Debunking the Pundits
Be Wary of Wayward Wizards.
“People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.” - President Andrew Shepherd
The American President
We don't "do" acrimony in the 'Ville as it's not in our DNA. We take the high road, which is less crowded and boasts a better view.
With that as a context we hold to heart, I would like to draw your attention to something we shared on June 9th regarding the caveats of emotional investing (stamp a ticket, the S&P ended that session at 942).
I offer this without pride or prejudice and with the conscious understanding that it could conceivably prove true (25% probability in my view). And I quote:
"You know the usual suspects in terms of 'bang for the buck' ketchup vehicles. Even still, as a self-proclaimed pundit champions year-to-date gains in Apple (AAPL)(69%), Amazon (AMZN) (69%), Research in Motion (RIMM) (100%), Google (GOOG) (45%) and Baidu (BIDU) (138%) and declares a new “super bull market,” can we help but think we’ve seen this movie before?"
Lord knows I've been wrong before but I'm not ashamed of those mistakes, I'm proud of them as they provided valuable lessons and taught me the depths of my personal capacity.
I reference the above passage for one reason and one reason only—to highlight the importance of thinking for yourself, asking "why" and taking responsibility for your financial choices.
Inherent in the shift from the A.D.D., immediate-gratification mindset to The Age of Austerity is the sincere hope that we've learned from our mistakes.
There are no pundits. There is no "Holy Grail" and you are only as good as your last financial decision.
One of the primary causes for the deep-rooted damage in the socioeconomic structure was that investors assumed the ostrich position as the wheels fell off the wagon. It wasn't until the point of recognition swept through society when many woke up and purged stocks into the nadir of the abyss.
We don't have a crystal ball in Minyanville nor have we ever claimed to. It's our mission to provoke thought, ask tough questions, proactively manage risk and assess the landscape while sharing our process in real-time.
We don't ask for snaps if we're right and aren't to blame when we’re wrong. In fact, I was recently told Minyanville doesn’t do a good enough job of promoting our proactive foresight that scripted the financial crisis before it occurred.
My response was that it’s not our style. I learned long ago to stay humble or the market will do it for you. That’s both a blessing and a curse.
While other financial websites delete archives that don’t conform to current conditions, and pundits who called the bottom numerous times champion their “broken clock prophecies” that eventually proved true, we toss the ball to the mound and jog to the dugout for the next inning.
I’ll admit I’m still learning the nuances of the “media game.” Our community growth has been largely organic with little if any advertising, marketing, sales or publicity throughout our lifecycle. We don’t tout our accomplishments; in fact, we often walk you through our missteps, as that’s where true education is born.
I suppose I subscribe to the notion that if you do the right thing long enough, someone will eventually take notice. We take great pride in the integrity of our content from the ABCs to the 401(k)s. It’s the “name and word” thing, wisdom learned long ago from a sage man.
Perhaps our growth curve would be steeper if we self-promoted, but we have no regrets. Our global community is strong, fiercely loyal and wears the Minyan badge with honor. It’s not the size of the man in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the man. And make no mistake—we are growing, the right way.
But alas, I digress.
This column isn’t about Minyanville or the next few percent as much as the need for investors to adopt the proper mindset ahead of the forthcoming journey.
As we search for newfound prosperity, we must remain vigilant in the foundational construct of truth and trust. Honesty and integrity will emerge as central tenets of the new world order and the proverbial curtain will be drawn to expose the wayward wizards.
As select circles of financial media stay the course, what they're missing—and what I venture to guess Minyans "get"—is that the world has grown restless with the status quo. Change has a funny way of creeping up on the collective; it begins within and resonates with like-minded belief systems.
The leaders coming out of a crisis are never the same as those who entered it. It was true during The Great Depression and it'll prove true again in the hindsight of history.
A phoenix will rise from the scorched earth and our goal is to have the financial staying power to prosper when it does while staying true to ourselves as we find our way.
If you're among the many who have struggled the last few years, please don't let that experience go to waste. It's not too late to start, and it's never too late to learn.
Time, as my grandfather used to say, is the most precious of commodities.
Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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