Why Folly?

Several emailers have asked if this week’s Apprenticed Investor column was in response to the March 29th Bear call.

The short answer is no; I’ve been thinking about this issue ever since I was invited to participate in a a major publication’s "Year-in-preview" back in 2003. I proposed doing "counter-programming;" Running a column looking at how poor most forecasters do a year out, dissecting their predicting track records, and more stuff like that.

Their answer was a polite a "Um, no thanks, we sell a lot of advertising in that double issue — but do you want to particpate anyway?"

My answer was "Sure, why not."

The longer answer:  first off, I stand by that March 29th Bear call — it was pretty good. The Dow pulled back to 10,000 (from nearly 10,800) and the Nazz fell from 2020 to 1890, a 6.5% drop.

I’ve had MUCH worse forecasts than that one — this time, we
didn’t go as low as I thought we possiblym might. (10,00 — I was looking for 9800, then possibly 9000). 

Worst case scenario: I was out of the market during an ugly sell off. And since reversing myself a few weeks ago, my entry is net positive.  

If thats my worst call, I can live with it!

Actually, I thought last July 27th’s (04) Buy call was worse (it was way too early) — we
dropped hard another 2 weeks — I only got bailed out by a very
powerfull market surge.

I also said short GOOG at 185 on Power Lunch late March ’05 — but as always, there was an escape hatch — it included the stop loss to cover at 200 and go long.

Its forgiveable to be wrong; Its unforgiveable to STAY wrong . . .

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  1. Vince1 commented on Jun 9

    Being right or making money, wrote Ned Davis.

    You can make wrong calls and come out a big winner, as was demonstrated by George Soros ;)

  2. Mark T commented on Jun 10

    the idea is to lose the least amount when you are (inevitably) wrong

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