Apr

16

The fool tarot cardWhat are the many types of people who disseminate their views about the market?

There's the tout, the man who has a position and wants you to get into it so that it will move in his favor. There's the sponsor, the man who advertises or sponsors a program who is always treated well by that program. There's the would be manager, the personage without funds who wishes to impress you with his knowledge and ideas so that you will put money up with him. There's the old lion, the man who no longer is virile and is fighting back any young men who might take his place in the world of power or romance. There's the curmudgeon, the old man who hates everything modern, doesn't own a CD or computer and sees no reason for it, and wants to bring everyone back to the old days without technology. There's the spankist, the woman who's beautiful and always looks like she is so aggrieved with the pubic or her guest that she would have to give him a good spanking unless he puts his things in order. There's the iconoclast, the person who's always contrary and never reads the papers or travels to New York, and always feels the market is wrong.

There's the man with a hole in his shoes who's so down home that he only drinks coke and eats hamburgers and never pays a fee more than 10% of the going rate to the brokers. There's the sanctimonious, the one who pretends to be the most honest person in the world– who won't under any conditions tolerate a blemish in the reputation of his firm even if it costs him a good stake. He's the one who never hears or is briefed about the dishonesty in his troops and finds that any allegations of misdoing in his firm that are brought to his attention never pointed directly in writing to the crime. There's the academic, the man looking for a consultancy who can manipulate numbers especially retrospective files that are very suggestive of alluring profits that a wealthy investor might wish to participate in with him. There's the mystic, the person who looks at the stars and the bent keys. There's the old timer, the person that looks at the iron castings reports and freight car loadings and newsprint figures for guidance as to where the economy is going. There is the fund manager, the man who will always be quoted on a given stock that he owns which he feels is a good buy still but which he sold the bulk of his holdings of in the quarter before the recall.

There's the jack of all trades, the personage who will explain the market going up as due to a good economic report or falling interest rates or who will explain the decline as due to uncertainty about earnings or fears of interest rate rises. There's the chronic bear, the person who never since 1966 has written a column that did not find the weight of evidence highly bearish with signs of excess in many quarters and regrettably some signs of optimism still persisting. There's the humanitarian, the person who believes that the world is very selfish and that the solution is to force everyone into doing good by redistribution or service. This personage also believes that the only good people are the poor and that the purpose of life is to make sure that any pockets of poor are stamped out regardless of how it's taken or from whom. Of course, many of these personages fall into more than one of these categories and they are mobile as their age and wealth changes. What are the major categories that I am missing or what is a better way to classify and make this useful?

John Lamberg comments:

And the mark, who in a hushed tone, glazed eyes, and a glance around the room as if someone was eavesdropping, reveals the privileged information that will make him a rich man. And the friend who, seeing the tells, suggests to deaf ears to exit before his pocket book is emptied… 

Ken Drees writes:

Permabull type–always likes the market anywhere, anytime. Wears high fashion suits, well coiffed–male or female. Strong BUY! spouse/lover/significant other–why didn't you buy that, hun? Why won't you get back into this one, dear. I read about that in the paper–are we in that? Foreign fund guy–always likes an exotic market somewhere over there in that far off place. Always a better value there. Always more room for catch-up to other valuations. 

Nick White writes:

With precious few exceptions, doubtless one can point to many of the most eminent bank of Sweden prize laureates…they most often get trotted out as permission to allow others to do the thinking. 

Kim Zussman adds:

Don't forget the Walter Mittyist.

Market hobbyist with secret hopes to surprise to the upside. Knows a little about a lot, but nothing in depth. He dangerously equipped with the same software and data filtered hourly by everyone in the 100 million Mitty-march.

Known to recognize causal patterns everywhere, convinced they are invisible to others. A market philanderer, he migrates wounded from one instrument to the next, and from one seductive strategy to another. Momentum - reversion - correlation - divergence.

Mitty envies his brother, Admitty, who worked for the city and retired at 50 with 90% pay.


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