Slope of Hope Blog Posts

This is the heart and soul of the web site. Here we have literally tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. You can also click on any category icon to see posts tagged with that particular category.

Our Gang of Unfortunates

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When I was a little kid, one of the staples of children’s television was The Little Rascals, which was the Our Gang series of shorts from the Great Depression that had been syndicated for decades. I watched these little films countless times, such as this one:

Even though these kids were my age way back when my parents were little kids themselves, I felt a close kinship to them. They became my television friends. (more…)

Future Trend is LIVE!

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I am delighted to announce another enhancement to SlopeCharts, which is the only charting platform I use. We have created something I call Future Trend, which does something I doubt any of you have seen anywhere else: it shows the next two YEARS of price data.

Now, let me stop right here and make super-dee-dooper crystal clear something that only an idiot or a lawyer would not understand: these projections are virtually guaranteed to be WRONG. Do you honestly think I have access to the next two years of stock data? If I did, I wouldn’t be running these stupid ads on the site and collecting pizza money? (This is another subtle tip that PLUS people are the ONLY people that keep Slope going – – hint, hint).

However, what we have done is created our own proprietary system which uses historical price data and seasonal trends to project an idealized and hypothetical path forward for a given security. Accessing this super-cool new feature is a cinch; just use the Hot Links menu:

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Thanks For Not Molesting Me!

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I realize that since the beginning of time, parents take note of how utterly different things are in the present day than in their own childhood. I’m certain that in 2000 B.C. the mothers and fathers of the ancient times could only shake their heads about how easy kids had it compared to the horrible period of 2020 B.C. when they had to do chores and earn a living by the age of five and all that.

At the risk of falling into that cliche, I’ve got to say the same thing, although from a somewhat different angle. This will be easiest to explain by telling the story.

When I was about 13 to 14 years old, I was a pretty active touring cyclist. I would go on longish journeys in beautiful places such as the Napa wine country. I’ve never been inclined to athleticism (don’t let my physique fool you………), and no one pushed me to go. I simply enjoyed it, and almost every Saturday I would join my friends at the Orinda Spoke & Pedal, and we would set off on whatever journey we had planned that weekend. (more…)

In Defense of the Pets.Com Sock Puppet

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When people mockingly look back at the Internet bubble, they usually don’t poke fun at Henry Blodget or Mary Meeker or Abby Joseph Cohen. Instead, the icon held up as the symbol of that lunatic period is invariably the Pets.com sock puppet:

So what is it we can say about this little critter? Well, a couple of things spring to mind.

First of all, the company he represented sought to sell specialty products to a large installed consumer base via an online website. Sort of like Amazon, but a more specific audience. The modern-day equivalent would be Chewy.com, which seems to be thriving. So it’s not like the business idea was terrible. (more…)

A Video From an Epic Low

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I wanted to share something I found kind of fascinating.

Last night, I was thumbing through the videos I’ve posted on YouTube (there are hundreds). I sorted by popularity The most popular by far, with over 9 million views is – – of all things – – the Oompa Loompa song. However, one of my most popular chart-based videos I’ve ever done is this one, which was during the deepest depths of the market drop in 2011 (the last meaningful drop we’ve had in seven years). It’s incredible on a number of levels.

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