Today we have a special episode of the podcast. I think it’s important to take a step back from the markets and Technical Analysis sometimes, and talk about something that is universal to us all. For this episode I invited Morgan Housel to come and talk about the importance of writing. For those of you who have been following my work for a long time, you often hear me talk about the personal benefits of putting my ideas down on paper. Sure, people all over the world get insight into what our firm is thinking, they get steady idea flow from my blog, and in some lucky cases, people might even learn something. But the truth is, my writing is an incredibly selfish endeavor. It forces me to think through the important concepts. And as Morgan talks about in this episode, the inability to express my thoughts in written form probably means my idea is stupid to begin with. The easier it is to write about, the better it will usually be received by our audience.
Morgan Housel is definitely one of my favorite financial writers in the world today. I know a lot of smart people who would agree with that. Whether you’re a market participant or not, but especially if you are, I think writing consistently is one of the most valuable things you can do. Even if you don’t share it with the public, and just keep it to yourself, I encourage you to get into the habit of writing. Think about it, people were keeping a journal and writing their ideas down way before blogs existed. There’s a good reason for that.
On the flip side, when it comes to reading, Morgan also had a few thoughts he wanted to share with us. He is very much against the Trophy Reading and ripping through an ungodly number of books just for the sport of it. He’s gone down that rabbit hole before and learned that he’s better off reading just 1 book a month, taking his time, talking to smart people about it, and really digesting it. He made some really good points about this.
This was a really fun episode and one that I think is a great compliment to a lot of the other conversations we’ve been having with smart folks about the markets. Enjoy!
Jeff Macke is the guy I turn to whenever I have questions about the Consumer. Anything retail, restaurants, internet sales, he’s the one we want to listen to. Jeff and I have known each other for many years and are friends with a lot of the same people. On my Youtube Channel, you can find an old clip of him and I talking about Gold & Silver back in January 4, 2012.
In this episode we talk about the restaurant stocks, pharmacies, which areas he wants to avoid and which ones he wants to own. He says the pair trade of the decade could very well be: Long Shaquille O’neil (Papa Johns $PZZA) and Short Kanye West (The Gap $GPS). This was a really fun conversation. I picked up some good ideas and had a few laughs. I hope you enjoy!
I’m so excited to have Katie Stockton on the podcast. Katie is someone whose work I’ve followed my entire career. Even early on, she was there talking about oscillators and price behavior. She’s certainly on the list of Technicians who have influenced my work over the years. Back in the day she worked with Mike Hurley, another friend of the podcast and our featured guest in mid-March. After spending most of her career on the sell side, Katie has adapted to the changes in traditional wall street research and has now gone independent, recently founding Fairlead Strategies. This was a fun conversation that I really enjoyed. Prior to recording, I told her to just pretend we’re at a wine bar with our laptops. What would that sound like? This is that!
Jordan Kotick is one of the key people that early in my career inspired me to be more intermarket oriented. They would ask Jordan about the S&P500 and he would go into a tangent about bonds. They would ask him about Emerging Markets and he’d whip out, what he refers to as, “Chinese Dow Theory”. For over a decade, Jordan was the Managing Director of Macro Strategy at Barclays and then Managing Director of Cross Asset Strategy at RBC Capital Markets. He is the first person to have ever been president of both the CMT Association (then called the MTA), and the Canadian Society of Technical Analysts (CSTA). In this podcast episode we talk about some of the great lessons Jordan learned over the years and what sorts of markets and charts investors should be paying attention to in the current environment. This was a really fun conversation and was great to catch up!
Jeff deGraaf is one of those analysts who influenced me very early on. Something I’ve always admired about him is how much emphasis he puts on first identifying what type of market environment we’re in, before then giving more or less weight to different tools and indicators. This is one of those important steps that I think gets forgotten quite often when you see investors trying to always incorporate a certain strategy or approach regardless of the environment. In this episode, Jeff compares this stock market crash, and subsequent recovery, to others in the past including 1987. He does a nice job of incorporating what is currently taking place in Bonds and Gold into his analysis for stocks. I think there are a lot of great lessons in this conversation with, who I believe, is one of the best Technical Analysts in the world today.
Chris Ciovacco is someone whose work I’ve followed for many years. His approach to markets is similar to mine, in that he incorporates a weight-of-the-evidence technical strategy. His open-mindedness and ability to set up multiple outcomes to prepare for, is one to be admired. In this episode, Chris walks through his thought process when analyzing the current environment. He makes a great comparison to early 2009 and asks whether we’re in January ’09, just before another severe decline in stocks, or in May, on the way up after already bottoming.
This is a great episode that I hope makes you think differently and inspires you to keep an open mind and come up with your own possible scenarios for the coming months and quarters. This was a fun one!