberships: a monthly newsletter for buy-and-hold folks, a daily digest for swing traders and a chat room for day traders.
But, after thinking about it all weekend, I believe swing traders and long-term folks would better off in a well-managed fund — even after fees and even if I performed only half as well as this past 15 months.. And, I’ve decided that running a chat room for day traders would probably chip away at the fund’s value or even cannibalize it.
My plan is to continue running the website as-is through September 2014. Some members are paid up that far out. And, as long as I’m running the site for their benefit, I might as well include others. After that, I’ll probably continue to write a newsletter of some kind (TBD.)
So, this will likely be the very last round of memberships offered. I want to do something special for members before the word gets out. So, for the next 48 hours (through Wednesday night) I will offer up to 25 Charter Annual Memberships at $1,200 — 1/3 off the current annual price of $1,800.
This is essentially the same popular deal as a few months ago: never a price increase, a discount on fund fees, and rebates on unused membership fees (prorated, paid quarterly) for those who subscribe to the fund.
Also through Wednesday night, if you have a membership expiring in the coming year and wish to extend it through September 2014, you may do so for $100/month. Just drop me an email or CONTACT ME with your wishes and we’ll generate a Paypal invoice.
After this round, the price of an annual membership will be raised from $1,800 to $2,000 until they are likely ended all together in September. One other change: we’ll offer only annual memberships from here on. If you’ve recently subscribed to a quarterly or semi-annual membership and wish to take advantage of this deal, just let us know and we’ll send an invoice for the difference.
I know some of you won’t be thrilled with this decision. It pains me to have to do it. But, I need to get more sanity (and sleep) back into my life. One way is to stop trying to be all things to all people and focus, instead, on the way I believe I can add the most value.
p.s. Look for updates on the fund to go out tomorrow. Also, we have preliminary results for May and June performance and hope to get them posted in the next day or so.