Just a bit ago I was doing what I always do seemingly all day every day, that is checking charts when I noticed that Novavax was up like fucking 25% or 30% from the last time I had seen the chart and that couldn’t have been more than three or four days ago. That always happens with that frigging name, shitty price action for months and then if you stop paying attention for a few days its WHAM! 30% in your face asshole, where were you? Missed the Swine Flu train again?
Anyhow, that reminded me of a story from way back about NVAX when I was still a widdle biddy guppy in the big bad ocean. From before I had even lost anything really and I was just full of piss and vinegar.
So I have no idea how I even found the ticker that day but I think it was on some list of daily % gainers or some such thing on Yahoo Finance. This was back in ’09 around June or July come to think of it so pay attention here because this could be a similar story coming to a theater near you soon. Anyway, Novavax was having one of those weeks at the time just like it is having this week, big moves on volume, acting all frisky and shit like something was up with it and somehow I got involved with a few thousand shares at $3.40. I remember the price well…$3.40 and I chased it, of that I am sure. I even think my cousin who was my stockbroker may have tried to sway me away from the flavor o’ the day pump and dump and he may have warned me against chasing it after such a move.
At the time I wasn’t even trading my own account, my cousin was handling my wife and my retirement savings or what was left of them after I yanked all my money out of Ameriprise Financial at the end of ’08 (yes, of course near the bottom, could it be any other way for me?) after Lehman and TARP and all that good stuff and my Ameriprise broker at the time was trying to tell me that dollar cost averaging was going to make me rich from the sell off. I called bullshit and transferred my accounts to my Financial Adviser cousin post haste. I was not going to let some uncaring, order taking sumbitch squander away the MP family fortune. No fucking way, I would be the master of my destiny, I would show Troy the douche bag broker from Ameriprise that I was smarter than the market. Blood is thicker than water and all that crap, cuz would not steer me wrong.
Little did I know that if I had kept my money with that horrible Americrime with it’s horrible front end loaded crap that woefully underperformed any benchmark you could care to use I would have been 1000% better off four years later. Troy I am so sorry.
Little did I know that I should have fired my cousin soon after this little episode with Novavax commenced, that it should have served as fair warning that no profit was too great to let slip away and no loss that was small would be ever be cut quickly and moved on from. The “drag dead money along for years” precedent was established I believe with this very NVAX campaign. I still have a few corpses lying around to this very day.
So in I was for a few thousand shares at $3.40 and life was full of promise. The next day I woke up to a 12% gap down or some shit cause all I remember was within no more than two trading sessions it went down below $3.00 to like $2.80 or some horror-show. Now, to my credit I was a guppy but I had not developed bad habits yet and I cut half of the position down right around $3.00 on a bounce so now maybe I was in for a thousand shares and had taken a $400 loss. So far things had not gotten too horrible, right?
So now the fun starts. Within a few days NVAX starts going absolutely bat shit crazy to the upside. I mean I think within a week it was trading above $5.00 per share and I was making money. I think it finished the week under $5.00 but at that point I was playing with some house money and my balls started getting lower and that Novavax looked like a winner and I was starting to look smarter by the day and I was already thinking about how I could make a living doing this and fuck working again for the man……
Now keep in mind at this point Novavax was like way in debt, no product approval, no chance in hell of actually getting anything awarded to them any time soon – in fact they are just fucking now in 2013 just starting to look like a decent upside trade but I digress. So NVAX had gone from the $3’s up into the 5’s and now it some rumor pops and this thing goes parabolic with a HUGE gap up on unbelievable volume to over $7.00 a share. Had I been scaling profits along the way? Did I take this moment to lock in my original investment and let the rest ride? Did I take full profits and buy upside calls to replace my stock and reduce my risk? No, No and No. Did I do anything? No. I was the smartest guy and I knew what I was doing right? I mean didn’t everyone get doubles in a month?
The next day THE gap down happened. At the time I thought the two candles up above separated from the rest of the chart seemed oddly ominous but I could not put my finger on why or be sure that this was not just another of the famous Novavax head fakes that I had gotten very used to. I was no technical analyst at that point and anything as esoteric as an “Island Gap” Japanese candlestick pattern would have escaped me completely.
As it turned out, Novavax has yet to revisit those prices from the day of the island gap over four years later. I believe I sold the last of my shares from the remaining Thousand at a price of $2.00 back in July of ’12 and at the time I remember feeling like I got a great price on my exit since shares had traded as low as $1.10 and I had held out from selling at the lows.
After all, I had learned a thing or two about Novavax and about the markets in the subsequent years of dragging its dead carcass along with me hadn’t I? Yes that is correct, I never sold. Not at six dollars or five dollars or four dollars or even at three dollars when I was back to a loss.
NVAX got back to $3.00 and under within a few months of its climax and I not only did NOT sell with profit I dragged that fucking carcass along for three fucking years before I dumped those last shares and price never got above $3.50 the whole time…that is dead fucking money people.
As it turned out the $2.00 fill I sold out at was near high tick for another few months and I felt pretty good that I had rid myself of the curse but sure enough as these things are wont to do in the markets a few months later after I had sold my final shares the chart started firming up again and now the company is starting to hit milestones and get grants and now the chart shows promise and now I have been stalking it for a legitimate trade again since I always kind of had a warm spot for that old dog. But I ain’t gonna chase it this time. I ain’t gonna chase it.