Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Resilience

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When I was in the 5th grade, there was a kid in my class by the name of Kevin Healey who was (as federal law requires) the designated "cute kid" in the class (I was the smart one). All the girls liked him. He was really popular.

Now that we were in the 5th grade, we could run for student council. Typically the 6th graders ran for President, and the 5th graders ran for Vice President. I signed up for the campaign, and I tried my best to explain to the kids why they should vote for me. "Vote Right, Vote Tim Knight" was my catchy slogan.

Once the votes were tallied, the cute kid won, and the smart kid lost. I was in tears when I told my Mom the news. I felt it was really wrong for the popular kid to get to be on the student council, especially when he could barely write his name in the ground with a stick. But that was the result.

The next year, I tried again, but this time, I ran for President. Against Kevin Healey. And even though my prior experience told me that I would get trounced, I did the best I could. And I won. In the end, the smart kid finally won.

When I was 16 years old, I was audacious enough to want to write my own book. I put a proposal together and submitted it. It was about how communications between computers would change the world (the book was called The World Connection, and I wrote it ten years before even the first primitive browser was introduced).

The rejection letter came in the mail. I slunked off to my bedroom and thought about it for a while (the future Mrs. Bear sat in the living room with my mom, since they wanted to leave me alone). I picked up the phone – called a different publisher – got their acquisitions editor – and got myself a book deal.

And I went on to write twenty published books before I was even out of college.

In 1992, I started Prophet, and a year later, we were a prosperous little business. A competitor of ours (we surmised) decided to cut us off at the knees, so they burglarized the office. They smashed all the windows, took all the computers, and took all the tape backups. We were effectively out of business. All our customer records were gone. Our data was gone. Our code was gone. Everything.

I rebuilt the business (alone – – my partner got out after that) and sold it for $8 million.

And, as a trader, in the spring of last year, I was getting devastated. The typical suspects (Goldman, CNBC, other bankers) were cramming their crap down everyone's throat and pushing the market higher. I was getting mauled. My accounts were plunging in value, and I was a laughingstock to friends and family. Hateful voicemails arrived. I got mocked on other blogs. I doubted I had any talent at all.

I closed the year with my two biggest accounts having gains of over 180% and 350%.

So  to to all the cutey pies saying things like……….

  • "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day"
  • "Technical analysis is a crock"
  • "You should just trade what you see" (after the fact, of course)
  • "The bear market ended in March"

…….my response is this: people have been trying to beat me down all my life, and they usually crawl out to do so when I'm at a low point. Like now. But I find it within myself to come back, and in the end, I win. It never seems like I will, but I do. And I will.

Your crooked friends in Washington and in the Goldman Sachs building are the only reasons for this rally. Maybe the market won't collapse until Q3 earnings start coming out, and until then you will keep snickering. But my faith that:

  1. The truth about the economy will, sooner or later, emerge;
  2. Like prayers, technical analysis may be "delayed, but not denied" in its projections
  3. The fortitude of those strong enough to stick by their intellect-based conclusions will, in the end, win the day, even if the bullies and fraudsters managed to fool the public for a while longer.

To the 99% of the folks who have written me supportive emails and comments, I thank you, and I'm sorry for all of us this is so hard. Slopers are, by definition, smart, disciplined, and mutually supportive. To the 1% who have recovered a portion of their losses and are getting their jollies spitting in our faces: go to hell. And if you're lonely, stick around and wait for Blankfein to drop dead, since he'll give you some company there later on.

Interesting Charts on the Long Side

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For the sake of balance, let me offer some symbols which look good on the long side. I used to call these "lottery longs", and they are just that, although I'm not so keen on that terminology anymore. Anyway, here are the tickers; I am looking at these from a 10 year daily chart perspective:

AF
AHD
ALU
BEE
BLC
CBS
CPE
CVGI
FMBI
FST
GAP
GLG
GU
HERO
KFN
LBTYA
LIZ
MGI
SRZ
SWSI
SYMX
WNR
XING
XRM
ZQK

When Charting Fails

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I've been charting for over twenty years, and I built the company regarded as the best web-based charts in the business. But my charting isn't working in this market.

Blindly buying and holding for the past four months has been the right approach, and those who have done it have profited greatly. A chart like BPO is a good example of how charting wouldn't have done you one stitch of good. Who could have seen something like this happening? And it's a real estate company, for God's sake………..

0723-BPO

To top it all off, I'm getting emails to tell me to stop whining. I'm not whining. I'm frustrated and disillusioned.

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