Zak Mir weekend missive – When I’m 84 and sloppy financial journalism!

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When I’m 84

While we may live in a world where youth and being youthful is all the rage, it would appear that the old guard is still capable of making a splash. This is despite one of the favourite catchphrases of my 81 year old father being, “There is no fool like an old fool.” He wheeled this one out when it was announced last year that fellow octogenarian and active punter George Soros announced he was engaged to be married – to a woman not just half but almost a third his age!!

 Another member of Zak Mir Senior’s peer group is of course Warren Buffett who was also in the news for a non financial markets reason as he recently announced prostate cancer treatment. Being a retired GP Dr Mir followed Buffett’s progress closely. 

Clearly, when people are in their 80s thoughts do naturally turn not only to issues of mortality, and why some of them are still working as no less a man than the Pope paid testimony to last week…

 In the past week we found out that just because you are in your 80s, have had the odd health scare, or are even foolish enough to risk throwing everything away by getting married (again), you can still be on top of the heap in the financial world.  (Shareholder activist Carl Icahn at 76 is no spring chicken either.)

Mr Soros has just been revealed to have made $1bn by shorting the Yen – equalling his triumph in monetary terms of 1992 when the UK got kicked out of the ERM. Mr Buffet meanwhile is busy adding baked beans group HJ Heinz to his portfolio. The rest of us youngsters can only look on in awe at these achievements, and as far as yours truly is concerned make up their mind to do something constructive over the next 40 years!

Speaking of Dollar / Yen, from a charting perspective, it looks like notwithstanding the substantial gains made by Soros to date, that certainly from the daily chart that there is still more to come on the upside for this cross – and of course on the downside for the Japanese currency. The reason for this view is that the  rising trend channel drawn from November has its resistance line projection as high as Y96. Given the way that the cross has just backed off overbought territory over 70 in the RSI window, and the way there has been a bounce at the main uptrend line from the autumn at 92.22, one could be confident in the 96 target  being hit perhaps as soon as by the end of this month, certainly while there is no end of day close back below today’s intraday low around 92.20.

Finally, having been a contributor to Spreadbet Magazine for a number of months now I have become accustomed to the extremely high standard of analysis both fundamental and technical (my own efforts notwithstanding!), and the no nonsense approach. What stands out above all is this is a publication which does not suffer fools gladly (to put it politely!). This general rigor is what caught my eye when I happened to download a copy of the magazine last summer. Of course, much has changed since the last time I wrote for a magazine called Shares over a decade ago under the leadership of Ross Greenwood. He was a man I admired for his ebullient but very thorough approach to financial journalism. It helps that he recently described me as the best Chartist in the World too!

Therefore today I noted with interest the earlier blog regarding Avocet Mining (AVM). I think that there a couple of points to mention regarding this affair. The first is that in general publications tend to quantity rather than quality approach, as if writers / journalists/ analysts could come up with a $1bn Dollar / Yen trade or Apple (AAPL) at $10 investment every day of the week. This is not possible – but still the copy is churned out.

The second point is that the financial markets are a highly complex area and no one, not even Messrs Soros or Buffett can be expected to know everything about every aspect.  For instance, even after paying $28bn for Heinz would Buffet being able to name the 57 Varieties – probably not. If you are not sure about a subject, ask some who does, or simply do not write about it.  Mistakes can always be made, but this should not be one of them.

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