|John, Michael, Maurice:|
I've been on a roll, since late 2000, and made no big bad calls. But, before that, I've made some really horrible calls. Look at my posts on the WCOM thread in mid-2000. I thought WCOM was a Safe stock, a Value, at 40. I was loaded up by 30, and held all of it, all the way down to 13. So, please, don't think I'm a genius, just because my recent track record is good. I'm not.
I do everything in increments, precisely because I don't think I or anyone can call specific tops and bottoms. My AMAT sell at 50 didn't happen. But I offloaded all my TXN at 30, giving me the cash to buy back now. At some point the Bull Market will resume. Or maybe we get a Bear Rally that lasts a year, and brings the Nas (temporarily) to 3000. I spend a lot of time guessing, and post my guesses, but I am likely to be wrong a significant fraction of the time. And I change my mind a lot.
Where I am now, and Guesses-of-the-Day: At the beginning of this month, I was 35% cash. This week, a lot of buy points have been hit, in EMC, AMAT, CSCO, TXN, and CMH. As of today, I started using margin. Last October, I had posted I wouldn't start using margin until the Nas was tetesting it's October lows (1400). I'm buying more at higher levels (started using margin at Nas 1700, down from intermediate top of 2100) , because I now think we don't retest the October lows. I was very encouraged by the conference calls I listened to this earnings season. IMO, liquidity and a (modest) rebound in the fundamentals will put a floor under stocks. I expect that managements for tech companies will be cautiously guiding analysts to raise forward earnings/sales/margin expectations, and this has to be good for stocks. But war and valuations will put a ceiling on stock prices. In particular, I think our government is committed to overthrowing the Iraqi regime, a job much more difficult than the Afghan war. This can't be good for stocks.