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.

Within Range

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Yep, we’re going to talk about Tesla again. Why? Two reasons. One, I’ve found that financial instruments are like people – – you get along well with some, and not-so-well with others. My experiences has shown me I get along with Tesla. I tend to understand it. The second reason is that I believe Tesla’s behavior is enormously influential to the psyche of the entire stock market. Now that we’re past the TSLA earnings report, we can consider this effect, which at the moment is very positive.

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Mr. Wizard’s Epic Post (1 of 3)

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Preface from Tim: Our beloved Mr. Wizard composed an enormous post, long enough to be seen from space. I have broken it up into three roughly equal parts, to be published over the course of the weekend. Hearty thanks to Wiz!


Predicting the S&P

Can We Do Better Than Highly Paid Analysts?

At the end of every year, fund analysts and stock pundits fall all over themselves predicting ever higher and higher prices at where the S&P will close for the coming year. These predictions usually go something as follows: “Our analysts estimate S&P earnings for 2023 will be $240. Coupled with a conservative PE of 17.4, we believe the S&P will close 2023 at 4176.”

So we have an “estimate” for the first number, earnings, and a guess for the second number, the PE multiple. How well do these analysts do?

To be blunt: not very well.

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Thrust THIS

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Let us think back to Slope’s darkest days. That would be, oh, about 48 hours ago. Those were grim times. The bulls seemed to own the market again. Bears had been beaten across the face fairly consistently since October 13, 2022, a day I shall remember until my last breath. Sentiment on Slope was turning fiercely anti-bearish and, God forbid, even anti-Tim. And, as always, people came out from the woodwork claiming that, being better than the rest of us, they were never bearish nor bullish, Nay, nay. They simply made money, no matter what. Every single time. Thus pitying us poor saps who actually had an opinion. And, as a topper, they trotted out some retired money manager in his 70s who had created some weird-ass arithmetic hack called the Whaley Breadth Thrust which was supposed to be God’s gift to investors and was correct 100% of the time, even though it sounded like it was taken straight from the Kama Sutra. Thus, they claimed, a New Bull Market was here, and bears were about to get destroyed, as they most deservedly should be.

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When Patterns Fail

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It should go without saying that I like patterns. I see them everywhere: not just in charts, but in physical objects, human behavior, and events in my life. There’s even a term for it – apophenia – which isn’t necessarily a laudatory title. It can suggest seeing patterns where there really aren’t any.

As the proprietor of this little corner of the web, I try to do a good job showing patterns that I see, but there are certainly times when a given pattern – – even a remarkably good one – – can “go sideways“, as the expression goes. That is to say, it starts to do what it shouldn’t do, and it ruins the pattern. Here are a few examples from some long-term continuous futures contracts that I just thumbed through, and I’ve marked or highlighted the areas where things went bad.

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Tesla Fanboys In Revolt

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Of all the corners of the Internet that worshipped Elon Musk, none was more zealous than the one populated by the sebaceous young men over at the /wallstreetbets sub-reddit. They absolutely adored the guy, referring to him as “Papa Musk” and depending on him to make them rich before they reached the ripe old age of 25.

Well, just as the most strident anti-smokers are people who used to smoke but quit, likewise the young lads populating WSB absolutely despise Elon Musk, since they feel so betrayed by him. More specifically, since TSLA has lost three-quarters of its former trillion dollar market cap, countless Robinhood and E*TRADE accounts lay in tatters. If you visit WSB these days, you’ll find the vast majority of front page content is nothing more than some form of Tesla-bashing or Elon-raging. I offer to you a sampling:

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