Reader Ryan M sends us this.
I just wrote this letter to CNBC, thought I would share.
I'm a millenial with some cash to throw around. I've dipped my toes in the stock market this past year but after today's action, I have to say I'm done. Forever. Gone. Don't count on another dime of mine in the market.
There is so much that is infuriating about this market that it's hard to know where to start. Let me start here: the total BS open we witnessed today. And lest you think this is a letter from a whiner who sold out in the open only to see stocks ramp higher, think again. I sold nothing out but I also bought nothing. What infuriates me is that average people like me are hurt both ways when the market does its best flash-crash impression since, well, the flash crash... I'm sure countless little guys had their stops absolutely steamrolled this morning only to see the big guys scoop up the shares on a discount. It's disgusting. What's more then that is that the only "people" that can really take advantage in such volatility is HFT's. Any normal human being staying at his screen seeing the Dow down over 1k has to sit and think for a minute, "What the heck is going on? Is there something I don't know about?" Ask yourself those two questions and it's too late. You are either stopped out or you miss an opportunity to buy shares at a price you could only have dreamed of. A price that likely won't come again for you anytime soon. The only "people" who can react to those pricing distortions in real time are computers. This isn't a place for small time people like me.
What might be worse than this is that most of us are stuck at small discount brokerages that had major execution issues this morning including TDAmeritrade and Scottrade. Let's assume you are a human being who doesn't ask the two aforementioned questions and just sees the Dow down 1k and decides to throw a dart in the blind and just hit the buy button. Then your brokerage house can't get you an execution cause the little guys systems don't work.
Now, what absolutely sickens me is that the problems are completely underreported on your network. Nanex recorded 4,500 mini-crash events this morning. And yet as the Dow is presently rallying you are making it out as if the market truly recovered 800 points (and we'll probably close green!). We all know that the open was nothing short of a sham of epic magnitude and yet you have the gall to act as if all was normal and the market is now just on a torrid rally after being down 1k. It's not even bearable to watch. You are doing your viewers a massive disservice.
Finally, on a different subject, one thing that this Chinese Yuan devaluation has revealed is that nobody has any idea in hell what any asset is really worth. There has been such an enormous artificial edifice built up around the markets to propel prices (not markets) forward that the pricing mechanism is distorted beyond distortion (if that's even possible). The english dictionary needs a new amplified word to adequately describe the magnitude of the distortion going on in capital markets around the world due to central bank manipulation, lack of liquidity, HFT fraud and other chicanery.
The only reasonable thing that any little guy can do is sit back and say, "Wow there is a lot of distortion going on and I can't even guess at these prices." So what is there left to do? I think all people like us can do in order to once again put money in the market is to see a very large deflation such that multiples contract and we can be confident that the edifice has collapsed and we are therefore now much nearer to true price discovery. Every valuation metric is distorted, technical analysis is distorted because countries around the world are drawing lines in the sand of FX, bond and capital markets vowing to defend them. How can anyone believe the prices? They can't!
My advice to my generation if they would like to buy various assets is to just literally say to yourself, "Don't think about the price or what other people are paying. Just ask: 'What would I pay for 1 share of XYZ, knowing it has an artificial edifice around it?'" Then take a swing while flying blind and pray you hit it.
But until that is no longer the case, count me out. Me and my entire generation.
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And in other news, this: