I am deep in the throes of yet another personal project whose outcome I hope to reveal in the near future. During the course of this work, I printed out a 150 page API (application programming interface) documentation, and I wanted to put it in a binder.
Behind my desk are a couple of shelves filled with books and a few binders, each of which contains collected papers about different topics. I didn’t want to bother trying to find a new binder for my API documentation, and my eyes soon landed on something I had forgotten was even there: on the side of the binder was written, in my own poor scrawl, the name MARTIN ARMSTRONG.
For those of you unacquainted with the man, here’s the Wikipedia article, In fact, it turns out a few years ago they made a documentary about him, whose trailer is here:
So why did I have an entire binder dedicated to the man? Simple: in the throes of 2007 and 2008, I set out to “discover” just about anything I could about forecasting the financial markets, since we were living through such a calamitous time, and since I was doing so sensationally well in trading. I took a particular interest in Elliott Wave, long-term wave cycles, and, yes, Martin Armstrong, whose work seemed to accurately encapsulate centuries of history and, thus, was practically a road map to the future.
The guy came off as somewhat of a crackpot, which I actually found to be an advantage, since I figured most sensible people would ignore him. But with the benefit of hindsight, let’s get this one conclusion out of the way now: in late 2008, given the choice between:
(1) Carefully studying every morsel of Elliott Wave theory, cycle analysis, and the likes of Martin Armstrong, and investing based upon the advice therefrom, or……..
(2) Buying fuckin’ AMZN and spending the next eight years jerking off to midget porn…….
the correct life choice was, in fact, #2. With the breathtaking fortune you would have made, you could even send large checks to the aforementioned midgets as a thank-you for their service and at the same time release them from the servitude of mastubatory fodder.
In late 2008, however, I was in full-blown Confirmation Bias Deluxe mode, and discovering some loony weirdo who seemed to paint a profoundly dark picture of the near future was fabulously appealing to me. Indeed, right on the cover of his tome (which he wrote from prison, of all places), was this (the green highlights are my own):
Now one might have marveled at that and though, wow, the market did indeed plunge from early 2007 until late 2008 (remember Bear Stearns?), so this guy is right on the money! Allow me to stop you right there and say that this work was put together in October 2008, so, umm, those events had already happened, and it’s pretty easy to be accurate.
The future was what mattered, of course, and, short-term, it looked like the market would recover up through March 2009 and then plunge to new lows in June of 2011.
Indeed, later on in the work, there’s more detail about this plunge-a-roony that would hit its nadir in the middle of 2011………..
As you can see, there are even projections into the year 2071, but I was so sure I was going to make a mega-fortune in the short-term, I’d leave that for later.
Well, my friends, I don’t think I have to tell you this, but I will anyway. Ahem…….
(a) The market didn’t bounce to a short-term high in March 2009. On the contrary, the market created the buying opportunity of a lifetime. We’re talking about buying just about ANYTHING and make hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of percentage points. So he was AS WRONG AS HE COULD POSSIBLE BE on the timing.
(b) And, unless I’ve been on psychoactive hallucinogens for the past eight years, the market didn’t plunge to new lows deeper than 2008 in June 2011. In fact, from March 2009 to June 2011, it looked a little bit more like this………..
The simple truth is this: my infatuation with Elliott Wave, Martin Armstrong’s work, ZeroHedge, cycle analysis, and all of the rest of that claptrap was a gargantuan mistake. Indeed, thumbing through these pages now, and its predictions (like how interest rates were going to soar, and how the government can’t increase the money supply, and………I could go on, but I won’t) makes me realize how wrong-headed I was.
I say again, our friend the midget-porn-watching Amazon shareholder is a genius compared to me, who was doing what I considered thoughtful, discerning, skeptical analysis.
In the end, I was left with one thing and one thing only: a slightly-used binder which I got to recycle into holding some computer documentation. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.