WWMD?


Is this some kind of a stuttering reference to “Weapons of Mass Destruction”?. Of course not. Szelhamos believed that you should never talk about sex, politics, religion or money. So it would be inappropriate to talk about WMD’s, due to the political controversy it evokes. Somehow, however, I can rationalize talking about money. Don’t ask me how, but is alright to do so. And somehow, Szelhamos could always rationalize talking about sex, politics, religion or money.


Guidelines were clearly meant to be broken.


WWMD?, quite simply is the question of the day. It stands for “What Would Moses Do?”. And that truly is an appropriate question for this coming day, a day of biblical proportion.


Everytime that I’m ready to make an investment or divest from one, first I just glance at the bracelet on my left wrist and ask “What Would Moses Do?”


Moses Parting the Red SeaAm I prone to exaggeration? What was so epic about any one day that you could even slightly consider it to be of such grand importance? Does it rank up there with the Great Flood? If there are parallels to that occasion, one thing that I know for sure, is that I would leave all of the seers and financial analysts behind. Let them fend for themselves. If our world doesn’t miss the dodo, it’s not likely that we will be less well off due to the extinction of that class of predator. My favorite was a few years ago, still before the sub-prime debacle whenone fine and esteemed analyst went from a new downgrade of IBM to a recommended buy, within a 24 hour period.


I used to pay much more attention back then.


To continue in the biblical metaphor arena, “what the market giveth, the market taketh away”. Just as Moses was the only one capable of parting the Red Sea, thereby taming it for everyone’s benefit, so too must we rise to the occasion to deal with today’s sea of red. Where there is red, there is opportunity, but not for the faint of heart.


Did you look at the action last week? It was awash in red and some green, and then red. If you were paying attention during the last hour on Wednesday, things can change rather quickly.


Moses never lost faith. Mine of course, is rooted in the world of pessimism and cynicism. But nonetheless, it is faith. Just faith that things will go badly.


The past two months have been abysmal. Even days when the early morning futures were pointing in the right direction would see my 5 digits gains evaporate into losses.


And those were the good days.


Every bit of economic and political news has been taken badly. Granted, there was a momentary euphoria over the prospects of a short term resolution to the Greek crisis, but ever since Bernanke’s press conference, we’ve been drowning in a sea of uncertainty.


Do you remember when the market loved China and Chinese stocks? I’ve never invested in any, but have consistently owned shares in companies that revel in worldwide economic growth. Rio Tinto, Freeport McMoran and Mosaic are currently in my portfolio. 


Well those three are good reasons why you really can’t love stocks. They are fickle.  Don’t get me wrong. I still am very appreciative of how they’ve treated me in the past,  but I have to stay distant. It’s much to easy to see your hopes and dreams dashed.


I suppose that my emotional attachment would be further dimished if I hadn’t been selling calls along the way, although so far, I haven’t dsold any on my Mosaic this options ctcle.


But I did so something very uncharacteristic for me today. It will probably lead to a bad outcome. But despite knowing that, I went ahead and followed a “stock tip” today. I’ve never done that before, but this one made sense.


The tip came from someone who has freely passed tips on before. Skeptical as I am, I never made a move on anyone’s “hot” tips. But what I have always done, upon anyone’s unsolicited recommendations, has been to follow that “tip”. Back in the days when I used to receive lots of cold calls from brokers, I would ask them to give my 5 stocks for recommended purchase and their time frames for reaching their stock’s target price. Those were in the days before Caller ID and Do Not Call Registries. My trusty spreadsheets proved to me that there was never a reason to stray from Bob Shapiro’s advice and to never disconnect the Caller ID.


Greatest invention, ever.


If you don’t know who Bob Shapiro was, get the Option to Profit book. His full identity is hidden in the book. I just called him “Bob”.


Since I couldn’t quite figure out how to make a subliminal plug for the book, I thought I’d just get right out there with it.


Anyway, this one particular tipster, has had a pretty good track record. In reviewing his past picks, it appears that he is a chartist. A technician. All of his picks have had very similar charts. Interestingly, his picks have all been very timely. But even more interestingly, they outperformed the market during its doldrums and vastly underperformed the market during its journey to new highs. In fact, during the recent stretch of up days, the market climb’s slope was the antithesis of the slope of his other recommendations. Those stocks all declined! He was a chartist and a market timer. As far as I know, he has no relationship with anyone on the Dow Jones board. I should say “allegedly”.


Today’s recommendations, and they are his and not mine, are Crocs and Hansen Natural. No fly by night companies. Okay, maybe they are. Both just off a 52 week highs. Interestingly, I just wrote about my expanded Crocs collection just a few days ago, even proudly mentioning my faux-fur lined ones.


But I demurred. Would Crocs be the right choice to wade across the Red Sea if Moses turned out to be a crock? Is that really what I wanted to be found in if my lifeless body washed up the shores of Jericho? And with a non-recyclable can of Dragonfruit Sugar-free clutched in my hand?


Hmmm.


Then I remembered that I don’t believe in stock tips anymore.


Is this what Moses would have done in the face of a sea of red? Would he fully change his ways, views and beliefs? It’s sort of akin to worshipping at the feet of the golden calf. Would he have taken a tip from an idol worshipper?


I dont think so.


So how did it work out for Moses? It really depends on your perspective. He never made it to the Promised Land, although he made it possible for everyone else to get there. Maybe he should have changed his ways. Maybe he would have gotten to the Promised Land, although breaking those tablets was not a very wise thing to do. Figuratively, that was like dissing all of the commandments with one single action. Talk about efficiency. But he did make his point. At a price. A high price.


Come to think of it, if you threw a long maned wig on him and put a staff in his left hand, I think Ben Bernanke would make one fine Moses.


Me? I can change the definition of my Promised Land whenever I want. To me it’s a number. That number may be another two years until full retirement, it may be a 30th wedding anniversary, or it may be a cholesterol of 150.


Whatever it is, I’ll get there.


WWMD? He would make sure that even if he couldn’t get there, the others would. And that’s a good lesson, but there’s nothing wrong with getting there yourself and bringing others with you.


Next week, we answer the question, WWBD?


  


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