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From Pillar to Post

We are only given the world once. Usually that’s not a big deal from an investing standpoint, because the possible parallel universes aren’t that far apart in their market consequences. Over the next three weeks (and maybe longer than that!), the fact that we are only given the world once is a very big deal indeed.

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The Best Hedge

Markets happen at the margins. So does narrative impact on the market.

That’s important for understanding our semi-bearish narrative monitor signals here in October, as well as for understanding why they may not matter very much right now.

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Cartoon Network

This Friday’s jobs report could show a wage inflation “shock” as salaried Americans work fewer hours to help out their kids with a shattered school schedule.

Maybe it will end up being nothing, but there are plenty of algos that trade these releases immediately as they are reported, and this is classic example of how an algo can get really wrongfooted when the underlying ultra-stable data series goes haywire. Forewarned is forearmed.

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The Beachball Theory of Volatility

No matter how hard you try to keep a beach ball underwater … pushing it, sitting on it, laying on top of it … it seems to have the mind of a trapped animal, turning and spinning to get to the surface at all costs.

I think exactly the same thing is true when it comes to volatility in markets.

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Adventures in Hollow Market – SoftBank

I don’t know if this is what SoftBank did.

But this is how I would do it.

Although I wouldn’t because I think it’s probably illegal.

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September Monitors and Election Risk

My take on the “massive” VIX election premium? Not massive enough.

This isn’t a “fiscal cliff” we’re talking, which was about as manufactured a “crisis” as I’ve seen. This is an honest to god non-trivial chance that we have an intractably disputed election and Constitutional crisis in the United States, against a backdrop of widespread violence in American cities. If that sounds like a VIX of 30 to you … well, bless your heart.

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The Inflationary Shock Recipe

Massive real-world household formation growth + positively correlated stock and bond prices + ZIRP forever and ever amen = an inflationary shock to your portfolio.

I don’t know when, and I don’t think it happens before the election, but this is the recipe.

The time to start preparing your portfolio for an inflationary shock and the havoc it will wreak on what you think is a well-diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds is NOW.

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Webinar on Security Analysis Narrative Monitor

We think we can identify the periods where market participants are primarily focused on either multiples, fundamentals, or technicals in the way they talk and think about investing.

Each of these narrative regimes – multiples-focused, fundamentals-focused, and technicals-focused – generates a powerful signal of subsequent market dispersion (cross-sectional volatility) and subsequent market performance.

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A Banner Day

It’s a big day for us here at Epsilon Theory, as we launch a new monthly narrative monitor – Security Analysis Methods.

That’s a mouthful and it sounds boring, but I promise you it’s anything but. Even more so than the Central Banks monitor, I think this is the most powerful investment application we’ve developed yet.

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Narrative Monitors

Legacy Monitor Archive (Pre-January 2020)