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.

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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Gold, US Stocks and Bonds

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I’ll try to keep things simple with this recap of the 3 of the 5 major food groups (leaving aside commodities and currencies) for investors. No confusing you today with too many inter-market ratios, overly technical language or cute metaphors like the 3 Amigos (although it is notable that Amigo #2 is stopping exactly as we’d forecast, as you’ll see in the Bonds segment below).

So let’s take a technical look at larger picture of the 3 groups using weekly charts for gold and SPX and a monthly for 30yr bond yields, along with some thoughts. We’ll reserve the shorter-term technical management for subscriber updates and weekly NFTRH reports.

Gold

For the sake of your financial well being, continue to tune out inflation, trade wars, shooting wars, Ebola, China demand and Indian wedding season as reasons to be bullish the relic, it’s wilder little brother, silver and the miners. Continue to tune in to gold’s standing vs. stocks and other risk ‘on’ assets along with investor confidence, the economy, interest rate dynamics (including the yield curve) and to an extent, the state of your local currency. (more…)

In Dodd We Trust

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NOTE that has nothing to do with this post: we have SUBSTANTIALLY sped up how fast comments update. Please refresh with a Ctrl-F5 so activate this. OK, on with the post…….

What is it with Texas politicians and the banking industry?

I thought Texans were supposed to be all about cattle and oil. Yet over the decades it seems like they are first in line, shoving themselves even in front of New Yorkers, to provide whatever aid, assistance, and comfort that big banks require. It’s bizarre.

The most famous example, of course, being the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act in 1999, championed by this genius:

When public “servants” are whoring themselves out to any particular industry, they couch it in the mask of freedom and progress. This was no exception, as Senator Gramm said at the time: (more…)

What Support Means in Human Terms

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I was recently asked a question on Quora (“What does support level mean in a technical chart of a stock?“), and after I finished answering it, I realized it was way too long not to share here. So here it what I said:

Although I’m a chartist, I will answer this in “human” rather than chart-based terms. I’ll use a rather facetious example to make my point.

Let’s say a given stock X traded between $50 and $51 for two solid years. Countless people bought at that price. It was boring but very, very stable.

Now let’s say for whatever reason the stock vaulted swiftly over the course of a month up to $80 per share. Perhaps there were takeover rumors or optimism about a new product line. So now you’ve got a huge mass of people with nice fat profits, as well as some newcomers who paid between $51 and $80 for the same stock.

So now you have two classes of owners – – a large mass of folks with a good basis price and big profits, as well as newcomers whose profits range from decent to very small, depending on the price they paid. This latter group is going to be quite nervous and have weak hands. The former group will be more confident, since they have a much lower basis and have grown accustomed to the stock never being below $50. (more…)

The Old College Try

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Over the course of writing thousands and thousands of posts on this blog (personally, about 15,000, although Slope itself has well in excess of 20,000), I take a certain amount of liberty with the topics I choose. By no means are all my posts related to charts or trading. Sometimes I talk about personal (but not too personal) stuff. This will be one of those posts.

This is just an off-the-cuff musing about how much the process of applying to colleges has changed since I was in high school. The reason this is on my mind is that my oldest child is enter the “hot zone” spanning end-of-Junior and start-of-Senior year during which applying to schools becomes a full-time occupation. I suspect I’ll be doing other posts about this adventure as the year wears on.

To set a baseline, I’ll share my experience from when I went through this. It won’t take long, because there wasn’t much to it. There were no consultants. There were no books I read. There were no seminars or college visits or any help at all from my parents. I didn’t do any prep classes, and I received no counseling from the school at all. All I did was take the SAT test, did a desultory job of filling out a few applications……….and I got into Princeton and Brown. (more…)