This wild, wild circus. Faces, personalities, opinions and... advertising
All these experts, all these opinions, all these varying views from the same information.
We have Jim Cramer who seems to be a momentum guy. When things are going up he's bullish, when things are going down he's bearish. His picks and rec's seem to be pretty short term oriented. A traders mentality.
We have Doug Kass who has probably put up the best track record in this whole big shindig. Bearish as can be - almost permabearish - and then flopped to bullish right at the bottom, now turning more bearish and wondering if his 1050 call for the S&P isn't getting less likely.
We have Larry Kudlow who seems like a perma bull (maybe the only one that I see here and there), who clearly dislikes Obama and tinges all his commentary with permabull and political slants.
We have Deutsch Bank, who in general seem really bearish about the economy and things.
We have The Motley Fool who, when I first read their articles in December 2008, seemed to have a fairly normal and positive outlook on the market dip and the long term. I remember reading things like "for all the painw e are feeling, there are some upsides, like stocks that are cheaper than we may ever see again" or "it may get worse, but not forever". Over the course of the 7 months of reading TMF, its attidue seems to have turned bearish or even basherish in attitude. I can't remember reading a positive TMF article in a while saying "stocks are cheap, bargains are out there" or antyhing like that.
We have the Yahoo Message boards. Where 2/3 of the posts have no content more meaningful than "this POS is going down" or "breaking out soon". Where TA posts with practically no detail are more common than posts containing any info about a company. Where what almost certainly have to be paid bashers or pumpers abound, and where its not likely that 1 out of 10 threads will really have any useful information. And where people who claim to be short a stock always pretend to know more than other people or have some secret information. But, for all of that, those boards if you are willing to dig through them remain my SINGLE favorite and most informative resource for learning about a companies situation.
We have seekingalpha whoh apparently lets anybody write and who favors bearishness as much as the CAPs blogs do, where praise for bears is the norm and where accosting bulls is also the norm, creating a sort of self-fueling bear culture.
We have the "Fast Money" gang that don't seem to think about stocks with a timeframe longer than a few days.
We have the very rare guy who seems to have a quiet level headed outlook about it all. They always basically say "come what may, we crashed, its a good time to buy, eventually we'll make money, stop panicking". I like those guys, in my experience wisdom is rarely loud and these guys are certainly drowned out by the rest of us yapping away.
We have Steve Leuthold who said at the market bottom in March that his Grizzly Short Fund was no longer useful as the money to be made in shorts was basically done, and who predicted an S&P 1100 some time this year. He says stocks are cheap. To his discredit he also said stocks were cheap starting last fall, and we wnet quite a bit lower then.
We have more doom and gloom guys than its possible to keep track of and they all basically tout the same messages and they all basically seem to be on the same bandwagon and they like gold and they like this and they all konw we're going down. I mean them no disrespect, but there are SO VERY MANY of them that its tough for any one to stand out. Some notables include:
Roubini. The man who's definiteloy getting rich off this recession. He is, folks, a promoter. For himself. His brand is recession, so he has no choice but to preach doom and gloom. If he flopped now and said "we're back to happy days" he'd probably lsoe alot of money. The schools and other academic institutions that probably sign most of his paychecks tend, in my experience with academics and other non-doers, to like bearish thoughts better than happy ones.
We have Faber, hwo predicts he is 100% sure that the US will have Zimbabwe like inflation, no question about it one day and then in some forum of market experts that my advisor read to me recently... predicts that the S&P has bottomed, disaster is averted and offers he thinks the high for this year on the S&P could be as high as 1050, but no more, and if we get there soon he'd be bearish again.
We have Schiff. Who is as doomish and gloomish as anybody, but apparently has lost pretty much all of his clients money by being wrong despite being a bear through the down phase of this crash.
We have Kass and many others touting cash on teh sidelines as something that could build a floor under the market. We have a guy on tonight saying that all the cash is in, there is no more, its all in, and thats proof that the market is going down, soon, and badly. That was Charles Biderman.
We have Task at Tech Ticker, who seems to have interest only in very bearish almost cynical commentary.
We have the Zacks gang, who talks not much about fundamentals or charts, but about earnings revisions and expectation revisions. Kind of interesting they are...
We have careers made off of one good call, or even off of just really really really promoting that you made one good call.
And we have the CAPs blogs. About as bearish as anywhere, where since I got here if you are very bearish you get many rec's. If you are very bullish you are called an idiot as often as anything else. That attidue has shifted a little in the last month, bulls can ocasionally speak without being accosted now.
We have the charting Technical Analysis guys who have some interesting things, who never really seem to insult or debate anybody, who definitely have a craft neither accepted nor rejected, but where everybody is sort of on the bubble. I always just wonder what their long term results are.
The Bears tend to be more forceful, more emphatic, more certain, more condescending, more absolute in their comments, they KNOW. The Bulls tend to say "historically" or "I haven't any idea if stocks will be higher or lower in one year", and other comments that really really tend not to be emphatic. The Bears seem to hate being debated, and to want to be vocal much more.
All these faces, al these voices, all these wildly varying opinions based on the same evidence.
Probably for alot of people it boils down more to listening to themselves talk, being seen to promote their funds and services and so forth, making a name for themselves on seeking alpha or whatever.
Maybe, my fine fellow fools, its people doing business - advertising themselves more than it is people trying to help or learn or discuss?