James J Houts

Writings

 

Quality of Quantity: Redemption of an American Expatriate 

Quality of Quantity: Redemption of an American expatriate is about the way we treat on another, especially the way the strong interact with the weak. Which leads directly to the way men treat women and children, and the way the rich treat the poor. It is a brutal truth of biology that every lifeform is hard wired to perceive reality in a way that optimizes reproductive advantage. Perceptions - sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch - service this goal. Our senses are not windows to the truth. That isn't their purpose.

An example of how this strategy can go wrong is the Australian Jewel Beetle. The female beetle is large and brown, shiny and dimpled. As it happens, so are Australian beer bottles. Male beetles are mesmerized by the discarded bottles, mounting them until they die of exhaustion, exposure, or get devoured by predators. The males are hard wired to respond to perception in a certain way, and are unable to stop their self-destructive behavior. As a result, the species has been pushed to the brink of extinction.

Humans have minds, the ability to think beyond our senses. We possess the power to control our natural instincts, to resist our need to accumulate reproductive resources. We can battle our unconscious desire for the wealth and possessions of others, the drive to control even the bodies of those weaker. Quality of Quantity is a novel that explores this uniquely human struggle. 
                                                                                                          
                                                                                                     

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Reminiscences of a Stock Market Flea

Reminiscences of a Stock Market Flea takes us on an investing adventure spanning more than three decades; from the dog days of Dow 800 in the late 1970s, through the roaring eighties on Wall Street, the Crash of 1987, the historic bull market lead-up and subsequent Crash of 2008, the generational bottom in March 2009, and the Federal Reserve pumped recovery since. A chemist, technical writer and novelist the author’s world travels and extensive options trading have made him a different kind of business writer – an easily understood one. James J. Houts demystifies trading and with a little Hollywood magic transforms a bewildering, sometimes incomprehensible subject into an entertaining read. He startles us with the slap-in-the-face assertion that everyone should save 25% of gross earnings; then provides the method of doing just that - without taking an unacceptable hit to lifestyle. He surprises and entertains us by exposing the animal nature of trading and the primitive impulses that drive our trades. “You are your own worst enemy,” says the author, “but trading like a flea can protect you from you.”

Winner of the NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Summer 2014

What readers are saying:

 
(The author’s example of comparing stock options to a real estate lease-to-own agreement) is a powerful analogy. It’s the first time I’ve understood options and I had a Series 7 (stock broker’s) license.

                                                                                                     

This is a fascinating book about not only options trading, but also the history of the business. It achieves its objectives admirably, and is a very good read.

                                                                                                    
The book is an extremely well written guide to investing for the layperson. The material is easy to read and amusing; the tone is light and casual while the book still manages to be very informative. The movie analogies work very well.

                                                                                                     

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The Stock Market Flea: Trading the Crash of 2008
 
"When the real estate market melted down in 2007 and the stock market went south in 2008, the hand I was holding was: Nothing – but as it turned out nothing was a real cool hand.”

                                                                         Reminiscences of a Stock Market Flea

 

In the first book of this series the author uses an example from the movie classic Cool Hand Luke to explain how he avoided both the 2007 real estate collapse and the 2008 stock market crash.  “Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.”   Paul Newman’s character famously said after winning a hand of poker without having any cards. This book is the trade by trade account of how the author played the losing hand we were all dealt in 2008, when he traded tens of thousands of options as the markets went down and dozens of stock round trips as he searched for a tradable bottom. Risking only tiny portions of his net worth at any one time, moving in and moving out quickly – quick and small are hallmarks of the stock market Flea – the author’s trading was up 17% by the end of 2008, beating the performance of the S&P average by 56%. Aware we were living through a historic moment in market history, the author documented every trading day: the trades he made, the protection he used, the political theater, the crushed companies and wiped out investors; recording his reasons for taking the positions and making the trades as he made them – right or wrong. His trading log and market newsletter would become the basis of the Stock Market Flea series of books. Here is the story of how the author traded Apple and the wider markets for the five years it took to again reach historic new-highs and where he is currently positioned for the next market implosion.

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The Stock Market Flea: Lessons from the Front
 
"Buy a House - Get homeowner's insurance. Buy a car - Get auto insurance.                            Buy a stock - Get Option Protection.”

                                                           The Stock Market Flea: Lessons from the Front 

 

 

Lessons of Life, Love and Trading:

Be a Flea, Not a Bull or a Bear

 Don’t Delay, Retire Anyway

 Trading is NOT a 4 Letter Word

 Have a Plan, Trade Your Plan

 Don’t Average into a Loser

 Buy Carefully, Sell Aggressively

 Don’t Mark Duds While Drinking

 Be Confident and Trade Options

 Treasuries Are a Fool’s Bet

 When Your Plan Fails, Change it

 Don’t be Slow, Don’t be Greedy

 Listen to and Respect Your Spouse

 Gold is the Path to the Future

 Don’t Be Obtuse with a Machine Gun Pointed at You

 Hope is the Worst Investment Strategy

 Sell Early, Sell Often

 

  There’s still time to build wealth and retire well

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Carnival of Cannibals 

Carnival of Cannibals is a relentless love story that follows Jeri Singleton and Ted Johnston from Honolulu and Los Angeles to Durango and New Orleans. Ted, a nuclear engineer, has succeeded in the world of technology and money to which Jeri aspires, yet Ted has lost his faith in science and technology and is searching for balance and meaning. Jeri, a brilliant young scientist, who was raised on her family's farm, yearns for the sophisticated urban life Ted wishes to abandon. Drawn irresistibly together across a lonely ski slope in spite of their conflicting desires, the two begin a romance and fall deeply in love. As their lives converge and their love affair develops, Jeri and Ted join a group of libertine strangers on a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. With the parties and parades of Carnival cascading around them they collide with the sharp edges of our technology driven world. 


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Spirit of Error 

A diabolical scientific discovery allows Islamic fundamentalist and secretive Nazi sympathizers to develop a deadly, and very specific, biological weapon for the final eradication of Israel – and the genocide of Jews everywhere.  As Israel and the Arab Bloc once again prepare for war, it becomes widely acknowledged that Israel will use nuclear weapons if national survival is at risk and the Arab Bloc has deployed radical new biological weapons. Michael Bradley, a brilliant inorganic chemist is swept up in the tide of war and finds himself alone in the Tibesti Highlands of Southern Libya. His goal is the destruction of the secret biological laboratory that has produced the genocidal biological weapon. A lightening paced thriller, Spirit of Error is a frightening description of what could be happening right now in Libya and the Middle East. In the tradition of Tom Clancy and Tim LaHaye, James J. Houts has crafted a story with ominous implications for Israel and the world.

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