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Posts Tagged ‘contrarians’

On Stocks and the Costanza Paradox

Joshua sheds light on market absurdity using the Costanza analogy. – Ilene 

On Stocks and the Costanza Paradox

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker  

 

 

George Costanza: "My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every part of life, be it something to wear, something to eat … It’s all been wrong."

In a classic episode of Seinfeld called The Opposite, perma-loser George Costanza comes to the realization that if he would just act completely contrarily to his own instincts, things would begin to go his way.

Jerry Seinfeld: "If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right."

One cannot help but see the parallels between George’s epiphany and the paradox of the high beta market rally that has left even the most experienced players in utter disbelief.

Think about how rewarding it’s been for traders who have completely violated any sense of prudence or market savvy:

*AIG ($AIG) barely avoids liquidation – buy it and enjoy percentage gains in the thousands!

*Unemployment remains at around 10%, inital jobless claims are still climbing – so buy some specialty or even luxury retailers!

*Mortgage rates are inching higher and housing has not truly bottomed – so snag some Hovnanian ($HOV), some lumber names and why not a little Home Depot ($HD).

*Oil breaks out above $85 – and the airlines go wild!

*Congress passes a de facto takeover of Healthcare – OMG!  Healthcare stocks are rallying on the news of their newly subjugated status!

*Commercial RE is a time bomb – REITs!  I gotta have more REITs!

We can document dozens of these types of paradoxical setups.  Investors are taking almost any opportunity to do the opposite of what they’d normally be expected to do.  If everyone in the market is a contrarian, is the true contrarian the non-contrarian?  Heh – "Whaaaaat is the deeeeaal with contrarians?"  Thanks, Jerry.

If Georgie was running a hedge fund right now and abiding by his counterintuitive life strategy, he’d be absolutely killing it.

George Costanza: "I tell you this, something is happening in my life. it’s all happening because I’m completely ignoring every urge towards common sense and good judgment I’ve ever had. This is no longer just some crazy notion. Jerry, this is my religion!"


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FUND MANAGER BULLISHNESS COULD BE WARNING SIGN

FUND MANAGER BULLISHNESS COULD BE WARNING SIGN

Courteswy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

The January Merrill Lynch Fund Managers Survey showed very optimistic expectations from the majority of money managers.  This is a sharp change from last months survey when fund managers were entering 2009 with cautious optimism.  The latest survey showed the highest surge in Merrill’s Risk & Liquidity (46%) indicator since May of 2006.   In the past, this indicator has served as a fairly good contrarian indicator.

FMS1 FUND MANAGER BULLISHNESS COULD BE WARNING SIGN

In terms of asset allocation, fund managers have turned substantially more aggressive.  Cash levels are now at their lowest levels since 2007.  Fund managers have aggressively deployed cash into the equity markets:

“Average cash balances have fallen to 3.4 percent, the lowest reading since mid 2007 and down significantly from 4.0 percent in December. Appetite for equities is strong. A net 52 percent of asset allocators are overweight equities, up sharply from a net 37 percent in December.”

FMS2 FUND MANAGER BULLISHNESS COULD BE WARNING SIGN

Much of this cash has poured into commodities:

FMS3 FUND MANAGER BULLISHNESS COULD BE WARNING SIGN

In terms of regions, the U.S. remains an underweight as investors continue to favor emerging markets:

FMS4 FUND MANAGER BULLISHNESS COULD BE WARNING SIGN

This survey is showing some contrarian sell signals.  Just 45% of fund managers are protecting themselves against a downturn versus 52% in December.   The survey also shows a strong appetite for risk and high beta names. According to Merrill’s analysts the survey could be cause for alarm:

“This survey is one of the more bullish we have seen and suggests that investors buy into the idea that this recovery has legs,” said Gary Baker, head of European Equities strategy at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. “We are, however, seeing early signs that might alert contrarians looking for a selling opportunity – namely low cash allocations and possible complacency against a sell off in stocks,” said Michael Hartnett, chief Global Equities strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research.

Source: ML

 


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A Contrarian Conundrum…and Some Quotations

A Contrarian Conundrum…and Some Quotations

Who is the real contrarian these days?

The Bears, who are dead right about how bad the economy is or the Bulls who are dead right for being long virtually every asset class, the riskier the better?  Perhaps the true contrarian is neutral right now, refusing to play either the economic weakness or the markets’ strength.  My head hurts.

Anyway, I put together a few notable quotations on contrarianism itself while you ponder the above conundrum.  Bon appetite…

The first gets to the very essence of contrarianism, from one of the most famous practitioners of this art, David Dreman:

“I paraphrase Lord Rothschild: ‘The time to buy is when there’s blood on the streets.’”

And the classic take from Warren Buffett:

“We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy, and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”

One from Bernie Schaeffer:

“As contrarians, the only thing to fear is the lack of fear itself”

Perhaps the greatest contrarian investor of all time, Sir John Templeton, weighs in:

“Bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on scepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.”

Here’s a little-known contrarian gem from fund manager and legalized-heroin advocate George Soros:

“The worse a situation becomes the less it takes to turn it around, the bigger the upside.”

This one’s recent, but an instant classic nonetheless.  Arthur Cutten said it yesterday on Jesse’s Cafe Americain:

“But being a contrarian requires a superior sense of what is real, and what is out of synch with reality. In general few amateurs possess this level of judgement and perspective, and end up just looking silly and eccentric after a few correct calls, taking the opposite position because it is the opposite, proclaiming night to be day, and the moon to be cheese.”

These are my favorite contrarian investing quotes, let me know if I missed any good ones.

Art source: Nus Money.com

 


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Zero Hedge

Greeks Turn to Gold on Bank Bail-in and Drachma Risks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by GoldCore.

The Greek stock market is down over 36% year to date; the risk of global contagion in the event of a Greek exit is very real. Ordinarily such a crisis would require a massive coordinated effort from global stakeholders, perhaps directed by the IMF or some other pan-national financial body. But not in this case; the rhetoric is nationally-based and biased without unity of purpose across finance ministries. Recent official soundings from the UK and German governments saying that exposure to Greece is limited only underscores the depth of denial, ignorance and lack of consensus that exists within the euro area. A Greek exit from the euro would profoundly weaken the euro experiment and create a dangerous precedent for a...



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Chart School

Moving Averages: Month-End Preview

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Here is an advance preview of the monthly moving averages I track after the close of the last business day of the month. At this point, before the open on the last day of the month, three S&P 500 strategies are now signaling "invested" -- unchanged from last month. Two of the five of the Ivy Portfolio ETFs, Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU) and PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking (DBC), are signal "cash" -- also unchanged from last month.

If a position is less than 2% from a signal, it is highlighted in yellow.


Note: My inclusion of the S&P 500 index updates is intended to illustrate a popular moving moving-average timing strategy. The index signals also give...



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Phil's Favorites

Greece Will Not Accept Bailout Extension or Deal With "Rottenly Constructed" Troika; Mish's Game Theory Math

Courtesy of Mish.

Greece Will No Longer Deal with ‘Troika’

It now strongly appears as if Greece, Germany, and the nannycrats in Brussels are all on one hell of a collision course. Both sides have dug in, and the war of words has escalated in all corners.

For example, please consider Greece Will No Longer Deal with ‘Troika’, Yanis Varoufakis Says
Greece will no longer co-operate with the “troika” of international lenders that has overseen its four-year bailout programme, the country’s finance minister said.

Yanis Varoufakis also said Greece would not accept an extension of its EU bailout, which expires at the end of February, and without which Greek banks could be shut off from European Centr...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Sabrient

In the News: An ETF Rush to Bet on Insiders

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

(ETFTrends.com by Todd Shriber): "Betting on insider buying is again proving to be an efficacious strategy as the Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares (NYSEArca: KNOW) has been noticeably less bad than the S&P 500 to start 2015. Add to that, investors are warming to the merits of KNOW's insider sentiment strategy." [Editor's note: KNOW tracks the Sabrient Multi-cap Insider/Analyst Quant-Weighted Index (SBRQAM)]. Read article

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Market Shadows

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do?

Courtesy of Paul Price

Suppose you had the technical ability and raw materials to print up counterfeit dollars, euros or yen that were identical to the real things. Assume you could spend them as fast as you could create them with no fear of any repercussions.

Would you prudently print up only as much fresh currency as you needed for your current lifestyle? Would you create just a bit more than that to help relatives or those in need?

It is most likely you’d have your printing press running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Becoming the richest person in the world would confer great power upon you.

You could rationalize this action because you plan to use the money for good purposes. Imagine the warm feeling you’d get by giving every person in America one million do...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of January 26th, 2015

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Digital Currencies

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services

So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.  

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services 

By 



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Pharmboy

2015 - Biotech Fever

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly.

Click here and sign in with your user name and password. 

 

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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...



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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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