Dissent is good. There is no question about it. The free wheeling discussions are one of the finest aspects of this web site. But as we all know discussions can go down ratholes and become repetitive, heated or even personal. My observation is that this is more likely when the market is going down than when it is going up.

About a year after I had been participating in this web site I developed a personal rule to help me identify when a subject had been over-discussed. For me the rule was:

When I find myself repeating points made earlier it is time to disengage from the discussion.

By this standard the discussion on Commitment of Traders was still productive and worthwhile. For those who wish to learn more about Larry Williams's Commitment of Traders work a good start would be his latest book which is entirely devoted to the subject.

Dr. McDonnell is the author of Optimal Portfolio Modeling, Wiley, 2008


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