Category Archives: Psychology

Fighting the Blahs

By -

I woke up this morning, last night’s post on my mind, and thought to myself, “C’mon, Tim, there’s got to be SOMETHING interesting going on in the market you can write about.”

So I wandered through my pitch-black first floor, iPad in hand, sat down, fired it up, and headed over to ZH, since they were bound to have something provocative. And yet the most exciting contribution was along these lines:

0214-stunned

So……some “trader” is “stunned” at………a failed communications strategy. And a guy from Bloomberg is “amazed” at how a debate continues to “rage” about Janet Yellen’s mindset.

(more…)

Moving Targets: Investors Need to Discriminate!

By -

Robot-48x48In the current political climate herds are running every which way.  There is the anti-Trump herd, the pro-Trump herd, the liberal herd, the conservative herd, the CNBC herd, the mainstream financial services industry herd, the Armstrong herd, the gold bug herd… and there are all those ideologies in play.  But robotic thinking, unless it is in service to profitable trades like this one on an excellent company providing automation (ref. recent Fanuc NFTRH+ highlight), does not pay (disclaimer: I’ve sold and taken the profit).

So stop right there!  These are the financial markets, and if you have not checked your deepest held beliefs, your virtue, your bigotry and in general, your bias at the door you are going to lose.

There is a plan in play, which NFTRH has been tracking for many months, since we abandoned the bearish topping patterns (that weren’t) in US markets during the depths of the Brexit hysteria and the subsequent sentiment thrust, which undid the market’s bearish technical status.  The plan has been ‘SPX bullish’ based on the bullish moving average (up) signal on this weekly chart from the better part of a year ago…

spx weekly chart
(more…)

The Loss of Verve

By -

For a person who has almost zero interest in sports, I sure have been lucky lately. I sorta-kinda watched the World Series last October, just for the final portion, and it turned out to be one of the most amazing games of all time. And then yesterday we sorta-kinda had the Super Bowl on, and we all know how that went. (Just to give you an idea of how intently we were watching, I walked into the room and asked my family: “Has the game started yet?” and none of them had any idea; every single person was on their respective laptop).

Anyway, the Patriots’ victory last night just goes to show, no matter how down you may be, there’s always hope. And having said that, I must again point out that the bold breakout in equities (tinted in green on the ES below) fizzled swiftly (see red arrow), and the market has been unable to get its old verve back. My fervent plea to the market gods, of course, is that we slip below last week’s lows, and the Trump trauma can really start to sink its teeth in.

0206-busted

Politics, Psychology and Investing

By -

shadow

Robot-48x48There are 3 Things in the title.  Thing 2 is a big key to managing markets and being successful at Thing 3.  Thing 1, while a consideration to the extent that it affects policy and structural macro issues, can get people all screwed up with respect to Thing 2, thereby hurting their chances with Thing 3.  As noted in an article last April, it is vital for investors to deprogram themselves, especially when it comes to politics.

To the extent I went over the top with the theatrics after the election, making light of fully erected Trump Towers (vertical stock charts of the ‘Trump plays’) and whatnot, I got out of line with my normal mode, which is to tune it all out.  But hear me now; the Trump phenomenon was very good for me because it opened up a wellspring of psychological inputs I can work with.  The gentle, firmly entrenched Obama whispering lullabys to us for 8 years?  A snooze fest.

With Trump, politics are not involved in my market view but psychology surely is.  Fiscal (Trump admin) as opposed to monetary (Bernanke/Yellen Fed under Obama) economic manipulation may work or it may not.  But it is just a different form of government policy trying to will an economy to do what they want it to do.  I’ll just stay open minded because… psychology. (more…)

2016: A Year for Contrarians; 2017 Shaping Up That Way as Well

By -

alice2016 was the year I finally decided to codify my niche as a psychology-focused market contrarian, putting the Alice, Red Queen and Rabbit components of NFTRH’s logo right there on my inner forearm, forever.

This is because I love the imagery and themes of NFTRH’s guiding metaphorical story, Alice in Wonderland, and because the weird technical tools I use are generally in service to one thing; being right when the herds are going the wrong way. The concept originally came to me as the markets were beginning their descent into the crash of 2008 as the newly launched market management service needed a view that was apart from the emotional herds then preparing to go down the drain. Alice’s quote (Lewis Carroll), a portion of which occupies my other inner forearm was perfect in this regard…

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

(more…)