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.

Popularity and Posterity

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Well, emotions are running pretty hot in the financial blogosphere, as one might expect after such a one-sided victory over the past six months. I've continued to churn out my own postings, day after day, week after week, in spite of it all. You might think I would be really interested in how popular or well-liked Slope (or I) was, but I hardly ever check any kind of ranking systems. But mole did a check recently on how Evil is stacking up against Slope, and it's got his knickers in a twist. Evil's in green, and Slope's in blue:

0913-popular

As you can see, Evil was about to blast right through my traffic levels in March, but he's evened out since then. My traffic, on the other hand, hit some kind of inflection point in April and has been steadily rising ever since.

This strikes me as a little odd Slope is, to some degree, a bearish blog, and if anything, you would think traffic would be drying up as the market skyrocketed higher. I personally like Evil a lot – – some of mole's post are brilliant, and occasionally awe-inspiring. But I don't think any of us should wring our hands over who's got a little more traffic than the other. As long as we're individually expressing our true selves with integrity, we should be content.

You may be wondering who the third line is. Well, I've blotted it out, because it's a site I hardly ever visit and never mention, but it's another financial blog that is, shall we say, made from rougher cloth. What's truly puzzling to me is that the site in question has:

  1. A far better and more sophisticated design (I'm using just basic Typepad);
  2. Nearly 25 individual contributors, whereas here it's just me;
  3. A much wider variety of content

Given all these advantages, they naturally had much stronger traffic than little old me. But – what's this? – they've been slipping steadily, and now I have substantially higher traffic. Maybe earnest, sincere writing from one decent person can slowly become popular. It would seem so.

Now, since guest commenters were briefly able to scurry around in the comments section, some anonymous person ("anonymous" as in not having the courage to identify one's self – – kind of like the 25 aforementioned contributors of the unnamed blog) put up the following:

0913-dickface

This comment is entirely wrong – and I even include the "shrewd businessman" compliment – so I will respond:

  1. This blog has no axe to grind. No matter how sharp my axe is, it is not going to influence market direction.
  2. I cannot speak to the motives of my loyal followers. Out of 16,000 unique visitors, only about 0.2% of them contribute to comments regularly, so I have no idea knowing what makes Slopers tick.
  3. My target of 1080 wasn't followed by a barrage of hate mail. I maybe got one email puzzling over it. I still think 1080 is possible – – – I mean, look, we closed at yet another yearly high on multiple indexes last week – – – but I am pretty confident 950 is the next major stopping point.

Now, let's contrast this with a comment from Tazman, just to balance things out a bit……

0913-tazman

I truly appreciate that! Earlier this year, when the market was at its nadir, I was buried in "thank you" emails, but here's something you might not expect: people weren't writing me to thank me for the money they made shorting the market. They wrote me because they got OUT of their long positions, and they sidestepped a disaster. So people were using Slope not so much as a place to find short ideas, but as a place to get a sense as to what a drop the market might hold.

The notion that I put out chart after chart and never offer up a Mea Culpa is utter crap. Easily 80% to 90% of the "the following is going to happen………." items in the comments section turn out not to be true (just to pick a random example – – that AAPL is going to $1,000). But no one really remembers the comments individually. Over the course of time, people DO get a sense as to who is sharp and who isn't, and that reputation tends to be valuable.

As an example, check out this post - – which is not that unique, because I never really miss an opportunity to beat myself up if I'm disappointed in my performance. I wrote:

You can imagine I'm having an absolutely horrible day in the markets …..I imagine, even years from now, I will regarding my failure to take advantage of the rise from mid-March to now as one of the biggest mistakes of my trading life. 

Interestingly enough, a couple of the first comments below this post were:

0913-sdSo the fact that both of these comments were dead-wrong is something no one else is really going to remember, because they simply don't post that often. But my own posts are far more visible, and I have to "answer" for them more than a reader would for his own comment.

I believe the real reason for my growing popularity is, to be blunt, that people like what I write and they have a sense that I am a good person. I open up my soul to the entire world about the ups and downs of trading, and I let the feedback I get from the readers here inform me as to what I'm doing well and what I'm not doing well.

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