Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Fat Lady

The operatic fat lady is singing and she has many choruses to go. As you know an opera is a musical drama. Unfortunately the one we are watching has terrible screeching with discordant sounds. This opera is called The Market and the scene we are watching is called The Bear.

She started singing 3 years ago and is becoming worse and worse. Will she ever stop?

This act has followed a very long and pleasant act called The Bull. Everyone was beautifully dressed, lived in wonderful houses complete with giant TVs and 2 cars in every garage. The singer was on key and had a wonderful voice. From my experience with operas each Bull act is followed by a Bear act of equal length. I hope the fat lady will quit singing much sooner than that. Is there any way to escape that raucous sound?

Does the stock market follow the opera? Lets look at the facts. From 1920 to 2000 there were 3 major bull markets that lasted about 16 years with each followed by a bear market that lasted about an equal length of time. Does it mean we have about 13 more years before the next bull move will occur? If you are a student of history and historic cycles the answer must be Yes. When you look within the economic and political machinations there doesnt seem to be much hope for any kind of quick recovery.

Is the fat lady singing in other countries too? It seems she is. Of 34 countries only 6 had positive results for their market indexes that are similar to the New York Stock Exchange and none of these 6 were large countries. Many of the other 27 had losses greater than the U.S. In the chorus most of them were off key. In the stock market 96% of all stock mutual funds lost money during 2002. The opera is bad enough, but the stock market is worse because I am continuing to lose money. Is there anything I can do?

During the opera I can stuff cotton in my ears to stop the noise. Can I stop the losses in the market? Yes. And it is pretty easily done. On all stock you own whether it has a profit or a loss place an open stop loss order at the price you will sell it if it drops that low. Are you willing to lose as much again as you have lost so far?

Brokers will discourage you from doing this, but it isnt their money. Ask them if they will guarantee it (in writing , of course). If they wont, you will know what to do.

You may not be able to stop the fat lady from singing, but you can stop the noise (market losses) with a stop-loss order so you can sleep soundly once again.

Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.

Copyright 2005