Vol. 2 No. 2…how did TB do in 2015?

(Note I have two blogs. The other is   This article was supposed to be published on this site on 12/31 as the final edition of the year. While updating the other site I found it. Here it is. Mea culpa! The one on GSR’s is coming in a day or two. TB)

Like most of us TB does some reflecting at year-end and thought about his goals and how well he did this year – the first for the blog.

  1. Goal was to put out at least one blog every two weeks. While I more than accomplished it, the unevenness (due to a number of things), was disappointing to me.
  2. I met with and talked with several winery owners on trips to the Basque Country of Spain and France, La Rioja, Ribero del Dueros, California’s Central Coast, New York, Canada, and even a local winery.
  3. I covered the craze for cheap wine (Two Buck Chuck), and encouraged people to drink what they like but on one night a week try something different.
  4. I stressed that YOU are your own best wine critic and for that reason I don’t rate wines here but mention ones I have had and really liked.
  5. I read two books related to the Chinese and Bordeaux and how greed has taken over as wine hungry (and wine illiterate) Chinese pay exorbitant prices for First Growth Bordeaux while the Bordelais over-spray the crops to eke out every last drop; try to drive their neighbors from the non-classified and even some Third Growth chateaux, while lowering the quality of the wine. Why? Because only the Chinese can afford the wine and it is mostly speculation creating a huge bubble that hast to be near bursting. Note this has not happened in Burgundy where the vineyards are small and there is already a shortage of the best wines.

So how did I do? I ask you and would appreciate any comments or suggestions. Me? I gave myself a B-, mainly due to not staying on schedule even though I published six more columns than necessary.

Wishing you all the best in the new year and for all of 2016!

Trader Bill

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How did Trader Bill originate? It was conceived by me as a way of providing information summaries of global financial markets so that friends and associates could bring themselves up to speed on events and changing market conditions upon their arrival at work. In addition, it provides information on speakers and economic releases that day with consensus estimates and level of last release so that the reader is prepared to react, or knows how the market might react upon the release of information. Who is Trader Bill? Initially any reference to me was as ‘i’. This is to remove the aura of ego and to suggest that i am but a humble reporter, albeit with 35 years of investment experience. Investments are demanding of ego, however, or one would not feel that he was qualified to manage someone else’s money in the first instance. Therefore i needed an ‘alter-ego’. Like Winchell and Mahoney, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and especially Trader Vic and Mai Tai’s! Why Trader Vic? Because he was a likeable man who delivered pleasure to his customers and knew exactly what their desires were. The reason for the alter ego became obvious once I introduced Trader Bill into my commentaries: people started asking what Trader Bill thought. They had never asked me what I thought before, but suddenly they wanted to know what TB thought! Now mind you they KNEW that I was Trader Bill but for some reason he became bigger than life. Maybe it was the small ‘I’? What does Trader Bill try to do?His goal is to educate from his years of experience. Consider that most of the traders and people managing investments weren’t even around in 1987 for the crash! Consider that Graham and Dodd, and even Warren Buffet are not relevant to them, too old hat. Their historical perceptions of markets and fundamentals (earnings, price/earnings ratios, bonds, debt service coverage) are irrelevant in this fast moving world. This is the NEW ECONOMY, or is it? How did your style originate?Years ago i found that i had a knack and talent for writing. In addition, i developed an ability to analyze market news about 15 years ago. It took the Crash of ‘87. Prior to that i was just listening to what others said about the economy. But bond yields had been soaring in ‘87 yet the stock market just kept hitting new highs. That was when i began to learn about markets. i have both a dry and witty sense of humor (some call it inane!). Therefore i attempt to make even the worst news somewhat amusing: whether it is the absurdity of an economic release, or the comments of a CEO. This is trading desk humor (or gallows humor). It isn’t politically correct but it does ease tension. Ironically, it is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (in the Navy they say: it’s always darkest before it’s pitch black!), that allows you to be more objective in your analysis, as bad as a situation is there will still be a tomorrow! You will see that i practice three-dot journalism, a style made famous by San Francisco reporter Herb Caen, whom i idolized. At least to me it is effective. What is so special about your analysis?Frankly, i don’t know that it is special, but at least it beats “the market closed down today on profit taking.” What i do know is that most of what you read is spat out without considering whether or not it is rational, like the above statement. Is it right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, and that is the key to what is different about my analysis: it is meant to make you think. Is Dan Rather right or is Trader Bill right? If it causes you to stop and think about it, regardless of whether you agree, i win! Because THAT is my goal…not to have you think i am a guru, got that? Bet you never heard that ANYWHERE before in my business! Instead they want you to think just how smart they are but remember in this business if you are right 60% of the time you ARE a genius! Another thing that is different is when i am wrong on an analysis i will tell you, not hope you forget what i said. So now you have the tools to do what the speculators and hedge funds do: challenge authority, and if you make money it is because YOU did it not me. i was just a tool, your flunky to do the grunt work and let you decide…course you could be wrong too but at least you looked at the big picture. But the goal is also to have fun! This shouldn’t be a business of hushed tones and grim faces. It is a living, breathing thing and nowhere else in the world do you have the odds as much in your favor as here. Just beware of the guy who wants to put his arm around you and tell you he is your friend. So there you have it. I hope you select me as one of your sources for market information. If you do I promise to work my best for your financial success. Trader Bill

One thought on “Vol. 2 No. 2…how did TB do in 2015?”

  1. Hi Bill,

    I’m a regular reader of your wine articles. I always enjoy them, both from the wine and travel standpoints. Unfortunately, I can’t take advantage of many of the wines you mention. Tahoe City is a bit lean on wine selections. I pick up what I can when we’re in SF. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I always look forward to your efforts and give you an A.



    From: Trader Bill on Wine Reply-To: Trader Bill on Wine Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2016 19:03:20 +0000 To: Warren Wagner Subject: [New post] Vol. 2 No. 2Šhow did TB do in 2015?

    WordPress.com traderbill posted: “(Note I have two blogs. The other is This article was supposed to be published on this site on 12/31 as the final edition of the year. While updating the other site I found it. Here it is. Mea culpa! The one on GSR’s is coming in a day or two. TB) Like”

    Liked by 1 person

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