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.

Ice Cubes for the Christmas Tree

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A few days ago, I stumbled upon a fun little riddle which you can see here. (The answer is here but try to solve it first). When I was a kid, I used to do brain teasers, tests, and puzzles all the time, and I was pretty good at them. I stopped being a student decades ago, though, and even though this riddle was labeled “Easy”, I gave up.

The approach I took was a logical and binary one. I simply tried the direct approach of trying to figure out which switches corresponded to which light. When I found the problem unsolvable and peeked at the answer, I saw that I had totally missed another data point (I won’t allude to it here, since I don’t want to spoil the puzzle for you). (more…)

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…)

Thanksgiving for Proper Gold Stock Fundamentals

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All through the bear market hopeful rationalizations were served up for a bullish case on the gold miners. All through the bear market we warned people not to eat that rotten turkey!

China demand, the China and India “love trade”, cyclical inflation driving up the prices of commodities and resources and the classic… economic growth in the US will create cost-push inflation through wage increases with the smart money seeking inflation protection in gold. All of those and a veritable Turducken of mishmashed ingredients were served to gold bugs as a decidedly not delectable appetizer before the main course.

But with a top in risk ‘on’ global markets now finally including the US (pending any holiday relief bouncing), the planets are aligning per the fundamentals that matter. This will drive up gold’s relational price to cyclical risk ‘on’ assets and improve gold mining bottom line operations (reducing miners’ costs per ounce of gold produced). (more…)

Brown Shoots

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Before I begin, I want to say I am DELIGHTED at how many folks are updating their avatars (or creating new ones altogether) with the “Santa hat” theme. We’re a lively bunch, we Slopers. Just click here to go to your profile and update your avatar (or give yourself one). All the cool kids do it, and it’s free!

Now, on with the show. I’m confident most of you remember this from early 2009:

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The Most Important Trendline of the Year

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This is very, very important.

The NASDAQ Composite is at a moment of truth. It has BOUNCED and FOUND SUPPORT at the only trendline that matters. The last time it did this, twenty-three months ago, it went on to extraordinary gains, and the bulls stomped the living guts out the bears.

Know this: if our bullish friends can’t find support here, they’re going to be screwed, and screwed for years. The time is now.

Pleasure Me

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Trillions of dollars in equity lost. Silicon Valley stocks down 40%, 50%, 70%, or more. Dejected and disillusioned millennials. The smoldering ruins of the failed cryptocurrency industry.

I’m honestly not sure how much more happiness I can take. On top of it all, Slope traffic is going absolutely apeshit (which is kind of bad news, in a way, since we’re frantically trying to keep up with the demand of our suddenly very, very popular website).

And to think this is just the start of a multi-year, global bear market that is going to bring utter ruin to so many. I can hardly stand the excitement. Thus, I thought we’d catch up on my short term “Omega” prediction, which I’ve discussed before, most recently here.

Specifically, where do things stand with respect do the conjectural pattern I suggested? (more…)

EXCLUSIVE: Details of OptionSellers Trades

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My post about the ruination of OptionSellers.com got a huge amount of attention. Traffic to SlopeOfHope.com was bigger on Sunday than any normal day of the week (which explains why it’s been so damned hard to get on the site lately…….). The most common question I heard was: “what exactly were the positions?” I had no idea………until now.

According to my sources, here are the positions they had on: naked short calls (left side) and naked short puts (right side), all on natural gas:

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One Fund’s Instant Destruction

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This is a cautionary tale. A tale of a fund of nearly 300 clients and nearly $80 million which blew up in the span of hours from a market move that was, in the grand scheme of things, not that big a deal. It illustrates how excessive leverage can completely torch the risk-taker (and, in this case, his clients). And it just happened.

The person in question is James Cordier, who is a bestselling author of books about options. One glance at Amazon, and you can see the myriad of volumes he’s written on the topic:

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Frightful Possibilities

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A Santa Claus rally. A trade deal between China and the U.S. A straight shot to 3,200 on the S&P 500. The bullish stories are flooding the airwaves. After all, the vast majority of “traders” and “investors” have never experienced a bear market before. Equities dipped a little in October, and people don’t like it. So they’re trying to wish it away.

Maybe they will. Maybe the won’t. We remain at a crucial juncture. Last week was largely a waste of time. We did get a nice selloff on Monday, but after that, it was a circle jerk, with desperate rumors from D.C. about a trade deal attempting to prop things up.

On the ES, the two tinted areas are all I care about right now. If, God forbid, we cross above the yellow tint at about 2757, the bulls are going to grab the baton. It wouldn’t take much in the way of news to make it happen. Another plausible rumor about China would do the trick, although the way Pence is handling it, maybe I shouldn’t worry so much. A failure of the green line at 2711 would shove a silver stake through the pattern’s heart. (more…)

Slowly We Turn… Gold vs.

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Let’s take an in-day snapshot of gold vs. several key competitors (for your investment dollars/euros/yen, etc.) and check the progress in turning the macro from risk ‘on’ to risk ‘off’, cyclical to counter-cyclical.

Gold/Commodities motors along above the SMA 200. The move has been hysterical, and thus looks impulsive. That could mean something as we look back in hindsight one day.

gld.dbc (more…)

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