Posts filed under “Markets”
File this under Read It Here First: Early December, we noted that the Farmer’s Almanac predicted a rough winter:
“November through January will be mild, with little snow and milder-than-normal temperatures, but by the end of March, winter will be remembered for above-normal snowfall and below-normal temperatures, on average, especially in the south. The coldest periods will be mid-December, mid-January, and from late February through mid-March. The heaviest snowfalls will occur in early, mid- and late February and early and mid-March.”
The upper mid-west area says: “Winter will be colder than normal, with above-normal snowfall in the east and below-normal snowfall in the west. After a cold November, December through early February will be much milder than normal, on average. The remainder of February through mid-March will be exceptionally cold. Other cold periods will occur in late December and mid-January. The snowiest periods will be near Christmas and in late March.”
The temperature today (1/18/05) is not expected to go over 18 degrees. As I write this (5:29am EST), Oil is back over $49. Futures are notably weak.
Props go to the Farmer’s Almanac, who makes their weather predictions a full year in advance — and still run an 80%+ success rate . . .
Last month, Jim Cramer ripped Edward Jones a new one; While I agreed with what he said, I didn’t bother to follow up because I assumed Ed Jones had come clean.
From today’s WSJ:
"Edward D. Jones & Co. received $82.4 million in secret payments from seven mutual-fund firms in the first 11 months of 2004, through a lopsided fee structure that in some cases gave the brokerage firm more compensation for selling poorly performing funds than for selling stellar performers.
The disclosures were posted yesterday, on Jones’s Web site as required by its $75 million agreement to settle regulatory charges that it failed to adequately disclose the payments to investors. They are by far the most detailed figures ever made public on the industry practice of mutual-fund companies paying brokerage firms to induce them to sell their products, an arrangement known as revenue sharing. Unlike front-end sales commissions, which are widely disclosed to consumers, revenue sharing has been largely secret."
That’s pretty egregious behavior. I used to think well of Edward Jones as a firm. Non mas. . .
Here’s Cramer’s comments:
Each year, fund manager Doug Kass steals (Morgan Stanley’s) Byron Wien’s list of unlikely events — 25 possible surprises — for the following year.
The surprises are not predictions, but instead represent long shot events with a better than expected chance of occurring — despite generally low public beliefs in their liklihood.
Call them variant perceptions.
Doug notes "I have long felt that developing a variant view (read: surprise) remains an integral part of differentiating one’s investment returns. Mainstream and consensus expectations are just that, and, in most cases, are deeply imbedded in today’s stock prices."
Kass: "The real purpose of this endeavor was to consider positioning a portion of my portfolio in some part based on outlier events — with large payoffs. After all, Wall Street research is still very much convention and groupthink, despite the reforms over the past several years. If I succeed in making you think about outlier events, the exercise has been successful. "
I couldn’t agree more . . .
Here is his list of possible surprises in 2005: