Category Archives: Best-of-Slope

Measuring the Mania

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It seems everyone is talking about Bitcoin these days. On ZeroHedge, I’d say easily half the articles are crypto-related. And why not? The equity market has become a bore. How much can you say about a market which basically goes up about half a percent day after day until the end of time? I’ve anchored my life to discussing equity markets, God help me, so having something that actually moves up AND down is exciting and novel after the past eight years.

Of course, daring to predict ANYTHING about cryptos is a fool’s errand. Just a few months ago, a Bitcoin trader and “expert” offered up this prediction for the second half of the year:

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Dot Con Revisited

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On my crowded bookshelf of history texts is one book called Dot Con, which recounts the build-up to, and the bursting of, the Internet bubble. I hadn’t read this book in many years, but I pulled it from the shelf yesterday to thumb through it, since we seem to be living in identical times right now (although with a far more pervasive and much, much bigger, bubble). Here’s one quote I typed in for your reading pleasure. You’re welcome.

All speculative bubbles go through four stages, each with its own internal logic. The first stage, which is sometimes referred to as the displacement, starts when something changes people’s expectations about the future…….a few well-informed souls try to cash in on the displacement by investing in the new vehicle of speculation, but most investors stay on the sidelines.

The early investors make extremely high returns, and this attracts the attention of others. Next comes the boom stage, when prices are rising sharply and skepticism gives way to greed. The sight of easy money being made lures people into the market, which keeps prices rising, which, in turn, attracts more investors. Eventually, those upstanding citizens who haven’t’ joined in the festivities feel left out. Not just left out. They feel like fools…..

Boom passes into euphoria. Established rules of investing, and often mere common sense, are dispensed with. Prices lose all connection with reality. Investors know this situation can’t last forever, and they vie to cash in before the bubble bursts……a larger and larger group of people seeks to become rich without a real understanding of the processes involved. Not surprisingly, swindlers and catchpenny schemes flourish. Finally, inevitably, comes the bust. Sometimes there is clear reason for the break; sometimes, the market implodes of its own accord. Either way, prices plummet, speculators and companies go bankrupt, and the economy heads into recession. A few months later, everybody looks back in amazement, asking, ‘How did that happen?'”

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Quixey Makes Sense Now

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The main drag here in Palo Alto is University Avenue, which is lined with pricey restaurants and retail. One city to the south of us, Mountain View, has their own main drag, and it’s called Castro Street (not to be confused with the gay mecca in San Francisco, half an hour’s drive north).

I’ve walked Castro many times (again, let’s not confuse the two), and I would often pass a very nice building which was neither a restaurant nor a retail store; on the front was a large sign, QUIXEY, and inside the building were dozens of young engineers, all of whom I’m certain were earning great six-figure salaries, working away at their keyboards. Beneath the “Quixey” name was the tag line: “The Search Engine for Apps”

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Is Crypto The Only Truth?

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In the nearly thirteen years that I’ve been writing Slope of Hope, perhaps the most ironic post (out of over 20,000) was one I did last January called Bitcoin’s Massive Bullish Base. The reason it’s ironic is because Slope is largely dedicated to seeking out short-selling ideas for stocks, whereas the post was about going long a cryptocurrency. Only ten months and eight-hundred percent later, It turned out to be the greatest trade idea in the blog’s history, which actually doesn’t feel that great for the reason just cited.

1125-bullbase

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Special No More

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“Morning or night, Friday or Sunday, made no difference, everything was the same: the gnawing, excruciating, incessant pain; that awareness of life irrevocably passing but not yet gone; that dreadful, loathsome death, the only reality, relentlessly closing in on him; and that same endless lie. What did days, weeks, or hours matter?”  ― Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych

This is going to be one of those really personal, navel-gazing posts that I do from time to time. People seem to respond well to these, although I doubt it’s particularly wise from a business perspective to engage in such spleen-venting. After all, someone considering an annual subscription to Slope Plus might have second thoughts if they truly knew what I thought about day and night, so it would behove me, I think, to keep lying to you and pretend things are just peachy, even though they aren’t. (I will also note, early on, that I toned this post WAY down, since it was much, much darker before I sanitized it).

Another reason I hesitate on doing any posts besides those yammering on about stock charts is that I’d rather not give my detractors any pleasure in my own pain. I am an opinionated person, and the world hates – – absolutely hates – – a bear. You would never do what I do if you knew. I like to imagine myself spiritually lofty enough to love my enemies, but the sad truth is that I’d probably prefer that they be tortured to death. You would too, I imagine, had you been in my shoes for a little while. (more…)

SlopeCharts’ Great Leap Forward

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I am absolutely delighted to let you know about a couple of terrific improvements to my beloved SlopeCharts platform.

(1) Panes – as we set about adding more technical studies to SlopeCharts, we decided to make the panes – – that is, the individual elements of the whole chart – – easy to rearrange. So if you want one study at the top, the price bars at the bottom, and the volume pane wedged in between, that’s your choice. Using the panes is a cinch: just hold down the Ctrl key and drag them around in any arrangement you like.

(2) MACD – the oft-requested Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) study is here! You will see it available in the new Studies tab at the top of the screen. (more…)

At the Junction of Risk ‘On’ and Risk ‘Off’

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[edit] As I do the actual work of plowing through NFTRH 472 I am noting some non-bond related indicators in line with the fading Junk/Quality ratios and easing Treasury yields noted in this post. If preliminary hints in these indicators intensify and long-term yield breakouts fail, we may get a market reaction of some kind and lurch to risk ‘off’ sooner rather than later. Most market charts remain straight up bullish. But charts are charts and indicators are a whole other animal.

This post serves as a public version (i.e. more wordiness than is usual in an NFTRH report) of NFTRH 472’s Bonds & Related Indicators segment. If you’re not following bonds closely, you’re not really following stock and asset markets. You’re throwing darts.

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