25 January 2021

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Volatility de Luxe

 

“Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die of euphoria.”

John Templeton

 

“When an investor focuses on short-term investments, he or she is observing the variability of the portfolio, not the returns – in short, being fooled by randomness."

Nassim Taleb

 

Stocks had quite a ride today from the lows to the highs. 

They did manage to go out on the positive.

There is a metals option expiration on the Comex for the February contract tomorrow. 

There will be a Fed rate decision on Wednesday. 

Have a pleasant evening. 

 

23 January 2021

Weekend Reading - Iron Sharpens Iron

 

Iron Sharpens Iron
Henry Blackaby

 

The Christian life is a pilgrimage.  At times the road is difficult, and we get lonely. Sometimes we may become discouraged and consider abandoning the journey.  It is at such times that God will place a friend alongside us.  One of God’s most precious gifts to us is friends who encourage us and lovingly challenge us to 'keep going.'

According to Scripture, a friend is one who challenges you to become all that God intends.  Jonathan could have succeeded his father to become the next king of Israel.  But he loved his friend David, and he encouraged him to follow God’s will, even though it meant Jonathan would forfeit his own claim to the throne (1 Sam. 19:1-7).

The mark of biblical friends is that their friendship draws you closer to Christ.  They 'sharpen' you and motivate you to do what is right.  True friends tell you the truth and even risk hurting your feelings because they love you and have your best interests at heart (Prov. 27:6).

Be careful in your choice of friends! Jesus chose His closest friends wisely.  He did not look for perfect friends, but friends whose hearts were set to follow God.  It is equally important to examine the kind of friend you are to others.  As a friend, it is your duty to put the needs of others first (Prov. 17:17). 

Strive to find godly friends who will challenge you to become the person God desires.  When you have found them, be receptive to the way God uses them to help you become spiritually mature.  Strive also to be the kind of friend that helps others become more like Christ.

 


22 January 2021

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Bearing Witness - A Culture of Emptiness and Contempt

 

"As observers of totalitarianism such as Victor Klemperer noticed, truth dies in four modes, all of which we have just witnessed.   The first mode is the open hostility to verifiable reality, which takes the form of presenting inventions and lies as if they were facts.  Demeaning the world as it is begins the creation of a fictional counterworld. 

You submit to tyranny when you renounce the difference between what you want to hear and what is actually the case.  What is truth?  Sometimes people ask this question because they wish to do nothing. Generic cynicism makes us feel hip and alternative even as we slip along with our fellow citizens into a morass of indifference.  It is your ability to discern facts that makes you an individual, and our collective trust in common knowledge that makes us a society. 

Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.” 

 Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny 

 

"Words can be like tiny doses of arsenic: they are swallowed unnoticed, appear to have no effect, and then after a little time the toxic reaction sets in after all.  The never ending alarms, the never ending phrases, the never ending hanging out of flags, now in triumph, now in mourning—it all produces apathy.  

There is so much lethargy in the German people, and so much immorality, and above all so much stupidity.  I must make notes even now, I must, no matter how dangerous it is.  That is my professional courage."

Victor Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness 1933-41 A Diary of the Nazi Years
 

Stocks were digesting their gains today from the latest leg of their bubble this week.

Gold and silver gave up some of their recent gains as well.

Next Tuesday the 26th there will be an option expiration on the Comex.

People seem to be fleeing their confusion, and the burden of thought, into indifference and contempt for others. 

It is a reaction to hysteria, and a loss of grounding in reality.  Even if much of the fear is from phantoms based in obsessive greed and selfishness.

Madness.   And it serves none but itself. 

May God have mercy on us.

Have a pleasant weekend.

21 January 2021

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Shall We Stop This Bleeding? - Willful Pride, Plagues, and Foolishness

 

“An enthusiastic philosopher, of whose name we are not informed, had constructed a very satisfactory theory on some subject or other, and was not a little proud of it.  'But the facts, my dear fellow,' said his friend, 'the facts do not agree with your theory.'  'Don't they?'  replied the philosopher, shrugging his shoulders, 'then, tant pis pour les faits;' —so much the worse for the facts.” 

Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

 

“Against such foolishness we are defenseless.  Reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed – in such moments the foolish person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental.   

In all this the foolish person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack.  Never again will we try to persuade the foolish person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.” 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

 

"It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought." 

John Kenneth Galbraith 

 

"Foolishness has a knack of getting its way; as we should see if we were not always so much wrapped up in ourselves.  In this respect our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; they did not believe in plagues." 

Albert Camus

 

The story stocks moved higher. The rest of the market not so much. 

Gold and silver moved sideways as the Dollar continued lower. 

No one likes to be a centrist, a non-participant, much less a voice of reason.

You see the folly of both sides, and may incur the anger of both, if you stand for the facts, and the truth as it has been given to you.

Even if you only refuse to join in with the crowd in its madness, especially in times of general hysteria and even often shocking apostasy.

This is what Galbraith, Bonhoeffer, Camus, and Mackay are all speaking about in the quotes above, each in a different context and situation involving speculative bubbles, political extremism cynical ignorance, and minds hardened by unrealistic ideology.

Yes life is filled with gray areas.   But sometimes the voices from the extremes of both sides are filled with madness, sometimes compelling and seemingly overwhelming, popular, irresistible.

You don't have to do this because I say so, and I will not be shocked if you reject such thinking.   I am not doing what I do for you either,  per se.

Standing for what is true, even when it is not easy or convenient, profitable, is the recurrent theme of those who would take up their cross and follow Him,  who stood fast but silent in answer to the cynical observation, 'What is truth?' 

And we know who the father of lies is, and what it ultimately costs to follow the easy path of selfishness and madness.  As Dostoevsky notes, when we lie to ourselves, we lose respect for the turth, and the ability to love.

"And because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.   But those who stand, firmly to the end, will be saved." 

Matthew 24:12 

Do what is right and good for your own sake, if not for fear of the consequences at the least, but for the sake of His love.

Have a pleasant evening.