I was talking with a wine shop owner and the term ’10 Commandments’ came out, causing TB to think about it. Here is the result:
- Thou shall not buy inferior wine because it’s cheap; only if that is what you prefer
- Thou shall not buy wine off the ‘wine wall’ in supermarkets, or big box stores; support your local wine merchants
- Thou shall not keep buying wine in the same price bracket (i.e. $5-10), without trying to move up ($10-20), until you find little difference in taste. For most people, once you get above $30, the differences become more subtle
- Thou shall not serve red wines too warm or white wines too cold, thus bringing out the flavors
- Thou shall ignore those numerical ratings unless you have found a wine critic whose tastes are similar to your; do not adapt your taste to the critic
- Thou shall not buy cheap wine then go to a restaurant and pay $30 for a bottle of cheap wine; when possible bring your own bottle and pay the corkage fee
- Thou shall not bring a wine off the shelf of any restaurant, and check to see their corkage policy before bringing any wine
- Thou shall not bring a bottle of wine to a dinner and expect your wine to be served; it is at the option of the host who may have planned out wines paired with the meal.
- Thou shall not turn up your nose at a bottle of wine given you as a gift, or served by a host at their home; accept it as it was intended – like it or not!
- Thou shall not be a ‘wine hog’ at a restaurant dinner to get more than your share of the bottle; and if asked to pick the wine either survey the guests on price, or pick up the tab for it yourself
Just ten? There must be more…and there are. Submit your own. Recall the film History of the World – Part II? Moses descending from the mount, with two tablets, each containing ten commandments? He drops one as he is speaking, saying: “I give you the twenty (drops one), ten commandments.”
So this list is in no way complete, but if it makes you stop and think, it has served its purpose.
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.
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