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.

The Final Five

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We’ve got just five full trading weeks left in the year, and what a year it’s been. For me, there’s two anchor points: the first is the complete head-fake the market played on us bears late in January and early in February, and the second is the market break that began in October 4th and has more or less persisted ever since.

The week ahead of us is quite important, because we’re approaching the G20 meeting next weekend and the promise of some kind of grand bargain between Trump and Xi. I think the chances of a meaningful agreement to emerge out of a meal together are about as good as Janet Yellen making the cover of the next Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, but I’ve certainly been wrong before. I, for one, will breathe a sigh of relief once the G20 is past, whether there’s a deal or not.

One of the most important charts I’ve been watching all year long remains the financials (XLF), which is literally pennies away from a core failure. My view is that financial stocks could fall for years to come, but we have to get there one downtick at a time. There is a shelf of support still in place, but a sneeze at this point would break it.

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Deconstructing the Crypto Genius

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James Altucher, the self-described “crypto genius”, is someone about whom I’ve written¬†in the past, but as I gaze upon the smoldering landscape that used to be the thriving cryptocurrency industry, I feel compelled to write on this topic again, since I think Altucher’s marketing efforts a year ago speak so much about the nature of the crypto craze at that time.

To be clear, I have no axe to grind. I’ve never lost money with the guy. Never had any kind of personal or professional relationship. Never met him. But, like virtually all of you reading this post, I’ve seen his face countless times on ads (especially late in 2017 and early in 2018) touting the surefire investment power of crypto. He became, in the words of the press, the “face of Bitcoin” (I guess all the other faces were taken).

Altucher is definitely a man who could be described in totally opposite ways, all while being completely honest. You could, for example, talk about him as a successful entrepreneur, popular author, widely-followed podcast host, and multimillionaire venture capitalist. Every one of those things would be true. You could, with just as much honesty, describe him as a man with multiple failed marriages and relationships, a person who by his own admission blew tens of millions of dollars and was at the brink of suicide, and a man who has created businesses that have drawn the wrath of customers and the Better Business Bureau alike. All true. It depends on how you want to spin things. (more…)

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