Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value, and laughter;  a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place.

 

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2/7/2005
Victor Niederhoffer: Nobody Asked Me, But...

  1. When a hedge firm stops reporting monthly results to the performance rating services, chances are the returns were much below their norm. And this was the first tip that all was not well with predictions made in the Gladwell article.
  2. The lessons that one gains from shuffleboard -- particularly about using the block, i.e., the St. Pete and the Tampa, and going for the numbers only at the end of a frame when the predictions concerning the hammer's moves are much better -- reminds me of proper strategy for the game of seeking market returns. After hitting a number, a block is always the best strategy.
  3. The market has not shown a decline for an extended period, and this should have put the trend followers back on the wrong leg again.
  4. The trend following firms have lost from 4% to 20% in January 2005, and this seems like a cruel blow after they were crowing about their great comeback in 2004. Such letdowns are often the case in games, and life.
  5. A History of the Businessman by Miriam Beard is one of the best reads I have had in recent months. Section headings include: “The Heritage of Antiquity,” “The Patrician City Rulers,” “The Monopolists,” “The Individualist,” “The Big Businessman.” I loved the chapters on the merchants of Venice, the Dutch business empire, swordsmen and salesmen of the Homeric Age, Bourgeois and Puritans in France and how the American Revolution blazed a way for the manufacturer.
  6. The hearings on painkillers coming up in next two weeks should lead to a communitarian solution that will appear to slap the wrists of Big Pharma while precluding entry and showing the regulators have  big teeth.