Nooooo… Team!

A little detour into the ideology of ideological neutrality from this week’s edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 547, before it kicked in to the important stuff going on in US and global asset markets.

Nooooo… Team!

Gooooo… TEAM!! Rah rah sis boom bah!

As is evidenced by political associations, religion and even demographic choices (insofar as one has a choice) most people have bias at least and strong ideological bonds at most to ideas, concepts and rules that are aligned with their world view. It is human to seek validation and communion with others of similar views and beliefs.

Stop right there! Put that shit in a lock box somewhere. I should not care about your beliefs, you should only care about mine to the degree I am not some sort of lunatic providing a professional service to you, and asset markets don’t care about either of us.

The above is my long way of saying that sure, we all have beliefs and closely held viewpoints. And I can say with a reasonable level of certainty that we are all human. As such, there is a tug at the heartstrings that most resonate with us. That is where bad decisions in the uncaring world of asset markets are bred.

We (think we) know what is right and just; what makes sense. All of our schooling, religious backgrounds and/or mentorships have brought us to adulthood with tools for life. And then we decide to play the stock market.

It is no wonder there are so many day traders out there plying a stripped down ethic of not caring a thing about the asset, the company, the macro market or any other damn thing except which way a stock is going to twitch next on a 10 minute chart. In short, they sit at a slot machine. As long as they sit there and feed it coins and press buttons, they’re in the game. I envy that ‘keep it simple’ world view sometimes.

But playing the bigger game, the macro game takes perspective and that surely is not going to come from having your preconceived perceptions reinforced. You may be right and you may wrong. Are you among the smart 50% on a given trade or the dumb 50%? When I say “you” I of course mean me too. I have been on the dumb side of trades often. It is actually part of doing business. Sometimes you are dumb and stubborn enough to become smart by the time the trade or investment ends. Time frames, patience and yes even true beliefs come into play there.

The gold community (for newer subscribers, I italicize that word because of its profound implications of group think, ideological pressure and even cult-like magnetism, e.g. “Mr. Gold” Jim Sinclair’s CIGAs “Comrades in golden arms”) is a relatively small, insular but very loud segment of the financial markets. There lies the soulless market’s moral center (err, honest money). Some gold bugs wear this like a badge.

But honest or not, gold is going to get where it is going in due time. The truest believers in honest money tend to get tossed about, losing perspective along the way due to a moral compass that always points due North. But these are the markets, not an ideal fantasy. So with gold or any other asset market, we have to play by the market’s rules, not our own.

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