Six EU states to scrap bans on short-selling after today

Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy and Spain decide to scrap bans on short-selling stocks that began back in March

Besides Italy, the other five EU states will see the bans expire at 2159 GMT today and they have decided against renewing it. For some context, the bans were introduced back in March due to “excessive market volatility” and were extended back in April here.

As the other market watchdogs choose not to extend the bans, Italy is following to cut short their short-selling ban – supposed to be until 18 June – to align itself with the others.

Sell Buy

China will limit short-selling on market reopen on Monday

China will not allow short selling on their stock markets when they reopen for trade on Monday 3 February 2020

The information comes via unnamed sources cited at Reuters . saying China’s regulator (China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC)) had issued a verbal directive to brokerages to not permit clients selling borrowed stocks.
  • It was not clear if the suspension – which was first reported on Sunday by Chinese media outlet 21st Century Business Herald – would be extended beyond Monday, one of the sources said.
Over the weekend Adam outlined various other stabilisation measures being taken in China:
  • China unveils economic measures in effort to promote calm with markets set to re-open
On the PBOC cash injection, its not as big as it seems:
  • PBOC to inject cash funds today
Its going to be an “interesting” welcome to the new year for financial markets in China today.

20 Insights from Peter Lynch

1. Invest In What You Know

This is where it helps to have identified your personal investor’s edge.  What is it that you know a lot about?  Maybe your edge comes from your profession or a hobby.  Maybe it comes just from being a parent.  An entire generation of Americans grew up on Gerber’s baby food, and Gerber’s stock was a 100-bagger.  If you put your money where your baby’s mouth was, you turned $10,000 into $1 million.

2. Let Your Winners Run

It’s easy to make a mistake and do the opposite, pulling out the flowers and watering the weeds.  If you’re lucky enough to have one golden egg in your portfolio, it may not matter if you have a couple of rotten ones in there with it.  Let’s say you have a portfolio of six stocks.  Two of them are average, two of them are below average, and one is a real loser.  But you also have one stellar performer.  Your Coca-Cola, your Gillette.  A stock that reminds you why you invested in the first place.  In other words, you don’t have to be right all the time to do well in stocks.  If you find one great growth company and own it long enough to let the profits run, the gains should more than offset mediocre results from other stocks in your portfolio.

3. On Growth Stocks

There are two ways investors can fake themselves out of the big returns that come from great growth companies.  The first is waiting to buy the stock when it looks cheap.  Throughout its 27-year rise from a split-adjusted 1.6 cents to $23, Walmart never looked cheap compared with the overall market.  Its price-to-earnings ratio rarely dropped below 20, but Walmart’s earnings were growing at 25 to 30 percent a year.  A key point to remember is that a p/e of 20 is not too much to pay for a company that’s growing at 25 percent.  Any business that an manage to keep up a 20 to 25 percent growth rate for 20 years will reward shareholders with a massive return even if the stock market overall is lower after 20 years.
The second mistake is underestimating how long a great growth company can keep up the pace.  In the 1970s I got interested in McDonald’s.  A chorus of colleagues said golden arches were everywhere and McDonald’s had seen its best days.  I checked for myself and found that even in California, where McDonald’s originated, there were fewer McDonald’s outlets than there were branches of the Bank of America.  McDonald’s has been a 50-bagger since. (more…)

Avoiding Punishment is the mistake-Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

This chapter gives several examples of different peoples method of placing their trades, and uncovers the difficulties that many people have in following a trading method. Much of the difficulties lie in the behavior pattern of avoiding punishment. A speculator may make mistake and know that he is making them, but not why. He simple calls himself names and lets it go at that. 

Mistakes are always around if you want to make a fool of yourself. Mistakes are part of the human condition, and should not cause lost sleep. But being wrong – not taking the loss – that is what does the damage to the pocketbook and to the soul.  

Trading Commodities rather than stocks partakes more of the nature of a commercial venture than trading in stocks does. Commodities are governed by one law in the long run, supply and demand.  Fundamental information is more concrete than in Stocks, where the investor must guess about many influences.  

Technical analysis, or tape reading, works exactly the same for stocks as for cotton or wheat or corn or oats. Still, the average trader from Missouri everywhere will risk half his fortune in the stock market with less reflection than he devotes to the selection of a car. Today the popular analogy is that most people spend more time planning their vacation than they spend planning for their retirement.   (more…)

A Venerable Technique

JL-ASROne of intelligent honest things that Livermore did was to get out of one market by selling a related market, inducing the other traders to think that there was weakness in one market which would carry over to the related market. The art of indirection and letting people use their own intelligence and inferences to come to their own conclusion. for example if he wanted to get out of cotton, he’d sell some coffee. If he wanted to get out of a common, he’s sell the preferred or a related company that owned a big chunk of it, like sell Christiana which owned general motors et al. This technique one wonders how often is it used today. When it happens, is it artful indirection or chance? How to quantify and what predictions to be made? Would the robots be smart enough to do this?

There was a moment in late 80s Energy trading, when legend has it that a great admirer of Livermore who runs a venerable hedge fund near New York was Bearish to the tune of 40,000 lots. If you think it’s not much, just remember that Exchange limit for open speculative position in any contract was 6,000. Of course, his positions were in all possible inter-month spreads and across products. So once decision to cover was made, he picked up the phone and asked for the cockiest trader in the Crude pit. “Are you a man or mouse?” Trader thought it was a prank: “Come on Paul, what do you want?” “I’ll give an order to sell 1,000 market, and I mean worst. But if I don’t see Crude print through even– they’re all yours! Do you accept?” 

Jim Chanos on Taking Risks Early

I took the biggest risk of my life at age 33 and I was terrified.

With a wife and two kids, a mortgage and almost nothing in the bank, I left my management position at a broker-dealer and dropped my Series 7. I essentially bolted from the business I had been in for a decade, giving up my license and my livelihood on a bet that I could be doing better for my clients as their advisor and make a lot more money once I was happy and the pit in my stomach dissolved.

And thank god it worked. I’m not sure what I would have done if it hadn’t.

In hindsight, I wouldn’t change much about my timing and all of what I had gone through to get things things right in the end – it was the real-world education of a lifetime. However, if I could change one thing, maybe it would be not waiting so long and staying with a profession that I truly hated. It probably would have been a lot less stressful had I pulled the ripcord in my twenties, before the babies and the bills.

Oh well.

Jim Chanos, one of the most successful investors of all time, began his career on The Street as a banker and then a brokerage firm analyst. The conflicts inherent in those roles drove him to seek out something more and that’s when he became a hedge fund manager. You see, Chanos was interested in the pursuit of truth and, what’s more, a way to make money from the discovery of truth before others could find it. The name of his firm, Kynikos Associates comes from the Greek word for cynic (and it can also mean ‘dog-like’, another apt metaphor for a fund that relentlessly hunts down meaning in the public information that others cannot see).

Here the legendary manager offers some advice to young professionals about timing their risk-taking: (more…)

10 Words For Traders-Must Read

1. Call options. If you truly have conviction, buy long dated call options as volatility tend to be under priced for long maturities.

2. Short selling. It is harder to short sell than most think, and almost no one is good at it. One hurdle is the drift, but there are countless more.

3. Romance. You’re clearly better off to marry someone in management than to marry the stock.

4. Dip buying. The successful buys on dips and vice versa, it follows that the unsuccessful do the opposite.

5. Market. Everyone is always bearish on the market, only the super successful dares to be bullish/naive.

6. Story. Human brains are hard wired over thousands of years to build stories around your beliefs/thesis.

7. Flexibility. The super successful are always ready to change their mind/direction. Go from long to short or from short to long.

8. Art. Stock picking is as much art as science and very rarely are the smartest the best at this game.

9. Top-down. Local knowledge remains under appreciated. The top down guys ends up shorting the best companies and vice versa.

10. Management. Always invest with the best in class management, however you are better off with a good end market and bad management than the other way around.

Trading Thought For Traders

“When a market is going straight up, the natural inclination of many traders is to try calling a top. Active market players have  strong desire to be the market-timing genius that nails the precise  moment that a trend has come to an end. The attempt is understandable — but is it smart? In theory, you should be able to make a ton of money if you can do this with some precision, but  the reality is that this is usually more of an exercise in ego than
anything else — and it doesn’t tend to produce a big profit, either. What happens when people engage in this game is that they rack  up a series of losses as their trades are stopped out and they try again. The tendency is to justify the behavior by saying, “I was just a little early, but this time I’m going to nail it.” If you try long  enough, you will eventually be right, but what we never hear  about is how much money has been lost in the process. Would  you have better off simply staying with the trend and only selling  once you saw some weakness? In addition to the cost of losses  on premature short positions, there is another hefty price: the  profit you have lost by failing to stick with the trends. It is hard enough to keep pace with the market trend when you are long. It  is just plain impossible when you are obsessed with trying to call  a market turn. The combination of being on the wrong side of the
market, along with the opportunity cost of premature shorts, should give pause to anyone who is trying to time market turns.” –

The Bible of Technical Analysis Edwards & Magee- Some Things Never Change

“It has often been pointed out that any of several different plans of operation, if followed consistently over a number of years, would have produced consistently a net gain on market operations. The fact is, however, that many traders, having not set up a basic strategy and having no sound philosophy of what the market is doing and why, are at the mercy of every panic, boom, rumor, tip, in fact, of every wind that blows. And since the market, by its very nature, is a meeting place of conflicting and competing forces, they are constantly torn by worry, uncertainty, and doubt. As a result, they often drop their good holdings for a loss on a sudden dip or shakeout; they can be scared out of their short commitments by a wave of optimistic news; they spend their days picking up gossip, passing on rumors, trying to confirm their beliefs or alleviate their fears; and they spend their nights weighing and balancing, checking and questioning, in a welter of bright hopes and dark fears.

Furthermore, a trader of this type is in continual danger of getting caught in a situation that may be truly ruinous. Since he has no fixed guides or danger points to tell him when a commitment has gone bad and it is time to get out with a small loss, he is prone to let stocks run entirely past the red light, hoping that the adverse move will soon be over, and there will be a ‘chance to get out even,’ a chance that often never comes. And, even should stocks be moving in the right direction and showing him a profit, he is not in a much happier position, since he has no guide as to the point at which to take profits. The result is he is likely to get out too soon and lose most of his possible gain, or overstay the market and lose part of the expected profits. (more…)

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