Friday, April 30, 2021

Calling the market peak -- REVISITED


Based upon feedback I received from one of my valued seven readers, what follows is a refinement of the views expressed in the previous post about market timing.  

Recall we're talking about predicting the direction of the equity market as a whole, or a large swath of it like the S&P 500 --- not individual stocks.

I didn't mean to imply that one cannot utilize deep experience and technical analysis to correctly predict a stock market peak (or trough) some of the time.  

There's an old saying that even a broken clock is right twice a day.  

However, who's consistently made these bold calls with enough accuracy to "beat" the market?  If you accept the proposition that the answer to that last question is nobody -- why would one ever wager more than they could afford to lose by trying?  

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Think you can call the market peak? Think again.

I know most of my limitations.  I learned awhile ago, for example, that I'm not a stock picker.  I also learned that trying to predict the stock market's trajectory is a futile and dangerous exercise.  

One financial adviser whom I've known for decades (disclosure: we've been lifelong friends since childhood) addressed the oft-asked question -- When-will-the-stock-market-crash? -- in his recent client newsletter.  David C. Hoelke is a Minneapolis-based adviser with Focus Financial who wrote...   

"The chances of individuals guessing when the stock market is going to crash is approximately the same as my guessing when the sun is going to explode.  Since I can't reasonably hazard a guess, I prefer to go about my day without worrying about the sun exploding."

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Friday, April 16, 2021

Living or dead, at their most interesting

It's an old parlor game...players trade names regarding whom they'd most like to invite to a fictional dinner party.  

Living or dead?  That's usually the first question a player will ask the host.  Without any regard for mortality, here's one person who'd automatically make my fantasy dinner invitation list....

2008 image, Wikipedia
NEIL PEART - the late percussionist and lyricist from the now retired, and vastly under-recognized Canadian Rock band-----Rush.  I've watched and read every interview I've been able to find featuring this notoriously private musician, lyricist and author.  

Sadly, Mr. Peart succumbed to brain cancer and passed away on January 7th, 2020 at the age of 67.  This post is dedicated to his memory.

As a drummer of the Rock n' Roll genre; IMO, Mr. Peart has few or dead.  

I'd count most of those Rock drummers on one hand: Stuart Copeland (The Police), John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Phil Collins (early Genesis), Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience) and Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins).  If I had a sixth finger on that hand; I'd add Danny Carey (Tool) or perhaps Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers).  

However, even if he hadn't been what Rush bandmate Geddy Lee called "such a f***ing monster musician", Mr. Peart still would've made my dinner list because of the way he conducted himself and how profoundly and clearly, he expressed his views on topics through his lyrics, books and media interviews.  His self-discipline, keen observation and commitment to excellence inspire me.

He often struggled with fame and fan intrusiveness.  The Rush song called Limelight includes revealing Peart lyrics, 

"I have no heart to lie, I cannot pretend a stranger is a long-awaited friend


"Cast in this unlikely role, ill-equipped to act, with insufficient tact. One must put up barriers to keep oneself intact."
He wrote seven books, all non-fiction works.  Some writings deal with personal themes like the healing process after the tragic death of his daughter Selena (car crash) and then within ten months -- the death of his first wife Jackie (Cancer).  


I've read (and this is a 5/18/2021 update to my original post) his 2002 narrative: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road which I recommend.  

The book is a deeply personal and honest account of his own healing journey and battles with grief stemming from the aforementioned loss of his loved ones.  It's also a richly annotated travel tome from his 55,000-mile motorcycle trip across North America.  

I also recently finished reading his last book, Far and Wide: Bring That Horizon to Me! (2016) which I enjoyed even more than Ghost Rider.