Bitcoin Comedy & Stock Market Melt-Ups

Tyler here with this week’s Macro Musings.


Recent Articles/Videos —

Blockchain — We discuss the real value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin — blockchain. We explain how blockchain works and its potential transformative uses.


Articles I’m reading —

A Hedge-Fund Titan Puts Away the Punch Bowl

Our favorite macro investor, Ray Dalio, has some sobering thoughts on how financial assets will perform over the next 10-years.

The problem is that with interest rates and risk premia near all-time lows and debt and asset values near all-time highs, there’s little fuel to repeat the process. Just as the Fed can’t cut rates much, it can’t raise them much either, or debt servicing would swamp cash flow and asset prices would sink. Thus Mr. Dalio sees years of low interest rates, and while he thinks stocks are fairly valued, returns to a typical stock-bond portfolio over the next decade will be around zero after inflation and taxes. Whatever you need to retire, save it now: Don’t count on portfolio returns.

We agree with his long-term outlook. The FED has to battle the end of a long-term debt cycle which is incredibly hard to do. This reality is a tough pill to swallow for passive investors — but as macro traders we look forward to the opportunity that a deleveraging cycle will bring.


Video I’m watching —

Bitcoin has officially entered the manic/euphoric phase. It seems like every single article on yahoo finance is about ‘crypto’ instead of stocks.

I’ve been trying to limit my crypto media consumption because it can easily waste your time away, but this comedic video from Seth Myers is well worth the 5 minutes. It’s friggin’ hilarious and perfectly describes the type of mindless buying we are seeing right now in the crypto space.


Podcast I’m Listening To —

If you want a break from the bitcoin bullish chorus take a listen to Patrick O’Shaughnessy newest podcast on crypto — A Sober View on Crypto.

In this episode he interviews Adam Ludwin founder and CEO of Chain, a blockchain technology company targeted at large enterprises. Adam is long the space but with a healthy dose of skepticism and caution. His background is in venture capital so he knows how the game works — it isn’t all about instant riches and 100% wins.

I found it refreshing to hear a balanced take on bitcoin and crypto from a professional investor. His sentiment mostly aligns with ours — the underlying technology in crypto is super exciting but the actual value of the coins/tokens is questionable.


Chart(s) I’m looking at —

Jeremy Grantham’s latest note included the chart below showing a possible blow-off top scenario in the S&P 500.

We agree with Jeremy in that the market is likely to accelerate higher in the short-term. We have synchronized economic strength coupled with easy central bank policy. This sets the stage for financial assets to rally considerably until the Fed and the other CBs get further down their hiking cycle.


Trade I’m looking at —

The Nikkei has started off 2018 with a roar. Price has completed an upside breakout of an ascending triangle pattern.

We’ve been long since before the holidays and have recently added to positions.  

We’re across the board bullish on stocks (in the short-term) but the Nikkei has the most attractive setup from a technical perspective which is why are are putting on exposure here.


Quote I’m pondering —

The central truth of the investment business is that investment behavior is driven by career risk. In the professional investment business we are all agents, managing other peoples’ money. The prime directive, as Keynes knew so well, is first and last to keep your job. To do this, he explained that you must never, ever be wrong on your own. To prevent this calamity, professional investors pay ruthless attention to what other investors in general are doing. The great majority ‘go with the flow,’ either completely or partially. This creates herding, or momentum, which drives prices far above or far below fair price. There are many other inefficiencies in market pricing, but this is by far the largest. It explains the discrepancy between a remarkably volatile stock market and a remarkably stable GDP growth, together with an equally stable growth in ‘fair value’ for the stock market.  ~ Jeremy Grantham

We should see even more investment managers and individuals buy the market out of FOMO during this final ascent. If you’re going along for the ride make sure to keep your stops tight. There’s no long-term value at these levels.

That’s all for this week’s Macro Musings.

If you’re not already, be sure to follow us on Twitter: @MacroOps and on Stocktwits: @MacroOps. Alex posts his mindless drivel there daily.

Here’s a link to our latest global macro research. And here’s another to our updated macro trading strategy and education.

Cheers!

Your Macro Operator,

Tyler

 

 

Bitcoin Comedy & Stock Market Melt-Ups

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Brandon Beylo

Value Investor

Brandon has been a professional investor focusing on value for over 13 years, spending his time in small to micro-cap companies, spin-offs, SPACs, and deep value liquidation situations. Over time, he’s developed a deeper understanding for what deep-value investing actually means, and refined his philosophy to include any business trading at a wild discount to what he thinks its worth in 3-5 years.

Brandon has a tenacious passion for investing, broad-based learning, and business. He previously worked for several leading investment firms before joining the team at Macro Ops. He lives by the famous Munger mantra of trying to get a little smarter each day.

AK

Investing & Personal Finance

AK is the founder of Macro Ops and the host of Fallible.

He started out in corporate economics for a Fortune 50 company before moving to a long/short equity investment firm.

With Macro Ops focused primarily on institutional clients, AK moved to servicing new investors just starting their journey. He takes the professional research and education produced at Macro Ops and breaks it down for beginners. The goal is to help clients find the best solution for their investing needs through effective education.

Tyler Kling

Volatility & Options Trader

Former trade desk manager at $100+ million family office where he oversaw multiple traders and helped develop cutting edge quantitative strategies in the derivatives market.

He worked as a consultant to the family office’s in-house fund of funds in the areas of portfolio manager evaluation and capital allocation.

Certified in Quantitative Finance from the Fitch Learning Center in London, England where he studied under famous quants such as Paul Wilmott.

Alex Barrow

Macro Trader

Founder and head macro trader at Macro Ops. Alex joined the US Marine Corps on his 18th birthday just one month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He subsequently spent a decade in the military. Serving in various capacities from scout sniper to interrogator and counterintelligence specialist. Following his military service, he worked as a contract intelligence professional for a number of US agencies (from the DIA to FBI) with a focus on counterintelligence and terrorist financing. He also spent time consulting for a tech company that specialized in building analytic software for finance and intelligence analysis.

After leaving the field of intelligence he went to work at a global macro hedge fund. He’s been professionally involved in markets since 2005, has consulted with a number of the leading names in the hedge fund space, and now manages his own family office while running Macro Ops. He’s published over 300 white papers on complex financial and macroeconomic topics, writes regularly about investment/market trends, and frequently speaks at conferences on trading and investing.

Macro Ops is a market research firm geared toward professional and experienced retail traders and investors. Macro Ops’ research has been featured in Forbes, Marketwatch, Business Insider, and Real Vision as well as a number of other leading publications.

You can find out more about Alex on his LinkedIn account here and also find him on Twitter where he frequently shares his market research.