Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rapid Fire Marketing, Inc.: Prescription Bong Hits and eCigs - One Of My More Entertaining Pink Sheets Gambles

I spotted this company yesterday, Rapid Fire Marketing, Inc., took a little time to get to know what they're about, and this morning picked up a handful of shares inside of my speculation portfolio.

Business Summary

Rapid Fire Marketing, Inc. provides full service marketing, consulting, and management services for the medical cannabis in the United States. The company provides its marketing services related to the legal dispensing of medical marijuana. It also sells bionic cigarettes. The company was formerly known as N-Vision Technology and changed its name to Rapid Fire Marketing, Inc. in July 2007. Rapid Fire Marketing, Inc. was incorporated in 1989 and is based in Carson, Nevada. [emphasis mine]

The reason I went for it I've highlighted in bold. The medical marijuana thing, who knows? It seems like a growing trend (no pun intended) that by some accounts is severely underutilized by eligible patients in the United States. To what extent this firm will truly be able to capitalize on this, right now I just do not have a way to tell for certain (but that's what my speculation portfolio is for - just think of it as a collection of lottery tickets).

The electronic cigarettes business they're involved in, however, I think is more promising. There are several players in this market right now, but these guys in particular have secured some advertising at an event in which the attendees might not be allowed to get their nicotine fixes while on the grounds in traditional ways. That could get them thinking about trying Rapid Fire's products. Throw in the images of cancer and corpses soon to be slapped on the sides of cigarette packs here in the U.S. and the appeal of this product may grow even more. Finally, since these devices can impart the flavor of any number of pleasant things to the vapor they produce - things much more enjoyable than the taste of leaves burning at hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit - this may just be a long shot winner.

As always, do your own research before buying into something like this, or any investment for that matter. I'm not making a recommendation, just sharing my thoughts on one of my rolls of the dice.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oanda Gets Dumbed Down

I received this email from my Forex broker, Oanda, this afternoon:

Re: Important Notice on Gold and Silver Trading with OANDA.

Dear Paul E. Zimmerman,

As a result of the recently enacted Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, U.S.-based retail forex dealers such as OANDA are prohibited from offering leveraged trading in precious metals to retail clients after Friday, July 15, 2011.

As a client based in the U.S., you will not be able to trade our four precious metal pairs (XAU/USD, XAG/USD, XAU/JPY, XAG/JPY) on a leveraged basis, effective end of day July 15. Leveraged trading in other currency pairs will remain unaffected, with the same margin requirements.

You will still be able to trade precious metals, but only on a 1:1 non-leveraged basis (requiring substantially more margin). If you do not have sufficient margin to cover your open metal positions in full, you need to reduce your exposure to gold and silver pairs before end of day July 15, or risk a margin call of all your open positions when this change is implemented.

We sincerely regret any inconvenience caused by this change in legal requirements...

I sure am glad that Bawney Fwank and Chris Dudd came around to protect me from myself (and profits). I don't know what I would have done had they not forced me and tens of thousands of small retail traders to cough up ever-greater amounts of cash to use as margin for our trades. Someone had to stop this insane practice of accepting risk in pursuit of reward, especially inside of accounts like these Oanda accounts where losing trades will stop out before the account hits zero, meaning you can never lose more than you actually have and end up owing the broker. Good save, fellas!

I don't blame Oanda for this at all, of course. It's the law now, they have to comply. No one should take my comments on this to mean that I'm lumping them in with these jackass politicians.

This does make me wonder, too, if precious metals prices are going to crash when these new regulations are in full effect. Some portion of the presently high prices these metals are commanding (historically speaking) is probably in part due to leveraged trading in them. Take that away and it could cause a bit of a collapse (or a lot of one). We'll see.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Carbonite Online Backup: Worth it!

I've had Carbonite for over a year now, getting close to two.

I decided to write a quick blurb about it because it just saved me again. The first time it came through for me was just 100 days after I became a subscriber and my hard drive died. I was up and running again in less than 24 hours.

Recently I had a problem with my OS, so I had to do a reinstall to get going again. Carbonite seems to be the perfect insurance plan for my old, POS computer - what my computer lacks in reliability, Carbonite makes up for in data durability.

Try it, seriously. I'm not being paid for this post, I just really appreciate what this service can do (and in my case, has done).

http://www.carbonite.com

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