Quick Change, Low Returns and the Story of Your Life

Boy things change quickly on Wall street, A week ago Barrons ran a piece that said “The comforting story that U.S. investors have been telling themselves—that weakness only exists overseas—is beginning to look like a mirage.” This morning’s opening piece said “U.S. stocks look poised to climb for a fourth consecutive day. Future prices for all three major equity indices climbed as oil prices continued to rally and jobless claims hit a three-month low. Wall Street posted its biggest three-day rise since August on Wednesday when stronger-than-expected industrial production data helped allay fears that fed a market rout earlier in the year. “CNBC anchors have gone form near suicidal despair to pure joy as the happily proclaimed FIRST THREE DAY RALLY IN STOCKS SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME all day yesterday. The bull case of so bad it is good has reemerged and there is endless conversation about the handcuffed Fed and a climate of low rates forever.

Investors who get caught up in the rapidly shrinking doom and gloom cycle do so at their own peril. Had you shorted stocks last Thursday amidst the doom and gloom you have had your face ripped off the last three trading sessions. I suspect that those that bought into the euphoria yesterday afternoon will have some cause for regret in the near term. I have long harbored a suspicion that cable TV and the internet are the chief contributors to the poor performance of individual investors. There is too much information, too many opinions, too many tips coming at investors every day everywhere they look. Ben Graham said in the Intelligent Investor that investing is most successful when it is most business like. There is nothing business like about this madness and short term thinking.

Let me sort it all out for ...

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Champagne, Private Equity and Baseball

The markets continue to get hammered and there is a distinct odor of fear hanging over the markets. We are trying to back bounce this afternoon as investors rush to buy tech as it looked “cheap” to them. I have ...

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Bankers, Attila and the Cubs

I just came back from the Bank Director Acquire or be Acquired Conference in Phoenix with three things The first is a nasty cold, obtained no doubt on those germ soaked, bacteria clouds we call modern day passenger aircraft (many ...

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Bankers, Attila and the Cubs

I just came back from the Bank Director Acquire or be Acquired Conference in Phoenix with three things The first is a nasty cold, obtained no doubt on those germ soaked, bacteria clouds we call modern day passenger aircraft (many ...

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Good Times, 20 days and Lady Luck

The earnings for our small banks stock are starting to come in this week and the most used phrase I am seeing is “record earnings.” Several of our stock are hitting new high prices as the positive earnings, dividend and ...

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Going Outside, Davos and Mungeresque Extraordinary Opportunities

I keep CNBC on in the office during the day. I don’t find any particularly intriguing insights but it is fun to listen to and I feel guilty if I just have MLB TV on all day while I am ...

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Wild Start, American Badass and a storm Warnings

While we had some recovery today so far 2016 is off to a less than wonderful start for equity investors. For a brief period we were 10% off the highs and in legitimate correction territory but todays rally changed that. ...

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Puking, Wishing and Seeking Shelter

I get it. The world is ending. North Korea has a bomb. None knows what kind of a bomb but apparently a damn big one. China is slowing and they dropped the yuan again this week. The middle east is ...

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Small Banks, Lessons Learned and Red,Red Wine

New Year’s Eve is upon as last. Before we put 2015 to bed let me urge you all to please stay off the roads tonight. Even if you don’t drink , along with the regular drunks the roads tonight will ...

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Bar room bets, Shrinking IQ and Rock &Roll

Fed day is finally behind us and we can now move on form will they to how often will they raise rates. The amount to talk and wagering surrounding the first rate hike since 2006 has at times reminded me ...

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Stealth Bear and Lessons Learned

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Illquidity,barbed wire and holiday music

A kind soul on twitter sent me a study the other day by Thomas M. Idzorek, CFA, James X. Xiong, CFA, and Roger G. Ibbotson that studied liquidity in the equity market. Want to guess what they found? The same ...

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