Take The Zero-Hedge Test

Being permanently bearish on equities definitely pays.

Just ask Zero-Hedge. Unfortunately, for wool-dyed pessimists and the other overly-skeptical black sheep of the thundering herd, it pays apocalyptic newsletter writers’ paychecks, and Zero-Hedge/Tyler Durden’s Manhattan bar tabs rather than those who permanently position against market priapism. And it’s worse than zero-sum because those who are optimistically-challenged often pay for the bad advice – whether directly in subscriptions, inflated margins on retail bullion products, or indirectly via page-views and click-throughs AND then they get hosed by the market.

The first step to improving behaviour toxic to one’s own self interest is admit one has a problem. As an aid to help those who have difficulty in distinguishing “a bearish trade” from “the lead boots of anger and pessimism”, I’ve devised a little something I call the Zero-Hedge Test to determine more precisely whether readers objective realities are sufficiently  paranoid, pessimistic, anti-social and rantingly angry to warrant more serious help.

Instructions: Circle the letter that best describes the adjacent image:

a.  a glass of water
b. glass of water, half-empty
c. glass of water, half-full
d. glass of  errrr ummm , Grey Goose vodka? (NB: ed. choice)
e. The US Government must have stolen half of a glass of water.


a. First black elected (and first to be re-elected) President of the USA
b. Barack Hussein Obama
c. A Former Senator from Illinois
d. tall guy who used to like to sneak a cigarette now & then
e. Jezebel, dark Sith Lord Vader Emperor & Chief of the Plunge Protection Team. Odious non-American african muslim responsible for taking away our world-beating healthcare, encouraging the immigrants and foreigners who took our our jobs, and formulating a secret plan to put two-dads in every home .


a.  Something that still buys a 12oz can of Coca-Cola
b.  A greenback, worth a dollar, which, on average, an American is paid each 4 minutes of work
c.  A US Federal Reserve Banknote almost universally accepted in exchange for goods and services the world over
d.  A cocaine hoovering apparatus c.1978
e.  Worthless fiat toiletpaper, so useless that bric-a-brac, watches, baseball cards or bitcoin should be more preferred than this P.o.S. that forms part of the elders of Zion grand plan to steal your labour savings before eating your babies.


a. six would-be wedding bands
b. 1oz novelty of pure gold smelted by JM
c. Au = element #79 on Periodic Table
d. Reward for a 9.59 sec 100m
e. The solution to all our financial problems…changer of men from liberal faggot zionist atheist swine into god-fearing hardworking people of fortitude and rectitude…curer of cancer, balancer of budgets….purifier of all our precious bodily fluids and divinely-given laws….come, my preciousssss…


a. ummm Europe?
b. Site of the war which was believed to be the war to end all wars (excepting the worse one that immediately followed)
c. Continent with mix of culture, cuisine, history, engineering, and civilized living standards
d. A place for Brits to go on holiday
e. Socialist commie cesspit of looney bureaucrats, unworkable financial alliances, gulag-healthcare systems, leading the world in obstinate unions, lazy workers, regulatory morass and geographical epi-center of the soon-to-be-arriving disintegration of civilized life on earth.


a. a bull market
b. an uptrend
c. a squiggly line
d. reflection of long-term (nominal) growth
e. an accident waiting to happen caused by insane, stupid, or insanely stupid people, or conspirators doing insane and stupid things that will end very very badly with the dystopian destruction of the civilized economy as we know it and reversion to an economic life of warlords and barter using nuggets of gold and silver as portrayed in that film with Kevin Costner, “The Postman”….


a.  beginning of a 5-year bull market
b.  beginning of an uptrend
c.  a squiggly-line
d.  technical reversal of severely oversold position
e.  an obvious orchestrated short-squeeze caused by the elders of zion and their 0.1% lackeys controlling the Soros-Rubin-Banker-Fed-Axis pulling the levers at the Fed Plunge Protection Team for the sake of enriching their cabal whilst duping and hiding the truth of how the rich steal money from hardworking ordinary Americans


a.   a pooled investment in Gold
b.   a low-cost alternative to buying, holding, storing & insuring physical commodities
c.   an easy liquid way to bet on the price of gold
d.   useful asset allocation tool for diversification
e.  a conspiracy to defraud honest hard-working speculative investors who’ve put their hard-earned savings into physical bullion held at secure vaults outside the USA, who have been cheated by the depressing influence these instrument have on the physical gold price by diluting the buying power which would otherwise raise the price of Gold benefitting all the other paranoid gold-bugs and survivalists who’ve already bought physical bullion in the form of coins at significant premiums or for delivery in a secure vault outside the USA.


a  provider of goods for the shelves of Walmart
b. ambitious nation that has (for the moment) successfully lifted hundreds of milllions of her citizens out of poverty
c. future demographic bomb resulting from 1-child policy
d. one of the oldest civilizations who made fine silks when most Europeans were donning animal skins
e. yellow peril mercantilist currency manipulator who took our jobs (please watch -C.) who are taking the places of children of hard-working americans at our top universities and the trading rooms on Wall Street, and who are taking over ownership of our country


a. a man with a beard
b. Nobel-prive winning economist
c. Princeton Prof & contentious NYT columnist
d. Consistent proponent of the view that it is better to try to grow rather than austerity our way out of economic depression.
e. A liberal faggot anti-christ he-Devil, devoted to Keynes and insulting to the spirit of the greatest economist of all time: Ludvig von Mises causing vilifiers to wonder why the USA Govt can increase its credit card bill, when if they do it (individually), they just get mean letters from Capital One or the card-services department at their bank; just wants to take the money of hardworking Americans and give it to entitlement-cheats who make babies to collect welfare and food stamps so they can buy drugs and Fritos (in that order).


a. impractical fashion trend
b. An accessory when listening to late-night radio
c. a joke from ser. 6, ep. 6 of Big Bang Theory
d. art project c.1977 gone very wrong
e. an important tool in preventing aliens and the American government from influencing your thoughts and controlling your brain which is one of the best kept secrets along with the PPT, George Soros’ role as the leader of the conspiracy by the Elders of Zion to take over the world financial system and rule the world and keep the hard-working man dumb and stupid and rig the system against  hard-working Americans.
How to Score:

a=1pt; b=1pt; c=1pt; d=1pt; e=5pts


Interpreting the results:

0  - 11 –  Surely a grad from an effeminate liberal east-coast university
12 – 22 –  Got some financial redneck potential in you
23 – 33 –  Wishing you had a Kazcynski-cabin of your own?
34 – 44 –  Likely owner of guns, ammo, & survivalist subscriber
45 – 55 –  Honorary Fight Club Member; NB: The NSA is watching you…

Category: Psychology, Really, really bad calls, UnGuru

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

13 Responses to “Are You A Perma-Bear? Take The Zero Hedge Test”


    Thanks, Cassandra!

  2. raholco says:

    Makes me wonder how Mish would score.

  3. louiswi says:

    Yes, totally Hilarious and a terrific example of how to create a loony-meter!

  4. RW says:

    LOL, looks like I gots me some financial redneck potential.

    Thanks for the laugh, I needed that.

  5. b_thunder says:

    A warning: making fun of ZH is like wrestling with a pig: you both get dirty, but the pig likes it.

  6. MayorQuimby says:

    Laugh all you want at bears but I’m one and made out really well the past few years investing in bonds. The deflation trade was as profitable as most equity trades and with much less risk.

    That is clearly changing now but people who sat in cash are the ones who missed out, not bears.

  7. contrabandista13 says:

    You know… Even a broken clock has the correct time twice a day… I like both, debutantes and chamber maids…

  8. ToNYC says:

    Easy, tiger. Anonymous sharks on line don’t bite like they do even in quiet rooms.

  9. Phil says:

    The first test needs another choice.

    f: The specifications for the container are incorrect.

  10. [...] ZH Test (via Cassandra at Ritholtz.com). I cannot improve on the introduction to the test, which everyone should take, if only for a [...]

  11. bobnoxy says:

    Is this where the bull market geniuses are hanging out these days? It sounds a lot like how the bear/realists were sounding the alarms in 1999 and 2007, and getting laughed at, like in this nonsensical post.

    The realists scoffed at The New Economy horseshit in 1999 and were ridiculed. When Bernanke didn’t see a recession or housing bust in 2007 and Kudlow was cheer leading the Goldilocks/Bush Boom at a new Dow high in ’07, the realists were laughed at too.

    No problem. Maybe this time is different and the debt messes around the world are no problem at all. That one insolvent European country is bailing out another, only to look at that same country for their own bailout is perfectly normal.

    That more people here are on food stamps and Medicaid, and that there are 5 million fewer jobs today than at the last Dow high is all meaningless. Load up. Nothing at all for you to worry about.

    Cramer, Abby Cohen, Brian Wesbury and Jeremy Siegel are stars again. Follow them down their rose covered path…again. How could that possibly go wrong, huh?

    If things are so good, why is the Fed keeping rates at zero for what could be another 2 years? Why are they printing a trillion dollars a year to prop up the bond market? Why is the government running trillion dollar deficits?

    Eh, nothing to worry about. Load up.

  12. DeDude says:


    After 3-4 years of yelling about the hyperinflation that was just around the corner, you are telling us that what you actually did was “the deflation trade”. Not only that but a very risky “deflation trade” since you clam to have done as well as a stock index fund. You sure are a tricky dude.