Thursday, February 8, 2007

Hold Until Relieved

Those should be your thoughts about your long position in the stock market. Today was a prime example of ignoring beefer ping pong games when there is no significant "new" news. The beefer bears (probably underinvested & underperforming) hit the market hard on the HSBC report of subprime mortgage losses. That was "non-new" news, expected for months. Heck, what would one expect from "sub-prime" loans - you expect to lose some money in a turndown. Why else are they getting those fat rates? So they take the market down as the real buyers are patient, waiting for dips to deploy cash. And as the day ends, stocks recover mostly.

"Hold until relieved" - those were the orders for the reinforced elite company of Major John Howard of the British 6th Airborne Division on D-Day, for the final phase of their daring night glider landing in German occupied territory near Caen, France. They were ordered to take the two bridges over the Orne River and the Caen Canal and "hold until relieved" by the units landing at dawn on Sword Beach. That great movie, "D-Day" covers this well, being faithfully based on Cornelius Ryan's great book of the same title. The scenes of that unit's commander are inspiring as he ponders those orders, "Hold until relieved".

You need to remember that scene when the markets get rough as the beefers attack. For us, "relieved" means some real news about a change in economic outlook. Nothing has changed.

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