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Petty Differences

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It's not wrong--it's just how I feel...

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Oh, my, my. Oh, hell, yes.
Honey, put on that party dress
Buy me a drink, sing me a song.
Take me as I come 'cause I can't stay long.


(Tom Petty)



Good morning and welcome back to the shiny shack. The bovine arrived to start the new week with pep in their step and tongue in their cheek. The rode on the side of Friday's high tide and started the week with moxie and pride. "They can't get 'em down," said Boo with a frown, feeling as if he was a brown clown, "I can't find a bear throughout this whole town who thinks that the bulls will fumble their crown!" Should he step aside with eyes open wide or can he reconnect that ol' Red Dye pride? Its turnaround Tuesday, you know what that means, so let's fire up our trading machines!

It's amazing what a few days away from the flickering ticks can do for one's perspective. For my part, as I experienced an unexpected radio silence late last week, I returned to my turret to chew through a slew of emails. While most of them were par for the Minyan course, I uncovered a few notes with-dare I say-acrimony directed to some of my fellow professors. This chapped my lips a bit as we've taken great pride in presenting perspective with the sole purpose of furthering fiscal literacy.

I'm aware that many Minyans chill in the 'Ville with the ultimate goal of making money. That's entirely alright-regardless of how benevolent or philanthropic our endeavors, we all need some jingle in our jeans if we're to enjoy the journey. What's unique about our mission, however, is that we'll never "tell" you what to do. Rather, we aim to provide insight and information that allows you to make better and more informed financial decisions. It's a fine line to walk, I know, but an incredibly important one on a number of levels.

I often opine that "people are so thirsty, in the absence of water, they'll drink the sand." And when I walk along the beach that is mainstream financial programming, I can't help but cringe when watching content focused on ratings rather than what's right. Fiscal literacy isn't a function of a lightening round, firing off "buys" and "sells" at a breakneck pace with no regard for time horizon or risk appetite. It's about understanding the mechanism, assimilating the metrics and "seeing" both sides of every trade. Until you understand the game, I'll offer, you're at a disadvantage when stepping on the field.

That, quite simply, was the genesis for Hoofy and Boo. I've long believed that bull and bear markets coexist and the residual grist is what garners front page headlines. By assigning these critters as metaphorical representations of each dynamic, I found that we could delineate the positives and negatives and pair off their perspectives. They certainly won't always be right but the ability to learn from our mistakes is what morphs them to lessons. After 15 years of triumphs and tragedies, my hope is that sharing these vibes adds value and insight to your daily process.

The financial landscape is frustrating. Returns aren't what they used to be. And in our "immediate gratification mindset," there's a natural tendency to point fingers and assign blame. Therein lies the root of our societal ills-folks seemingly want answers and profits without asking questions or taking risk. I wish it were that easy, my friends, but the road ahead will challenge the savviest of seers and truest of traders. Take a deep breath, manage your expectations and preserve your capital. With some hard work and a bit of luck, we'll find our way to better times and easier tapes.

Good luck today.

R.P.
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