Investor Points of Few – “For Those Outside the Flock…”

By Alan Steel

In line with the stolen words of Mr Vonnegut, “may future generations look back on TV as the lead in the water pipes that slowly drove the Romans mad,” this morning’s dose of hemlock (the Bad News at 7AM) into my Bitcoin intolerant brain caused more damage than any episode of The Kardashians ever could.

And I never thought I’d say this, but blessed be the commercial breaks that separate all the interest rate rumour gouging, stock market altitude sickness, ETFs shattering growth records, and the $5 Trillion-sized (read: £Shitloads) Vanguard fund that has just successfully tested the cryptocurrency blockchain (English translation here).

Bluidy hell! Forget the Interweb; what incredible weapon of mass distraction is this?

Now breath, as the programme cuts to toothpaste, shampoo and Star Wars: The Last Jedi adverts – still love “Luke’s Theme” after all these years, eh?

But it’s as if even the commercials were a designed part of this breakfast horror show; the earnest perfection of news anchors with glowing-teeth-and-hair, staring back with the countenance of accountants as they tease out the expectation that emergency Darth Vader oxygen masks will suddenly drop down from the ceiling at the next hint of market turbulence.

It’s a delusion steeped in melancholic grandeur, sculpted facts, and scene-setting market skulduggery…and folks eat it up.

Simply put, it’s cool to be dour like Darth; calling out market tops on two-pence changes, alleging embryonic presidencies will topple index performance, hyping Brexit breakdown…

As for the investor herd?

Well, sadly, history tell us that herds usually end up Flocked, so to speak.

And the Darths? Well, they’re the real Flockers in this equation. They herd sentiment with adrenaline, bloat investor Amygdalas and listen out for the sweet swiping sound of newsletter-driven credit card subscriptions.

Cha-Ching: “Luke, I am now your father.”

Folks, haven’t we tiptoed through enough Tulips and Manias this year to believe a collision between low-volatility and high-sensitivity is historically inevitable, and no measure of employment levels, inflation spikes or jobs boons will stop those two trains from impact?

So, I say cue the heavy breathing, may the Darth masks drop from the ceilings, and lets watch as the media ink runs red with the blight of market apocalypses, shampoo and toothpaste commercials.

This is a contrarian investor’s nirvana, and an opportunity to buy more at better values.

We can only try and point out our perspectives.

Some will listen. Most will not.

So, for those outside the flock, well, we salute you!

Alan Steel, Chairman, Alan Steel Asset Management

 

 

 

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