Cape Cod Pest Control Mogul Takes Wall Street To Cleaners

Strapped Cape Codders are cutting back on pest-control expenses.  So entrepreneur Bruce Davis is now focusing on making the most of his company’s CMA:

NYT: Bruce Davis…made $84,000 last year ridding homes of rodents, raccoons, flying squirrels and other pests. He also made $178,000 shorting stocks… That enabled him to buy a 3,600-square-foot home that had been in foreclosure for $270,000, he said, 40 per cent less than it sold for in 2006. “I call it my e*Trade house,” he said.

Mr. Davis says his pest control business has slowed this year, with more callers seeking advice from him than hiring him… (If you have a skunk in your garage, he tells them, coat the driveway in front of the garage door with flour and open the door. Once you see tracks leading out but not returning, close the door and you have solved the problem…)

Stock trading, though, is his real passion. He made a lot of money in the dot-com boom, lost most of it, then got back into the market a few years ago after figuring that he could make more money shorting stocks than buying long.

“Look at the charts,” said Mr. Davis, who is 46. “Stocks always go down a lot quicker than they go up. That’s because of the market makers.” In two weeks recently, he said, he made $10,000 doing “a double short and a double long on oil.” As he drives from job to job, he listens to financial news on CNBC and checks the markets on the laptop that occupies the passenger seat. He even takes breaks from setting traps in attics to return to his van to find out what is happening on Wall Street.

We have some unsolicited advice for Bruce, as gratitude for that cool skunk trick: Careful–it’s harder than it looks.

Story and photo excerpt from the New York Times >

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