A Bear Perspective

I found this chart a nice visual display of important information. As a data scientist I am intrigued to see how the world of data visualisation is growing. The levels of creativity are truly astounding. I am amazed how some people see all the information in the raw numbers while others see the information through visual expression. I am in the latter camp.

I am currently working on a consulting project for a life company in which we are developing a business intelligence model from their data, and as you would expect the best way of creating this intelligence is through the visual medium.

Oops I wrote so much to say so little ………

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Bear Out of Hibernation

Could it be that the bear has finally poked his head out from hibernation?

I have just found myself scrolling through some charts of major indexes getting a feel for how things have been performing of late. I have had no interest in the markets except for a brief period 2 weeks ago when watching the Shanghai exchange encounter a selloff.

I have noticed a little weakness the past few days and with yesterdays 8.5% selloff on the Shanghai exchange I have now some renewed interest. I looked at Gold, Oil which have been particular weak and now I can see the broad US indexes displaying some rolling over behaviour. I think this one can morph into something quite big. I have said that a few times, only to feel the ice cold draft prompting me back into hibernation.

I am feeling particularly ratty today, I know I had a late night and early start and some people in the office are annoying me. However as a journal writer over decades I have seen this pattern before where my mood often acts as a precursor to something bigger in the markets. Talk about seeing imaginary patterns, or not 🙂

Take a look at Gold and Shangai

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Rich Peoples Problems

I was speaking to one of my investors today and something was said that triggered a memory of something I recall learning from King Solomon in Mishlei (30:9). My investor a wealthy individual was describing his concern about his wealth following a string of unsuccessful investments.

King Solomon says in Mishlei (Proverbs) “Give me neither poverty nor wealth, a lot me my daily bread.” One of the interpretations of this verse relates to the fact that it isn’t only poor people who have worries, but rich people as well. The rich fear losing what they have, this can be equally as worrying as a poor person worrying about where their next dollar will come from. Logically it doesn’t make sense but the more wealthy people I come across the more I see them suffering with stress and anxiety about hanging onto that wealth.

We always say to ourselves that if only we had $X million we would be happy with no worries. Well I hate to shatter that illusion, I witnessed it today and King Solomon a thousand years ago tipped us off to this amazing insight.

My mother is a wise women, she always says to me pray for average. Mom you ain’t the fool you look 😉

A New Home

I am really excited tomorrow I start working out of a new fintech hub in the Sydney CBD. The Australian government and business community is starting to address the great need for startup entrepreneurs and in my case fintech startups. For the last 6 months I have been floating around, working from any place that grabs my fancy. It has been both amazing and frustrating. Like all things in life, when viewed by an outsider it is natural to assume only the positive. Let me explain.

Most people in the workforce have to go into an office, arrive at a certain time and leave at a certain time and not miss any days, unless they have a legitimate sick note, or apply for leave. The last 6 months I have had none of that, I start and end work whenever I want and work from any location I wish. Awesome? Yes – it is but it isn’t without its negatives.

Firstly, don’t for one minute think that this approach equals less hours worked. In my case I would defy any corporate worker to show they have worked more hours than I have. If you are a disciplined person with a lot to get done, having this freedom doesn’t mean this is a chance to shirk work effort because the “boss” isn’t watching. If you are thinking like this you need to re-examine your work ethic or your job.

Secondly, and for me the most important point of this post is that having such freedom of choosing where you wish to work from: home, library, coffee shops, car, park, beach, etc is both liberating and unsettling. By nature I am not someone who likes to be restricted, I like my freedom, but I am a mature adult and know that freedom is only a partial right, there are responsibilities which one cannot/shouldn’t avoid. While I have nurtured this “Wandering Archetype” of my psyche the last 6 months I feel I have also become slightly unbalanced, constantly moving. I may work from home, then the kids come home and make a noise, or I am on a call and disturbing them, so I move to a coffee shop, I have a coffee then feel like I am taking too long and occupying their space to move on, or I am enjoying myself working from the public neighbourhood library and then a group of young kids start to disturb me and so it goes, I can sometimes feel like I am continuously on the move with no anchor.

In conclusion we go through experiences that we need, it is our way of self-regulating our inner-self, and knowing me like I know me, it was something that I needed to recharge my batteries for the next phase. To the outsider it looks perfect and invokes emotions of envy, but the truth is the person experiencing it experiences it differently; it is part of what he has to experience, and it isn’t always positive despite the way it looks to the outsider. You can extrapolate this out to the way we look at people with exceptional wealth and envy their position. We must not forget they too are experiencing their journey and while it may look perfect from the outside, I guarantee you it is fraught with its own positives and negatives.

The pieces in my new startup venture PsyQuation are slowly coming together. Stay tuned to learn more about my journey

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Can Dish it but Can’t take it

The Shanghai Stock Exchange has been in free fall for the last 3 weeks with many calling the selloff irrational.
Most forget that the Chinese market was the hottest stock index in the world last year with metoriac rises over the last couple of years.
When a market is hot people start to wonder when should you sell. You wait and wait and get more anxious. Finally the market starts dropping and you say let me lock in my gains and so the process unfolds until most people are heading for the same exit door and the stampede is ugly.
This is the nature of the markets they go up slowly in value sometimes a little faster than usual and then get ahead of themselves. Sensible investors identify this and cash in and typically also land up getting ahead of themselves until they create more value opportunities and so the cycle of the markets continues. Usually 5 steps forward and 3 steps backwards. Sometime in individual cases like stocks it goes back all the way to zero.
If you want to play in the game called the markets you have to be prepared to take as good as you give.