Category Archives: Psychology

This Year for the Bears

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The short-selling fund, symbol HDGE, sums it up nicely. The year was fantastic for the bears………for a little while. Every since February 11, which feels like about fifty years ago, it’s been a complete shit-show. I’m starting to think it’s going to be this way in perpetuity.

0823-hdge

The killer is that there is a plethora of amazing short setups for individual stocks, but none of them are going to amount to jack squat as long as the market keeps getting drifted higher day after day. It’s a drag.

Neo Rio

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My pre-dawn dog walks are the closest thing I get to meditation, and as I walked this morning, something occurred to me: for the months leading up to the Olympics, ZeroHedge posted dozens upon dozens of articles about how catastrophic it was going to be. Everyone was going to get the Zika virus. Everyone was going to be held at gunpoint. There would be Islamic terrorists. The water was going to get everyone deathly sick. And on and on and on.

0816-zhol

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A Treasure Trove of Nuggets From the MSM

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It is summer slack season, with no FOMC meeting in August and so into the void go our friends in the mainstream media, with all sorts of noise to distract investors. Here’s one that was anticipated…

Fed should raise interest rates this year, Williams says

From NFTRH 406 (July 31), after the July FOMC meeting in which they fretted about inflation not being high enough (ha ha ha):

“Yes yes, I know the Fed does not see enough inflation yet. And that is just the point. They told us last week that there is not enough inflation and damned if they are not going to keep trying to promote it. It is also worth considering that while they will probably send various expectations managers to their assigned microphones, there is no meeting in August and there is a lot of room for asset price appreciation between now and September 21, per their wishes I assume (by their policy inactions and their inflationary words).

What they didn’t tell us is that they are not stupid (misguided in my opinion, but not stupid) and they know that something built on inflation (metaphor: a substance with opiate-like qualities) must have ongoing inflation (opiates) in order to keep the markets (metaphor: patient) stable. Withdrawal of these substances would mean a come-down and financial detox that would seem like hell on earth to those who think any of this is normal or organic in anyway (like a Keynesian intellectual, for instance).

The game of Whack-a-Mole is ongoing and institutionalized. It is an exciting time to be an investor a casino patron. But we need to be aware of things like the music stopping, how many chairs there are when the music stops and our own egos, bias and limitations.”

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Preserving My Sanity

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If I was completely dependent on the market for my mental health, I would have made myself into a six foot tall Christmas ornament hanging from a coniferous tree long, long ago. To be sure, the market influences my disposition: I’m about fifty times happier than normal (a very tiny starting figure, certainly) when the market is getting killed. Over the past seven years, this has happened approximately never. Indeed, even the most recent history of the market looks like the chart below: it is either (a) going up quickly, or (b) it’s going up slowly. This is what markets look like when the VIX is approaching single digits, people.

0722-es

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Robbins’ Egg

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About a week ago, I mentioned in the comments section that a new documentary appeared on Netflix called I Am Not Your Guru, which is about Tony Robbins. Now, I’m familiar with who Tony Robbins is, because it’s pretty hard not to be if you live in the U.S. At first, I thought it would be some kind of tell-all take-down of the man, but it turns out it’s pretty much a two hour commercial for the guy (he did, after all, have total approval over its content).

I found it terribly interesting to watch, however. I tend to view the whole New Age-y, Self-Help-y, Personal Empowerment industry to be pretty vile. It strikes me as shallow, shamelessly opportunistic, and it tries to cloth itself in some kind of spirituality when, in fact, it’s 99% about making a buck. This clown on YouTube captures it nicely (and this isn’t a parody; he’s for real):


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Kobayashi Maru

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On a day like this, when bulls the world over are give each other circle jerks and slaps on the back (hopefully not in that order, since hygiene is paramount), you would expect Tim Knight, the Sangre de Cristo of bears, to be weeping from the cross. Well, things have sucked out loud since that ridiculous Brexit fiasco (e.g. 1 1/4 days of selling, only to be aborted by the CBs worldwide). Indeed, I feel like the bears (correction, bear………that would be me, now castigated even by his own readers) is in a Kobayashi Maru market:

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