The Van Tharp Institute

September 6, 2006 — Issue #287

Home   | Workshops  | Products  | Contact Us

www.vantharp.com


Do Not 'Reply.'
Click Here To Email info@iitm.com.

Tharp's Thoughts Weekly Newsletter


Thank you for subscribing to "Tharp's Thoughts"

In this Issue:

Workshops

Workshops in Sydney, Australia, $700 Discount Expires TODAY 
Day Trading Workshop, $500 Discount Expires Today

Feature Article

Monthly Market Update by, Van Tharp

Trading Education

Peak Performance for Traders and Investors

Trading Tip

A Review of Market Models: Fundamental Analysis, by D. R. Barton, Jr.

Listening In...

Trading and Emotions, From SmartTraderBlog.com

View this newsletter on-line, or read back issues

 

Workshops:

 

$700 Discounts for Australian Workshops expire TODAY


Peak Performance 101 Workshop Australia

Presented by Van Tharp

September 23-24-25

Learn More  --  Register Now

Combo Pricing Available!


Systems Workshop 
Australia

Presented by Van Tharp

September 27-28-29

Learn More  --  Register Now

Combo Pricing Available!


Day Trading Workshop

Offered only once each year!

Presented by: D.R. Barton and Brad Martin

September 16-18, 2006 - Raleigh, NC

Learn More About the Course...

 

Feature

Tharp’s Thoughts

Market Update for Period Ending September 1, 2006

1-2-3 Model Still in Red Light Mode

By
Van K. Tharp

Look for these monthly updates on the first issue of each month. This allows us to get the closing month’s data.  In these updates, we’ll be covering each of the major models mentioned in the Safe Strategies book:  1) the 1-2-3 stock market model; 2) the five week status on each of the major stock U.S. stock market indices; 3) our new four star inflation deflation model; and we’ll be 4) tracking the dollar.

Part I:  Market Commentary

Are we in a recession?  The CPI is now running at an annual rate of 4.1%, which is probably a low estimate.  The U.S. economy expanded by 5.9% in the first quarter, but that shrank to 2.9% in the second quarter.  That means that the economy expanded at a slower rate than inflation.  So doesn’t that mean we’re in a RECESSION?  I’ll leave the answer to that question to you.  However, the stock market doesn’t really show it, turning in a flat to slightly up month. 

Ironically, the Federal Reserve says that inflation may now be under control and is now worried about the “potential of a recession,” so it finally stopped raising interest rates.  It was probably too late to prevent the recession, based on the figures I just presented, but the U.S. government will probably not release any figures to suggest that we’re in a recession until after the November elections.  

Part II: The 1-2-3 Stock Market Model IS IN RED LIGHT MODE

Let’s look at what the market has done over the last five weeks and compare that with where the averages were December 31st last year.  This is given in the next table. Incidentally, this data is calculated by hand based upon last Friday’s close (i.e., September 1st, 2006), so there is always a possibility of human error in our numbers.

Weekly Changes in the Major Stock Market Indices

Date

Week Ending

DOW 30

Change

SP500

Change

NAS 100

(NDX)

Change

12/31/04

10,783.01

 

1211.12

 

1621.12

 

12/30/05

10,717.50

-0.6%

1248.29

+3.1%

1645.20

+1.5%

 

7/28/06

11,185.68

 

1278.55

 

1510.30

 

8/4/06

11,240.35

+0.5%

1279.36

+0.0%

1503.84

-0.4%

8/11/06

11,088.02

-1.4%

1266.74

-1.0%

1486.74

-1.1%

8/18/06

11,381.47

+2.6%

1302.30

+2.8%

1576.46

+6.0%

8/25/06

11,284.05

-0.9%

1296.00

-0.5%

1557.70

-1.2%

9/1/06

11,464.15

+1.6%

1311.01

+1.2%

1589.47

+2.0%

Efficient stocks.  What’s the market telling me in terms of efficiency?  Here, the data is very interesting.  I now have a proprietary indicator of the entire market—its efficiency.  What percentage of the stocks that I screen show positive efficiency?  What percentage of the stocks that I screen show negative efficiency?  I’ve only been doing this for about six months so I don’t have much historical data.  Overall, the market has been moving wildly in terms of efficiency.  It was 80% positive efficiencies in February.  Two months ago it was as low as 37% positive, and right now it's 57% positive. 

Overall, last month was fairly positive.  We now have an overall positive efficiency rating of 57%.  There are currently 45 stocks with efficiencies above +10 and 41 stocks with efficiencies below –10.  I’ll talk more about efficiencies when I update our portfolio next week.

Part III: Our Four Star Inflation-Deflation Model

I now strongly believe that we are in an inflationary bear market and that our inflation rate is simply masked by government statistics.

So far our models have been telling us, that inflation/deflation is pretty steady, with a slight inflationary bias and that’s where secular bear markets tend to start.

So what’s our new indicator telling us about inflation?

1) The CRB Index

2) The Basic Materials Sector (XLB)

3) The London Price of Gold and

4) The Financial Sector (XLF)

Since the description of the model we’re now using is not in any of my books, I’ll continue to give it here.

1)  The CRB Index.  I believe that the CRB index is the one we have currently that is the least manipulated by the government.  But what’s the best way to measure it?  For consistency, I plan to give two measurements.

·        Is the CRB index higher than it was six months ago?  If it is, we are on track for inflation.

·        Is the CRB index higher than it was two months ago?

Now there are several ways to monitor these two indices.

·        If both differences are higher, we’ll count one star for inflation. 

·        If the six-month change is higher, but the two-month change is not, then we will only count ½ star for inflation.

·        And if both the two and six month changes are lower, then we’ll be minus one for inflation.

·        However, if the six-month change is lower, while the two-month change is higher, then we’ll be minus ½ star for inflation.  Obviously, the two minus scores will point to deflation.

2) The Basic Materials Sector ETF (XLB).  In an inflationary environment, basic materials will definitely go up and this sector, to the best of my knowledge, is not manipulated by the government.  Thus, we will use this sector to monitor inflation and we’ll use the same measurements used for the CRB.  (1) Is the XLB higher than it was six months ago?  (2) Is the XLB higher than it was two months ago?  These two measurements give us four possible results.

·        If both differences are higher, we’ll count one star for inflation.

·        If the six-month change is higher, but the two-month change is not, then we will only count ½ star for inflation.

·        And if both the two and six month changes are lower, then we’ll be minus one for inflation.

·        However, if the six-month change is lower, while the two-month change is higher, then we’ll be minus ½ star for inflation.  Obviously, the two minus scores will point to deflation.

3) The London PM Gold price at the end of each month.  Although the government can manipulate gold, I still like to look at monthly gold prices.  However, to be consistent, we’ll use the same two measurements that we’ve used for the other indices that we are monitoring.  (1) Is the price higher than it was six months ago?  (2) Is the price higher than it was two months ago?  Again, these two measurements give us four possible results.

·        If both differences are higher, we’ll count one star for inflation.

·        If the six-month change is higher, but the two-month change is not, then we will only count ½ star for inflation.

·        And if both the two and six-month changes are lower, then we’ll be minus one for inflation.

·        However, if the six-month change is lower, while the two-month change is higher, then we’ll be minus ½ star for inflation.  Obviously, the two minus scores will point to deflation.

4) The Fourth Measurement we’ll use is related to the Financial Sector of the S&P 500.

The financial sector (XLF) tends to do well when we have deflation and poorly when we have inflation.  Martin Pring, in fact, has used an index in which he divides the XLB by the XLF.  Since we already use the XLB, we’ll use the XLF by itself as well.  Again, we’ll use the change over six months and over two months.  However, the four possible outcomes with give us a different interpretation.

·        If both differences are higher, we’ll count one star for deflation (i.e., minus one for inflation). 

·        If the six-month change is higher, but the two-month change is not, then we will only count ½ star for deflation (i.e., minus ½ for inflation). And if both the two and six month changes are lower, then we’ll be plus one for inflation.

·        However, if the six-month change is lower, while the two-month change is higher, then we’ll be plus ½ star for inflation.  Obviously, the two minus scores will point to strong inflation.

Okay, so now let’s look at the results for the last six months.

Date

CRB

XLB

Gold

XLF

November 30th

332.49

29.67

495.85

31.87

December 30th

347.89

30.28

513.00

31.67

January 31st

363.30

31.74

568.25

31.95

February 28th

353.27

31.06

556.00

32.63

March 30th

364.70

32.35

582.00

32.55

April 28th

379.53

33.50

644.00

33.96

May 31st

385.65 (6/2)

31.95

653.00

32.56

June 30th

385.63

32.10

613.50

32.34

July 31st

391.49

30.90

632.50

33.08

August 31st

390.95

32.19

623.50

33.52

We’ll now look at the two-month and six-month changes during 2005, to see what our readings have been.

Date

CRB2

CRB6

XLB2

XLB6

Gold2

Gold6

XLF2

XLF6

Total Score

August

Higher

Higher

Higher

Higher

Higher

Higher

Higher

Higher

 

 

 

+1

 

+1

 

+1

 

-1

+2

The results of this model are much more sensitive (I believe) than the model I presented in Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom.

The model is now showing the increase in inflation with the CPI growing at a 4.9% annual rate.

Part IV: Tracking the Dollar

The U.S. dollar is still looking weak, although it’s relatively flat for the year and has a fairly low rate.  This is another reason why the Federal Reserve needs to continue to raise rates. When interest rates are high, people are attracted to the dollar.  But when rates are falling, they will dump it quickly.  The IMF has already said that the dollar, at current rates, is 35% overvalued.  Can you imagine the impact of the dollar falling another 35%?

The Dollar Index

Month

Dollar Index

Jan 05

81.06

Jan 06

84.45

Feb 06

85.26

Mar 06

85.17

Apr 06

84.05

May 06

80.78

June 06

81.66

July 06

81.32

Aug 06

82.09

Sep 06

81.33

What’s the impact of all of this?  I don’t really know except that it's part of the secular bear market that we are in and it’s part of the debt crisis that I’ve been talking about.  For a country to accumulate debt as significantly as we have, that country must have the world’s reserve currency.  And one implication is that, fairly shortly, the U.S. dollar will no longer have that status.  At that point, we’ll have a lot more problems selling our debt, which means T-bill and T-bond rates will probably go much higher.  And that could have an imploding effect on those who have a lot of debt.

I’m going to be traveling in Australia and New Zealand from September 13th through October 9th.  Consequently, the market efficiency update will be next week (a week early) and there will not be a market update published in October.  I do still plan to have an efficiency report in October and the next monthly market update will be out November 1.

Until then...this is Van Tharp.

About Van Tharp: Trading coach, and author Dr. Van K Tharp, is widely recognized for his best-selling book Trade Your Way to Financial Fre-edom and his outstanding Peak Performance Home Study program - a highly regarded classic that is suitable for all levels of traders and investors. You can learn more about Van Tharp at www.iitm.com.

Trading Education

Van Tharp's Peak Performance Home Study Course

The Ultimate Home Study Course for Traders. 
  • How to Use Risk 
  • How to Control Stress 
  • How to Control Losing Attitudes 
  • How to Develop Discipline 
  • How to Make Sound Decisions

Contains the five books listed above, and four CDs. 

More Info...

“Your course is the most powerful material I have ever come across on trading. It is challenging and therapeutic for those who want to be better traders and less neurotic in their personalities.” —J.M. 

“A few months ago I purchased your ‘Peak Performance Course.’ I can honestly say it’s the best investment I have ever made towards my career and aspiration to trade my own money from home.” —E. M. 

 

Trading Tip 

A Review of Market Models:  Fundamental Analysis

by

D.R. Barton

So far in our review of market models, we have focused on technical analysis – the analysis of price, volume and other measures of a trading instrument’s activity.

For the next few weeks we’ll look at fundamental analysis – which is by far the most widely used method of stock evaluation and it is used extensively in the futures, currencies and bonds, but in a slightly different fashion.  Our look at fundamental analysis will focus mainly on its use for stocks.

At its core, fundamental analysis attempts to measure the intrinsic value of the underlying issue. 

Fundamental analysts will look at both qualitative and quantitative data to make a judgment on the intrinsic value of a security.  These measures can be broadly classified as

·        Macroeconomic data that affect the market and the sector,

·        Microeconomic factors that affect just the company itself.

In the coming weeks, we’ll break these areas down into the primary measures used by fundamental analysts and look at the usefulness of each.  We’ll culminate our study with my favorite fundamental yardstick.

But now on to our rubric:

Is it theoretically credible?  Of course – many economists and financial analysts would argue that ONLY fundamental analysis is meaningful and that technical analysis is some sort of voodoo.

Who’s it most useful for?  Long-term traders and investors. While there are some short- term plays (like buying before an earnings announcement and selling afterwards), but for the most part, fundamentals are taking a long-term view.

How Fanatic are the fans?  Extremely!  As I mentioned above, there are large groups of adherents that believe this is the only way to evaluate a stock.

Is it being used by real-life traders?  Of course.  Most of the best traders I know look at both the fundamental and technical picture regularly.

Great Trading!

D. R. Barton, Jr. is the Chief Operating Officer and Risk Manager for the Directional Research and Trading hedge fund group. D. R. has been actively involved in trading, researching, and teaching in the markets since 1986.  D. R. has taught extensively in many investment areas including intra-day trading, swing trading, and cutting edge risk management techniques. 

His writing credits include co-authoring Safe Strategies for Fin-ancial Fre-edom and co-creator and contributing author on Fin-ancial Fre-edom Through  Electronic Day Trading.

D.R. presents the IITM Swing Trading Workshop and Professional Tactics for Day Traders Workshop. Each workshop is only held once each year. 

Listening in...  

www.smarttraderblog.com

September 02, 2006
Trading and Emotions

To trade well you need to overcome the emotional hurdles that tend to get in the way. This means having a business plan, having systems with well documented rules that are tested, and then having the discipline to follow those rules. When you have this, you have a chance to follow the discipline that will lead to success.

However, everyone has emotions that tend to get in the way of following your rules. This comes up occasionally in long- term trading. It comes up much more in swing trading. And it's very noticeable in day trading. And then when you really notice it— or at least I do— is in playing poker. You have a few seconds to make a decision but you are still getting over your feelings from when someone else made a stupid bet against you and was rewarded on the last card with an exceptional stroke of luck. You did everything right and that person was rewarded.

That's a lot like following your system...overall, you'll make money. But sometimes the trade just goes against you. However, in the short term it just feels like that other guy did something stupid and was rewarded and it's not fair. But the key here is to make sure that you don't do anything stupid while you're feeling emotional to ruin the next hand. And this is one of the main challenges of poker and of good trading.

Also, 

Participate on our Trading Forum,  a place for traders and investors to share ideas and learn from each other. 

 

Do Not Reply to this email using the reply button as the email address is not monitored, your email will not be seen. Please click this link to contact us:  suggestions@iitm.com

The Van Tharp Institute does not support spamming in any way, shape or form. This is a subscription based newsletter. 

If you no longer wish to subscribe, Unsubscribe Here 

Or, paste this address in your browser: http://www.iitm.com/privacy_policy.htm

 

The Van Tharp Institute
102-A Commonwealth Court, Cary, NC 27511 USA
800-385-4486 * 919-466-0043 *  Fax 919-466-0408

Back to top

Copyright 2006 the International Institute of Trading Mastery, Inc.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

Quote:

"Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours." ~ Ronald Reagan

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Back to top

.

.

.

.

.

 

.

Free Trading Simulation Game

A computerized version of Van's famous "marble game." 

It is designed to teach you the important principles of proper position sizing. 

Download the 1st three levels of the game for free. Register now. 

 

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Back to top

 

.

.

.

Workshop Schedule

Sept 16-18 Day Trading
Sept 23-25 Peak Performance 101
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Sept 27-29 Systems Development
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Oct 23-25 17 Steps
Oct 27-29 Mutual Funds & ETFs
Nov 3-5 Peak 101
Nov 7-9 Peak 202

 More Info...

.

.

 

.

.

.

.

Back to top

.

 

.

.

.

.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to top

 

 

 

Share this newsletter with a friend!