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Don’t Look Back in Anger

Past performance no guarantee of future achievement

We see this rider all the time on investment offers but as traders we do not apply such logic to our own methods. Every chart and most macroeconomic data is backwards looking. Being seduced by past performance is detrimental to our ability to predict future activity. Yes, predict, because that is, after all, what we do.

There is, rightly, almost universal scepticism about crystal balls and all the other paraphernalia that goes with “the gift” so what can we do to make our “science” more credible?

One of the more ludicrous notions is that the Q2 GDP data has any bearing on what is happening today. Everyone got very excited by a 0.3% improvement in U.S. economic activity three months ago. Really? This revision was due to the update of Corporate profits which makes the importance attached even more absurd.

Employment also receives a bizarre amount of attention since it is so open to revision in the U.S. and to “massage” in the U.K.

We should take more notice of sentiment indexes and producer price data. They are forward looking and can form a picture of what is happening now.

Broaden horizons; Think about what is happening. Even consider allocating a (small) part of your total portfolio into a smarter way of trading. Currency trends and movements are part of the global economy and if we can separate the wheat from the chaff it could be a rewarding experience.

Brexit; A testament to the breakdown of the politics as we know it.

It’s time for me to get my soapbox out and start pontificating!

What is the only part of modern life that hasn’t changed in the past thirty years? Over that time life has been revolutionised in a way not seen since the late 18th century. The internet has come but has continually grown and morphed into an all-encompassing almost living creature that it is becoming impossible to function without. Not since the industrial revolution has there been such an advance.

Yet over that period Politics hasn’t changed at all. Of course, MP’s email each other rather than pass notes around the chamber like schoolboys. I assume there is digital storage of Hansard now, but the fabric of Politics hasn’t changed one iota.

Now along comes Brexit which has the potential to not only change the immediate future for a whole generation but could be the catalyst for political change. As ever it is the young that will be the instrument. Even though many Millennials have spent as much time in their bedrooms playing on various games consoles they have grown up in the information age where everything is at their fingertips. With information comes opinion, with opinion comes judgement and with judgement comes change.

The young won’t put up with the nonsense that has become the norm of Parliamentary behaviour. While most accept MP’s for what they are, there is someone out there who will have an “Emperor’s new clothes moment” and will see them for what they are. Then, hopefully, the revolution will begin.

Mario Draghi; The People’s Central Banker

Bankers. The subject of derision and hatred for some time now. Personally, I believe it is an institutional thing and employees of banks have been the instrument of some poor sometimes criminal judgement by those who run them.

Be that as it may, following the financial crisis and the too big to fail nonsense, investment bankers have been singled out. Goldman Sachs has long been a frontrunner in the “all that is bad about banking” sweepstake, so it is ironic that it is one of their past alumni who is fast becoming the poster boy for the success of the experiment that is the Eurozone.

Bringing together nineteen diverse economies under one monetary policy when he can only influence part of the outcome has become the “Legend of Mario Draghi”.

In recent history, Italians have been to economic stability, what Kim Jong-un is to international diplomacy. Yet, he has managed to withstand the pressures exerted by the larger nations who until recently were bleating about inflation and now showing concerns about currency strength.

It is entirely correct that if you are only going to be allowed to control the monetary side of the economy with the fiscal left to the individual nations a light touch is necessary. It was the weak currency that has helped Greece to improve from its descent towards a third world economy yet now it is the strong currency that is driving inflation lower in Germany.

So, hats off to Super Mario and God help the Eurozone when his term ends in October 2019.

Past performance no guarantee of future achievement

We see this rider all the time on investment offers but as traders we do not apply such logic to our own methods. Every chart and most macroeconomic data is backwards looking. Being seduced by past performance is detrimental to our ability to predict future activity. Yes, predict, because that is, after all, what we do.

There is, rightly, almost universal scepticism about crystal balls and all the other paraphernalia that goes with “the gift” so what can we do to make our “science” more credible?

One of the more ludicrous notions is that the Q2 GDP data has any bearing on what is happening today. Everyone got very excited by a 0.3% improvement in U.S. economic activity three months ago. Really? This revision was due to the update of Corporate profits which makes the importance attached even more absurd.

Employment also receives a bizarre amount of attention since it is so open to revision in the U.S. and to “massage” in the U.K.

We should take more notice of sentiment indexes and producer price data. They are forward looking and can form a picture of what is happening now.

Broaden horizons; Think about what is happening. Even consider allocating a (small) part of your total portfolio into a smarter way of trading. Currency trends and movements are part of the global economy and if we can separate the wheat from the chaff it could be a rewarding experience.

Brexit; A testament to the breakdown of the politics as we know it.

It’s time for me to get my soapbox out and start pontificating!

What is the only part of modern life that hasn’t changed in the past thirty years? Over that time life has been revolutionised in a way not seen since the late 18th century. The internet has come but has continually grown and morphed into an all-encompassing almost living creature that it is becoming impossible to function without. Not since the industrial revolution has there been such an advance.

Yet over that period Politics hasn’t changed at all. Of course, MP’s email each other rather than pass notes around the chamber like schoolboys. I assume there is digital storage of Hansard now, but the fabric of Politics hasn’t changed one iota.

Now along comes Brexit which has the potential to not only change the immediate future for a whole generation but could be the catalyst for political change. As ever it is the young that will be the instrument. Even though many Millennials have spent as much time in their bedrooms playing on various games consoles they have grown up in the information age where everything is at their fingertips. With information comes opinion, with opinion comes judgement and with judgement comes change.

The young won’t put up with the nonsense that has become the norm of Parliamentary behaviour. While most accept MP’s for what they are, there is someone out there who will have an “Emperor’s new clothes moment” and will see them for what they are. Then, hopefully, the revolution will begin.

Mario Draghi; The People’s Central Banker

Bankers. The subject of derision and hatred for some time now. Personally, I believe it is an institutional thing and employees of banks have been the instrument of some poor sometimes criminal judgement by those who run them.

Be that as it may, following the financial crisis and the too big to fail nonsense, investment bankers have been singled out. Goldman Sachs has long been a frontrunner in the “all that is bad about banking” sweepstake, so it is ironic that it is one of their past alumni who is fast becoming the poster boy for the success of the experiment that is the Eurozone.

Bringing together nineteen diverse economies under one monetary policy when he can only influence part of the outcome has become the “Legend of Mario Draghi”.

In recent history, Italians have been to economic stability, what Kim Jong-un is to international diplomacy. Yet, he has managed to withstand the pressures exerted by the larger nations who until recently were bleating about inflation and now showing concerns about currency strength.

It is entirely correct that if you are only going to be allowed to control the monetary side of the economy with the fiscal left to the individual nations a light touch is necessary. It was the weak currency that has helped Greece to improve from its descent towards a third world economy yet now it is the strong currency that is driving inflation lower in Germany.

So, hats off to Super Mario and God help the Eurozone when his term ends in October 2019.

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