I often use a quote from Senator Barry Goldwater from his 1964 Presidential run. "I'd rather be right than President." Well, he was right - about not being President.
I used that line in a presentation to a San Francisco group a long while back and they grumbled when I merely said "he was right." I had no dog in that fight so it was not a political statement. However, liberal San Fran apparently was not enamored with "Mr. Conservative," as he was called.
But I digress. The message here for traders is "I'd rather make money than be right."
I am convinced that gold will top 2K and stocks will go into one more cyclical bear market before the next great generational investing period begins. However, holding that view in 2013 clearly proved unprofitable and there is the message. Trader what is happening and not what should happen.
Again, I am convinced it will happen. But while we wait, we might as well exploit what is happening to make some money today.
As a financial journalist, I cannot flip flop in my positions. Nobody would pay to read my stuff and even the tire kickers, you know who you are, would no longer seek out my free offerings. However, traders can change their minds whenever they feel like it - rather whenever the market says to do so.
I was wrong to like Apple after it bonked to 450 but it's not far from there today. Not much damage.
I was wrong to think gold washed out on its first plunge to 1350 but guess what, it is not far from there today. Drawdown agita but only opportunity cost lost.
I was wrong to fight the Dow's trend earlier in the year but I did go with the secondary breakouts. Kicking and screaming and certainly not all in but enough to make some money.
I am alive to fight another day. Perhaps the reputation is besmirched a bit but alive nonetheless. Many a hedgie far smarter and better capitalized than me has blown up completely. Of course, it is not fair that they return with new suckers, er, investors, to do it again - or go into government.