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Words to the Wise 

2005年のクリスマスの後、12月27日のWall Street Journalの記事を自分で記録していたものを、以下に添付します。投資向けの格言の様なものですが、たまに読み返したりして、使っています。

この内の一つに関して、次のエントリーで取り上げる予定です。(そっちは、いつもの様に日本語の解説をベースにします。)

有名なのも多いと思いますが、何かの役に立つかとも思い、記録していたものを、ブログの方に投稿します。日にちがいつなの不明だったので、サーチしたところ、面白いものでThe Big Pictureでもこの件のエントリーがありました。(人は同じ様なことを考えますよね。)

(いつも、ご訪問ありがとうございます。ご協力の程、よろしくお願いいたします。)
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A cliche a day keeps Wall Street loses away
Tuesday, December 27, 2005

By E.S. Browning, The Wall Street Journal

Words to the wise: Buy low, sell high, and don’t follow the crowd. The Street of Dreams (Wall Street) is paved with clichés. Analysts love to write that stocks offer “positive price potential” and are in “sustainable advances.” Price targets get “revised upward.” Stocks rarely seem to sport negative potential or falling targets.

And yet, some of the clichés can be helpful, if only as red flags. The above phrases scream that the advice being offered can be taken with a grain of salt. And some other old saws actually are rooted in market reality.

“The market is all about attitudes and people,” says Phil Roth, chief technical market analyst at New York brokerage firm Miller Tabak. Many sayings “started because they contain a grain or more than a grain of truth.”

So herewith, dear reader, in honor of the season, is a gift box of beloved Wall Street adages, with explanatory notes appended. Without further ado:

Santa Claus Rally
Oddly enough, stocks often rise right after Christmas. In fact, the entire fourth quarter is, on average, the year’s strongest. The Dow industrials have suffered a fourth-quarter decline just once in the past 10 years-in 1997. The average is up about 3% in the current quarter. The fourth quarter usually is a strong time for corporate profits. Investors are looking ahead to big injections of retirement money into stocks in the new year, and at Christmastime, people tend to look for better days to come. So today might-might-be a good day to buy.

Sell in May and Go Away
Sounds like nothing but a catchy phrase, but amazingly, it often is good advice. Over history, the market’s biggest gains have come from October through April. From May through September, the market, on average, rises little. But that’s not always the case. From October 2004 through Aprils 2005, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just 1%. It went up almost 4% from May through September of this year. In most ye3ars, though, the winter is better for stocks. Why? See above.

Summer Rally
This is talked about almost as much as the Santa Claus rally, but it is a dubious concept. Sure, stocks tend to rally at least once in most seasons, but historically, summer tends to be a weak period. Stocks tend to bounce up and down over the summer and hit bottom in September or October. September, historically, is the worst month for stocks, the only one that averages a noticeable decline. Summer tends to end with a thud.

Beware the Dead-Cat Bounce
Some stocks-and some entire markets are so troubled that they just aren’t going to rebound for a while. In such cases, the temporary bounce is a fake, a rally that won’t last. The origin of the phrase, in brutal terms: Even a dead cat will bounce a little, if it falls from a high enough perch. A dead-cat bounce can be caused by bearish investors covering their bests. They sold borrowed shares in hopes of replacing them with cheaper ones bought later, called shorting. After their buying starts, the stock climbs, but when they finish, the decline resumes.

Bulls and Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered
Another saying that is cruel to animals, but at least it is self-explanatory. If you have a clear investment plan, be it bullish or bearish, you have a chance of success. If you get greedy, pushing a bet too far or staying in a risky investment too long, you may suffer.

Don’t Fight the Fed
An old rule on Wall Street is that two things drive stocks: Corporate profit and interest rates. When the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, as it has been for almost 18 months now, it puts a burden on companies and consumers alike. You should expect the stock market to have trouble-which it has. This time, at least, stocks haven’t fallen, as they have during many previous periods of rate increases.

Don’t Fight the Tape
This has mostly to do with crowd psychology. If the market, once tracked by ticker-tape machines, is moving strongly in one direction, up or down, it may not be a great time to bet the other way. No matter how smart you are, or how good your analysis, short-term market momentum can overwhelm your genius. To quote more clichés: Don’t fight the trend. Timing is every thing. Pick your spots. The trend is your friend.

Stocks Climb a Wall of Worry
This seems like upside-down logic, but it actually makes sense. Stocks tend to rise when investors are anxious. That was the case in October 2002, amid market scandal and an economic slowdown, when the current bull market began. Bull markets begin after people have taken money out of the market, and have it free to invest. As investors resolve their fears, one by one, they put money back in and stock rise-climbing a wall of worry. Stocks top out when people become too optimistic. This year, they rose in late October, after worries about profit and interests had grown, then ran out of steam as worries eased in December. So this year, Santa is investors’ last best hope. The corollary is instructive, too: Buy to he sound of canons; sell to the sound of trumpets. Translation: Buy when people are too pessimistic, sell when they are too optimistic.

Don’t Catch A Falling Knife
This is the opposite of the “wall of worry” maxim above. Sometimes, when things look bad, they are bad, and it is too soon to buy. Think General Motors Corp. Anyone who tried to catch GM stock this year, such as investor Kirk Kerkorian, found it knifing right through their hands. GM repeatedly plunged new lows. Related: Don’t get in front of a freight train (or a Chevy, in this case.)

The Market is Driven By Fear and Greed
Wait a minute. We thought it was driven by profit and interest rates. Oh, well. It is driven by fear and greed, too. When the stock market is doing well, investors set aside fears and build higher and higher expectations for stocks. They become so greedy that they pay inflated prices, thinking stocks never will fall. Expectations become impossible to meet and that’s when a bear market sets in. Remember the bubble? As stocks crumble, greed is replaced by fear, driving stocks still lower. Eventually, fears become excessive and stocks have nowhere to go but up. That’s when the old “wall of worry” kicks in. Investors begin to work through their fears, and stocks rise. Then comes greed again.

Buy the Rumor, Sell the news.
Stocks often rise on chatter speculating about pending good news, such as a strong corporate profit announcement. When the news actually breaks, short term traders sell to take gains. If profit news doesn’t exceed Wall Street expectations, the stock may rise before the news but then stagnate or fall afterward. Indexes can do the same. This year, it seems, most of the year-end rally may have occurred early (on the rumor) in November. This cliché also works in reverse. If bad news is anticipated, you sell the rumor and buy the news.

Never Short a Dull Market
This year has definitely been dull, without much sharp movement up or down. Amid rising oil prices, hurricanes and Fed rate increases, you would think it would be a fine time to short the market, betting that indexes would decline. But as this year showed, that can be a dangerous move unless there is a strong catalyst to posh stocks down. Stocks this year have tended to go nowhere, and those who bet on broad market declines have been wrong, although many short sellers betting against individual stocks have had a fine year.

It’s Not a Stock Market; It’s a Market of Stocks
This is sometimes expressed as, “This is a stock picker’s market.” Money managers say such things when the overall market is going nowhere. The way to make money, they say, is to pick stocks that will beat the market. Trouble is, history shows that few people are gifted stock pickers. Trying to beat the market can be a recipe for disaster, as most people stub their toes on that other cliché, buying high and selling low.

A Cliché a Day Keeps Wall Street Losses Away
E.S. Browning
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, December 27, 2005; Page C1
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113564768089231861.html

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