Random Tuesday Macros

A round up of observations from a rough day for markets.

A Tweet I sent out this morning (please follow me @randomroger);

> Whatever you think about the current downtrend in the ~~$~~SPX, if you're at least 28 years old you've seen much worse at least one time. If you're at least 38 you've seen much worse at least twice, stick to your process/discipline whatever that is.

A Tweet from Brian Portnoy that echoes much of what I have been saying for many years;

> Questions for these sorts of times: 1. Do you have a plan? 2. If so, have normal stock market losses derailed your plan? 3. If so, do you have the *right* plan? 4. If not, do you know that saving and spending decisions are as important as investment decisions?

I've shared numerous times on this go around (and every other go around) the steps I have taken to help clients avoid the full brunt of what might be turning into a large decline. Clients own BTAL which is a specialized long short fund, SH which is an inverse fund and PTLC which switched to 100% T-bills a couple of weeks ago. All three were up today (and yesterday, actually PTLC was unchanged on Monday). My expectation continues to be that if the market heads lower that these will grow to hedge more of the portfolio and if the market turns around and recovers then they'll be a small drag. If things continue I will likely take further action. Remember, for now the market is still only down a little.

Another Tweet I sent;

> in a similar vein, realizing when you don't have an edge, someone on Fintwit was talking last night about needing an edge, arguably realizing you don't know more than others is itself an edge

This one ties in the other ones above; I don't know what will happen in the market next. My opinion is it will struggle and is in danger of further declines under the weight of tariffs (I can't believe we are talking about tariffs). My "edge" is realizing I don't have a great feel for this but that I have a process to fall back on that I am capable of staying faithful to. There is nothing about that sentence that is beyond your reach. It may be harder for some to get there but just about anyone can.

Nick Maggiulli had a blog post titled Four Things Leonardo da Vinci Can Teach Us About Investing. The four topics (Nick then provides color on all four);

  1. Study Many Disciplines
  2. Let Experience Be Your Guide
  3. Write Down Your Thoughts
  4. Stay Curious

Not only are they useful for investing, they are even more useful for life. They all help to keep us moving forward which promotes growth and prevents stagnation.