Odds and the Spread Offense

Note 1: I am an amateur investor who has made every investing mistake possible with the exception of one. There is no investing advice anywhere to be found in this post even if it might seem like it. For emphasis on this point I have included an exclamation point as follows:


Note 2) There is no investing advice in this post.

Note 3) In the spirit of helping others less fortunate than yourself consider a couple of options:

Option A: College Football season is approaching with Fall camps opening in a couple of weeks. Wouldn’t it be swell if you found a local orphanage or Boys Town sort of place and bought a couple of season passes to your local colleges season - and then donated them to the kids?

As an alternative - buy some tickets to a local baseball team and donate them.

Option B: Kids may think its Summer - but we know school will be coming back soon. So - take a couple of hundred dollars and go buy some winter coats. You can donate them through a local Knights of Columbus Chapter.

About half way through a well needed vacation and I thought I would take some time to catch up a bit. My lingering stock market ambivalence and come-and-go general malaise has pretty much transitioned into a more wholesome borderline indifference which I consider a giant leap forward. This, strangely enough, has been helped a great deal by numerous sightings of very lovely bikini clad damsels on some really spectacular beaches. Imagine that.

So - over the last several weeks the only real TBs I have worked on was another foray into MELI with a purchase at $658 and a sale today at $765 and some change. Worked out for about a gain of just over 16%. Hope it goes down again. The second TB was with DOCN: A combination of a gift from Morgan Stanley combined with lots of PDL in that I just happened to be un-vacationing for a moment or two when MS decided to downgrade the company. Purchased it just above $35 and sold it a bit ago at just over $40 for a quick gain of 13.4%. Whole episode was a knee-jerk reaction - that I regretted immediately, to the downgrade combined with the really high confidence of one of the really smart guys I follow. Wasn’t all that confident it would work out and actually thought MStanley had good logic. Anyway, moving on.

Note: Despite my commitment to avoid it for now - I was very tempted to start a UPST TB when it dipped below $24 or so simply based on the idea that it would bounce back and work out to a nice quick gain. File this in the Shoulda/Coulda folder of timidity. Had I done so I most likely would have already sold it for about a 15-17% gain.

So - given that my math is on target, which is dicey at best, so far the portfolio has rallied by somewhere around 13.4% so far this month. Given the combination of factors working against the market just now I’ll happily take it. So here is where the portfolio stands just now:


  1. DDOG - Portfolio Franchise with a big contract.
  2. BILL
  3. SNOW
  4. CRWD
  5. S

B) Bench

  1. NET
  2. ZS
  3. MDB

Thats it - the whole enchilada along with about 15% or so in cash.

So - since I have been studiously derelict of late in keeping up with a broader map/outlook of what all the various Gurus I follow are doing - I thought I would take a moment to review the Odds in a sort of Spread Offense sort of way. Those familiar with the Spread know that its designed to flood the field with receivers in a passing based attack that, when used effectively (especially in a No Huddle format, narrows the talent gap between less talented teams and the more talented teams. The key is the Quarterbacks ability to methodically check-off his targets and accurately put the ball in the hands of the best positioned receiver. How is that like what we do now? Well…thats simple:

Imagine you, your very self -as QB of your portfolio. Your STARTERS are intended to be the top receivers while the Bench represents the offensive line. In this scenario the Scout Team is comprised of promising freshmen whom you have Redshirted until such time as they are ready to become greater contributors to your stock team. See how this works? Using this strategy allows you to concentrate your resources on the best players available; BUT - how do retail investors find the best receivers to place as STARTERS? Well - that too is simple - IF - you are a decent enough judge of talent. I use paid Scouting Services with my top 6 being:

Current Service Rankings

  1. Saul
  2. Bessemer Venture Partners
  3. I/O Fund
  4. Data Driven Investing
  5. Bert Hochfeld
  6. Motley Fool (Falling off a bit since DG left - in my humble opinion)


  1. Little 3 - minor additional services combined/Included

Here are some of the top rated Receivers from those services:


Momentum YTD: Negative 40%

Top Rated STARTER.


Latest Report Press Release


BILL was on fire today gaining a whopping 9.84%. Maybe this is why:


Still around 40% or so Below its High of $348. Has been a STARTER for while now and I don’t see that changing prior to the next ER. As a STARTER Receiver BILL has Speed but with a potential recession on the horizon the question is whether they can prevent churn in their small business customers cohort.


Lowest Ranked STARTER

Momentum YTD: Negative 44%


Latest Earnings Press Release


Latest News/Scouting Report:


S puts up good numbers and is a mini-me CRWD sort of player with a mini-me Cap with higher growth. And we are nothing if not pure growth Coaches are we not? S is also the only STARTER not in the top 5 of any of my subscription services: it comes directly from Saul’s board.


High Ranked STARTER

Momentum YTD: Negative 50% or so.


Latest Earnings Press Release:


Latest News/Scouting Report:


SNOW has been a STARTER for quite some time now and I consider the company to be a Possession type Go-To Receiver. Might deserve a better contract.


Possible STARTER candidate.

Momentum YTD: Negative 61% or so.


Latest Earnings Report Press Release:


Latest News/Scouting Report:


MNDY was a rocket today gaining almost 15% with the company CEO loudly proclaiming:


Note: I just sort of fudged that the CEO said anything like that. He could have though!

For whatever reason I do not have as much confidence in MNDY as I do in the current roster STARTERS. That lack of confidence is perhaps misplaced. Its the Guidance - which, was issued on the last ER that raised some Red Flags on flagging growth:


DDOG gained about 8.5% today but that isn’t its best story of late. Its actually been a great TB since about Mid May:

May 18 Bottomed at $84.69
May 19 Reached a High of $96.53
One day gain of +13.9%

May 20 Bottomed at $90.18
May 23 Reached a High of $95.96
Gain of 6.4%


TOP rated STARTER by a long shot.

Momentum YTD: Negative About 35% or so.


Latest Earnings Report Press Release:


DDOG gained about 8.5% today but that isn’t its best story of late. Its actually been a great TB since about Mid May:

May 18 Bottomed at $84.69
May 19 Reached a High of $96.53
One day gain of +13.9%

May 20 Bottomed at $90.18
May 23 Reached a High of $95.96
Gain of 6.4%

May 24 Bottomed at $84.14
May 25 Reached a High of $90.38
One day gain of +7.4%

May 26 Bottomed at $82.15
May 27 Reached a High of $98.18
One day gain of +19.5%

May 31 Bottomed at $93.64
June 1 Reached a High of $103.88
One Trading day gain of +10.9%

June 15 Bottomed at $84.00
June 16 Bottomed at $81.12
June 17 Bottomed at $81.92
June 23 Reached a High of $102.21
Gain from June 15 of +21.6%

June 30 Bottomed at $90.46
July 1 Reached a High of 101.20
One Trading Day gain of +11.8%

July 13 Bottomed at $92.13
July 20 Reached a High of $102.47
Gain of +11.2%

Now let.s stop right here. I am not saying that I got in on all of those Trading Block opportunities or even that I obtained the maximum gains from any of them. But what I am saying is that I got a bunch of them and produced excellent ancillary gains. Why Ancillary? Well thats easy and the sweetest part of these TBs: I never touched my core DDOG allocation. The person who is steadfast LTBH and who wouldn’t dream of venturing out on the TB turf missed a bunch of great opportunities.

A while back someone posted on the board that they wished they could find these 7+% short term gains. Well guess what - DDOG wasn’t/isn’t the only High Confidence company consistently weaving its way along the market path and all it takes is three things:

  1. Be familiar with the price action of your chosen group of High Confidence companies.
  2. Have some cash on hand.
  3. When you think you see a nice opportunity add a 10-15% Trading Block.
  4. Wait - be patient if necessary. I’ve waited as long as three weeks to make that 7+%.
  5. When the stock price re-bounds pull the trigger on the TB.

Whats the worst that can happen? Well…let’s say you have 1000 shares of CRWD. You notice that its been going up and down regularly by 5-7%. Add 100-150 shares as a trading block. And the price doesn’t zoom right back up. So what? The TB hasn’t went away - it’s sitting there. And if CRWD never comes back then you lost 10-15% more than your core allocation. Thats the worst of it. In the meanwhile you could be throwing several touchdown passes a month to your other High Confidence companies. Moving on:

Latest News/Scouting Report:



High Confidence STARTER in an Investing Sweet Spot (SWP).

Momentum YTD: Negative 7% or so - sort of a Best of the Best YTD.


Latest Earnings Report Press Release:


Latest News/Scouting Report:


CRWD is not as speedy as it used to be but its got good hands and is definitely a Balanced Receiver. At some point it might get slower still and get relegated to the Bench - but that time is not now. Maybe tomorrow…I dunno.


Nice little Software company.

Momentum YTD: Negative 44%


Latest Earnings Press Release:


Latest News/Scouting Report:


DOCN is slow footed at about Y/Y Revenue Growth of 35% and it targets small users. The worry here is whether a recession could lead to massive churn in its customer base. I see DOCN as an ongoing TB possibility and a spot on the Scout Team if I can ever get the portfolio expanded to the 15 or so positions I like to carry.


Destined for Greatness?

Momentum YTD: Negative 35% (Give or take)


Latest Earnings Report Press Release:


Latest News/Scouting Report:


I like MDB a lot and think it’s a perfect Bench level player. Solid with high upside potential but I don’t feel comfortable with it as a TB type company.


Glory Days!


Momentum YTD: Negative 44% or so


Latest Earnings Report Press Release:


Latest News/Scouting Reports:



Most of the folks that might stumble into this board probably remember when TTD was a thing. It was until suddenly it wasn’t. While TTD is not currently a fit for the roster it does have the mid-term political Ad revenue that will boost earnings. Could punch its way back I suppose and in some ways might fit as a Bench player on some rosters.


Excellent company in the Investing Sweet Spot of security.

Momentum YTD: Negative 45%


Latest Earnings Report Press Release:


Recent News/Scouting Reports:



Perhaps ZS STARTER days or over but it has nice spot on the Bench.


Momentum YTD: Negative 35% or so.

For when you are going somewhere and need a place to stay.


Latest Earnings Report Press Release:


Latest News/Scouting Reports:


The thing about ABNB is that I tend to agree that a pent-up demand for travel this summer will provide great numbers for the company’s next report. But even with that I don’t really see it as a steady roster player - it’s more the specialty player whose specialty is in the TB arena. I started to add it as a TB when it dipped as low as $86 on June 30 but was busy at something or other…so didn’t. Two days later it got as high as $96.01. Thereafter, on July 14 it bottomed once again at $90.17. Today it closed at $107.73 which, placing ABNB in the right hand column of lost opportunities for me. If it dips below $100 again I will most likely pull the TB trigger.


MELI is The Wild Thing

The Late Great Sam Kinison says it all about MELI - well sorta:



Latest Earnings Report Press Release:


Latest News/Scouting Reports:


MELI has been the portfolio’s go-to TB ATM. I have been in and out of the company maybe 8-9 times this year and made a quick short term gain every single time. You wild thing you.


Momentum YTD: Negative 10% or so.

Software for Doctors


Latest Earnings Report Press Release:


Latest News/Scouting Reports:


I really don’t follow DOCS all that much but it could fit - maybe, on the Scout Team.


YTD Momentum: Negative 40%


Latest Earnings Report Press Release:


Latest News/Scouting Report:


If Kathie is right ZM is going to become one of the kool kids again. I dunno - maybe a comeback trio of UPST, ZM and ROKU on the Scout Team. Could work out.

When you are looking at that list its easy to see how I put together my Top Five Receivers ie…STARTERS.
It needs to be acknowledged that outside of formal Bench and STARTERS I tend to stick to this group for TB opportunities. Why? Well…because often times the subscription service gurus will alert a buy or put together an article on one of them that hits home with me. Then I just check to see if there is some sort of pattern to the share price with frequent patterns of ebbing and waxing that I can take advantage of. ABNB is a recent example of that but I missed on it due to travel - sigh! Simple as that.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.

All the Best,


I would like to add 3 notes to the original post as follows:

Note 1) Never post numbers without editing before you post especially after mid-day beachy type drinks.

Note 2) As has been said many times, there are three types of people: Those who can count - and -
those who can’t.

All the Best,