Thursday, December 24, 2009

McAlvany Weekly Commentary, Dec. 23, 2009

The Big Bond Bust Revisted

December 23rd, 2009
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Linda Bradford Raschke – 50 Time Tested Classic Stock Trading Rules

1. Plan your trades. Trade your plan.
2. Keep records of your trading results.
3. Keep a positive attitude, no matter how much you lose.
4. Don’t take the market home.
5. Continually set higher trading goals.
6. Successful traders buy into bad news and sell into good news.
7. Successful traders are not afraid to buy high and sell low.
8. Successful traders have a well-scheduled planned time for studying the markets.
9. Successful traders isolate themselves from the opinions of others.
10. Continually strive for patience, perseverance, determination, and rational action.
11. Limit your losses – use stops!
12. Never cancel a stop loss order after you have placed it!
13. Place the stop at the time you make your trade.
14. Never get into the market because you are anxious because of waiting.
15. Avoid getting in or out of the market too often.
16. Losses make the trader studious – not profits. Take advantage of every loss to improve your knowledge of market action.
17. The most difficult task in speculation is not prediction but self-control. Successful trading is difficult and frustrating. You are the most important element in the equation for success.
18. Always discipline yourself by following a pre-determined set of rules.
19. Remember that a bear market will give back in one month what a bull market has taken three months to build.
20. Don’t ever allow a big winning trade to turn into a loser. Stop yourself out if the market moves against you 20% from your peak profit point.
21. You must have a program, you must know your program, and you must follow your program.
22. Expect and accept losses gracefully. Those who brood over losses always miss the next opportunity, which more than likely will be profitable.
23. Split your profits right down the middle and never risk more than 50% of them again in the market.
24. The key to successful trading is knowing yourself and your stress point.
25. The difference between winners and losers isn’t so much native ability as it is discipline exercised in avoiding mistakes.
26. In trading as in fencing there are the quick and the dead.
27. Speech may be silver but silence is golden. Traders with the golden touch do not talk about their success.
28. Dream big dreams and think tall. Very few people set goals too high. A man becomes what he thinks about all day long.
29. Accept failure as a step towards victory.
30. Have you taken a loss? Forget it quickly. Have you taken a profit? Forget it even quicker! Don’t let ego and greed inhibit clear thinking and hard work.
31. One cannot do anything about yesterday. When one door closes, another door opens. The greater opportunity always lies through the open door.
32. The deepest secret for the trader is to subordinate his will to the will of the market. The market is truth as it reflects all forces that bear upon it. As long as he recognizes this he is safe. When he ignores this, he is lost and doomed.
33. It’s much easier to put on a trade than to take it off.
34. If a market doesn’t do what you think it should do, get out.
35. Beware of large positions that can control your emotions. Don’t be overly aggressive with the market. Treat it gently by allowing your equity to grow steadily rather than in bursts.
36. Never add to a losing position.
37. Beware of trying to pick tops or bottoms.
38. You must believe in yourself and your judgement if you expect to make a living at this game.
39. In a narrow market there is no sense in trying to anticipate what the next big movement is going to be – up or down.
40. A loss never bothers me after I take it. I forget it overnight. But being wrong and not taking the loss – that is what does the damage to the pocket book and to the soul.
41. Never volunteer advice and never brag of your winnings.
42. Of all speculative blunders, there are few greater than selling what shows a profit and keeping what shows a loss.
43. Standing aside is a position.
44. It is better to be more interested in the market’s reaction to new information than in the piece of news itself.
45. If you don’t know who you are, the markets are an expensive place to find out.
46. In the world of money, which is a world shaped by human behavior, nobody has the foggiest notion of what will happen in the future. Mark that word – Nobody! Thus the successful trader does not base moves on what supposedly will happen but reacts instead to what does happen.
47. Except in unusual circumstances, get in the habit of taking your profit too soon. Don’t torment yourself if a trade continues winning without you. Chances are it won’t continue long. If it does, console yourself by thinking of all the times when liquidating early reserved gains that you would have otherwise lost.
48. When the ship starts to sink, don’t pray – jump!
49. Lose your opinion – not your money.
50. Assimilate into your very bones a set of trading rules that works for you.

The decade in markets

This decade in markets has been turbulent to say the least. The markets have absorbed the technology boom ending, the effects of the September 11 attacks on the United States and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Markets recovered and were inflated by the boom times of high house prices and record corporate results only to be shocked by the credit crunch, sending indices around the world sharply lower and instilling fears of a second great depression into the hearts and portfolios of investors. The 2000s ended on a hopeful note that recovery had firmly taken hold and growth would continue.

click here for interactive chart

NIA Declares Silver Best Investment for Next Decade

We are less than three weeks away from entering the next decade. The most important thing you need to know entering 2010 is that silver is the single best investment for the next decade. In our opinion, investing into silver is the only sure way to tremendously increase your purchasing power over the next ten years.

Throughout world history, only ten times more silver has been mined than gold. If you go back about 1,000 years ago between the years 1000 and 1250, gold was worth ten times more than silver worldwide. From year 1250 to 1792, the gold to silver ratio slowly increased from 10 to 15 and the Coinage Act of 1792 officially defined a gold to silver ratio of 15. The ratio remained at 15 until forty-two years later when the ratio was increased in 1834 to 16, where it remained until silver was demonetized in 1873. (more)

Small-business bankruptcies rise 81% in California

The Obama administration's new plan to give a boost to small businesses reflects continued trouble in that sector, which is facing new failures even as much of the nation's economy is stabilizing.

As credit lines have shrunk and consumers have cut back on spending, thousands of small businesses have closed their doors over the last year. The plight of struggling firms has been aggravated by the reluctance of banks to lend money, said Brian Headd, an economist at the Small Business Administration's office of advocacy.

"While bankruptcies are up, overall, small-business closures are up even more," Headd said. (more)

U.S. Commercial Property Falls to Lowest in 7 Years

Commercial property values in the U.S. declined in October to the lowest level in more than seven years as unemployment reduced demand for apartments, offices and retail space.

The Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Indices fell 1.5 percent in October from September to the lowest since August 2002. Prices were down 36 percent from a year earlier and are 44 percent below the peak in October 2007, Moody’s Investors Service Inc. said in a statement.

Values are dropping as U.S. unemployment climbs and consumers cut spending. Office vacancies may approach 20 percent next year as employers hold off hiring, commercial property brokers Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. and Grubb & Ellis Co. said last month. (more)

Bankers fear sovereign risk in 2010

In normal circumstances, the question of how banks manage their collateral deals with other financial players is not of interest to ordinary mortals.

However, these are not normal times. In the past couple of years the risk managers of the world’s largest banks have been forced to confront a series of shocking situations, as seemingly remote events, or “tail risks” as they are dubbed, have come to pass.

So, unsurprisingly, those same risk managers are now scouring the horizon for any fresh potential shocks. And as they run scenarios for 2010 – or “try to imagine six impossible horrible things before breakfast”, as one says – an issue that is causing more unease is the matter of sovereign risk, and the related issue of collateral.

Until quite recently, this was not something that banks worried much about in the western world, since it was widely assumed that the credit standing of European countries and the US was ultra secure. (more)