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.

Compressed Carbon

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There are a lot of dumb maxims out there. For instance, the oft-cited "What is obvious is obviously wrong." Not necessarily. I thought the topping patterns in 2008 were obvious. I thought the diamond pattern on the NQ this month was obvious. And they were obviously right.

Another is the tired old Nietzschian quote, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Oh, really? Check with Steve Jobs on that, or anyone else suffering mental or physical duress. I think it's an idiotic quote, offered as conciliatory pablum to those having problems. The things that hurt you, but don't kill you, still suck, and they don't necessarily make you a better person.

This all occurred to me when I woke up this morning. Yes, believe it or not, when my mind springs to consciousness at 5 in the morning, the first thing I think of is my beloved Slopers (especially those who have been courteous enough to either Donate or click some ads – – see the button in the upper-right corner?).

And this morning, the image of a lump of coal being compressed into a diamond came to mind. At first, I thought it would be an ingenious launching point for a post, but now that I'm truly awake, I recognize it's little better than a clever metaphor. Thus, the Hall of Fame category has been unchecked.

The diamond I'm thinking about, of course, is the one I recognized forming in the NQ weeks ago. I wrote about it again on the 12th of this month (which actually would have been an amazing time to short it, since it was far from broken and was about 150 points higher than it is now!)

 

1121-nqtwo

But here's the lesson about this…….being in the diamond sucked. It was horrible. No matter what anyone else tells you, the idea that one could successively have navigated all the eddies and currents of that pattern which lasted over an entire freaking month is complete fiction. Up, down, up, down, up, down. It was horrible beyond words, and "frustration" doesn't even begin to approach an appropriate adjective for the experience.

But for those of us who have emerged on the other side of it with our sanity intact, we actually are better traders. Anyone who can work their way through the torturous and brutal agony of a pattern like that with their capital intact deserves a reward, and that "reward" is something we are enjoying right now – – the unraveling of prices.

Was it worth it? No, not really. I'd rather have a smooth trend. I was about to start strangling bishops when that pattern was grinding away. It's enough to crush your spirit. But at least we're out of the God-damned thing and have something real with which we can work.

I still think a goal of about 2150 or so is quite reasonable (more precisely, I'm looking for 2160 as a "get really light on shorts" point, which is only a little more than 2% from current levels), and the complete fumble by the morons in Congress might be just the catalyst we need. I mean did anyone – anyone at all – think these nitwits would actually put together something? Supercommittee, my ass. Not one of these guys could hold down a job at the Apple store.

So what happens if and when we get to 2160? Cover everything? I dunno. If the selling is strong, we could make it all the way back down to the ascending trendline whose touchpoint is about 2120 or so. As you can see, I'm not exactly forecasting doom yet. I think 2012 is going to be the Year of the Bear (and it's going to be a hell of an interesting election year as well, provided the Republicans can find someone with a room-temperature IQ to go up against the Teleprompter-in-Chief). I still contend the Dow won't bottom until it's in the upper 5000s, and my target on that is February 2013. But for now, things are going to happen in steps.

One "event" that I think has to happen for us to get really serious with the bear market is for the Facebook IPO to be done. That's kind of the Last Great Company for IPO-land, and once they're done, the market is toast. Take a look at red-hot IPOs like Zillow (Z) to see what fate awaits all the social networking firms. Zillow closed at a lifetime low today. Why people want to jump into these things is beyond my obviously-limited mental ability.

I will close by saying this – – – I pride myself on my charting abilities, and I used to boast that charts were all I needed. Over the past few months, I've come to understand that having a fairly deep knowledge of news, key events, and macroeconomic/currency trends does have real value. I don't have to base trades off such things independently, but chart movement is not, after all, endogenous, and being able to grasp the world around you is a better place to be than blissful ignorance. So my charts are great for figuring out stop-loss levels and entry points, but I'm far more comfortable with a "macro" approach to decisions now that I've been doing this a while.

I'm kind of charted-out at this point, and having endured a day in which both my blogging platform (Typepad) and my trading platform (Realtick) barfed all over themselves, I'm going to get away from this computer for a while. Thanks for being here, the Slope of Hope, one of the few bastions of civility and decency in an otherwise swill-filled world of financial content.

All For Freedom and For Pleasure

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Well, today is interesting. I entered it with 73 shorts, and every single one is profitable. I am trading huge positions in GLD with good success.

Typepad, my blog platform, was down for about an hour, which is pretty bad on a day like this. Far worse, RealTick – – for which my broker pays something like $800 per MONTH for each customer – – has been down all day long. So I have to place trades through freakin' instant messager.

Anyway, let's enjoy a little music. Here's one of the great songs of the early 80s:

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