It’s time to get back to work.
Top Tens and looking back on 2011 do little to inspire me. The markets felt very much like running circles in mud, any deeper analysis and I might as well be in 2011. I can’t say this better then Art Cashin (picked up from ZH):
A Year Of Commuting By Roller Coaster – In Wall Street watering holes, there’s been an old saw, used for decades, to demonstrate that statistics can be less than useful and sometimes misleading. The old saw is the fact that – mile for mile, the safest form of travel in the United States is riding a roller coaster. The point being that while commuting by roller coaster may be exciting, safe and even fun, it doesn’t get you anywhere.
The stock market events of 2011 reminded veteran traders of the old saw. There were stunning ascents, heart stopping plunges, mind numbing turns – and at the end – you wound up just about where you started and the ride cost you money. That was 2011 in a nutshell.
Friday’s action looked like the year in miniature. The first half was the best part, then a mid-session give up followed by choppy attempts at recovery, only to slump to a close. That put the S&P almost exactly where it had started the year.
Looking forward, this part of the year will be important for my little experiment.
Some time off, without that little voice in my head (not the crazy one) did me well. The visceral need to scan the headlines, dissect the marketing and political objectives of the latest popular talking head was as futile in 2011 as it was in 2010, or 1968.
Revision to the mean is a powerful concept, worth fighting but worth respect, equally. Are you listening Tea Partiers? 2012 will see your footnote written.
At the extremes, you could ‘check out’: plant carrots and raise sheep in Montana (think Gold, Guns and HHO). Or even ‘check in’: head down-chin up and dress spectacularly (think Goldman Sachs and Elections).
I’ll be selling/hedging/spreading the extremes in 2012.