I do not give trading advice. I am not trained as a financial advisor. I do not want to testify before Congress like the meme stock guy — Keith Gill aka Roaring Kitty — had to do last year. I’d have to get a nickname for the press… wear that red headband…. come up with a good backstory…
So this is not advice…. I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite web sites.
As you all know, almost everything out there is lousy. Even Jim Cramer. They are all deeply negative when the market is sinking, acting as if they said ‘I told you so’. About 15 yrs ago (I started investing before, and got wiped out, by the Nasdaq bubble of 2000 and the 3 yrs that followed). Crazy times though… anything dot com went up. I got offers regulary to invest in this or that company… things like mall.com or athlete.com or store.com — that didn’t even have goods or employees yet.
The next crash, 2007, also hit me hard – but that was a time when I thought I had learned, and started doing options. I like options because of the math, which makes you think you can really do well if you’re smart enough and if you study enough. I came across an article after that fiasco that said ‘the cost of tuition to learn options trading is usually the amount of money in your portfolio’. Exactly… and I laughed at that about 5 yrs later when I stopped feeling so guilty about losing everything we had.
So investing hadn’t made me wealthy. Things like $200K hospital bills impact my life, even if insurance pays the majority of it. This is NOT, at ALL, a request for money — and if anyone starts a go fund me or sends me ten bucks I will be angry. But I THINK I am finally on the right track investing (which I love doing, even when it doesn’t work out). I had to do what I had to do to get here. And the complexity is so interesting… almost like the human body.
Right now the big problem is the rising dollar. I’ll let you folks read about it, or go to my second-favorite podcase, MACROvoices, and listen to episode #339. You will learn more than you have ever learned, in only one hour. Next time you hear about the dollar on NBC news, you will know more than the guy giving the news.
The trick is that you need to watch dozens of videos or podcasts before anything will make sense. I have talked with some of you as you shared your stories and many of you know this. But I’ll explain a tip. Find the ones you like. Not who is flashy, not who is popular — but the ones where they explain the reason for everything they say (even if you don’t yet understand what they are saying). It takes time to learn the language of Wall Street. Most of the jargon is nonsense and not worth learning. But things like 100 or 200 day moving averages, or ‘high volume days’, or ‘Fed pressure’, or World recession in response to US dollar, or Fiat currency…. all worth knowing, especially if you own a business or work for a living!
I can’t get my kids interested in this, and I get it. I wouldn’t listen when I as in their position and age. But what is cool… if you listen to things you barely understand over and over, say for 15 minutes while in ths shower and getting dressed, your brain will take it from there.
What I started doing with all those podcasts years ago was actually keeping track of who said what. On my computer I have a page with column and lines. The lines are names of podast financial ‘experts’ and the columns are dates. If someone was clearly bullish, I put a U (for up) on that line for that date. If they were bearish, I put a D for down. At first I used B’s but that wasn’t as helpful….
On the bottom line I put the same for whether things were going up or down. The value of that line came after, when I saw whether the predictions worked out. Guess what I found? Almosts everybody knew nothing.
But understand — there has been HUGE messaging from the financial industry, for decades, that you ‘cannot time the market’ That is so engrained that even advisors believe it and argue if you don’t. And I would agree — you cannot time it by the day. Sometimes, though, you can time it by the hour….. a high-risk game if you want to die young from stress. There are things that traders with ‘huge bank’ follow all day, and they often help out. But if one little surprising thing happens, like someone invades someone, you can lose money very very fast.
I consider myself a ‘trend timer’ – meaning I try to decide what the ‘big guys’ are doing. Of course they can be very wrong too. What’s a person to do?
Realize first that the buy and hold loved buying and holding. Think about it…. you buy the market and wait, and nothing is your fault. Market went down 50%…. sorry but you can’t time the market, and you asked to be invested! Not much risk for them – especially since they still get their 1% of whatever you have left.
The big guys, or people I should say, have very complex fee structures at hedge funds where investers pay a percent each year, and a percent of profits (20%, as in 2 and 20). At least they have skin in the game.
Most podcasts are by financial advisors. They do podcasts as marketing, so do not expect them to mention or even own up to their mistakes. So routine to document a bullish podcast, then a year later hear the same person boasting that he/she tried to warn people. Almost ALL do that.
The ones I’ve mentioned play it straight. They explain everything. They have guests on a range of macro or other topics from both sides, week after week. At the end, most of them put it together and give their thoughts. Not predictions, but what they think is likeliest to happen given all of the complex things going on, and all of the unpredictables out there (three members of the Federal Reserve Board give speeches today — a coordinated system of messaging that is fascinating on its own).
Some of you will read this and think I’m nuts, or an idiot, or misguided. But I know some of you like this stuff. It is so similar to biology, at least as I see it…. but at a different stage. Biology is ultimately almost entirely predictable, but humans haven’t figured it entirely out. We know what causes cancer, but not THIS cancer for example. We also have no interest, for now, in understanding WHY – why we are here, what happened before the big bang or what power, God, or force created the universe and everything in it. We cling to evolution as it makes us feel like we understand — myself included. But even then, why did a planet end up at the perfect distance from the sun, with the exact amount of oxygen and carbon needed to lead to this? I read a science article earlier this year, that I don’t remember, that described the composition of the universe and the high unlikelyhood of ever having a planet like ours.
With the ‘market’, everything is the result of human thinking. Every single thing. War in Europe. Actions by Chinese officials to increase or decrease their population. The ‘smart people’ in the US Government (who missed recession for a year, greatly increasing the chance of a hard-landing in 2023). And of course fear and greed. There is NEVER a way to learn everything, which is also cool…. even as most people involved believe they have it figured out.
Almost forgot what made me start this post!!! A great web site? Stockcharts.com. Read about technical vs. fundamental analysis. The first is essential to traders. the second essential to investors. Best to know a little about both. Stockcharts had a big educational section, daily free articles…. do not trust their predictions. but use the site for moving averages, etc. Just looking, tech stocks are ‘trying to reclaim the 100 day moving average.’ I think they will lose that battle. But do NOT trust me. This is a short-term thing — one of dozens of trading signals — and it is not a major predictor of anything. Finally, if you want to learn, spend a year trading with ‘virtual money’. Many sites allow it. Learn before you earn or lose. If you have fun, learn more. If you hate it, there are better things to do!
I hope at least someone enjoyed this.
I was disappointed last night as I reviewed things and discovered that most people are on oxygen for 3-4 months, even if not before surgery. I think I heard ‘3-4 weeks’. The good news, I guess, is that I’m ahead and not behind schedule. I still have fear…. fear that a massive blood clot will kill me at any moment. I know it will pass. I start telemed appointments next week — that is probably too soon (I was told to take a couple months). But I’m running out of things to say. You all just please do well, and make it easy for me for a bit!!
Addendum… there goes the 50-day, a minor issue. Right now I hear Chairman Powell’s people quickly rewriting his speech, taking out all shreds of optimism. Fed followers he doesn’t like days like this — not now anyway. He said so almost two weeks ago.
The problem for him is that we are all greedy. Most bear markets run over several years, not like this or the last one. He NEEDS people to be more careful, and a little more miserable. Heck, that’s almost exactly what he said (well almost).
I forgot to mention…. look at the last few bear markets. I’ll post 2000 and 2007 below. Gosh, that was horrible in 2001…. I bought in about one year in. Then in my options days, I was in Hawaii celebrating my good fortune, moving up my expirations and pushing out my contracts (option talk that means increasing risk and really increasing potential return. Well I guess both ‘really’ increase).
Six months later it was all gone. And then some. I am not wealthy, but every cent I own came to me after 2013, and I hope to retire in….. maybe 8 yrs? I feel like retiring before that would be giving the US Government (more of) my money, since that is my maximum Social Security date. My job doesn’t put as much wear and tear on me as for many of you, and I am grateful for that. I hope most of you have an opportunity, at some point , to get out of concrete. You guys do some amazing work, but I know what it does to your backs.
No predictions here. But if you have a virtual account, not with real money, let’s see if QQQ breaks 303 tomorrow. If it does, I’ll reassess and get back to you!