What is it like to be a short seller? What is it like to be reviled? What is it like to be feared utterly? It is the most wonderful experience known to man. To give you a glimpse into my wonderful life as a short seller, I give you here a glimpse of what my days look like.
I wake up every morning at 5AM and run 10 miles. I get home and punch a punching bag until my fists are bloody. Each day I pretend it is someone different. Yesterday it was William Telander (of US Windfarming). Today it was Richard Altomare of Universal Express. Tomorrow it will be the despicable Judd Bagley.
My breakfast is the same every morning: oatmeal flavored with ox blood, followed by a banana. I then peruse my favorite blogs before the market opens. There’s Gary Weiss, Herb Greenberg, David Milstead, David Baines, Sam Antar (blah blah blah former CFO of Crazy Eddie’s and convicted felon; okay, we get it Sam, now shut up!), Tracy Coenen, the SEC litigation releases, and the Forbes Informer.
I usually spend my mid-morning tweaking my stock positions. I run a few quantitative screens to search for new stocks to target. I also search all SEC filings for certain phrases that indicate bad companies (such as “Our CEO is a convicted felon who is also a registered sex offender”). I do not stop for lunch. Rather, I grab a few Ks and Qs and a bottle of whiskey and settle down to find weaknesses in the companies I have targeted. Depending upon the companies I am short my midday reading may also include patent applications, scientific articles, and policy papers.
If my energy starts to flag during the day I rip off my shirt, stand in front of the mirror, and shout the following:
“I am a wolf among sheep!”
“I am a master among slaves!”
“I am a god among men!”
“I shall not only destroy my enemies, but I shall annihilate them, wipe them from existence. When I am done they will be gone, forgotten, they will cease to ever have been!”
To really get the blood boiling, I pump my fists and shout, “I am MICHAEL GOODE and I am a SHORT SELLER. I AM ALL POWERFUL! I CANNOT BE STOPPED!” After this motivational interlude I can face the market even if I am down seven digits on the day.
In the afternoon I always call up Patrick Byrne to harass him. I actually get through to him once in awhile. I once pretended I was his father and he believed me for 10 minutes into my diatribe against his conspiracy theories. Late afternoon there are usually more phone calls to many of the big short-selling hedge funds. So far I’ve got a better IRR than Jim Chanos and I like to shove that in his face. He is too much the gentleman to point out that he manages 10,000 times more money than I do. I then call up the Sith Lord, Patrick Byrne’s best friend. I had a bet with him about Overstock.com’s [[ostk]] inventory turns and it looks like he won that.
Sometimes I call up my journalist buddies. I have several journalists on the take, although I do not use their services too often. Anyway, when I focus on truly deplorable companies I have no need of any help. After I am done with phone calls I will usually look up the new financial research (shout out to my buddy Dr. Sloan! Booya!).
By the time I am done with all this it is usually 7pm and I stop for a quick bowl of rice and steamed vegetables. I then settle into my easy chair for another 4 hours of reading financials. And that is a day in the life of a short seller.
Disclosure: If you cannot guess what I should disclose about the above article then I cannot tell you.