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.


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I am not one who suffers fools gladly.

If you’re really sharp, I’ll bend over backwards for you, particularly if you’re creating something for me. When I was building Prophet, it was my job description as founder and CEO was to do Anything You Need To Get Your Job Done. Whether that was getting you doughnuts, buying you Indian dinner, purchasing you new equipment or software – – my time and money was at your disposal.

The not-so-sharp among us I tend to avoid, but there are times (like, say, at the DMV) where I cannot escape. Over the past 24 hours, however, I have taken three stabs at getting NetFlix to function, and I’m batting 0.000 with these people.

I first tried Netflix in the late 1990s when they started, and I was delighted at the service. I stopped using them ages ago, though, but I decided – in spite of lacking the time to enjoy movies – to sign up for a subscription. The price of $7.99/month was close enough to free to not worry about it, and I’ve got a Tivo, so I would be able to stream straight to that device.

I signed up; it was easy; I got the activation code; it was easy; but then I tried to figure out how to specify what movie I wanted to watch………and everything stopped. I didn’t know what to do.

My first inclination in these situations is actually to blame myself for overlooking something obvious. So I looked. And I looked. And I referred to online help. And I looked some more. And I simply couldn’t figure out how to get a movie to play on the Tivo.

The Tivo itself didn’t have a search function or anything; if one navigates to the Netflix part of Tivo, it simply shows you whatever is in your instant viewing queue, and it was blank – – because there was no such queue I could find on the web site. I had thought I’d see some kind of drag & drop interface on the Netflix site, but no dice.

I really wish I could provide you with the recordings of the first and second conversations I had with the representatives, because once it became apparent to me that they didn’t know what they were talking about, I went straight off the rails. I don’t scream and get angry; you know me well enough to know I’m too sweet for that kind of thing. I simply get really, really incredulous. (I believe a direct quote was, late in the conversation, “How in the name of my Lord and personal savior Jesus H. Christ am I suppose to request a movie to watch on my Tivo if you have removed the capability to do so???”)

Because, you see, their explanation for not having a queue was……….that they removed it. For marketing reasons. As a test. And they wanted to see what people thought of their test. Well, I told them what I thought of their test.

I did try this afternoon, just one last time, to see if I could reach someone rational. I failed to do so. The unedited transcript, in its entirety, I provide for your viewing pleasure:


Hi there; ready?


Emotional Indicators

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As traders we are told to check our emotions at the door and just trade what we see.  The faster we conquer fear, greed, and all the other destructive emotions that befall our fragile human condition the better traders we will be.  And normally I fully agree with that sentiment.  However, there are the very rare instances where emotion is the best indicator above all other market signals.

I’d like to tell a personal story.  Two years ago to the month I went to war with silver.  I had been watching silver go up EVERY SINGLE DAY and it was driving me nuts.  To make matters worse my neighbor at the time ran a precious metal business and was borderline unbearable as shiny things marched higher and higher.  The concept of precious metals ever going down again was unfathomable.  I nibbled short and got hit several times.  Come the end of April 2011, I was absolutely FURIOUS with the silver market.  Shorting silver now became personal on many levels.  I remember very few specific trading days of my career but I vividly remember April 29th, 2011.


He Didn’t Buy NUAN to Be Bullied

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Carl Icahn announced after yesterday’s close that he’d bought close to 10% of Nuance. (Ironically, Carl Icahn strikes me as the least-nuanced human on the planet, or certainly the least genteel.) As with HLF, he has a knack lately for buying into technically-broken stocks. I’m sure the man, rich as he is, and as successful as he is, couldn’t care less about technical analysis, but I wouldn’t buy either HLF or NUAN.



Silver’s Slippery Slide

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At great risk to my life and reputation, I have been on the anti-kook train for the past couple of years, earning scorn and hatred from Tyler’s metal-loving chicken-boners over at ZH. The Slope of Hope has been bearish on miners since Mamie Eisenhower was considered fapable, and I think the slide is going to continue for quite some time.

Here’s one of my shorts, Endeavor Silver, which has already dropped quite a bit. When will it stabilize? I’d say around $3.50, or another 40% drop from here.