Sunday, January 11, 2009

Markets Lesson from Football

Last week, I lamented going 0-4 in the NFL wild card games. All the teams I either wanted to win or thought would win lost. Its a good thing I don't bet on this stuff!

And then there is this weekend. Through the first three games I was 0-3. At least the Steelers, and I am not a fan nor a hater, look to be on track to beat the Bolts with a dozen left in the fourth quarter.

So what's the market lesson here? It's that no matter how you prepare and how the odds are stacked in your favor, the market is always going to throw a monkey wrench into the machinery, if not at your head. We already knew how bad employment was but summing it over the year and then graphing it was enough to make anyone sick. Stocks sold off.

Analysis and forecasting is a game of probabilities. The problem with being 99% sure of an outcome is that there is still that 1% event. Not necessarily a black swan but if the outcome falls in that unbelievable to expect 1% we still lose as if it were a coin toss.

On paper, we make our forecasts. The Panthers, Titans and Giants should have steamrolled their opponents - at home, with better stats and every reason to expect to win. So, let's keep studying, get all that stuff on our side on paper (trend, volume, momentum, cycles, sentiment, etc.), and then make sure we prepare for the market not doing what we thought it should do.

As they say, be humble when dealing with the market of the market will do it for you.

3 comments:

gingersue said...

You are making this mistake...When NFL teams go into the playoffs, the team with the best defense will go far in the playoffs and beat great offensive teams along the way through. The top three defensive teams this year? Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Philadelphia. That would have helped you a lot with your picks.

Quick Takes Pro said...

Well, NY was supposed to be pretty good on D, too. And that does not explain how Arizona, with no D at all, made it through.

Like I said, I don't bet on these things, just root, root, root.

At least pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks. :-)

gingersue said...

You're not getting my point. Arizona made it through because they have yet to face a good defense. The Panthers and the Falcons defense were ranked 18th and 24th, respectively..The Cardinals will face a good one for the first time this weekend in the Eagles.

And the Eagles had a better defense than the Giants, so that explains that.

http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&conference=null&role=OPP&offensiveStatisticCategory=null&defensiveStatisticCategory=GAME_STATS&season=2008&seasonType=REG&tabSeq=2&qualified=true&Submit=Go