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Random Thoughts: Setting the Record Straight


Investors brace for Turnaround Tuesday.

"The story teller makes no choice; soon you will not hear his voice. His job is to shed light and not to master."
-- Grateful Dead

Social Mood 101: Offering financial insights and opinions (for free) during the most dynamic decade in the history of financial markets -- and more often than not, helping to map our forward path -- only to be criticized by those who are either uninformed or disenchanted to the point that they need to vent in an acrimonious manner.


I've got thick skin; it comes with the territory. I didn't mind that my book didn't perform the way I expected but I'll take solace in the fact that I took the high road when writing it. I'm sure I would have sold more copies if I sullied other people's reputations, shared certain stories or exposed pundits for who they are and what they did, but that's never been my style. I leave it on the field each day, toss the ball back to the mound and jog back to the dugout, while feeling an immense amount of gratitude for being able to do what I love with people I respect while serving the greater good.

It is, however, becoming increasingly difficult to be "out there," whether it's on Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg Television or through syndicated outlets like amNY and Dow Jones. What's often lost in discussion is the notion of "time and price," the responsibility we each share and the need to remain dynamic in how we approach this ever-changing environment. This is not your grandfather's stock market anymore; heck, it may not even be our stock market anymore, but we have two choices: be part of the solution, or part of the problem.

My motivation is simple: I want to leave a better world for my kids. That's not some marketing tag-line; if it were, I would have hung up my cleats many moons ago with a lot more cash in the bank. No, it's a mission to effect positive change through financial understanding, from the ABC's to the 401(k)s. Is there an economic motivation involved? Absolutely; I have loyal investors and outside of my family, rewarding them is my number-one priority. But I know this: Chasing the bottom line, in and of itself, is no way to go through life; take it from me, there is a huge difference between having fun and being happy, and between net-worth and self-worth.

I don't often go on tangents but sometimes you gotta set the record straight. In a digital world where all opinions are public domain, I don't expect everyone to like what we do or even how we do it, but I can unequivocally say this: We believe we are on a benevolent mission. We believe we are making a difference. And we believe that if you do the right thing long enough, people will eventually pay attention.

Welcome to Minyanville.

Random Thoughts:
  • As discussed yesterday, "the bears threw a lot of salmon at this tape in recent weeks -- sovereign debt downgrades, high-profile earnings misses, wrangling in Europe -- and the reaction to news proved more important than the news itself. Be that as it may, I wouldn't be shocked to see a gut-check to the downside this week (possibly on Turnaround Tuesday) to see what kind of will these bulls really have."
  • On cue, fresh concerns are surrounding Greece's ability to find common ground with private investors, which raises the specter of a default in March (which is pressuring the markets today)."
  • The more pertinent discussion surrounds the roadmap that will be adopted across the global fixed income spectrum, as well as the reverberations up and down the financial food chain as it relates to counter-party risk.
  • As discussed in real-time on yesterday's Buzz & Banter, I bit my lip and nibbled on some NASDAQ puts for a quick trade. As I'll be in Panama for business tomorrow through Friday, my intention is to cover that exposure by the end of the session to avoid the dreaded blind-risk syndrome. The fact that Apple (AAPL) will report tonight also suggests a tighter overnight profile (I have no edge on earnings), and this is an easy "discipline trumps conviction" decision.
  • If you were to read one article on the binary risk in the marketplace this year, this would be it.
  • Hoofy the Bull has the ball so long as the BKX holds 40 and the S&P holds 1265. And remember, Minyans, the reaction to news is always more important than the news itself, so keep that in mind as we digest the next set of market news.

Twitter: @todd_harrison

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