Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Epiphany or Doubt's End

Every now and then, I venture an opinion about the market, as though I know something.

When I went to cash in September, last year, I was thinking that a crash was coming and it would be nasty, brutish and long. I had been through two of these things before, so I had an idea of what it might be like.

I don't remember much of the pain from the seventies, even though I was there. I rode out the millenium crash, every bump down. Still, I wasn't making any decisions back then, so my gut didn't learn anything.

I figured, this time, I would stay in cash for a year or more, while the market fell off a series of increasingly big cliffs. Finally, when it was exhausted, there would be plenty of time to go around picking up Apple for 7 and Google for 85.

So far, for all the sturm und drang, we've fallen off one puny little cliff. Somehow, it doesn't seem enough. In the back of my mind, Dundee is grinning and saying, "That's not a crash!"

But I allowed myself to be swayed by the learned opinions that I heard on the Stock Channel. Unpleasantness in the first half, they said, and gangbusters from there on. The crash would somehow fit itself into those parameters. I took on a trading mentality. Every day, I decided which way to lean.

I went nowhere, fast. I'm flat on the year, but that's a consequence of going to cash last September. Nothing I've been doing lately has affected my bottom line, one way or the other.

This week, I took a step back. I decided that I didn't have to buy low and then sell high, the next day. I kicked back. I chilled. I read Rev Shark's TSC postings over and over again.

I'm beginning to understand, now, how long it's going to take. I'm beginning to believe.

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