Any time someone tries to tell you that September is a bearish month………just punch them.
A good friend of mine (a Sloper from Mexico, and a very cool fellow overall) sent me the chart below, which illustrates the biggest drop in the S&P 500 for any given year, going way back to when Teddy Roosevelt was in office. In case anyone didn’t mention it to you already, 2017 is the most godawful year so far (for bears) in that entire century, since its drawdown is the puniest ever.
I remember it like it was yesterday. But it was yesterday……..plus nine years. That is, September 19, 2008. I was at Prophet’s office, and the CEO of thinkorswim, Lee Barba, was visiting. I had sold Prophet to Investools (its prior name) in early 2005, and Lee would come visit us from time to time to check in, share ideas, and catch up.
The market had been roiled off and on in the first nine months of 2008, and the team of Bernanke and Paulson had enough. During the trading day, several gargantuan initiatives were announced, including TARP and the banning of short-selling in about 800 stocks. (You may notice during the multi-hundred percent gain of the past eight years, no one has suggested banning BUYING stocks. But I digress).
Anyway, the reaction was immediate and ferocious. In the span of just two days, the Dow Industirals exploded 780 points higher, and with the big, bad bears banned, it seemed that Wall Street’s eleven-month dip in stocks was at an end.
Kind of like how Stalin used to “disappear” people……….
It seems last Friday was yet another One Day Wonder in a long, long parade of them over the past eight years. We have resumed the Steadily Climb To Lifetime Highs schtick, as evidence by the mid caps………
Note from Tim: Nearly seven years ago, Market Sniper (“Dutch”) wrote a piece called The Very Last Day in One Trader’s Life, a personal tale. In a similar vein, another Sloper, whom has requested anonymity, offers up this autobiographical tale (unlike Dutch’s, which was about a friend), and I am grateful for this thoughtful contribution. I usually embellish posts, including those from outside contributors, with graphics to make them more interesting and approachable, but I am leaving this as an unadorned essay, as originally submitted:
Let’s talk about something dark. Something really dark. This may not be appropriate for a trading blog. This is a story about suicide. A very personal story about failed life expectations, great loss, and how nice guys finish last.
Ever since age 16, I was driven. I had high life goals, school was easy, grades were high, and life was high. Life came easy. I was born with a silver spoon. My parents were not super rich, but very conservative and had zero debt with enough savings to give their children every advantage they could. When I was old enough to drive, my dad gave me a 1979 Chevy. It was an old beater, it didn’t impress girls, but it was mine. I was proud of it. The Chevy taught me a lot about life. I always had a pair of jumper cables handy since that battery was always dead. A lesson, I had not yet realized the importance. There is always option B when things look dire. A backup plan.
Since Slope Plus factors into this post, I’ll mention this one last time .……..a coupon to Slope Plus for those of you considering it. I am offering a free month for you to try the service by clicking on this link. When you do, type in the coupon code winter2017 and it will give you the first month for free.
Note that this coupon is only going to be working for a few days, so don’t lollygag. Also please note this discount works for ANNUAL subscriptions as well, so you’ll save the most by going for an annual, since you get two months free already.
Besides all the normal extras you get as a Slope Plus subscriber, you’ll also be getting the very best ideas I’ve got (many of which have been doing really well, even in this market, as you’ll see once you have access). I hope you’ll give it a try. On with the regular post now…………
I have, over the long lifespan of Slope, mentioned some emotional scars from childhood during that period of time when it seems virtually everyone in my generation had a complete suck time: middle school. It seems that a few random verbal assaults of “fag” or “dick” can persist for decades.