The Classic Bear Bottom

Bear BottomThe only bear bottom you can recognize in real time.

As I toasted a bagel in the kitchen at Fairway this morning, I heard a talking head on TV describe the Christmas Eve market drop as a “classic bear bottom”.  A couple of the show’s co-hosts nodded sagely in agreement, but one pressed him.  You recognized this as the bottom?  Seriously?  And of course he did.  Market breadth, IPOs, and the Federal Reserve all pointed to a “typical” bear bottom.

Don’t Believe It

The idea that you (or anyone else) can recognize turning points in the market is poison.  The conversation’s casual tone is noxious.  If this guy has figured out how to time the market, why is everyone yawning?  Financial professionals recognize this guy is just bullshitting for the cameras, but civilians might think he’s serious.  They might be tempted to ask their “money guy” why he doesn’t invest based on market breadth, IPOs, and Federal Reserve pauses.  The truth is this guy doesn’t invest that way, either.  It’s a way to look smart on TV two months after the fact, but it’s harmful as an investment strategy.  You don’t want to daytrade your 401(k) based on some old guy’s folksy confidence.  Yes, I know he reminds you of Uncle Herbert, but he also had to spend money to do his 5 minute infomercial (talking his book).