This edition of Cup & Handle is a little different than the notes you’re familiar with because it’s the last… for now. My business partner and I have decided to return to active money management, which will preclude me from writing Cup & Handle for the time being. I want to emphasize that this newsletter is likely just on hiatus, not disappearing forever. And there is information at the end of this section that will ensure you’re at the forefront of Cup & Handle 2.0 should you be interested.In five years, I think we’ll look back on the period between August 2014 and April 2016 as the most difficult macro environment in recent memory. Over that period the Cup & Handle portfolio consistently turned out positive returns, so in that regard it was a success. On the other hand, macro is about home run returns. We were able to catch a big chunk of the decline in oil starting in late 2014, the slowdown in emerging markets, and even the gold miners more recently. However, they weren’t huge, concentrated positions because agility seems to be more valuable than conviction these days.
I’ll refrain from making forecasts in this farewell edition. There are simply too many variables to accurately predict where assets are headed in the next year or even six months. Astute readers know which direction I believe they are headed, but these themes take a long time to play out – and then happen very quickly. The US election has been perhaps the most unpredictable in history, which is the wildcard for this year that nobody knows how to read. I will say that my “Five Bold Predictions for 2016” are holding up well after four months, and I have strong conviction that 3 or 4 will come to fruition. Brazilian President (for now) Dilma Rousseff has described the country’s impeachment proceedings as a coup, so we’ve got one in the bag already.
To conclude I want to thank all the readers for making this such an enjoyable experience. This was really the first forum where I made my investment views public. Writing in other public venues, like Forbes, you learn quickly via the comments section that the internet doesn’t understand nuance. To invest, if your views are correct 51% of the time, you’re a world beater. Strong returns are more about effective bobbing-and-weaving than having the correct view. I always felt that Cup & Handle readers understood that concept and it was much appreciated.
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At the end of every intro section there has been this sentence:
“As always, if you have any questions or comments or just want to vent, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
That email address will still be active, and I’d like to keep interacting with readers during this hiatus. Comments or questions on the market will always be welcome and encouraged. Responses might not be as quick as they have been previously, but I will respond thoughtfully to all.
Until next time, tread lightly out there,
Managing Editor – Cup & Handle Macro