The jump from trend to bubble is faster than ever

What’s the rush?

What's the rush?
I love this quote from George Soros because it is more true every day. He said it in his book on the crash of 2008 but he might be talking about fake meat, marijuana or electric cars today.
We can all see trends towards environmentalism, renewables, e-commerce, the internet, eating out and TV streaming along with a dozen other things. The reaction function of the market is to identify a trend and throw money at it in a virtual gold rush, hoping that one day the claims will pay.
Last year we saw it in WeWork. Co-working was undoubtedly a trend and WeWork was the biggest and best-known name in the space. SoftBank and others drove the company valuation into the stratosphere but it all came crashing down when the collective conscience of the world realized the business model could easily be replicated.
The big macro trend of the generation is low and falling inflation. We’re at the point now where every bond investor — voluntarily or not — is betting on low inflation. The perception (or perhaps misconception) is that inflation will stay low forever. If the market is wrong, it would be the mother of all financial busts. The bond market is worth more than $100 trillion with a myriad of derivatives layered on combined with endless knock-on effects, like mortgage rates.

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23 Trading Lessons

1. All successful traders use methods that suit their
personality; You are neither Waren Buffett nor George Soros nor Jesse Livermore; Don’t assume you can trade like them.
2. What the market does is beyond your control; Your reaction to the market, however, is not beyond your control. Indeed, its the ONLY thing you can control.
3. To be a winner, you have to be willing to
take a loss; 
4. HOPE is not a word in the winning Trader’s vocabulary;
5. When you are on a
losing streak — and you will eventually find yourself on one — reduce your position size;
6. Don’t underestimate the time it
takes to succeed as a trader — it takes 10 years to become very good at anything;  
7. Trading is a vocation — not a
hobby
8. Have a business/trading plan; 
9. Identify your greatest weakness, Be honest — and DEAL with it Continue reading »

23 One Liner For Traders

1. All successful traders use methods that suit their
personality; You are neither Waren Buffett nor George Soros nor Jesse Livermore; Don’t assume you can trade like them.

2. What the market does is beyond your control; Your reaction to the market, however, is not beyond your control. Indeed, its the ONLY thing you can control.

3. To be a winner, you have to be willing to
take a loss; 
(The Stop-Loss Breakdown)

4. HOPE is not a word in the winning Trader’s vocabulary;

5. When you are on a
losing streak — and you will eventually find yourself on one — reduce your position size;

6. Don’t underestimate the time it
takes to succeed as a trader — it takes 10 years to become very good at anything;  (There Are No Shortcuts)

7. Trading is a vocation — not a
hobby

8. Have a business/trading plan; 
(Write This Down)

9. Identify your greatest weakness, Be honest — and DEAL with it Continue reading »

George Soros- “The Master of Speculation”

Soros: “The Myth”

Soros’ “The Alchemy of Finance” is a seminal investment book… it should be read, underlined, and thought out page-by-page, concept-by-idea. He’s the best pure investor ever… probably the finest analyst of the world in our time.”

-Barton Biggs

Soros: “The Reality”

“My father will sit down and give you theories to explain why he does this or that. But I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking, Jesus Christ, at least half of this is B.S., I mean, you know the reason he changes his position in the market or whatever is because his back starts killing him. It has nothing to do with reason. He literally goes into a spasm, and it’s his early warning sign.”

-George Soros’ son, Robert

George Soros on Himself

“My approach works not by making valid predictions but by allowing me to correct false ones.”

-George Soros

Soros and Exits

“When George is wrong, he gets the hell out. He doesn’t say, ‘I’m right, they’re wrong.’ He says, ‘I’m wrong,’ and he gets out, because if you have a bad position on, it eats you away. All you do is think about it — at night, at your home. It consumes you. Your eye is off the ball completely. This is a tough business. If it were easy, meter maids would be doing it.”

– Alan Raphael (Ex-Soros CIO)

Philosophical speculation

I used to do a lot of philosophical speculation as a young man. I wasted a large part of my youth regurgitating certain ideas. Then I discovered that one can learn a great deal more through action than through contemplation. So I became an active thinker where my thinking played an important role in deciding what actions to take and my actions play an important role in improving my thinking. This two-way interaction between thinking and action became the hallmark of my philosophy and the hallmark of my life. – George Soros

speculation

George Soros- “The Master of Speculation”

 sorosSoros: “The Myth”

Soros’ “The Alchemy of Finance” is a seminal investment book… it should be read, underlined, and thought out page-by-page, concept-by-idea. He’s the best pure investor ever… probably the finest analyst of the world in our time.”

-Barton Biggs

Soros: “The Reality”

“My father will sit down and give you theories to explain why he does this or that. But I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking, Jesus Christ, at least half of this is B.S., I mean, you know the reason he changes his position in the market or whatever is because his back starts killing him. It has nothing to do with reason. He literally goes into a spasm, and it’s his early warning sign.”

-George Soros’ son, Robert

George Soros on Himself

“My approach works not by making valid predictions but by allowing me to correct false ones.”

-George Soros

Soros and Exits

“When George is wrong, he gets the hell out. He doesn’t say, ‘I’m right, they’re wrong.’ He says, ‘I’m wrong,’ and he gets out, because if you have a bad position on, it eats you away. All you do is think about it — at night, at your home. It consumes you. Your eye is off the ball completely. This is a tough business. If it were easy, meter maids would be doing it.”

– Alan Raphael (Ex-Soros CIO)

 

10 Trading Principles of George Soros

george_soros“I’m only rich because I know when I’m wrong…I basically have survived by recognizing my mistakes.”

Understanding that he was not always right enabled him to cut losses short and position size right.

“My approach works not by making valid predictions but by allowing me to correct false ones.”

Soros’ is flexible in his trades, he changes his mind and reverses positions when needed. He does not marry his trades.

“It’s not whether you’re right or wrong that’s important, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.”

George Soros knows that the key to profitability for him is more about big wins and small losses than his winning percentage. 

“The markets are always on the side of exuberance or fear. It’s fear and greed. Right now greed has the better of it, which is rather nice (for investors) as long as it doesn’t get out of hand,”

Market trends are caused more by the extremes of  investors emotions than fundamental reasons. Continue reading »

Why it would be a mistake to trade like George Soros.

Soros’ prowess in the markets is legendary, so much so that deconstructing his process in order to learn the secret to his success has become a cottage industry in financial circles.  In the world of  “Market Wizards,” Soros is Saruman.  Tolkien baby…look it up.

However, in the Times’ article, his son Robert demystified the source of the Elder Soros’ alchemy in such a simple and definitive way that it may drive market historians to acts of self-immolation.

Apparently It all comes down to a pain.  In the back to be specific.

According to his son, Robert, Soros’s trading was always influenced by more than reflexivity. “My father will sit down and give you theories to explain why he does this or that”, he once said, “but I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking, ‘Jesus Christ, at least half of this is bullshit’.

“I mean, you know [that] the reason he changes his position on the market or whatever is because his back starts killing him. It has nothing to do with reason. He literally goes into a spasm and it’s this early warning sign.”

Soros has admitted to relying greatly on “animal instincts”, saying the onset of acute pain was often “a signal that there was something wrong in my portfolio”.

His decisions, then, “are really made using a combination of theory and instinct”.

That’s right.  Though you and I did our damnedest to read between the lines and glean some sort of insight from The Alchemy of Finance in the 80′s and again with Soros on Soros in the 90′s, it was all for naught.  Now we know the true source of this modern-day Tim The Enchanter’s genius.  Monty Python baby…..look it up.

This revelation might tempt some of you to adopt the same market style as Mr. Soros, a view I wholeheartedly endorse, as long as the profile fits.  It’s easy to see if a spasm based methodology is right for you by answering a few simple questions.

  1. Are you a passionate student of the market?
  2. Are you open to considering a wide range of investment themes?
  3. Have you ever booked a $1 billion dollar single-day profit by breaking a sovereign bank?
  4. Did you marry a 41-year junior third wife on your $22 million dollar Westchester estate while Paul Tudor Jones and Julian Robertson looked on?
  5. Have you booked over $40 billion in cumulative profits?
  6. Do you have a full head of hair well into your eighth decade on this planet?

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