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Subject:  Re: Earnings season Date:  10/19/2019  7:35 AM
Author:  brittlerock Number:  60738 of 70779

As I said, I was reluctant to even post. I'm also reluctant to reply, but here goes.

You are correct to a degree, the board can sound like an echo chamber at times, but it is not a blind echo chamber of bias confirmation. There are rational explanations for why these particular companies in this unique, and until recently non-existent space present extraordinary opportunities. It was my intention to present my perspective. As always, take it or leave it. It is nothing more or less than my reasoned opinion.

As for the vagaries of the market - I don't know if it is "trying to tell us something." I tend to doubt it. Over 75% of the trades in the market are driven by algorithms. So far as I know, they are programmed to react to market technicals. Once a sell-off begins, they set off a cascade of sell orders. As the avalanche rapidly increases in momentum, humans also react and sell orders are placed. The market "intelligence" turns to fear. That's not intelligence, rather it's an emotional reaction.

I spent a good many years of my career writing specifications for coders to program. I imagine that algorithms could be written to perform fundamental analysis. It would be a very complex task, but I once wrote specs for receiving inspection at high tech engineering/manufacturing firm. That was quite a ball of COBOL logic. Lord knows with AI & ML, modern languages and modern hardware the ability to code complex tasks is certainly not beyond the reach of modern computer science. I could be wrong but I just don't believe that they are being written that way. It is my belief that the trading algorithms are written to protect fund manager's jobs which are evaluated on a quarterly basis (if not more often). A fund manager who decided to sit tight (or horse trade) due to fundamental analysis during a market melt-down would probably be out of work in short order irrespective of how solid his/her logic might have been and how irrational the sell-off was. There's another side to that coin as well. A fund manager that consistently outperforms the market and his colleagues will also not last long because he will make everyone else look bad. There's a great deal of professional peer pressure to hug the average and cling to the fund benchmarks.

If you "listen to" every vagary of the market rather than your convictions as a small retail investor you will constantly be at the tail end of the whip and the mercy of unexpected forces. Of course, that implies you have convictions as opposed to emotional reactions. The market is an example of herd mentality. It stampedes when spooked. There is nothing rational about a stampede, it's simply an unleashed, unthinking burst of energy. It eventually burns itself out.

What triggered this stampede? I'm not certain. We are told that a respected analyst from CITI Bank had a lot to do with it, but that, if true, only explains the last few days. This started at the end of July. Maybe some who are more observant than I can explain it. To be honest, investing does not get my full time attention. I have other interests so there's a constant tug-of-war for my time.

My experience is that recoveries are generally slower than upswings (though I must admit in the last couple of years we've seen some dramatic upswings). So my strategy is basically do nothing and wait. You are entitled to yours whatever it may be.

Good luck - live long and prosper.
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