The emotions in markets are off-the-charts

Do you feel it?

comic about warnings
Fear is the strongest emotion but greed isn’t far behind.
What we’re seeing in the markets and in the world right now is extreme emotion. Collectively, I believe that COVID-19 has left everyone an emotional wreck.
We all agree that the fears from the virus have diminished but what has replaced that is a mess. It’s all anecdotal but I’ve come to believe the series of events around the coronavirus has elevated individual and collective emotions — like every day is a full moon.
The fear around the virus has left some kind vacuum and people are trying to fill it.
You see it in people’s lives, in protests, in anger but you’re also seeing it in markets. There has never been a market like this. People are throwing away their hard-earned savings on idiotic gambles on bankrupt companies.
But it’s not just the stupidest of the stupid. The uncertainty in the world is extreme and there’s no reflection of that in risk assets. The transition from fear to greed to euphoria is nonsense.


Conquering Your Fear

So, what can you do about the fear that keeps you from following your trading plan and maintaining your commitments? How to overcome fear that keeps you from following your trading plan. Well, let’s begin with what causes fear.  Fear stems from a perceived threat that may or may not be real. Threat begins as a perception and a thought.  In other words, when we have interpreted that an event is threatening our physical, mental, emotional, social or spiritual well-being we have given that event a meaning.  Now, meaning is a crucial process that controls not only what you perceive but how you perceive it. For example, that price action is moving toward my stop and that means that I’m going to lose in this trade (the movement of the price action may or may not take you out and at this point it is only an opinion but it is often treated as a fact).  In other words, the meaning here would be activated by a limiting or irrational belief about the inevitability of losing, and this in turn would prompt another limiting belief about what that says about you; i.e., “I’m a very poor trader and a loser because my stop loss was hit.”  It often continues to spiral downward from there.  So, what you are thinking is the genesis of the emotion that you experience…the fear.

Secondly, fear determines what you choose to do.  This is where you become immobilized or act in erratic illogical ways that increase your risk and destroy your desired results.  At this point it is important that you identify the thinking/beliefs that are fuelling the fear.  Here is an important question to ask; “What must I be telling myself or believing to feel this fear.”  This introspective inquiry will help you ferret out the underlying fear based programming that created that belief and in-turn developed the fear response in the first place. (more…)

Stress Capacity Should Be Gradually Increased Through Stress Exposure and Recovery

  • High pressure and stress is a part of the trading environment. Stress reduction is not a viable strategy. The approach instead is to build a person’s resilience and ability to cope more effectively with the pressure and stress that they are encountering.
  • This is done by a process of exposure to the stressful events, and then recovery. The recovery process will prepare you to engage again but with a higher stress threshold.
  • Build your stress exposure over time by gradually building the demands on your trading — slowly increasing your position sizing, complexity of trades, diversification, etc.
  • Use relaxation techniques to enter a restorative state where your mind and body can recover.
  • Look after your nutrition, exercise, sleep, get balance in your life with friends, family, other hobbies.
  • Consistent performance is achieved when you have a healthy oscillation between positive peak performance states, and periods of recovery.

Hold Your Position Until the Trend is Invalidated, Do Not Let Go of Your Position. Be Willing to Experience Your Anxieties

  • Maintaining a commitment is particularly important when it comes up for a test.
  • Somewhere along the line of keeping your commitment you may get a feeling that you don’t like.
  • If you are willing to experience the feeling, it can transform into an AHA that supports your commitment.
  • If you are unwilling to experience the feeling, you might abandon your commitment to try to make the feeling go away. That only results in having to feel the feeling after all.
  • The more you are willing to experience the feeling of bumping into walls, the less you have to bump into walls.
  • Trading requires skill at reading the markets and at managing your own anxieties.
  • People have a Conscious Mind and Fred. Fred wants to communicate feelings to CM so CM can experience them and gain experience and share it with Fred so Fred can learn how to react. This is how we manufacture wisdom. When we don’t like our feelings we tie them in k-nots and do not experience them. This interrupts the wisdom manufacture process, and draws drama into our lives.
  • K-nots, protect us from truth and keep our lives in drama. To untie k-nots, fully experience whatever appears in the moment.
  • When you keep your eye on the prize and are willing to experience all the feelings that arise, the prize soon becomes yours.

Cruise ship booking firm sees 40% increase in its 2021 bookings compared to 2019

Virus, what virus? Check this story out on cruise bookings.

  • bookings for cruises are already on the rise of 2021, according to multiple reports
  • In the past 45 days cruise booking site saw a 40% increase in its bookings for 2021 over its 2019 bookings
  • A recent report from UBS also found that 76% of the people who had a cancelled cruise in 2020 have chosen to accept credit towards a future cruise in 2021 as opposed to 24% who accepted a refund.
Here is the link for more. Amazing.
Virus, what virus? Check this story out on cruise bookings. 

Reminder: OPEC meeting begins today

Will Russia agree to the proposal to reduce output by more than 1 mil bpd?

That is the key question as all eyes turn towards Vienna over the next two days. As things stand, the expectation is that OPEC members – namely Saudi Arabia – will be pushing for output cuts of 1 mil bpd at the very least.

As mentioned yesterday, the usual case is that Russia always plays hard ball in the lead up to the meeting but then they always cave when it comes to making a decision.
So far, the market reaction is telling something similar despite murmurs of Russia rejecting the proposal of a 1.2 mil bpd output cut yesterday.


Coronavirus outbreak – World Bank initial package of up to $12bn in immediate support

COVID-19 outbreak has hit >60 countries

World Bank announce:
  • making available an initial package of immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts
  • new fast track package
  • financial package will be globally coordinated
  • will make available initial crisis resources of up to $12 billion in financing – $8 billion of which is new – on a fast track basis.
More at that link above

Chinese doctor and early coronavirus whistleblower dies

Dr. Li Wenliang was one of 8 doctors visited by policy after early warnings on virus

Dr. Li Wenliang was one of 8 doctors visited by policy after early warnings on virus
Ophthalmologist Dr. Li Wenliang become somewhat of a folk hero in China as one of the 8 doctors who was disciplined by police after warning fellow doctors to wear protective clothing because of a new SARS virus.
He was then visited by policy and the Public Security Bureau where he was told to sign a letter where he was accused of “making false comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order”.
On the weekend, he revealed he had contracted the virus himself after testing negative a number of times.
“Today nucleic acid testing came back with a positive result, the dust has settled, finally diagnosed,” he said in a video that was widely watched.
State media is now reporting that the 34-year-old died today. He had a wife and five-year-old daughter. There are reports that his wife is sick as well.
What a tragedy.

The only woman from Iran to win an Olympic medal has defected from the country

Kimia Alizadeh issued a statement, accusing the government of Iran of “hypocrisy,” “injustice” and oppressing women while using them as political tools.

The Washington Post has more on the news here.
Alizadeh joins many others in defecting. I wonder how the news will be played in Iran, if at all? Protests have been triggered by the shooting down of the civilian airplane last week killing 176 people, many of them Iranians.
Kimia Alizadeh issued a statement, accusing the government of Iran of "hypocrisy," "injustice" and oppressing women while using them as political tools.

Michael Bloomberg is preparing to enter the Democratic presidential race

Billionaire could challenge for the Presidency

Billionaire could challenge for the Presidency
The New York Times reports that billionaire Michael Bloomberg is preparing to enter the Democratic primary.
The founder of Bloomberg Finance LP expected to file paperwork this week designating himself as a candidate in at least one state with an early filing deadline, people briefed on Bloomberg’s plans told the newspaper.
Although he is filing for an early primary in Alabama, an adivsor told the NYT that he’s still unsure about entering the race.
Howard Wolfson, a close adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, saidonThursday that the former mayor viewed President Trump as an “unprecedented threat to our nation,” and noted Mr. Bloomberg’s heavy spending in the 2018 midterm elections and this week’s off-year races in Virginia. Mr. Bloomberg, he said, has grown uneasy about the existing trajectory of the Democratic primary.
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