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Manuel Blay
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Trader and investor. My trading is short-term based (avg trade duration 4-5 days). As investor I'm deeply influenced by Dow Theory
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Dow Theory Investment
  • Dow Theory Update For May 23: SPY Makes Higher Closing High And Confirms The Transports  3 comments
    May 23, 2014 4:05 PM | about stocks: SPY, DIA, IYT, GLD, SLV, GDX, SIL
    Danielle Park debunks buy and hold.

    Danielle Park's blog "Jugglingdynamite" nails it down. It exposes the hypocrisy of the ultra rich when it comes to favoring buy and hold. Her points are:

    · Drawdown tolerance and time horizon dramatically differ between "the very rich" and the smaller shareholders.

    · Book value gains are nice and dandy but for the small shareholder price rules. If the small shareholder wants to sell, he/she will get "price" not value for his or her shares.

    I quote one of Park's best paragraphs:

    "Since Berkshire is an equity fund with too-big-to-move concentrated positions, it now follows a buy and hold approach. Not surprising then that Buffett says he doesn't sweat about the economy or market moves; he doesn't worry about market rigging or HFT front-running, he just buys businesses he likes. Nice but, how does any of that help real people with finite life spans and time horizons. After all, 99.99% of the world's population are not billionaires Warren. For most of us, years spent making back losses are years we simply can't afford."

    I remember that when reading some years ago Constantino Bresciani's book "The Economics of Inflation" something hit home. Bresciani (who experienced first-hand Weimar's hyperinflation) said that the controlling owners of listed businesses (i.e., the Krupps, the Thyssens) survived in pretty good shape the hyperinflation crisis. Even though their shares in real terms did not manage to keep their purchasing power intact (they went up thousandfold, but prices went up millionfold), they could compensate their "stock paper losses" with higher perks, such as higher salaries, higher directors fees, relatives that suddenly found a well paid employment, etc. Of course, the average "Schmidt", who had put all his savings in such companies, was not offered any of these perks and saw their modest wealth being decimated. Thus, it is either nonsensical, at best, or hypocritical, at worst, when the very rich try to teach us about the long term, the intrinsic value of their companies (the company doesn't belong to the average Joe, make no mistake about it), while being despiteful of speculation and the values underlying it. Let's be clear about it: You owe loyalty to something you really own and control. You don't owe any loyalty to a piece of paper or digit entry called a "share" which merely gives you an uncertain economic right.

    Hence I get mad at the very rich people (not the 1%, but the 0.001%) when they pontificate about the virtues of patience, the long-term, buy and hold, book value (alas not reflected in price), the beauty of the companies they hold, and the wonderful team behind them, while despising the little man obsessed with making a quick buck. While some of the virtues expounded by the very rich hold true irrespective of the investor's situation, clearly if you are a mouse, you better behave like a mouse and not like a dinosaur. Furthermore, small investors enjoy the privilege, not available (even if he wanted to) to Buffet, of being able to move in and out of stocks with relative ease.

    All in all: If we are not ultra rich, we better become proficient at timing and shoudn't heed the "buy and hold" siren's songs.

    US Stocks

    The SPY, Transports and Industrials closed up. On May 19, the Transports made a higher closing high which was been confirmed today by the SPY. So confirmation has occurred pretty quickly, which technically, and all the gloom and doom notwithstanding, tells me that the odds for the primary and secondary trend to remain in good health are high.

    The primary trend remains bullish, as explained here, and more in-depth here.

    The primary trend was reconfirmed as bullish on October 17th, 2013, and November 13th, 2013 and March 7th, 2014, for the reasons given here, here and here.

    So the current primary bull market signal has survived three secondary reactions.

    The secondary trend is bullish too, as explained here and here.

    Gold and Silver

    SLV, and GLD closed down. For the reasons I explained here, and more recently here the primary trend remains bearish.

    For the primary trend to turn bullish, SLV and GLD should jointly break above the secondary (bullish) reaction highs. As a reminder, the secondary reaction closing highs were made on August 27th, 2013. From such highs the market declined without jointly violating the June 27th, 2013 primary bear market lows.

    Here I analyzed the primary bear market signal given on December 20, 2012. The primary trend was reconfirmed bearish, as explained here. The secondary trend is bullish (secondary reaction against the primary bearish trend), as explained here.

    On a statistical basis the primary bear market for GLD and SLV is getting old. More than one year since the bear market signal was flashed has elapsed. However, I am extremely skeptical as to the predictive power of statistics. I prefer price action to guide me, and the Dow Theory tells me that the primary trend remains bearish until reversed. However, the secondary bullish reaction against such old primary bear market is also getting quite old. Tie.

    Furthermore, the June 27, 2013 lows remain untouched. The longer this situation lasts, the higher the odds that something might be changing. But I wait for the verdict of price action.

    As to the gold and silver miners ETFs, SIL closed and GDX closed down.

    I profusely explained that SIL and GDX set up for a primary bull market signal. You can find all the relevant information from a Dow Theory standpoint here.

    Please mind that a setup is not the real thing. So the primary trend has not turned bullish yet (or maybe "never").

    The secondary trend is bullish, as explained here. In spite of short term bullish accomplishments, SIL and GDX are not in a primary bull market.

    The primary trend for SIL and GDX remains, nonetheless, bearish, as was profusely explained here and here.

    The secondary trend is bullish, as explained here. In spite of short term bullish accomplishments, SIL and GDX are not in a primary bull market.

    The primary trend for SIL and GDX remains, nonetheless, bearish, as was profusely explained here and here.

    General note for both GLD/SLV and GDX/SIL: The "coiling" not only persists but is becoming even more extreme. More about the "coiling" here and here.


    The Dow Theorist

    Stocks: SPY, DIA, IYT, GLD, SLV, GDX, SIL
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Comments (3)
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  • Sharpe_Spectator
    , contributor
    Comments (68) | Send Message
    Lets say the fundamentals are messed up and a group of fund managers get together and dress up the trades that triggers a technical signal which you are used to looking out for, aren't you bothered?
    23 May 2014, 10:44 PM Reply Like
  • Manuel Blay
    , contributor
    Comments (357) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Hi Sharpe_Spectator,


    You raise a valid point. One of the tenets of the Dow Theory is that the daily movements and even secondary trends may be manipulated. Most technical signals belong in this shorter term timeframe. However, the primary trend, like a powerful tide, cannot be manipulated. This is why Dow Theorists invest along the primary trend (which lasts on average 1-2 years) and dismiss the secondary trend for investment purposes (to avoid the manipulation you are mentioning). Of course, this is not a “dogma," and things may have changed, and maybe nowadays even the primary trend might be subject to some influence by the Fed. Nevertheless, I’d rather run this risk than blindly believing my own ego-filled fundamental assumptions about the economy, the health of stocks, etc. Nowadays it is often made the point that the Fed is manipulating upwards stocks. I tend to believe it. However, whatever the underlying reason, what I see (and if you follow my blog you will see that I have been bullish amidst a sea of bearishness) is that the primary trend is “up." Even if the Fed started to monetize all stocks (and this would be manipulation) the fact would remain that stocks would be going up. Here the time-tested adage “don’t fight the trend” comes in handy.
    28 May 2014, 06:00 AM Reply Like
  • Sharpe_Spectator
    , contributor
    Comments (68) | Send Message
    Thank you Manuel. That makes sense!
    28 May 2014, 07:28 PM Reply Like
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