People are so predictable sometimes. That is, after all, the very foundation of technical analysis. But the predictability of people is something I see in running Slope as well. For instance, Slope’s popularity has been gathering steam all year, with a particular inflection point early in February.
The change in ascent has been even more extreme with paid subscriptions. It used to be that I practically had a party any time even one person signed up for a new subscription. The past couple of months, however, have been an insane run-up. They’ve just been pouring into my lap, which is wonderful.
What I knew, of course, was that “what goes up, must come down“. Indeed, in the third week of March, I shamelessly pleaded for someone to create some Slope Traffic Puts, since I knew exactly what was going to happen. My “foul weather friends” who only come to Slope when all holy hell is breaking lose in the market will just as swiftly walk away when things apparently calm down. It’s as reliable as the sun rising in the East.
What made me think of this today can be expressed in a single word: cancellations.
I can’t remember the last time someone cancelled a premium subscription. And yet today, it was a hailstorm of them. And, to a man, they all joined at almost the exact bottom of the market.
In other words, these individuals were their own unwitting contrarian indicators. They “sold short” (that is, get seriously involved with Slope) at the bottom and “covered” (cancelled their account) at the top (or at least what I hope is a top!)
Here’s a specific example. I’ve blotted out the person’s username for privacy:
Here is when they subscribed (circled in red) and when they dumped me (circled in green). Notice any kind of correlation here?
I find it particularly amusing that the reason cited for the cancellation was “not being a contrarian.” Surely the nature of this site, and the nature of my disposition toward the markets, is altogether clear! What’s ironic, of course, is how “contrarian” this “non-contrarian” subscription turned out to be.
Frankly, I’ve had the same relationship with physical gold all my life. If any of you gold bugs ever see me finally break down and walk into a bullion shop, dump everything you own, because it means a major top is at hand. I know precisely what it’s like to think “I can’t stand it anymore!” and pull the trigger (sort of like subscribing to Slope in the middle of the fastest sell-off in history) and then, only a few weeks later, decide, meh, guess that’s not my cup of tea.
I don’t blame any of these folks for their whole Exit Stage Right shtick. I’d be much more worried if they were writing me to tell me the site sucked. But virtually every one of them gave me some version of “It’s not you, it’s me.” as their reason. I say “virtually”, because there was one exception. And that, my friends, is going to be a post unto itself.
Suffice it to say, I hope this extremely unusual mass exodus is a sign of a market reversal.