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Recently I received several newsletter emails from friends that shared different points of view about the markets.  Opinions vary quite often as we see things for what we want them to be rather than for what they really are.  Of the seven emails I received three of them were bearish, two of them were waiting (hoping?) to be bearish, one was non-committal and the other was bullish.  

Now, seven is a pretty small sample size to make an assessment of market sentiment.  And frankly, one of them is bound to be right.  But what I find interesting is the wide dispersion of opinions and the strong conviction behind them.  There is no doubt in these writers’ minds about the next phase of the market – up, down or sideways.  

Like a broken clock that is right twice a day.  Remember though, our job is to make money, not to be right all the time.  Further, timing the market consistently for long periods is a fallacy.  

What matters most here is understanding what you’re reading.  Is it just propaganda or entertainment?  Will these prognosticators brag until the cows come home if they turn out to be correct?  Probably so!  The funny thing is, you don’t really need anyone to give you direction or instruction.  The market will always tell you everything you need to know about the current condition at a point in time.

Those who have learned the art of chart reading understand the technicals always tell the story.  The more experienced technicians look for trends and patterns that repeat over and over again, using high probability analysis techniques to further their conviction.

But no approach is 100% perfect, but as a technician I feel more comfortable building a case with strong evidence instead of blindly following a guess based on criteria I might not understand.  We’ve all heard the story of the Pied Piper (by definition one who offers strong but delusive enticement) and how he led others down the wrong path.