Looking Beyond Today
Being present is highly overrated.
A few years back, as part of the ongoing quest to slay the dragon that is my ADD brain, I downloaded a meditation app using the same selection criteria I’ve always used when confronted with multiple digital offerings of which I know nothing about – I picked the pretty one.
The cultivated British accent of one Andy Puddicombe - ordained Buddhist monk, student of the circus arts, and founder of Headspace – lilting from my iPhone let me know that once again aesthetics proved their worth.
Over the next few weeks, I dove deep into the bowels of the app, immersing myself in the practice of “mindfulness,” which encourages us to maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they relate to the here and now.
“Mindfulness is all about being present,” said Andy on a recent daily meditation. “Forget about tomorrow or yesterday and focus on what’s right in front of you today.”
Great advice for life, not so great for this market.
In sports, the “sweet spot” is the area around the center of mass of a bat, racket, or the head of a club that is the most effective part with which to hit the ball. It’s the spot where you get the optimal ratio of effort to result.
Across the spectrum of market participants, ranging from scalpers to buy-and-hold investors, swing trading is the sweet spot.
Last week I was on a Twitter Spaces in which a speaker extolled the virtues of the current volatility, proclaiming, “If you’re a trader you’ve got to love it. This is what we live for.”
Personally, I’m not a fan of these overnight news flows, which, like a coin flip, can gap the open triple digits in either direction based upon the whims of a Soviet-era despot.
Day trading sounds sexy, but I’d rather hold one position for three weeks than be in and out of three in one day.
And for that reason, despite the daily incitements to the contrary from the clown monk who lives in my phone, I’m trying to be less present.
At least in this market.
In fact, I’m doing the exact opposite, projecting out 5, 10, even 20 years from now and wondering if some of the prices we’re seeing in beat-up growth stocks will look like generational buying opportunities?
I don’t think we’re there yet, but it feels like we’re getting close.