Author Topic: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000  (Read 2417 times)

Roland of Gilead

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RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« on: June 24, 2018, 09:08:28 PM »
I just opened a new account with RobinHood this evening using a link from MMM member Epor (random pick but she seems nice).

I am funding it with $2500 and probably will do a lot of biotech and options trading, maybe even biotech options!

This is straight up casino gambling but I have been doing this in Etrade since 2001 and have managed to raise a $1700 IRA account to $93,000 over the 17 years.  This is with paying $9.95 stock trades and $1 per contract plus $9.95 option trades AND having to wait three days for trades to settle.  I think I can do a bit better and faster with the larger stake and margin account (not for margin itself but for instant settlement).  This is why the rather ambitious goal of going from $2,500 to $250,000, hopefully in a decade or less, if RobinHood stays in business.

Others are welcome to join me but I figure not many are interested in the work and risk.  I am still going to post my trades and a screenshot of my account balances and positions for anyone interested in tracking the success or failure.

Once the funds settle, I am going to be looking at Merck Jan 2019 options and Geron stock for my first trades, if the price is right.   Both stocks should move up this year on good catalysts.   Geron has a decision to be made by J&J on continuing trials for MF and MDS.   A positive decision on this continuation should propel the stock from $3.60 to about $7.  A negative decision will likely drop it to the $1.50 to $2 range.   Because of the good OS results in the trials, I think a positive decision on continuation by J&J is more likely, which makes the play a good risk/reward.   A buyout could happen and would probably be for $3B to $5B, or about $15 to $25 a share.

Merck is a slow moving giant, but the options are insanely cheap for the leverage.   Keytruda is doing extremely well and it is likely to help boost the stock to the $65 area by EOY from the current $61 area.  The options are cheap enough that this $4 move could mean a 100% gain on Jan 2019 strikes.

jlcnuke

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 10:26:46 AM »
Interested to see how it goes.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2018, 07:49:51 AM »
Got my RH account fully funded and made a few trades.

Currently sitting on 500 shares of Geron and my one free share of ZNGA

Somewhere around a $150 gain for the first week of trading in the $2500 account, but it was only a 2 day week.

I am impressed with the speed of the trades and the ability to get fairly close to the bid/ask you desire.  I thought it would be rather bad for something that is totally free.

I am excited for Geron over the next few weeks...could see a jump to $5 really soon, which would help out my little experiment.

Oh, and here is my robinhood link for a free share of stock when you sign up (I think I get one also, just like Epor did):
https://share.robinhood.com/richare462


Res Ipsa

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2018, 06:18:47 AM »
Good luck.  I'll be following.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2018, 07:28:41 AM »
Made a couple more trades (in/out of Merck June 2019 calls for about $60 gain and in/out/in Geron for same amount gain)

Also received 2 free stocks from people signing up, which seems like cheating on my goal but we can subtract those from the totals.  They are not stocks I would actually buy....Groupon???

Thanks for the free stocks whoever!

Currently have about a 13% gain which isn't a bad start considering it has only been a week.   60% gain for this year is the goal.


Roland of Gilead

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2018, 06:13:10 PM »
A few days later, a little update.   I bought and sold Merck and Geron a few times.  Got a couple of free stocks (thanks, hope you got something good too!

Increased the account to $2916, which is a $400 gain not counting the $16 in free stocks.

$400 gain in a couple of weeks on $2500 isn't horrible...that is a 16% return.  If you annualized that (assuming you could keep up the 16% return every two weeks) it would be a yearly return of 4000% (that probably isn't going to happen...I am shooting for 60% a year which will actually give me $250,000 in 10 years...compounding rocks!)


gmdv

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2018, 09:23:16 AM »
Looks interesting.  I've been wanting to do the same with my gambling money too.   Might jump into this next year.

ImCheap

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2018, 10:34:13 AM »
Thanks for posting and tracking, going to be a good show no matter the outcome

Roland of Gilead

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 02:23:59 PM »
Hey, little update.

I traded in and out of Geron and Merck.  I did not manage to get the tops or buy at the bottoms but did get some of the chewy middle.  Both stocks have continued to perform well (I likely should have held onto both of them a little longer but maybe will get the opportunity to buy back in if they drop, if not, there is always something else out of favor).

Currently up about $700, or around 28% since I opened the account a few weeks ago.  Not too bad.


UnexpectedExpenseExpector

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2018, 11:29:52 PM »
Hey there @Roland of Gilead !

Thanks for setting up this challenge.  I've been meaning to post for a while but life has been pretty busy getting Baby #3 welcomed to the household.  I would like to join your race though I've been at it with Robinhood for a while already.  I have just shy of $6,000 that I am using for active trading.  I am primarily using it for options trading but I do some stock trades as well.  I do add a small amount of funds weekly as well.

I plan to post updates whenever I close trades.  Best of luck to you!  I'm looking forward to following your progress!

8/14/2018: 5,940.64

Epor

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2018, 08:49:30 AM »

Posting to follow.

looshi

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2018, 06:22:05 AM »
This is an interesting challenge. I just signed up for RobinHood last month. I don't have a couple grand of fun money to start, but I will see how far I can get in the challenge on $100/month. If things go well I might up that later.

My free stock on sign-up was SIRI (Sirius XM). I sold that for $6.79 at the first opportunity. My first purchase was one share of WAB (Wabtec) at $110.34. This is a supplier of components for the rail industry, and just purchased GE's locomotive division. I expect them to benefit greatly from being the only end-to-end supplier in the industry, so expect to see this position increase for me over the next couple of months. Maybe I can scrounge up a couple hundred to really get me started.

Here's my sign-up link if anyone else wants to join and spread the referral love: https://share.robinhood.com/kylem1194

The screenshot of my portfolio is attached.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2018, 09:54:28 PM »
I've had my RobinHood account about a year now. Only funded it with $250 and I'm currently up 26.4% in that time. A decent chunk of that is free stocks from people using my link. I'd like to try options but for some reason every time I click on the link in the email to install the newest version of the app with options and crypto it doesn't work. I've uninstalled and reinstalled the app a couple of times with no luck. Maybe it just doesn't like that my phone is a few years old and is still running Android 4.4.4.

Dicey

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2018, 07:22:38 AM »
Nice to see this thread from you @Roland of Gilead! I don't but individual stocks, so I'm totally going to be a spectator. Should be an interesting ride. I hope you hit your targets!

UnexpectedExpenseExpector

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2018, 10:43:58 PM »
Hey, little update!

Closed a trade in AMD and one on UVXY for a nice chunk of profit. Here is my updated balance


8/14/2018: 5,940.64
8/27/2018: 6,300.64 ($160 of new deposits, $200 of gains)

Also if anyone is so inclined here is my Robinhood link: http://share.robinhood.com/jonathl23  we both get a free share if you sign up using it.

Welcome to you @looshi ! I started out small as you are. Good luck!

How is your progress @Roland of Gilead ?

Roland of Gilead

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2018, 09:12:45 AM »
Ok, so here is my update.  I have mostly been trading in Merck and Geron.  Geron recently spiked from the high $3 area to low $5 area when J&J made a job posting in Europe for a position marketing the drug that Geron and J&J are collaborating on.  This caused the stock to go haywire on speculation of a early approval in Europe or at least that J&J will continue the partnership.  $6 to $10 is a reasonable expectation on continuation of partnership.

So I have about $3640 in the account now, or a $1140 gain on the initial $2500.  That is a gain of over 45%!

Remember, to reach $250,000 in 10 years from an initial start of $2500, you "only" need a 60% gain each year.  :-)


Roland of Gilead

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2018, 11:19:48 PM »
Closing out August and I almost reached $3800.

$1300 gain on $2500 in a couple months.  Not that bad.

I picked some real winners with Merck and Geron.   Especially Geron.  It rocketed from $3.40 to $5.80 over the span of a week or two and has the potential to hit $8 to $10 by end of September when a continuation decision is announced by J&J.

Merck did well too, going from the high $50s to $70, then retracing a little to $68.50.   I am a little shy of it at the high end but would consider it again in the mid $60s as I think it could move to the mid $70s by Jan.


Trifele

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2018, 04:43:22 AM »
Posting to follow -- thanks for the thread!

looshi

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2018, 07:50:07 AM »
I tripled my investment in Robinhood!

Okay well that might be an exaggeration. But I managed to put together $225 to transfer to the account this month. Now I have 3 shares of WAB. Not much in the way of gains so far but everything is still showing green. Maybe a few bucks in unrealized gains so far.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2018, 05:41:47 AM »
So close to $4000/60% gain for the year (10 years @60% reaches $250,000)

$3964

I am at my 3 day trade limit for a couple more days though so that slows things down a bit.

I wish Geron would pull back a little bit.   I probably should have held onto some but made some good coin on it at any rate.


dollabillz

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2018, 05:54:14 AM »
How do you handle your taxes each year when you hop in and out of your positions?  Is it a huge pain come tax time?

Roland of Gilead

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2018, 06:31:43 AM »
How do you handle your taxes each year when you hop in and out of your positions?  Is it a huge pain come tax time?

This is my first year with Robinhood but I plan to download all of the transactions into tax software and let that figure things out.  As long as the net gains work out and I close out my positions, the final numbers will be right.  I will definitely verify that the overall gain is correct and the correct tax is paid on that.

I have questioned this same thing on MMM for the people who churn and find credit card signup deals.  *That* seems like a large pain at tax time and there may be quite a few people who are (perhaps innocently) dodging their tax on that.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 06:33:39 AM by Roland of Gilead »

UnexpectedExpenseExpector

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2018, 09:49:33 PM »
How do you handle your taxes each year when you hop in and out of your positions?  Is it a huge pain come tax time?

I have been trading in RH since March 2015 and my 1099 each year has been 60+ pages.  The way I have handled it is it gets printed out placed in the folder with other tax documents and handed to my accountant.  Has been no pain at all.  Robinhood also has a deal with Turbotax where you can have all of your transactions brought in automatically and entered appropriately for you. 

UnexpectedExpenseExpector

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2018, 10:07:47 PM »
Checking in with another update

AMD is the gift that keeps on giving, I took some more profits out of my AMD trade for a nice chunk of profit.  Here is my updated balance


8/14/2018: 5,940.64
8/27/2018: 6,300.64 ($160 of new deposits, $200 of gains)
9/7/2018: 13,990.99* ($7551.15 of new deposits, $139.20 of gains)

*Mrs. UnexpectedExpenseExpector and I talked it over and we decided to convert the whole Robinhood account over to the more active trading strategy so the trading balance got a substantial boost from bringing over these funds.

Cache_Stash

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2018, 10:31:50 AM »

Trifele

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2018, 12:12:58 PM »
Something to be aware of if you are trading on Robinhood:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4205379-robinhood-making-millions-selling-millennial-customers-high-frequency-traders

Thanks Cache_Stash!  I'm new to this, so can you explain it to me like I'm five years old?  Sounds like RobinHood is selling its customers' trading data?

terran

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2018, 12:28:53 PM »
Cool project you've got going on here. It'll be interesting watching your progress

I have questioned this same thing on MMM for the people who churn and find credit card signup deals.  *That* seems like a large pain at tax time and there may be quite a few people who are (perhaps innocently) dodging their tax on that.

Credit card bonuses and cashback are considered discounts on the products you buy, so it's not taxable income. Bank account signup bonuses are taxable interest, but you can't do THAT many of those in a year, so it's only so taxing (pun intended).

Cache_Stash

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2018, 12:52:20 PM »
Something to be aware of if you are trading on Robinhood:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4205379-robinhood-making-millions-selling-millennial-customers-high-frequency-traders

Thanks Cache_Stash!  I'm new to this, so can you explain it to me like I'm five years old?  Sounds like RobinHood is selling its customers' trading data?

There isn't enough data forthcoming from Robinhood to figure it out completely.  But, if you read the tea leaves, it means that Robinhood is passing their trades through high frequency traders and the HFT's and Robinhood may not be looking out for you so they don't look for price improvement during a sale so quality of trades is in question (they may be scalping some off the top which doesn't give you the best available price) or maybe they are using the data to utilize in scalping from others.  Without more information it's hard to say. 

This is probably true mainly for market based orders and not limit orders.  That being said, you ought to use limit orders when placing a trade (everyone should use limit orders anyway - Robinhood or other platform). 

The SEC ought to require more disclosure so people that are using the platform can clearly see the effect.  Wall Street can be very slimy at times. 

There is a little bit of irony in the name "Robinhood".

Cache_Stash

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2018, 01:00:19 PM »
https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/03/19/how-does-robinhood-make-money.aspx

Number 3 on the list of how Robinhood makes money has a much better explanation.  But it doesn't address how slimy it may be (potential for scalping and trade quality degradation) or the fact the Robinhood may be charging the HTFs 10X more for 'selling' your trades.

Cache_Stash

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2018, 01:08:54 PM »
I'm not sure if I gave you enough information.  If you need more info, I'll dive a little deeper (bid/ask spread and market making).  Of course, you can google it too.  The HTF's are doing the market making in this case.

Trifele

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2018, 05:31:38 PM »
Thanks Cache_Stash! 

Michael in ABQ

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2018, 08:40:51 PM »
Initially when I made my first few trades I didn't realize they allowed for limit orders. I noticed that the price my trades was executed at was always $0.01-$0.02 from the current price but since I was only buying a couple of shares I figure $.04 was a lot cheaper than $5.95 or $7.95 on another platform. I suspected some front-running but at the volumes I was executing my trades it's a small price to pay. Still, I've since moved to only using limit trades.

UnexpectedExpenseExpector

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2018, 01:28:26 AM »
I don't really see anything slimy or unreasonable about any brokerage choosing to sell order flow.  I personally would rather my brokerage sell the order flow and give me free trades, than guarantee I get scalped by giving me a $7 haircut on each side of my trades.  I also see no reason to expect or assume that Robinhood, or any other broker for that matter, should not be making money off of their customers for the service they are providing.  They are a business after all. 

High frequency traders as a market participant also don't bother me.  They help provide liquidity to the market, and make sure that when I want to buy/sell shares or options then I am able to do so.  My last 4 trades in AMD yielded gains of 65%, 54%, 34%, and 28%.  If they make a few pennies off me while I'm making tens of thousands of pennies then I guess I can definitively say I'm ok with that arrangement. And whatever pittance they make from front running my trades in Robinhood, I make back in dividends and capital gains from CSCO, MSFT, IBM, and all the other tech companies in VTSAX that profit from the millions of dollars that the HFT firms spend on infrastructure.

I was half expecting to see a disclosure of a long position in IBKR by the author, given that Interactive Brokers is apparently where the "sophisticated retail traders" hang out as opposed to the unrefined peasant masses that inhabit Robinhood.

I don't really see why the SEC should require more disclosure from Robinhood than it does from other brokers.

Prior to Robinhood showing up in 2015 I would have needed a about $2,000 to get started trading.  When Robinhood came along I was able to get started in March of 2015 with a grand total of $140.  And since their arrival they have done nothing but improve their platform.  For me Robinhood lowered a barrier to entry into the market that to be honest should have been lowered a long time ago.  I for one am welcoming the disruption Robinhood is providing to the brokerage services industry.  And I will continue to enjoy utilizing their platform for my hobby trading.




Roland of Gilead

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2018, 08:22:47 AM »
I have not seen any sign of poor trade execution on Robinhood.  In fact I am amazed how fast I can get a fill on a tiny order at the midpoint of the bid/ask price.  One might expect an instant fill on a limit buy of $5.75 a share for a stock that is trading at bid $5.65 / ask $5.75 but I am routinely able to get a fill at $5.70 which is as good or better than I was getting on E-trade.

I still stand by my opinion that Robinhood's strategy is to become a thorn in the side of a larger discount broker and get bought out.  I bet they are actually running at a slight loss right now.  That and the fact that the two coders in India working on their interface probably don't have a high salary.

On a side note....go go Geron!   Do I know how to pick them or what?  It hit $6.40 yesterday!

UnexpectedExpenseExpector

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2018, 11:07:22 PM »
Nice job on Geron @Roland of Gilead !!  Looks like it has been crushing it lately even considering the 16% sell off today. Hopefully you were able to capitalize on that move?

For an update on my side of the race I decided to harvest some more gains out of my AMD position for a tidy sum of $1568.25.  I'm really glad I disagreed with all the shorts on this one back when it was still range bound around $15

8/14/2018:  $5,940.64
8/27/2018:  $6,300.64  ($160 of new deposits, $200 of gains)
9/7/2018:   $13,990.99 ($7551.15 of new deposits, $139.20 of gains)
9/14/2018:  $15,559.24 ($1568.25 of gains)


Onward!

Michael in ABQ

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2018, 08:32:16 PM »

On a side note....go go Geron!   Do I know how to pick them or what?  It hit $6.40 yesterday!

I had about $15 in cash sitting in my account so I took a look at Geron yesterday and saw it had dropped about 8%. Decided I'd buy 3 shares at $5.42. Within a few hours it had risen a few percent and I decided to place a limit order for $5.75. Sure enough it briefly touched $5.75 today and I got my $0.99 or 6.1% gain. Felt a bit exciting even though it wouldn't even cover the cost of a drink from a vending machine. It was entirely a gamble as I know nothing about the company, etc. Just saw a big drop and figured it would probably recover part of that in the next few days with how volatile it's been. Looks like my bet paid off. Had I set my limit at $5.76 though I'd be in the red right now.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2018, 08:26:58 AM »

On a side note....go go Geron!   Do I know how to pick them or what?  It hit $6.40 yesterday!

I had about $15 in cash sitting in my account so I took a look at Geron yesterday and saw it had dropped about 8%. Decided I'd buy 3 shares at $5.42. Within a few hours it had risen a few percent and I decided to place a limit order for $5.75. Sure enough it briefly touched $5.75 today and I got my $0.99 or 6.1% gain. Felt a bit exciting even though it wouldn't even cover the cost of a drink from a vending machine. It was entirely a gamble as I know nothing about the company, etc. Just saw a big drop and figured it would probably recover part of that in the next few days with how volatile it's been. Looks like my bet paid off. Had I set my limit at $5.76 though I'd be in the red right now.

It is really volatile and is going to be volatile for two more weeks as J&J decides if they will continue collaboration.  If they decide not to continue, Geron will fall to $2.  It might bounce up a little but it could go as low as $1.50 during that day.  If they do decide to continue, the stock should hit $7 to $8 but possibly go higher as 1/3 of the shares are shorted right now.   

There were good signs they were continuing to pursue the drug (J&J had put out job applications in Europe for jobs relating to this drug) but then yesterday they updated their compassionate use list and had dropped this drug from it.   They also dropped several other drugs so that update might be a mistake (it was dated Sept 4 which was when they had added the drugs in the first place).  So confusing.

I guess what I am saying is if you buy Geron, expect to make $3 to $10 or lose $3 to $5

Roland of Gilead

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2018, 08:31:51 AM »
On a side note, a stock that I have made a boatload on (Endocyte) by buying at $1.20 last year (sitting on a quarter million profit on that one!) reached $20 recently and they did a offering at $18.50, which is reasonable.  The stock pulled back to $18.35 and I bought 140 shares in my little Robinhood account.   The FDA has allowed them an additional endpoint for their phase III drug candidate and with this high offering filling in such a timely manner (three days, it is already closed) I have some confidence Endocyte will be at $21 in the next month or three.  It does take up a lot of my available funds, but the $400 gain will be worth the wait.


UnexpectedExpenseExpector

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Re: RobinHood race from $2,500 to $250,000
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2018, 09:30:11 PM »
Took some more gains out of trades in AMD, F, and KO. 

8/14/2018:  $5,940.64
8/27/2018:  $6,300.64  ($160 of new deposits, $200 of gains)
9/7/2018:   $13,990.99 ($7551.15 of new deposits, $139.20 of gains)
9/14/2018:  $15,559.24 ($1568.25 of gains)
9/19/2018:  $16,148.37 ($80 of new deposits, $509.13 of gains)