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A Breakfast Meeting


The Solly Storage Conference starts today and, as always, I'll be keeping an ear to the ground!


It's a chilly morning in Minyanville and the critters are dapperly dressed for their big meeting. It's not often that the Menagerie will assemble at this early hour but it's a critical juncture for the tape and the clan's not messing around. Hot coffee and fresh muffins adorn the conference table as the door is closed and the talk turns to tape. The conversation went something like this:

Sammy: First, I'd like to thank you all for coming in at this ungodly hour. I know its cold outside and you'd rather be curled up under a warm blanket. The reason I called this meeting is that I wanted to offer each of you an opportunity to communicate your thoughts.

Boo: (yawning)'s the 21st century...they have things called phones. Haven't you ever heard of a conference call?

Hoofy: Ahh...look who woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning! One little rally and all of a sudden you've lost your sense of adventure!

Boo: Adventure this kloppy! The market rallies for the first time in over a week and all of a sudden you found your tongue? If memory serves, I heard similar chatter Friday night when the bleeding stopped just long enough for the bulls to remove the tourniquet! Even I, Mr. Bear, could have told you that S&P 900 wouldn't fall without a fight and despite your best efforts and a sharp bounce in the semis, the techs lagged all session! Just as the market paused to refresh on the way up, it must ebb and flow on the way down. That's (Turning to Daisy and winking) Wazzup baby...

Daisy: I'll tell you what's up, patience is up! It's amazing to me that you can sit there with that cocky smile on your face after Hoofy and his boys have smacked you around for two months. You have one good week and all of a sudden you're the queen? Get over yourself!

Hoofy: Seriously dude...since you've been hibernating, we've been ripping it up on the long side. This hard, sharp pullback is only sucking the bears in before we gallop into January. You forget, the only thing that matters right now is relative performance. Portfolio managers won't "buy up" because they want to-they'll do it because they have to. You must be more A.D.D than Toddo if you don't remember the's the same gig as last year.

Snapper: Wasabi!

Boo: First of all, Snapper, why don't you drink a tall glass of shut the heck up! Secondly, Hoofy, I think you've milked about all you can out of the upside-no offense Daisy-and the mere fact that everybody is banking on a repeat performance is probably the most bearish aspect of this juncture. Repeat after me...sell hope, buy despair, sell hope, buy despair. Every time the market rallies, the closet bulls start flapping their gums. I've said it before and I'll say it again-THE turn will occur when nobody cares anymore. Until then, it's the same story- empty rallies and broken promises.

Daisy: I think you're the one who's living in denial! You can't claim to be a trader and focus on the journey (and not the destination) when the tape is going your way and then morph into a big picture theorist when you're wrong. That, my friend, is rationalization and once you start doing that-you're crispy toast!

Sammy: She's got a point Boo...regardless of your particular bias, you can't lose your discipline. If you're gonna play the tape, you can factor in your big picture thesis but you can't lean on it from day to day. Conversely, if you're gonna focus a broader view, you must elongate your risk profile and give it a chance to play out. They're two independent processes and unless you make that distinction, you're going to trade yourself right out of the market.

As the sage snake of Minyanville was finishing his thought, the cuckoo clock on the wall came alive and alerted the critters that it was time to go. Boo stood up and collected the remaining blueberry muffins (no shame!) while the rest of the Menagerie gathered their belongings. Some salient points were made and the silence allowed them each to digest the information in their own way. As they filed out of the conference room and readied themselves for the day ahead, a fresh breeze blew through the window and the smell of pine trees filled the air. It was Hump Day in Minyanville and the critters had pep in their step--and the games had yet to begin.

Good luck today.


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