We all wish we could predict the future. After all trading would be a hell lot more profitable and given a year of prescient entries/exits we’d be able to retire in comfort on our own private islands. Unfortunately it is exactly this deep-set desire for clairvoyance mixed with a healthy helping of hubris that more often than not drives us to engage in hare-brained campaigns. What’s worse however is when you get exactly what you wished for. The tape turns almost exactly where you thought and your ego instantly puffs up like the chest of a male frigate bird.
Burt Reynolds was a veritable force of nature, a man’s man who even performed many of his own stunts. To say that they don’t make ’em like this anymore would be an understatement given the limp-wristed lineup of pubescent Hollywood soyboys we have had to content with over the past decade or so (with the exception of Tom Hardy perhaps).
Burt’s death yesterday, at the young age of 82, deprives us of yet another male icon that teenage girls and above used to swoon over back in the 1970s. Life of course will go on, one way or the other, but Burt’s career actually has an important lesson to teach us traders and market maniacs:
When equities turns volatile each added gyration serves to stir the collective emotional cesspool of market participants. An unfortunate cognitive bias we as human beings all share is that we tend to see mostly what we want to see, facts, evidence, or reason be damned. Also known as ‘confirmation bias’ this factory installed feature of the human condition seems to particularly live up to its promise when it comes to the trading racket. Throw in a few wild swings and the bulls will regard each drive lower as an obvious dip buying opportunity while the bears see it as clear confirmation that the prevailing trend is weakening.
I had to think long and hard about what exactly to post today without insulting at least half of my readership. As you know I have kept political discussions to a minimum as a rule here at Evil Speculator. First up it’s awfully distracting and secondly it rarely has any bearing on our core activities which mainly revolve around banking coin and surviving our extended swim in the mirky shark infested waters of the U.S. financial markets.