Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Short 'em All. They Aren't Worth the Paper They're Printed On"

As I'm flipping between terminals and feed-readers it strikes me that I'm not interested in any of the news stories I'm looking at.

Valero reports nice  crack-spreads but the stock appears to have double-topped.
China is doing a freight rail build-out that should be very positive for Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co., Ltd. but the stock may have started a head-and-shoulders top.

With the lazy days of summer coming on I think of a line by "Adam Smith":
“…For, after all, I had been into cocoa a bit myself. That was back when The Great Winfield had discovered cocoa trading. Occasionally in those more leisured days I would sit with him lazily watching stocks move, like two sheriffs in a rowboat watching catfish in the Tennessee River….”
And then the voice of one of my mentors says "This is an opportunity".
I've mentioned him a few times:

Sep. 11, 2008
One of my mentors* used to say "Stocks are smarter than Analysts". He also said (in no particular order):
Stocks are smarter than Investment Bankers
Stocks are smarter than Fund Managers
Stocks are smarter than Brokers
He was skeptical of human nature and cynical about human arrogance. He was very rich.
Had he lived to see my cyber-punditry I am sure he would have added "Stocks are smarter than bloggers"....
March 12, 2008
I've mentioned* that one of my mentors was the best trader I've ever met. Creative, intelligent, disciplined (and bankrolled).
From time to time though, he would lose his mind and run around the floor screaming
"Sell 'em all, they aren't worth the paper they're printed on".
Jan. 9, 2008
Can you trust the First Bank of Nigeria?
...*One of my mentors, and one of the sharpest traders I ever met, had the most common flaw of students of markets, hubris. In his case it was non-fatal, more of a cost of doing business:...
...2) He got into a rigged blackjack game in Yugoslavia. Lost half-a-mil. Said he started to think it was was fixed when he was down a couple hundred.
Wife: "Then why the hell did you keep playing?"
Him: "I thought I could beat it".
So I'm thinking 12,681 on the DJIA and 1355.66 on the S&P are a fine spot to get a bit of short exposure.