Sunday, March 31, 2013

Shifting Of Tectonic Plates


The earth is made up of moving tectonic plates and yet we don't ever feel them moving, except when it is too late. That's when we have tsunami or earthquake and have death or destruction upon us.

Believe it or not, the tectonic plates of our finance world are moving and moving fast. Today the central bankers of the world led by Bernanke of the Fed are giving the last moment gift to the top 1% of the oligarchy. Because very soon another tsunami or earth quake will visit us soon which will make 2008-9 look like a movie trailer.

I am not a fan of Prechter or ZH and I do not like to continue spawning storing of imminent collapse. I have been long till January and have been on the sideline since. But we have not shorted the market despite various indicators saying top. Nor did I buy the theory of collapse of the world till now.

However, I see that we are reaching an important infliction point. My favourite route remains SPX reaching an important top in April, followed by a deep correction in summer. That should be followed by another sharp rally in Q3/Q4 before the onset of a deep bear market.  The exact timing of going long or short will vary and will be available to subscribers. These are general market direction but we use many parameters and price points to decide when to go long or short. The guiding principle is that the only way of wining is not losing.

For the month of Feb/March, many have paid subscription only to hear me say : wait , don't short, need confirmation of this or that before taking any action. There were no instant gratification because we are not looking to score on every 10 point turn. Rather the focus is on weekly or monthly trend and not get distracted by the news. If that is your focus as well, you are welcome to join the gang of subscribers. But if short term trading is your focus, I am not the right guy.

Hope you had a great Easter weekend and all ready for the month of April. It is going to be exciting in fits and starts and most likely will demonstrate the formation of an important top. But we are not going to front run and will wait for confirmation before taking any action.

Wish you all best of luck in your trading / investing.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Same Old, Same Old.



It has been a while I did a post here.
Fact of the matter is, while I am super busy and all the sabaticals that I took last year is now catching up with me, there is nothing much to do but wait patiently.
Yesterday the markets had a bearish reversal day. And today it is pumping up. All to convince the sheeples that the only way to get rich is TBFD.
So what yesterday's selling was all about? Did you say Cyprus?  Oh yes. The Euro politicians have shown that in case of emergency, they will put their hands where ever they can. Earlier they would socialize the loss and privatize the profits. Now they would rob the common men to save the Banksters. Great news now that we know that no body's money is safe.
And what is today's ramp all about. It seems because home prices are now at the highest level since 2008? So the problem of Euro Zone has been solved and we have the collective memory of a gold fish.
But none of these news drive the market. Rather they drive the retail investor sentimement. And speaking of that the powers that be (TBTF Banksters) know how to manipulate that retail sentiment. Over the last few months, the bottom level is being convinced that we are at the beginning of a new bull market. Only then the retail will buy stocks and they normally buy at the peak.
However, I think we will continue to see this rollar coaster ride for the major part of April before any decent correction. So my advice to the subscribers have been to stay on the sideline and avoid all kinds of temptations. It is still not the time to short yet.
We may get occational day or two when we will have 1% sell off but again we will see markets being pumped up on low volume. Doing anything in such sitiation is bad for our financial health.
I know it is damn difficult to remain patient for month after month and do nothinig when the entire 24/7 news media is trumpeting how we are missing on the golden opportunity of getting rich and retire quickly. But that is their agenda. Our goal is to protect our savings and investments.
Just remember, what goes up, comes down. And Wall St. is not above the laws of gravity.
 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Student Loans Are Diving Underwater

The student loan market has a lot of factors that seem to say "Stay the heck away!": they're relatively easy to qualify for, college costs have increased far more rapidly than general consumer prices, we now seem to feel that EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A COLLEGE EDUCATION. ELEVENTY!!!, and most importantly, the job outlook for many (most?) college grads is to put it mildly, pathetic.  

This graph from the Washington Post piece points out some evidence that we might be seeing the beginning of the next "bubble pop".  Although they're a fairly small part of the overall consumer loan market, student loans are more likely to be 90+ days past due than any other loan class.  And the percentage is growing pretty rapidly. 
 












Luckily, the Unknown Daughter gets free tuition at Unknown University.   We still have a half-dozen years until we have to shell out for college, but it'll take a lot to justify her going somewhere other than to my (fairly low-cost) school. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

But I'm Not Dead

It's been almost a year since I last posted.  And a lot has happened at Unknown University since then.   I'm waiting to hear from the University P&T Committee and the Provost on my tenure case (I've made it past all the other hurdles - department, college peers, college P&T committee, and dean).  So I've been keeping a low profile since then regarding the blogosphere and trying to get stuff done.

Since the last post, the Unknown Baby Boy (a.k.a. KnuckleHead) has turned 4.  He is a lunatic, and a great deal of fun (despite the occasional head butt to the package).   The Unknown Daughter (a.k.a. Future Ruler of the Universe) is finishing up 6th grade.  She's planning on going to a 1-week computer camp to learn HTML this summer, so the blog might actually end up looking good.  On the down side, she just let slip that she's sweet on a young man, so it starts.  Looks like I'll have to buy a large knife to sharpen with e demented grin when he comes a-callin.
 
Oh, and I had a minor heart attack just before Christmas - no damage to the heart muscle, and I've been back riding since about 2 weeks after.
 
I'll resume regular posting once the tenure stuff is resolved.  Lots of stuff to catch up on. 

I the meanwhile, here's something completely unrelated to academia (I just found it funny).  It's John Cleese's remarks at Graham Chapman's funeral.  Now THAT is a eulogy.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Quo Vadis SPX?

Some say SPX is headed for the moon. Well, that was bit of an exaggeration, but surely we hear talk of SPX 2000. Personally, I think a long term top can be found around 1600. The question that I ask, whether that long term top is now or still few months down the line.

While many are pointing to various extreme reading of various indicators, I do not see any sign of correction yet. Only once so far the sell signal was triggered but that did not match with my other indicators and I decided not to short even when the sell signal was on. On hindsight, it was a good decision because had we been short, it would have caused us emotional pain and in some cases, the short positions have been puked already resulting in actual loss.

While I am advising subscribers not to short and stay on the sideline, for some of you who are short already, I would say that bear the pain if you do not want to book the loss. Nothing goes up for ever and this moon rocket is also subject to the law of gravity. Ben and other powers that be think that stock market is equal to economy and a higher stock market means a strong economy. So the never ending money printing and inflating the balloon goes on. We have seen this many times in the past.


And we know how it all ends. This time is never different. Only we do not want to front run and get run over.

So far the bubble has been formed in Equities and we have not yet seen the rise is other asset prices like Oil or PM sector. Before the bubble burst, we will see all these asset classes rise again. Oil should take out its all time high and gold should make a new high. Question is when. For now, the BOYZ are working on a simple plan. That is to get the retail and lagging fund managers move in to equities. It works on the simple hope that some else will buy the stocks at a higher price at a later date. If you don't believe, just look at the chart of Apple few months back. When Apple crossed $ 700, they were  talking about Apple $1000 and folks who bought Apple at $ 700, were hoping to flip it around soon. Same story now with something else.

Dow ended in red this Friday after 10 consecutive weekly gains and 8 new all time highs in a row. And SPX is trying to make its all time high. I think it is so damn risky to go long here but also not the right time to short. Not yet. There are other fish to fry in commodities and there is less risk there.

The blog posts have been irregular and my apologies for the tardiness. I intent to post at least two/three times a week but time is difficult to come by. In any case, I did not have much to say since my last post except repeating that:

Cash is King.

Have a great weekend folks. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Everything Must Be Great


DOW made new high!. Yeeeee.
Now everything in the world must be al-right and every American is now rich. The retirement accounts are filled to the brim and no body cares what the crooks do.
But I feel little sad for ZH and Prechter. These guys are running out of ideas about what to write about the imminent collapse of USA. Not only the collapse (which was just round the corner) never materialised, even a 10% decent correction is also not on horizon. Only last October they were saying that QE4 has failed to do its magic and QE is dead. So far I have not seen anything anywhere saying sorry, we were wrong.

Anyway, now that Indices have or are in the process of making new high, where in the sentiment cycle are we?
I personally think we are in the Euphoria stage. The retail is just now getting excited about the rally while the TA guys have given up.

Our collective memory is short. Otherwise, we would have simply looked at what happened during the same period of last year.
This is a daily chart of SPX from December end of 2011. Does the up move of 2012 looks similar? If they look like ducks, walk like ducks and quack like ducks, then most likely they are ducks. And most likely this years pattern is just a repeat of last year. And by that token, the bears should remain in hibernation till the better part of March. 

We went out of all long positions by end of Jan. with SPX around 1510. So far we have given up about 30 points rally but we have no emotional roller coaster ride. We are what is called reluctant bear, sitting on the sideline. Just waiting for the move to exhaust itself. We have avoided all temptations to short because our model did not give us the go ahead signal. And we are not looking for the end of the world, not yet.

Coming back to the market, the shearing is not yet complete. 
I think the BOYZ will spend another couple of weeks to corral most of the sheeples. Retail almost always buys at the top and why it would be any exception this time? And for those TA enthusiasts looking for all sorts of elusive Da Vinci Code for the Top and shorting relentlessly, only to lose the underpants, I have news for you. The Fed is buying Bonds almost every day for the month of March! (POMO Days are here again).

I am not for a moment saying that buy buy buy. On the contrary, I think if we are long, its better to take chips off the table and raise cash. We have gone off gold and silver sometimes back and are waiting for the cycles to bottom. But I am not shorting anything yet. Subscribers will get email when the signal comes and they know the levels to watch for.

So far the market is moving as per my base line projection for 2013. If ZH and Prechter can continue till 2014, they might have some chance of gloating. But that's a long shot. We will take one month at a time and put forward our steps very carefully. From now till next few years, before I make any investment or trading decision, I will be asking myself: how much will I lose, if I am wrong, instead of thinking how much will I make. 

Its a jungle out there. So don't front run and trade safe.
Have a great weekend folks.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

You Want To Know What Is Risk?

What is risk?
Risk is the amount of money you will lose if you are wrong.
To know how ordinary investors chase beta and lose money, you must read the following:
How to lose money
It is said the bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.