“The most underrated investing skills are controlling your emotions and having your career coincide with a 30 year decline in interest rates.”
- Morgan Housel.
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To fund managers of a certain age, January means more than just nursing December’s grisly accumulated hangover. It carries hopes for a better year, dreams of world peace, and the arrival of SocGen’s annual investor conference hosted by Albert Edwards. The audience numbers at this event have long been treated by some as a reliable contra-indicator. Human nature being what it is (flawed), and given Albert’s reputation as a permabear, an audience “packed to the rafters” at the Grosvenor Marriott in early January equates to unusual interest in the bear thesis – which is typically followed by a barnstorming year for the markets. “Tumbleweed” equates to widespread complacency – which is typically followed by distinctly sub-par market performance. This year’s attendance was solid but not exactly Beatlemania, so its implications for market returns are as yet unclear.
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