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.

A Most Interesting Year

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Tomorrow is the last trading day of 2020 and with New Year’s Day on Friday we get another long weekend into the start of 2021 next week. This has been a really interesting year, though a very hard one for many, and will leave a legacy for economies and markets that will likely ripple through the next few years. We’ll see how that develops in 2021.

At the end of every year we like to do a free public webinar or two at theartofchart.net looking at where we see markets going over the next year, and we are doing the ones for next year tonight and tomorrow. All are welcome and the first  webinar we are running is at 5PM EDT tonight (Wednesday 30th January) looking at equity indices, FAANG stocks and key sector ETFs and, if you’d like to attend, you can register for that here. The second webinar is at 5PM EDT tomorrow (Thursday 31st January) looking at commodities including metals, energies, softs, meat and grains and, if you’d like to attend, you can register for that here. As always all webinars are linked from our monthly free webinars page at our blog, currently December.

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Hot Stats

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You know the market is sky-high when the comments section over at ZH has permabulls chastising the regulars there and are getting no flak in return. Twelve years of a straight-up market has left the normal ZH crew speechless.

There are other data points, of course, to illustrate our nosebleed levels. The Schiller P/E Ratio, for instance, shows the only time we’ve been higher is during the Q1 2000 peak. (And it’s funny to consider just how relatively tiny the national debt was back then).

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Tis The Season

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It has been a grim year and I, and many others, will be very glad to leave it behind, but even with maximum lockdown spreading rapidly across the UK with the new virus mutation, I have a great holiday weekend planned with roaring fires, presents, great food, homemade pancakes, (probably too much) chocolate, board games and so on. My soon to be ex-wife will be absent but my three children, two cats, and one dog will all be here having a great time and there is a good chance that this will be the most enjoyable Christmas that we have had so far this millenium. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve had requests for a family video of us making pancakes over the holiday that I may well film on New Year’s Day and post on YouTube. 🙂

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Annus Horribilis

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Occasionally there is a year so awful that nothing seems to go right. The title phrase was first used in a Church of England publication in 1870, the year that papal infallibility was declared, Prussia invaded France, Italy annexed Rome, Lenin was born and the US weather service made their first official forecast. 2020 is another year worthy of the name (meaning horrible year in Latin), with COVID-19 having ravaged the world in a serious and lasting health and economic disaster.

This hasn’t been a great year for me either, with my marriage ending acrimoniously, though that end had at least been a long time coming, and then I received the news this morning that my beloved sister was killed last night by a drunk driver in London. She will be sadly missed by many including her  three barely grown children though the funeral will have to be small due to COVID-19 restrictions. This really has been a bad year and I really won’t be sorry to see the back of it. This also adds a sister killed by a drunk driver to my existing tally of two close friends killed by (their own) alcohol problems in their 40s. That’s high, though a 2017 study found that the annual deaths worldwide from alcohol abuse are about 15 times higher, and the deaths from tobacco about 5 times higher, than the total deaths from all illegal drugs, which makes those last deaths from illegal drugs essentially a small rounding error on a much larger substance abuse problem involving legal drugs. Thought for the day.

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