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A tough Lesson
I want to take you back in time for a minute. The day is January 13, 2019. Here’s what I wrote that evening:
Well folks, it's here. After almost 25 years of people asking us for a "long term holds" form of investment letter, we finally caved in and decided that it was time.
Over the quarter century that we've been posting our "moves" in the "Insiders Club" the most common complaint we've heard is something like this:
Bob, I love what you do, but because of a demanding job, I can't watch the market and get in and out like you do. I wish you had a letter for us working people that can not swing trade." - Paul R.
I have had thousands of similar requests. So now it's time to do it. Why now? A few reasons. But the biggest one is "The Machines". In other words, because of AI, and algo bots running Wall Street, we're seeing day after day of 400, 500, even 800 point swings. Even the very best traders I know are being whipsawed.
We've made our living out of finding good chart set ups, hopping on a trade, trying to squeeze 3 - 5% out of it, and hopping off, looking for the next one. Not truly daytrading so to speak, but more commonly called "swing trading". But the fact is simple. If I didn't have the ability to sit here in front of my screens each day, this market would hamstring me too.
Okay, so what brought that up this fine day? The last line of the last paragraph. I “knew” that in my head, but I didn’t know how badly. Now, I do.
If you’ve been with us, you know that my wife was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. You also know that our lives have been turned upside down, going for test after test, scan after scan, and meeting with oncologists and radiologists. Not to mention doing untold hours of research into “alternative” therapies.
Well one thing I’m leaning in “real time” is that in this market, not being able to monitor it on an hourly or at least daily basis is a good way to lose money. I’ve had several trades lately, start out well, then turn against me, and I wasn’t there to ‘fix it.”
90% of the time, for the past 25 years, my days were spent with me not being too far from a computer screen or at minimum a TV where I could monitor the indexes. But for the past month and a half, I’ve been absent the market more than I’ve been present to it, and boy what a wake up call it’s been.
Like Paul R. said above, I wish you had a letter for us working people that can’t swing trade. Well I DO have a long term letter and now is the first time I truly realize how important it is.
I always knew it was rough for people to trade the market while working full time and being busy with their lives. But until I experienced it for more than a couple days, which I certainly have lately, I see just how tough it is.
When you can sit there and watch set ups develop, and then enter a trade on a quick breakout, you have the ability to jump right back out, or sell half and let half ride, or if it’s just a horrible trade, take your little loss and move on. I’ve done it 10K times over the years.
But this business of jumping on a trade, seeing it working for you, and then you leave to take your wife to yet another in the endless parade of tests…only to return home after the market is closed and you see the stock you were up a buck on that morning…down 2 dollars…is for the birds.
YES you can mitigate terrible losses with stops. But since you always have to give any stock you’ve just entered some “wiggle room” even if you place your stop correctly, in a volatile market…you’re going to get stopped and lose money.
While I will continue to do the Daily posts until I’m physically not able to do them any more, I absolutely see the advantage of a low risk, longer term letter. This last month and a half has certainly humbled me. I know truly know the pain of full time working people, trying to supplement their income with some nice swing trades, but getting chewed up via the volatility.
So I’ve had a wake up moment. Or week. Or month. When I launched the long term letter, which we call “Horizons” I didn’t do it with any fanfare. I didn’t advertise it. I didn’t even mention it in my radio interviews. I simply introduced it to my Insider Club members and the readers of the free newsletter.
I don’t even have it on the Website, it’s Email only. Well all that’s going to change. I now see that what I’ve been catering to for the last 25 years, has been more like daytraders and people with enough flexibility to be in front of a computer for 6 hours every day than “real” people with busy lives. That is NOT the bulk of society.
I’m going to invite more people into the long term letter. I’m going to promote it, I’m going to get it integrated into the web site ( which by the way is very “aged” and I’m going to do a revamp. Half the static content is like 10 years old. Sheesh, I told you all I wasn’t terribly techie)
If you’re interested in knowing what we do there, it’s like this: I started out thinking I would only do an issue 2 times a month. Well, that didn’t happen and for the most part, I’ve been putting them out almost every Sunday. Not always, but mostly. And what do we do in them? We try and find above average returns, with below average risk. It’s not easy, but we’ve been doing well.
We chase some dividends. We also sell covered calls. We buy some metals, and even keep some cash in boring old Treasuries or CD’s. We try and maneuver 401K’s into the type of mutual funds that make sense.
If you’ve been reading the free letters and thinking that “this guy might be worth a follow” then please consider a subscription to Horizons. Like wise if you’re an Insider member and you want some exposure to some longer term “income” ideas, again, pick up a subscription.
Price? If you’re already an insider ( oh and by the way, THANK you to all the current insiders that did become Horizons subscribers back in January and February. I was humbled at how many of you remain subscribers of both, thank you) IF you’re an insider, a full year of Horizons is 99 bucks.
If you’re not a current paying member, the price is 149 for the year. If you’re not a member of the Insiders and want both services, the Daily Insiders club AND the long term letter, it’s 299.
So there you have it. My complete admission that I truly didn’t know just how hard it is to be a swing trader if you’ve got things in your life keeping you distracted from the markets. Well now I know.
I won’t lie and say it’s every day we are somewhere, but just to give you an idea of what’s been happening in the last few days, it reads like this: Meet with oncologist to see what treatment he recommends, Get the last staples removed on Wed. Then go for PET Scan. Then meet with Radiologist and explore her ideas for treatment. Then go for MUGA test. Meet with the breast cancer support group. And on and on and on and on.
I can indeed guarantee that while I think I’ve done a lot of good work in Horizons up until now, it’s going to get even better.
Here’s the link for signing up. If you sign up today, you’ll get the issue that will go out this evening, where we’re deciding our next move.
Thanks folks. It’s been a wild and crazy 6 weeks. My wife is being brave through all of this, despite the doctors scaring the hell out of her. But we believe she’s got God on her side and nobody beats him.
A couple weeks ago I was talking about the increased censorship we were seeing from Google and Facebook and YouTube. It was getting really ugly, and anyone with a Christian, or alternative news outlet was getting blocked and shut down. Now, that wasn’t terribly surprising to me, because about a year ago I wrote about Youtube setting up a “tattle tale” operation, actually rewarding people who shut down the most sites for “inappropriate’ language.
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this, let me start with a bit of personal biography. I’m a gun guy. I’ve been a gun guy since I was born, simply because my dad was a hunter and fisherman. I was raised around guns all my life. Shotguns, rifles and handguns were simply part of our home. It was as normal to me as a toothbrush.
Sarasota Florida has meetings over “dangerous” Sea level rise. Let’s chat:
If any of you have ever been to SouthWest Florida, you know that there’s many places on our coast to try and find fossilized shark teeth. In fact, while “Venice” is usually known as ground zero for finding these little treasures, the fact is that right at the southern end of Venice, there’s a beach called Casperson.