Thursday, February 5, 2009

Play Nice Now

I have mentioned previously that when the psychology turns things can get nasty and people stop playing nice. Today we are treated to yet another example of the cannibals turning on one another with Mark Haines going after Arianna Huffington calling her "clueless", most probably defending his co-worker Erin Burnett from Huffington's previous criticisms.

There is a phrase that is widely quoted by many athletic, business and military leaders which is "adversity builds character". I completely and unequivocally disagree as the more proper statement is "adversity never builds character it reveals it". We are witnessing character being revealed across a very broad swathe of our society. Govern yourself accordingly.

Signs of discontent in the Palace as Volcker and Summers seem to be at odds. Readers know my affinity for Paul Volcker and his ability as a central banker. I have no clue as to why he supported, fed yes man Geithner, but that is a story for an investigative journalist like Charlie Gasparino. Just as why it seems only Goldman Sachs alumni are the only ones qualified to run anything.

I can assure you that for a trained investigative journalist, with the stomach, resources and smarts, a thorough autopsy of Goldman would result in a blockbuster, generational best selling book.

There seems to be some concern as to the level of reserves for loan losses over at GE compared to its peers. Could GE not be everyone has believed it to be. In my opinion Jack Welch, may want to lay low for a while as we may just find out that the management world's diety, their emperor of emperors really wasn't wearing any clothes.

Recently I posited the following in a post;

"To those who continue to remain adamant that this is THE bottom and this is capitulation. I urge you do ask your friends, family, co-workers, neighbours whether they have sold out their stocks. Ask 20 people and my guess is less than 4-5 have done so. We will bottom when the vast majority, say 14-17 have done so."

A reader took time to drop me regarding that statement;

I think your comment (above) is absolutely correct. I am in my late 40's and the baby boomers I know (both friends and family) are sitting tight and hoping. Even my 73 year old dad is holding on. It is a repeat of the tech bubble. I only know of 3 people (in a circle of ~20 of friends, family, co-workers) who have sold including myself.


Thanks for the note Shelley. Many would argue that she and I are by no means representative of the entire populace but I would counter that many out there will find similar results if they fish around.

This is the type of research that the high paid mavens on CNBC have no interest in nor clue about. It is the type of intel that, while not foolproof for nothing ever is, carries more weight than the overpaid shills, with their mantra of 'cash on the sidelines' for Wall St. ever could wish to.

Good speculating to you all and never forget that "an investor is a speculator who made a mistake and will not admit it".

Open Positions:
Long 2 units Ultrashort MSCI EAFE ticker EFU @ $89.80 stop at $89.80
Long 2 units Ultrashort S&P500 ticker SDS @ $69.80 stop @ $66.15
Long 2 units Ultrashort Real Estate ticker SRS @ $53.80 stop @ $47.18
Long 1 unit Ultra Crude ticker UCO @ $10.60 stop @ $9.38
Long 1 unit US Gasoline fund ticker UGA $21.85 stop @ $19.58
Short 2 units Darden ticker DRI @ $27.15 stop @ $28.70
Short 1 unit Wells Fargo ticker WFC @ $20.20 stop @ $22.43
Short 1 unit JP Morgan ticker JPM @ $27.35 stop @ $29.54
Short 2 units Morgan Stanley ticker MS @ $21.30 stop @ $23.82


Matt P. said...

Could it also be that the avg investor is actually better educated now than in past bear markets. If you have a well diversified portfolio and a long time horizon (10+ years)why would you ever sell after taking a 40% hit? Timing re-entry is easier to talk about than to actually do.

Harleydog said...

Matt P.,

thx for reading and the comment. re:education, you could make that argument but I would disagree as the %age of educated investors out of total investor pool is same as it was 20, 50 or 100 yrs ago.

one could argue that one might want to sell after a 40% hit so as to avoid an 80-90% hit like many stock holders from the 20's, gold holders from the 70's, and tech holders of the 90's took by sitting, focusing on time horizon and divers. and not loss management.

As for re-entry I would counter that buying something is extremely easy, selling is the hard part.

Good speculating to you,