Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Weaving in Traffic

It's going to snow a little here tonight. Yeah, I am not happy about it.

It's all a wait and see right now going into weeks end. The Euro Summit is going down and who knows what is going to happen. Plenty of knee jerk reactions and headlines until something solid comes out. Until then I figured a more broad market based commentary was in order.

Weaving in Traffic

We have all been there. On a major highway and it's just loaded up with traffic. Moving at a crawl you know you are not going to get anywhere fast. When that happens I like to look around, take things in. There are two reactions I see that are both amusing and a total waste of time.

Furious Driver
This driver is honking. They are holding the wheel so tight you can see that the knuckles look ready to come out of the skin. They are swearing and yelling at themselves and other drivers. You can see the frustration. They are thinking "all I wanted to do was get to where I am going and this is in MY WAY!!".

The Weaver
The more annoying driver to me is the one that constantly risks accidents by weaving in and out of lanes, trying desperately to find that one lane that is moving. I think of that traffic scene in "Office Space" when I see this. For all the the juking and moving, they don't get anywhere any faster, it's a complete waste of time and effort.

So what does this have to do with anything financial?

The S&P 500 is about unchanged for the year.

It has been a difficult trading year, especially since August. The failed breakdown of early October. The failed breakout of late October. The return of the Euro headlines. It's a nasty snarl of traffic creating a jam in the way of much progress either short or long. (I know the faster traders are having a field day with this market and I enjoy watching them work, just not my trading style.)

So the questions are:
-Are you angry about the market? Are you screaming at the screen? At yourself?
-Are you changing your trading style every other day? Are you weaving long, then short at all the wrong times?

Know that no one is immune. I have felt the above to some degree at various times over the past six months.

One can always take the next exit ramp and get off the highway. An alternate route may provide an adaptable way forward. It's always fine to wait until the traffic dies down as well before getting back on the highway. You do not always have to be on the highway at the highest traffic times. Sooner or later, it's open road again.

Have a good night.


GawainsGhost said...

Am I angry at the market? No, I'm somewhat less than surprised.

Have I changed my trading strategy? No, not that I have much of a trading strategy, other than investing in myself and my business.

What I do know is this. These companies are lowering prices on repossessed homes, and I mean by a lot, several thousand dollars, every two weeks. That surely does not bode well.

Real estate is a seasonal market, with most houses sold in the spring and summer. Fall and winter are the tough months. But I don't see anything on the horizon that will turn this market around.

High unemployment, stagnant wages, uncertainty, indecision, political corruption, all make for a toxic brew.

getyourselfconnected said...

Housing will be tough for a long time, it's how thses things play out after a bust. I guess I am not angry or surprised but just have not had the environment that would be helpful to making any real money this year.

David Batista said...

I'm always so zen in traffic jams. I simply stay in my lane . . . and wait. Even if I'm late and anxious, I never see the point in acting crazy behind the wheel. It never changes anything, you're still waiting. So better to just take a deep breath, let it out slowly and just chill.

Nice analogy you have here!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't weave, but I'll get mad at myself if I sit patiently in one lane while others really are moving along faster. And that traffic picture makes me long for a teleporter even more.

Jennifer Hillier said...

That's a really good analogy.

I don't weave or get mad when I drive. Life is stressful enough without making it more stressful.

Agree with Alex, a teleporter would be good. And environmentally friendly, too, no?

getyourselfconnected said...

Yes, its 2011 going on 2012 and no flying cars, no folding space, and no beaming up? What a joke. At least we have the IPad.

Kristi Drain said...

Does anyone know where that traffic shot of 19 lanes (at top of this article) is from in the world?

Joel Aguilar said...

it's the 405 freeway in Los Angeles California, and it's always like that. And this picture is photo shoped.

Joel Aguilar said...

it's the 405 freeway in Los Angeles California, and it's always like that. And this picture is photo shoped.

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