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.

Oh, I See

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This morning, I was delighted to see the screen covered in red. A Sloper made the snarky remark that me declaration of my shortness would surely mark the bottom. Well, irked as I was by the rude comment, he turns out to be right, although, to the credit of my stock picks, I’m only down 0.3% in the face of a giant rally (particularly cool since I’m very leveraged).

My annoyance at the market’s sudden reversal was initially mixed with confusion, until I saw………..THIS:

As long as this guy has media attention, I’m afraid the bear market doesn’t stand a chance.

Perfect Harmony

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Some of you know I don’t go in for a lot of television. Movies, I love, and there are some I’ve seen dozens of times. But my days tend to be wake up, work/family, go to bed, without any time allocated to plop myself in front of a television set.

Some weeks ago, however, I stumbled upon the Mad Men series, and I decided to watch an episode. I knew I was in trouble, because I really liked it, and there were 7 seasons of 13 episodes each. I watched every one of them, though, sometimes at the end of the day as a treat to myself, and sometimes while going through my charts.


Think Pink

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Yesterday, for no particular reason, I fired up the original Henry Mancini Pink Panther theme. I was transported back to when I was a little kid and saw the movie on television. After the credits, I was tremendously disappointed to realize it wasn’t a full-length cartoon (back in the 70s, of course, the Pink Panther was a staple of Saturday morning cartoon shows). In any case, it’s a great song, and these must be some of the best titles ever created for any movie:

Jessie’s Girl

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You can usually tell how I’m feeling just by knowing what I have playing in the background in my home office. If I’m feeling excited and engaged about the markets, I’ll put on something like Saving Private Ryan. On the other hand, if I’m feeling dejected and depressed (98% of my life), I’ll play the 1966 documentary Salesman or the 1994 documentary Crumb.

I’ve mentioned Crumb many times here on Slope, since it is such a persistent favorite of mine (you can watch it for free by clicking here……’re welcome). I watched it again today (yep, depressed), and I took note, as I always do, of Jessie Crumb, Robert Crumb’s talented and artistic son from an earlier marriage. He always impressed me as handsome, articulate, and incredibly well-adjusted considering what a messed-up father he had.

Jessie is on the left, next to Uncle Maxon and father Robert


Their Job: Entertain. Your Job: Ignore.

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Agree 100%, Charlie.

See: Buy in May and Stay Invested

Now, I am not of that ilk personally. My closely held biases are that a) the market’s cycles can be interpreted and managed (although my bias also has led me astray at times, in my execution) and b) that the economy, and by extension the markets, are not normal; not your grandpa’s economy and markets because they are ginned and steroidally goosed by off-the-charts (i.e. experimental) central bank meddling. That’s my bias in line with my entire history of public writing since 2004.

So I am not a stock market apologist, bull wise guy or ‘buy ‘n hold stocks for the long’ run tout. But I am the guy who is frequently nonplussed about the mainstream media fanning the flames of investor/trader sentiment during inflammatory news cycles. As Charlie says “it is their job to entertain” and “your job to ignore”.

But this applies not only in the major media. It applies to the minor media as well. Led by ZeroHedge, a whole raft of blogs and other entities are going to fan your flames with all sorts of opinionated, agenda driven or just plain biased information. And what Charlie has right is that it is absolutely imperative to tune it the hell out. That is because the bias never changes because it is promoting emotional viewpoints, promoting sides, teams. In the market the only side is the right side, whether your little heart of hearts agrees with it or not. (more…)

Here Is Next Week’s News In Advance

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Here Is Next Week’s News In Advance — How Will You Trade It?

By Avi Gilburt,

The great majority of market participants believe that “the fate of markets is inextricably intertwined with the ebb and flow of geopolitics.”  So, if I share with you “secret” news that will hit the wires next week, you should be able to make a killing with such information.  Right?

While I strongly disagree with this proposition, at least based upon my in-depth study of decades of stock market history, this perspective is so engrained in the investment process of advisors and analysts alike that it is followed even more than the Bible.

So, let’s test this proposition. (more…)