If there is one thing that the stock market has no shortage of, it’s opinions. At this year’s 2012 World Outlook Conference hosted by Money Talks’ Michael Campbell, the only thing in greater supply than those opinions was the demand of the people who wanted to hear them.
Attendees at this annual investor conference got to hear approaches varying from market astrology and seasonal equinox tracking to cold hard statistics on sovereign debt. Even though the speakers may have painted a picture of doom and gloom, their experience on being able to profit from the situation is what drew people in. Some speakers, such as Keystone Financial Publishing’s Ryan Irvine kept it simple by stating “to beat the market you can’t be the market.” To sift through opposing opinions, however, is not easy especially when you hear “opinions” such as “the market could go up or down from here.”
Which way is up?
Much of the time you have to be the ultimate judge, and make decisions based on “the facts”. Josef Schachter’s presentation was full of useful, publicly accessible “facts” about the mess the US economy is in; Don Vialoux presented his “facts” about seasonal trends in the market and how they consistently show up and influence stock prices and Martin Armstrong gave his forecasts on the way the current “facts” about the economy will play out over time.
So how can one separate news from noise? It’s not easy. The first thing to understand is that opposing opinions are exactly what make a market the place to decide on what something’s worth. There really is no substitute for doing your own homework, either on the companies or asset classes being talked about, or doing your homework on the people giving you their opinion on where to park your capital. Investment conferences such as these offer a great opportunity to hear some informed opinions and hear speakers give their take on the world.
The Bottom Line: Follow the Law of the Investment Jungle
To have a long shelf life in the markets is not an easy thing – some think you have to be a great timer, some believe you need to see beyond the hype and some believe you need to trade the hype. Whatever the case, long time trader Mark Leibovit, in spite of the accolades he’s earned, says he’s just fortunate to be a “survivor” of the markets showing that unless you see the market as a place to eat or be eaten, chances are you’re on the menu.