Head Games

This morning started out like most others. I got a very early start hours in advance of the open and began my exhaustive routine. I had a cup of coffee, perused headlines for 20 minutes, caught up on a couple emails, engaged in some mindless chatter with some long-time trade buddies (purely drivel— none of it market related…or shareable) and then spent a half hour breaking down the charts in the same way I have for years. Okay, not exactly exhaustive…

And then something weird happened. While engaging in some serious multi-tasking (peeking at a laptop trying to decide whether to front-run the cash open on the CL while making an omelet—impressive, I know…), I came to realize my 10-yr old was talking to me about Facebook.

Frankly, I thought he was asking me—YET AGAIN—if he could have an account…resorting to the “everyone else does” argument. To which I began to hit him with that parental gem bout following everyone else off the proverbial…

Before I could fully impart that bit of wisdom he cut me off and told me that Facebook was gonna go down because nobody likes them in New York………… What?

Fair to say I was a bit stunned.

I came to find out that he had been switching channels and had happened upon CNBC while searching= for his show. He told me he heard them talkin bout Facebook and decided to listen.

So, let me get this straight… The talkin heads in one make-believe world were able to beat out the animated crew of Adventure Time (including Jake, the magical talking dog) for the attention of a 10-yr old. WOW…that’s pretty damn impressive…and scary!

Which brings us round to a………point.

Aaahh yes, there’s actually something very important in all this. There are lots of peeps and mediums out there competing for the attention of traders and investors… And they’ve polished their game to the extent that a 10-yr old boy can be sucked in and indoctrinated to their message of the moment.

Now I want you to think about that for a moment. A totally disinterested party can be influenced in mere seconds. How bout someone who’s got skin in the game?

Well, I did chew on it a bit this morning and decided to do something I hadn’t done in a long time… I left the TV on throughout the first half of the trading session—I even turned on a second set, effectively creating a surround-sound Bloomberg-CNBC jam session. I did it like a test…much like ordering the apple slices versus the fries at McD’s. No problem…I can resist that perfect combination of salt and hydrogenated oil…what’s the big deal…

Man, were they cranking out the wisdom…wise peeps telling me to beware being long, short, in or out of this market. Dueling anal-ists graciously arguing the point of whether this had been a good or relatively lousy earning’s run and how that portended good or bad for the markets near term.

And mixed throughout was every imaginable angle on Facebook…from the botched IPO to their inability to monetize their mobile platform to whether or not Zuckerberg would or should host the earnings call after the market. My favorite—and the most intelligent angle in my book—was discussion on whether some activist investor would force Zuckerberg to hang up the hoodie and slippers and don some grown- up cloths if the stock continued to struggle….not making that up…lol

So, why do I share all of this? Simply stated and without going into boring detail, my trades this day were influenced by the noise being spewed out at me. I know better than to be influenced, having been round the block more than a few times, yet thoughts and doubts not before present managed to seep into my feeble psyche…what ifs…may he’s right…I should take a look at that…maybe I should wait till…

Thoughts begone! Grrrrrrrrr……

My point is this—–You’ve certainly heard Preston, Karson and others here preach against getting caught up in the noise, hyperbole and “wisdom” that’s always out there—competing factions fighting hard to gain your attention and tell you what you can and can’t do…should and shouldn’t be doing…all with THEIR OWN BEST INTEREST at heart.

That said, today was a reminder for me bout how tough it can be to push back that noise—if a 10-yr old can be coaxed away from an animated magical talking dog and some hip cohorts, then what chance have I (and I’d have to say most peeps) against such temptation…

Hopefully you’ve taken heed and are following P&K’s Traders Edge advice. Fact is the only way to do so effectively is to literally shut it out…turn off the TV, be discerning in which newsletters or services you subscribe to, and refrain from endlessly surfing the Web for trade ideas and advice……..period!

~L