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Fill the Gap Episode Nine, with Special Guest Chris Verrone, CMT


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Resources

Technical Analysis of Stock Trends 9th Edition book by Edwards and Magee

Strategas Research

Transcript

Tyler Wood  00:13

Welcome to Fill the Gap, the official podcast series of the CMT Association, hosted by David Lundgren and Tyler Wood. This monthly podcast will bring veterans, market analysts and money managers into conversations that will explore the interviewees’ investment philosophy, their process and decision making tools. By learning more about their key mentors, early influences and their long careers in financial services, Fill the Gap will highlight lessons our guests have learned over many decades and multiple market cycles. Join us in conversation with the men and women of Wall Street, who discovered, engineered and refined the discipline of Technical Market Analysis.

 

Tyler Wood  01:11

Fill the Gap is brought to you with support from Optuma, a professional charting and data analytics platform. Whether you are a professional analyst, portfolio manager or trader, Optuma provides advanced technical and quantitative software to help you discover financial opportunities. Candidates in the CMT program gain free access to these powerful tools during the course of their study. Learn more at Optuma.com.

 

Tyler Wood  01:51

Good morning, Dave. Welcome to September. How are you doing my friend?

 

Dave Lundgren  01:56

I’m doing excellent Tyler. Great to see you as always.

 

Tyler Wood  01:59

Great to see you too. We are here with episode nine of fill the gap and the illustrious Christopher Verrone, CMT, who is the head of technical strategy, managing director and a partner at Strategas Macro Research shop here in New York. But first I have to ask Dave, any damage from Hurricane Henri? You doing all right at the neighborhood in Marblehead.

 

Dave Lundgren  02:20

It was almost like we were this little island protected throughout the whole thing. We ended up getting nothing. I mean, a couple branch large branches fell but nothing serious. So we were very fortunate.

 

Tyler Wood  02:29

So yeah, to all of our friends on the east coast and elsewhere in the world facing some weather challenges, this summer has been a tough one. But thanks for tuning in to Fill the Gap. So Dave, moving on to our guest this month. Christopher Verrone just did a fantastic discussion that we recorded yesterday afternoon. But as always, I want to know what was your favorite quote and takeaway from today’s interview.

 

Dave Lundgren  02:51

This was just another conversation just loaded with great takeaways and insights and wisdom and things like that. What struck me with Chris, I find this to be the case with a lot of folks in our community is despite his success, he remains very humble, always pointing out those, as Ralph mentioned, those whose shoulders he stands upon and things like that. I always appreciated that about him and that came to life quite a bit in this episode. Again, across all episodes. So far, everybody has stressed this but here we go. Again, Chris Verrone is constantly stressing that price is the final arbiter of outcomes and the importance of just paying attention to price and checking your ego at the door and things like that. And then this despite the fact that we have so much science that we can bring to bear upon this endeavor of investing, there’s no substitute to sitting down every weekend and reviewing visually, two to three thousand charts to really truly get a sense for what’s going on around the globe. And I think, you know, I’ve known Chris for years, and we talked about it in this podcast, where he’s one guy who you can call and he’ll have a chart right off the top of his head, because he’s viewed 1000s of charts every weekend. So he literally truly does that. So I just think that’s a really good statement about the true value of traditional discretionary visual review of the charts. And Chris is a good proponent of that, as far as his best quote, I, what I loved. And I think you you share the same opinion is, if you got COVID, right, in 2020, you most certainly would have gotten the market wrong. And I think that’s brilliant, because that’s that’s just a perfect example of what he means when he says you have to listen to price because the market bottomed and kept going up despite cases getting worse and worse, despite the economy getting worse, etc. So in the end, he just said that it’s not our job to forecast COVID, the Fed, unemployment claims, etc. It’s just our job to listen to the market. And its interpretation of all of these things and just go with what we learned from the market. And I think, you know, he’s, he’s a great example of somebody who does that. He’s out there constantly with his views. So he’s in the spotlight, but very disciplined in this process. And he’s just a great interpreter of the message of the market, which is what I think is one of the great values of technical analysis.

 

Tyler Wood  04:49

100%, a story Chris relayed to us of coming into work with his great mentor Jason Trennert, who we’ve all followed closely, and Jason throwing the Edwards and Magee on his desk and saying, you know, this is what you’re going to do, now get to work on studying. I thought first and foremost, that’s like being handed Homer in the original Greek, to understand the alien, easier texts to start with, but really just a testament to Chris’s dedication and incredible work ethic that, you know, he said, You don’t just fall into this, at some point, you have to make a contrarian choice to pursue technical analysis and pursue it with gusto. He certainly did. Chris got into the CMT program in 2009, and relaying the story of waking up every Sunday morning, and going through 3000 charts around the world. You know, really, it’s really just a testament to the fact that there is no magic in this. It’s the product of consistent discipline, incredibly hard work that bring someone to the top of the mind, highly sought after technician. So we were lucky to peel him away from CNBC and Bloomberg for a minute to witness. The other thing that really stuck out to me in Chris’s commentary was just the, the need to speak to his clients in a language that they understand, for me the corollary, but my wife is a molecular geneticist and got invited to this prestigious international conference full of developmental geneticists. And she’s talking about years of research, hundreds of generations of flies, genetic crosses, all of the programming that went into MATLAB, and art, you know, distill the results and understand all the math behind it. And she had 15 minutes for the keynote. So when we think about our process, you have to, as Chris says, you know, he looks at everything. But what goes into the daily note, what goes into the meetings with clients is, is something that is stripped of all jargon, that is clean and clear that that delivers something provocative, that they haven’t seen, something that is conclusive that they can take action on. And then something that, you know, kind of opens up the question for, you know, what comes next? What is he watching for, as an interpreter of what the markets are telling him?

 

Dave Lundgren  05:49

I think that was, to me, the best lesson for all the technical analysts and folks who are listening to this podcast, in terms of how they produce their work for clients. Really important takeaway, as you’re going through that impression of the podcast, it reminded me actually of Episode One, because that’s what Bob Farrell talked about, precisely about making sure you’re keeping the message simple and understandable to those who don’t dive into the weeds of technicals. Because the message is very valuable, but you can’t, it’s not up to you to show how much you know, it’s up to you to just to display what they need to know.

 

Tyler Wood  07:28

And, you know, the part he didn’t have to mention, you know, if if there’s a client that wants to check your math, if you do need to have everything to to back it up. But you wait for them to ask those deeper questions when you’re producing research like this, and making sure that the commentary is concise, and cogent and actionable, that cannot be overstated. And I think our discipline lends itself to really deep dive and a lot of further analysis and a lot of nuance, which is great that practitioners take the time to go through that in a really deep level of detail. But as Chris said, you know, not everything he and his team looks at is worth talking to clients about. It’s the stuff that’s provocative and, and maybe they’re not looking at that’s really important. Just an incredible episode with Christopher Verrone, CMT, the head of technical strategy, managing director and partner at Strategas Research. Dave, welcome to episode nine.

 

Dave Lundgren  08:21

Thanks, Tyler. Welcome to episode nine of Fill the Gap, the official podcast of the CMT Association. Today, we are honored to have as our guest, Chris Verrone. Chris is a CMT charter holder, and a partner and director of technical research at Strategas Research Partners in New York City. For most of our listeners, Chris should be a familiar voice. He’s a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox News and other programs. But I’ve known Chris for over 10 years, having been a longtime subscriber to his research. During my years at Wellington Management in Boston, I’ve also had the pleasure of being on the losing end of a few rounds of golf with Chris. So you got to bring your A game when you match it up against this guy. He’s tough. So it’s a real pleasure to have Chris, as our guest today, not only is one of the most sought after technical analysts in the business, but also as a friend, Chris, welcome to Fill the Gap.

 

Chris Verrone  09:14

Well, Dave, it’s great to be here. Thank you for having me. And Tyler, same as well.

 

Dave Lundgren  09:17

One of the things that I find interesting about most technicians, and we’ve discovered this again and again, on the episodes we’ve had thus far is is their very unique path into the investment world, and specifically into technical analysis. So your early education was focused on political science. And you got both your undergrad and Master’s in that field from Villanova. How on earth did you get from political science to technical analysis? I need an explanation here.

 

Chris Verrone  09:43

You know, Dave, when you mentioned kind of other technicians in their route to Wall Street, I think what all of us have in common is at some point along the way, we had to make a little bit of a contrarian career choice. You don’t just stumble upon that. So at some point a decision is made to kind of go down this avenue because it’s not a traditional way to Wall Street. And, you know, when I think about my background and how I got here, I think like most others on the show have commented before you come across these very instrumental mentors in your life that push you one way or another. And that was kind of my route to the seat I have today and thinking about going from a political science degree getting a Master’s, which is an excuse for when you don’t know what, what you want to do, and you want to fit to your college, you stick around for another year, I found myself working for the economics team at a shop called ISI, Ed Hyman’s famous research firm. And what I learned kind of very early on working with some of the great economists and some of the great strategists on the street was no one’s a particularly good forecaster, as much as people claim to be able to tell the future or see the future. At the end of the day, the best economists, the best strategists, the best technicians recognize that the market is the best forecaster of all. And that was kind of my introduction to Wall Street, recognizing that, or being fortunate enough to recognize that earlier. And then leveraging, you know, just by chance meeting Ralph Acampora by chance, meeting Frank Teixeira, just by chance, you kind of develop these encounters, which shaped the way you think about your work. And then ultimately, when kind of my real mentor in the business, Jason Trennert started Strategas, I knew exactly what I wanted to do exactly who I wanted to work for. And I was fortunate enough to be given that opportunity.

 

Chris Verrone  09:44

Yeah, there were a number of big name technicians that ended up coming out of the ISI company weren’t there.

 

Chris Verrone  11:46

Yeah. So when I was there, kind of early 2000s. There was no technical work there. It was entirely a macro shop. I was initially an intern working on the economics team, Jason Trennert ran the strategy product. But there was no technical work at ISI until after we have left and started Strategas. Or when I joined Strategas, in kind of right after its founding, in early 07, the roster of the analysts at the firm was pretty much set. I mean, Jason, one of the great strategists on the street, that was a thing we had a great economist on risk. Miller was also a mentor of mine, really the only seat that was open was the technical seat. And I think

 

Dave Lundgren  12:20

That’s a very common common theme too.

 

Chris Verrone  12:24

And, you know, again, in the in the spirit of contrarian career choices, I think there was two ways to approach that know, one way with enthusiasm and eagerness. And the other way with reluctance, and I’m grateful I, I chose the first one,

 

Dave Lundgren  12:39

Right, exactly. In our prep discussion that we had prior to this, today’s recording with Tyler and I had asked you, if there was anything in specific that you’d like to make sure we discussed in our conversation that you feel is just not getting enough attention. And you almost immediately said process. Process should be a big part of our conversation. So maybe, maybe we should we can turn to that. Let’s hear a little bit about why you think process is so important. And then a little bit about your process day to day.

 

Chris Verrone  13:05

Yeah, I remember a couple weeks ago, when we first chatted about doing this, you asked me that, and I enjoy listening to podcasts, I enjoy listening to other strategists and technicians speak and just seeing what I can learn. And I always kind of zone in on what is the decision making process or the data gathering process like that leads up to some investment conclusion, because the reality is, there is so much to look at, I mean, from our seat, whether it’s equities, or currencies or, or bonds or credit, we are trying to look at every single price in the world. And it can be disorienting, it can be overwhelming. So what is the process that gets us to kind of some of these best conclusions. And, you know, I’ve tried to, you know, being the sell side, technical strategist, I’ve tried to really narrow it down to three things. And I say to clients, and particularly when I’m meeting new clients, there are three objectives that I try to achieve in my work. And the first is probably the easiest, it’s to be as provocative as possible. I think Dave, as you know, when you’re looking at 1000s of charts every week, and we look at 1000s and 1000s of charts every week, I’m sure there’s one thing I can show you, that’s going to challenge the way you think about the world or confirm the way you think about the world. That’s probably the easiest part of our job. The second goal, kind of in terms of my process is to be correct, right. And that’s the hardest part. And I will humbly concede that the market is a far better forecaster than I’ll ever be. But the goal, of course, is still to be correct and to put the pieces of the puzzle together to best position you for what the likely outcomes may be. And then I think the third part of my process for my approach, and this actually might be most important, is to be painfully aware of what the consensus view is. And to ask kind of a very simple question. Every morning when I wake up, I turn on the screens, 630 in the morning, I ask one question: does the market agree with how the consensus is positioned? I think that in terms of process, if you start every day asking that question, you’re going to approach your work from that perspective. Hmm, you know, I’m long financials, why? Why are they all breaking down? Or, you know, I keep saying how much I love gold, why is it not working? Right? That is the approach or kind of the rigorous self examination that’s necessary, I think, to one be a good investor be to run a successful kind of sell side research product. Now, in terms of specific methodology or really digging in the weeds process. I mean, David’s you know, with our time together over the last decade, we look at everything, but there has to be some method around the madness. And I, I kind of approach this like, every day, I have young kids, right. And my three and a half year old loves puzzles, right? Let’s put together puzzles. The problem is that when you go take up the puzzle box, the 100 piece puzzle, like 30 pieces are missing, 20 are under the sofa or bed. So you’re trying to put together a puzzle with an incomplete amount of information. And that’s what we do every day, right? We are putting together this piece of the puzzle, without all the pieces. So how do we solve for that? Once a week, every week, without exception, my entire career. I block my calendar for 6, 7, 8 hours. And I look at every single stock in the world. It’s just the only way I know, to get an understanding of where money is going. Hmm, a lot of insurance names are breaking out these last couple of weeks what’s going on there, I got to dig deeper there or, you know, Chinese bond yields keep going down, but everyone’s bullish cyclicality. What’s going on there? Right. That’s the, that’s the bottom up approach that I begin with, right. And once a week, it’s looking at every possible tradable security out there. I also know that’s very inefficient with my time, that takes time, that takes discipline. So in the interim, kind of in between those exercises, there has to be some other method or some other methodology, kind of on a daily basis to be a check on what we’re thinking. And that’s where we just like anyone else, utilize screens and what we’re getting pushed every day and macro indicators, but all of it with the same goal. Okay, I have 70 pieces of a 100 piece puzzle. What are these missing elements trying to tell me?

 

Tyler Wood  17:37

Chris, are you starting from a US domestic equity standpoint? Or do you go around the globe every single week looking at every equity market?

 

Chris Verrone  17:45

Well, I tend to do on Sundays, and it depends on what I did Saturday night, often that determines the answer to that either – honest answers are welcome here. Yeah, I always begin with like Russell 3000, with, say, market caps greater than 150 100 million, right, that has to be some garbage that’s taken out of this. And then as I kind of get to that’s about 2500 stocks, and then as I kind of get through that and go to some of the global stuff, I’ll raise that minimum market cap rates, okay, I want to look at every European name, I want to look at every Japanese name with market caps greater than 2 billion, right, there has to be some threshold, or you’re just going to drive yourself into circles or looking at every piece of noise out there. So that’s where I kind of begin first looking us because the reality is maybe 75 to 90%, of what I published any given day, or any given week, is US or US macro focus. That’s not to say, I don’t care as much as what’s going on with, you know, Russian small caps or Taiwanese banks, I do care. But I also have to know my audience, right. And, you know, putting together a coherent market call that is really focused and tries to capture the interest of the reader every single day.

 

Tyler Wood  18:54

And in terms of timeframe, are you looking at daily charts, you go into smaller periodicities? Are you looking at very long term trends, just a weekly closing bar?

 

Chris Verrone  19:02

This is a good question, because one of the question I get often from clients is, you know, Chris, like, what’s your time horizon? Right? Or people say, Oh, I have a long term time horizon, or I have a short, shouldn’t one’s time horizon, hopefully be indefinite. The goal of this business is to own something, and for it to keep paying you, right? But now the reality is, those don’t exist, right? At some point, something will change. So I’ve always been reluctant to say, Okay, my sweet spot is three months to six months or six months, 18 months, because what we’re doing ultimately, at the end of the day is is following trends. And you know, what, we’re involved in an idea and after eight weeks, it’s clear we’re wrong, I don’t care if my time horizon’s eight months or 12 months, I’m wrong. I got to move on and find a better place for my capital, or what if my time horizon is six months, but after two years, the stock still working? I’m not gonna sell it because it’s right, because I’m outside my time horizon. So I think a lot of that question time, like, what do I look at, you know, what duration what type of chart I think you have to look at everything. And you have to make a very balanced judgment on, Is this a stock I can own today? Because it can’t be a stock I want to own for tomorrow or next week or next month or next year if I can own it today.

 

Dave Lundgren  20:16

Exactly. Yeah, no, I agree with that I, I’m not a big fan of unfortunately, one of the great strengths of technical analysis is that we can come up with all kinds of targets. And I guess, obviously, if that’s your, your modus operandi, and that’s what you do. That’s great. It’s a perfect toolkit for that. But myself, personally, Chris, I agree with you entirely, that if when I buy a stock, I don’t ever expect to sell it. But you know, when the trend changes, I will, but I don’t go into it thinking we’re going to sell it when it’s up 20% just a different perspective. But I tell you to any of our listeners who just heard Chris talk about both going through 2500 sounds like maybe upwards of 3000 charts, every weekend, I can I can vouch for the truthfulness of that statement. Because I don’t know, Chris, if you remember this, but we had that member at Wellington, we had the leadoff hitter program, and you used to be all in on Monday mornings, and something happened in your schedule, you were traveling in Europe, you couldn’t make the call the way you wanted to. So you actually had to do it from a cab, and you did it without charts. And we would just rifling names at you and you just you’d like this chart, you don’t like that, you had it right down to the levels, everything else. So that’s what it takes. I think if you’re going to be a systematic investor, who’s going to be mechanical about it, you got to be in the weeds from that perspective. But if you’re going to do it with discretion, I think you’re a good role model for how that’s done.

 

Chris Verrone  21:23

Thank you for saying that. You know, I think that’s a testament to the work both myself and my team put into every day. But that’s what’s necessary. Right? If

 

Dave Lundgren  21:31

Yeah, exactly.

 

Chris Verrone  21:32

You’re – and that’s not just distinct technical work, right? If you want to be the best fundamental guy on the street, or the best macro guy on the street, or whatever, it requires that level of intensity every single day, knowing your space, knowing your names. And, you know, I know others have said this before me. But I think it’s really true. And I think you’ve said it yourself day. But one of the great strengths of technical work is you can get a very good understanding of the world in 30 minutes, right? Show me 100 charts about the world, I can have a fairly good, I can construct a story about what’s going on after 30 minutes of chart review. And, you know, that I think is the appropriate way to approach this business. And you know, we talked earlier about making contrarian career choices. Well, what I just said there’s a bit of a contrarian process because most of this business start the other way. Right? Okay. I like gold here, because you know, the Fed’s printing money and budget deficits, and oh, well, I think that’s backwards. I like gold here because it’s working, or I like insurance stocks here, because it’s working. What is that telling us about what the narrative of the story is out there? Something I say, Dave, in every meeting, I just got off the call where where where I said, word for word, be very skeptical of convenient narratives that the market isn’t justifying. Right? That I think is a very good way to think about what we do every day. And vice versa, be very in tune with ideas that most people don’t think are worth their time, but are actually making money. Right? Those are equally as. So I’ll give you an example. Right now, I’m big on this idea right now, of, of the 56 analysts who cover Amazon where there are 56 analysts that cover Amazon, all 56 of them have a buy in the stock. Now, here’s a name that hasn’t made anyone any money in 15 months. It’s on the relative low list every single day. And its founder seems more interested in going to space than running the company, right? Those are the three inputs. Yet 56 of 56 people have a buy in the stock, like there’s not one independent thinker among that group, be skeptical of convenient narratives that the market isn’t justifying. I think that’s a good example of it right now.

 

Dave Lundgren  23:50

Yeah, obviously, the challenge is when the consensus is right, that’s when you can often get the most powerful trends to write. So you got to be just mindful of when the market is telling you that the consensus is wrong, because that’s also as a time when you can really generate some really good relative performance.

 

Chris Verrone  24:04

I think well said, and I think, you know, we always say in our work, the consensus is right in this business like 80% of the time, right? That’s right.

 

Dave Lundgren  24:09

Yeah.

 

Chris Verrone  24:10

But when the consensus is wrong, it’s spectacularly wrong. Right? A colleague of mine, who just moved to a new house was digging through his basement, through some old artifacts. He was showing me he found a Lehman Brothers “forecast the future” booklet from 1999. It was 10 forecasts for Lehman Brothers in 1999. For the next 10 years, right. Yeah. And I mean, obviously, the greatest irony of all is that that the bank didn’t last those 10 years. You look at some of these forecasts, and they’re so rooted in recency bias, right? What was their favorite stock for the next 10 years in 1989? Oh, it was Microsoft. Right. And I think we all know how that played out over the next 10 years. So we have to be very, very in tune or aware of kind of getting trapped in the recency bias that often leads to unlikely forecasts.

 

Dave Lundgren  25:02

Yeah, yeah, one thing I wanted to talk with you about, because you, when I think about all the technicians I know on the street and the ones that I’ve worked with through the years, they run the gamut from from being super systematic and quantitative to being very, I would think Frank Teixeira is probably the most traditional, like visual discretionary technician that I’ve known and worked with. And I would put you in that same camp in the sense that you’re very visual, you know, the charts side. And I would say that Carter Worth is very similar. He’s another guy that can just name a chart off the top of his head and give you specific details. The question I would have for you then is, is being as visual and discretionary as you are, is there room in your world for backtesting? Systematic mechanical thinking or mechanical processes? Do you lean on those at all? Or is it purely discretionary?

 

Chris Verrone  25:48

Well, first off you’re nice and generous to even mention me in the same breath as Frank or Carter, they’re two good friends, as you know, and they’re two great conditions, I would say, my work is a combination of both. I think there’s no replacement for if you named any ticker right now. 99, out of 100 of them, I’m gonna know what the chart looks like, in my head, there’s a discipline to looking at these every day, and feeling the market and understand that’s when you know, when somebody’s got a source, like, Hmm, this shouldn’t be doing this, what’s the market trying to tell me, Hey, I think that can only be gained through like an intimate touch or an intimate feel on the market. But on the other side of this, particularly, you know, when we’re trying to identify the conditions that might be found out lows or conditions that maybe find that highs, we’re trying to identify, you know, big momentum, inflection points, or big leadership changes, the systematic stuff is helpful. And we lean on that as much as we lean on kind of our qualitative approach. I’ll give you an example, the last couple days. So as we’re having this conversation, it’s it’s Tuesday, August 24. Last week, you had about 80 to 83% of energy stocks, make a three month low, right? And I’m thinking about this. And I’m like, okay, big, big capital to flush in energy. But most of these stocks are still in fairly decent uptrends. Like what type of data or what type of forward returns and hit rates are we going to get from back testing that kind of historically, and like, there’s an example of where kind of the call here the last couple days is, we might be early here. But I would suspect we’re in kind of the zone of some tradable bottom and some of these energy names, because of the condition like that, because we know what the historical back test says, probably not a bad time to think about putting some exposure on there, even if it’s just to rent them here for a couple months. Because we know what the hit rates look like from those conditions in the past, we know what the forward returns look at. Now, again, like anything here, the arbiter of whether that call is going to be successful or not, is what the market does here, or what those times do over the next couple months. So you don’t also want to get so married to the systemic approach, that you lose the pragmatism of feeling the market. And that’s where I think it has to be a balance between those two. And you know, that’s why one of the faults or one of the problems was the purely quantitative approach to markets, is it removes the human element that is so essential in what we do. And, you know, we say this in all our meetings, like, I don’t care what’s going on in the world, I don’t care if it’s COVID. I don’t care if it’s some other crisis, you buy stocks, you sell stocks, you’re holding stocks, right? Those are your choices, irrespective of what people perceive to be the stress of the moment.

 

Dave Lundgren  28:39

I love the, you know, the history, the markets are always giving us perfect examples of the points we try to make. But I think the most recent one, obviously, the COVID low, if you remember back then I mean, it was forecasts of some pretty dire outcomes. And legitimately I mean, you can understand why I mean, it was it was truly the fastest, most rapid, deepest economic collapse, perhaps in history in the forecast for worse to come. We’re all over the place and markets going to lower lows, and this is a dead cat bounce. And, you know, here we are, you know, many months later, and we’re in one of the most prolific bull markets in history and and I think as trend followers, that’s the – that’s the value that we can bring is just like checking our not truly, yes, checking our egos, but in this case, checking our own opinions and interpretations of the world events and just being a good interpreter of the market and listening to the message of the market. And by doing so, and just filtering out our own views of the world and just listening to the market, we’re able to be on the right side of most major trends.

 

Chris Verrone  29:36

Dave, I think that’s a really important example like remember, if you got COVID, right, in February, March, April 2020, you would have most certainly gotten the market wrong. Exactly right. I like to imagine how dominant COVID would become any March, April, May, June of 2020. And then to juxtapose that with how the market interpret it, that’s where I think is, as analysts like we need to remember, it is not our job to forecast COVID or to forecast the Fed or forecasts, unemployment claims, it’s our job to respect how the market interprets all of these things. And, you know, that was talked about on display for the last 18 months. And, you know, something that I found super interesting, kind of, as you kind of came off the COVID lows last year, you know, into the summer into the fall, like, remember, the 6 7 8 months off the low last summer, last fall, there was still widespread skepticism about where the economy was what the market was doing. I think it’s funny how quickly, we forget that in, in hindsight, the degree of pessimism that still existed last summer as fall might be caught the moment was like, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But all I know is it’s not abnormal for the economic data to still be really, really bad. 6 7 8 months off any low in history, like I can remember, you know, 6 7 8 months off the March 09 low, wow, that data is still weak, if the market keeps going up, or you know, 6 7 8 months off the 02 low or just go back in history. And we made a point of really trying to incorporate that that historical perspective, that behavioral perspective in how we thought about COVID and the markets interpretation of it. Now, the other thing I might have said, Dave, it’s like COVID happened very quickly in terms of how the market discounted it and how the market responded, go back to 08, 07, 08, 09 with how the market interpreted the financial crisis. It’s with hindsight, that I think a lot of people talk about how long that crisis was, you know, beginning with the Bear Stearns hedge funds in early 07, going to Bear Stearns collapsed, and 08, going to Lehman and later going to march of 09. But remember, the S&P was still like, 1400, the weekend before Lehman Brothers went out of business. So the idea that it was this slow motion crisis, and everyone knew what was going on, I think is revisionist history, right? People woke up to the seriousness of 08 when Lehman went away. And from the time Lehman went away, I think, September 14, of 08, to when the market really cleared, most stocks bottomed October, November 2008, that’s only about two months, right? So from that perspective, I don’t think COVID was as accelerated or as as fast of an event, as people make it out to be. We just woke up to it very quickly.

 

Tyler Wood  32:35

Very well said, Chris, I wanted to ask you about, you know, within the Strategas team, you have experts in every field economists, policy experts, and you know, you think about economic data, maybe on a monthly or quarterly delay, policy inputs tend to be quite fungible, at least in this country. And so how do you reconcile as a team, when, as a technician, you you have the agility to have hard numbers, tick by tick, or hour by hour or day by day? How do you reconcile that with the other members of the team? Or do they find their roles to the investment strategy of the of the whole firm, maybe serving a different purpose than what the technical team produces?

 

Chris Verrone  33:15

Tyler, that’s a great question. And it’s something that we as a group internally talk about all the time. Number one, when I think about my partners, Don Rissmiller, I think is the best economist on Wall Street, Jason Trennert, I think, is the best strategist, Dan Clifton, there’s no one better in DC. We’re all really good friends, like, that’s number one. I think it’s important, these people that you go to war with every day, it’s important to have good relationships with them. And they both happen to a lot of our quant stuff, the same thing. So I think number one, we’re always interacting with each other from just a really good position of respect and friendliness. Because markets are contentious, and there are moments we disagree on things, but that’s okay. I don’t know who’s going to be right. No one knows who’s going to be right. But what we’re, I think good at as a group is recognizing that a cohesive call is a very, very strategic asset as a firm, when there’s so many hired mercenaries across the street, right? the sell side is sometimes like a bunch of hired mercenaries like, the strategist has a totally different view than the technician, the technician has a totally different view than the economist. That’s not particularly helpful. And I think as a group, we do a very good job of challenging each other getting on the same page presenting a cohesive call to our clients. And of course, there’s moments where we disagree on stuff. But I think we all agree that at the end of the day, the market’s going to be the arbiter either way. And that’s the other thing I really respect about my colleagues, but they’re certainly all experts in their field. But they have such a respect for the market’s interpretation of events. And I think that’s rare, particularly among economists or I mean Don Rissmiller. So I think one of the best if not the best cop on the street has such a respect for what the market is telling them, as well as what the economic data might be saying. And that is a really unique, that’s really unique thing for us to kind of come together and have the luxury of putting out a very cohesive market call with all that in mind.

 

Tyler Wood  35:14

So Chris, taking you back another step, but you, you leave Villanova, you’re working in the industry at ISI and the great financial crisis comes along, what prompted you to pursue the CMT designation and to get into the program? Did you feel like there was anything missing from your toolkit as an analyst at that point?

 

Chris Verrone  35:32

Yeah. So yeah, this is an interesting story. So I was initially an intern at ISI and then Jason Trennert, started Strategas. I beg them to hire me. Unfortunately, he does. It’s now like 2007. And Jason always jokes if if he was a good forecaster, he would never have started a financial services company going into what would be this apocalyptic crisis, right. So that’s kind of the setting that we move into kind of, 07, 08. And I remember, it’s probably like, middle 07 late 07, sitting at my desk, and Jason walks in with the Edwards and McGee book. I’ll never forget this. And he throws it on my desk and says, read this. This is your job now. Right? This is what you’re going to do. And I just remember that moment. And I mean, the origin of the book, great book, tough one to get through, right. But there’s there’s maybe some better choices out there in terms of, and that kind of began a little bit of my fascination with kind of the technical side of the business. As I kind of said it was like, chance meetings then with Ralph and with guys like Frank, that really solidified this and really planted the seed that hey, like, this is really interesting, right? I thought I was gonna be some some great economist or some great strategist. But man, this stuff is really fun and really interesting. And I think about why I was attracted to kind of the, the technical approach. And I keep coming back to the idea, I was always an athlete growing up, I always liked competition. This I felt was markets in general. So you’re in competition, every moment of everyday life. This, to me was the closest I would ever get to playing sports at a high level is the sport of markets every single day. And you know, Dave, in the intro, you mentioned golf, and I’m a big golfer. I love playing golf. And the one similarity, I think, between the two endeavors golf and markets, the second in golf, you start thinking about 2 3 4 shots ahead. It’s over, like, you’re finished. Right? Oh, you know, I got a wedge into this par five, I’ll make this birdie putt, then I’ll strike down the middle on six, and then easy par three, like it’s over, right? And markets are similar. You have to deal in the here. And now. The second you start getting to three steps ahead, you’re gonna lose your way. I think that’s the parallel between, say, the golf course and what we do with markets every day.

 

Dave Lundgren  37:59

You know, having just played a round of golf with my son this morning, not well, I might add, I would also add that another parallel and I was actually thinking about this morning was that when you do have a bad shot, you have to forget it. Because you can still bogey the hole, you can still part of the hole and investing is so so like that. And you know, if you have a bad month, if you have a bad quarter a bad year, you have to as long as you are sticking to your process. And that’s just a follow up of your process because nothing works all the time you have to move forward.

 

Chris Verrone  38:25

I think David, that’s a good point. Like, and this is as true in athletics as it’s true I think in markets, you have to have a really short memory. And you got to take a lot of swings. Like if there’s one consistent theme among all these great investors I’m fortunate enough to talk to every day, they take a lot of swings. And when they’re wrong, they move on. It’s easy to say; it’s really, really difficult to apply. And they’re the best because they’ve been able to do that tattered kind of getting back to your broader question about going down the road of kind of the technical discipline and the CMT process. I remember distinctly my favorite part of the CMT designation or kind of going down that avenue were reading the books that were interviews with like a lot of the great traders and investors of all time and I remember like reading the Druckenmiller chapter in, in Market Wizards or the Tudor Jones chapter, that man if you’re into this stuff, reading that just lights, the future lights the flame in terms of Wow, this is a really, really fun business. Look at what these guys can do. Can I do this? Can I try to do this? That was I think the best part of the curriculum is listening to these really, really renowned investors, how they use this stuff in their problems.

 

Tyler Wood  39:51

Let’s stay on that track for a second because there are so many areas of focus under the umbrella of technical analysis and you know, thinking about how we define what goes into the body of knowledge for the CMT program is I think akin to a lot of that process conversation. But you know, what falls into your toolkit. So obviously, throughout a three level multi year program, we cover things like point and figure charting, as well as statistical methods. And I’m sure not all of that it would be impossible to put every one of those tools do you. So do you have any thoughts on the things that were maybe eye opening for you or anything that made it into your process that you weren’t exposed to before the program?

 

Chris Verrone  40:27

There’s a couple things that stand out that hopefully I’d maybe have refined over time. But number one, the reminder that every indicator that you may quote, or I, might quote is simply a derivative of price. So let’s not forget to start with price, right. And that has to be the ultimate arbiter. And you see this a lot when people talk about like divergences. If I had a nickel for how many times I’ve heard the word divergence, I don’t think I have to go to work every day, right if people get some of these divergences and who says negative divergences are going to resolve negatively. Number one, right? That’s where I think we can’t forget, you can’t position against a trend, simply because there’s a couple divergences out there that make you feel uncomfortable, you can position against a trend when it breaks. So remembering price as kind of the first input. The second thing, and I think I’ve been able to, hopefully develop this over time, is the recognition that 99.9% of those I talked to every day are fundamental, bottom up, or macro investors. And I have to be very sensitive and very mindful of how I present what I do, right? You’ve talked about comparing career choices, I’ve made this contrarian career choice to approach this discipline, that there’s people out there that are a little bit dismissive of, so I need to be aware of that in how I present my material. And what I always take pride in is when a client or a prospect says, you know, Chris, I’ve never really looked at charts or technicals. But I kind of get what you’re saying, or I see what you’re doing. And that is probably what I take most pride in on any given day, when I can help add just a little perspective to someone’s process, I’ll never know, these companies like the bottom up guys know their own companies. And what I can tell you is, you know, Tyler, I spoke to 10 healthcare PMs today, and they’re all long this one stock, and it’s not working, I think we might want to check your numbers again, or revisit why it might not be working like it’s, it’s information like that, that I think is really instrumental and the other part of my process, or that’s the other part of my job, I get the benefit and the great privilege to talk to so many different constituents every day, hedge funds, mutual funds, vanillas, pensions, endowments, I get a fairly good idea of what positioning looks like across the street. So what I can say, okay, is the market justifying what I’m hearing on the phone, or what I’m hearing at these dinners or at these meetings? That is a really, really valuable input.

 

Tyler Wood  43:15

Very well said.

 

Dave Lundgren  43:16

One thing you mentioned earlier about being I guess, being inspired by what you read in Market Wizards and other other books and whatnot. And then you mentioned Stan Druckenmiller, I believe it was at one of your annual conferences for your client conferences. And Stan was a speaker. And he went through this entire sort of monologue on why he was so bearish. And why he had ticked off all the reasons for why he thought the market was was, you know, set to fall apart. But the last thing he said was that we’re waiting for the charts to agree. I thought that was brilliant. I mean, that’s a perfect use case for and then you talk about successful investors. He’s by far one of the most successful investors hedge fund investors of all time, he leans heavily on the market’s interpretation instead of just his own putting the two together, and then actually really pressing his bets when the market tells him he’s right.

 

Chris Verrone  44:03

I remember as a firm, what a great privilege it was for us to have Stan, maybe March of 2016, right? We were kind of right at that bottoming process. And it was so easy as it always is near lows to come up with a very compelling bear case. But I thought his language was absolutely appropriate and a reflection of why he’s probably the best ever, right? Because you have to recognize that, hey, I can have these strong philosophical or intellectual beliefs. But if the market doesn’t agree, who cares? I’m not trying to you know, win smarter than the class. I’m trying to own the stocks that go up and it’s hard. It’s really hard to do that. That’s why there’s only one Stan Druckenmiller, right. It’s really, really difficult to put that into play. I think it kind of the role that we can try to serve as, you know, whether you want to call us technicians or just market observers, right. I think we are observers of markets. We can be a check on whatever your intellectual leaning says should be. happening, if it’s happening, great. If it’s not check your numbers.

 

Tyler Wood  45:04

How much of the technical toolkit in your research process actually makes it into client communications? And the product you deliver? The deeper part of that question is, you know, do you use a lot of indicators and derivative information to confirm or deny what you’re seeing, you know, pattern wise, or in a more classical sense from the charts, and then how much of that do you actually share with clients?

 

Chris Verrone  45:26

I publish every single day. I publish every day, because, like, I need to, I’m looking at all this stuff, might as well write it down, and I’m gonna share it. That’s the only way I know, to look at markets. And I also want to be the first thing people read in the morning, I want you to wake up with my work in your inbox. And if I have something really compelling to say, I’m gonna give you a call and talk about it. Now, the degree to which like, what classical technical indicators, you know, make their way in to our work, I’m not going to publish a chart book of, you know, point and figure charts every day, it’s not going to happen. It’s not, it’s not going to draw my audience in to what I think is important. But what I can show you I’m going to do is I’m looking at all that stuff, I’m looking at every daily MACD out there, I’m looking at every weekly MACD out there, I’m looking at, you know, what percent of the S&P is above 200, I’m looking at, you know, how many industrial stocks are making three month lows, all of that is being evaluated on a minute by minute day by day basis, in my work, the publication of that stuff, I think, has to be really eloquent, given who my audience is, fundamental bottom up investor. And I think it’s kind of hopefully good advice, in general, kind of, for the technical community, like, we should be able to talk about our work in an eloquent manner that really connects with, you know, people who know fundamentals for a living, or people who know macro for a living, because at the end of the day, those things are just as good as technicals. They’re just as valuable. And all I’m trying to do is just offer a different perspective into what you do every single day. Now, you know, to get a little bit in the weeds here is something that you said, kind of, you know, stoke that idea, I think we’re in this interesting moment right now, where the indices don’t necessarily reflect what’s actually happening out there. And this has been true for years and years and getting more exaggerated and more exaggerated. And it’s true on both sides, right? It’s true, you know, when the really big names are just working at max, what might be going on on the surface, and vice versa, when it’s only the small things working, it might be disguised by what the big names are doing. And I say this, because John Bogle, I think would be rolling over in his grave, the founder of Vanguard, passive investing, if he knew that, you know, the three largest weights in communications are like 70% of the sector. And the three largest weights in discretionary are 65% of the sector, and the three largest weights in tech are 55%. Like that. I don’t think that is what index investing was supposed to look like, there is such concentration risk in some of these big indices. And I think that’s an avenue where whether you look at fundamentals, whether you look at technicals, whether you’re like, knowing that understanding what’s in these indices, is really, really essential in to try to deliver some alpha.

 

Dave Lundgren  48:27

I don’t know if you saw the post I had put on Twitter a couple days ago, but I was I have a tried model and it’s it’s kind of been it’s been at odds with what the S&P is showing. So the S&P is some 30 odd percent above its COVID Peak, pre COVID Peak. And when I look at what’s happening from the bottom up, that’s just as bad, as you just alluded to this, this massive disconnect between what the index is doing and what appears to be the case at the individual stock level from the bottom up. So I went through and just kind of looked at what percentage of the stocks in the market are above today are above their pre COVID Peak, and it’s 58%. So almost half the market is still below its pre COVID Peak. What gave that 58% of the 58%. I want Oh, oh, no. That was actually the conclusion of my post.

 

Chris Verrone  49:08

Like, you know, like, that’s the thing. Yeah. I think sometimes we spend too much time in this business, thinking about what might work next, as opposed to just celebrating what is working. And I think we also forget, like, I’ll give you an example. Right now, we’ve done a lot of work over the last 18 months on trying to understand how Epicenter groups, you know, groups or sectors that are at the scene of an accident, the scene of a crime, how they respond upon the resolution of crisis, right? And what we’ve kind of seen and learned across the board going back in time and going all the way back to you know, if you look at kind of inflation in the 70s or if you look at you know, savings and loan in the early 90s or tech in 2000 or housing financials in 08 09 those groups that find themselves in the epicenter almost never returned as your great leadership in the next cycle, like, for instance, like banks, banks, home builders, they rip off the 09 low right, survival’s ensured, they rip off the 09 low. Anyone really make any money in banks and homebuilders from 2010 through 2019. Now, right now, tech – tech rips off the yield to low, rips off yield to low rallies for about a year, survival ensured if you survive to that point, while you’ve made, they were dormant until like 2010 2011, you know, seven, eight years on the, you know, stuck in leadership purgatory, right. So, today by since a lot of angst that airlines and cruises and travel aren’t working. Well. They were dominant off the low for about 10 11 12 months last year, and now they’re dead money. I’m sure we could blame it on COVID. But I’d rather just say hey, this is actually not uncommon with history. Yeah, this is what happens when you’re at the epicenter of a collapse. You frustrate people for the next decade.

 

Dave Lundgren  51:13

Maybe we can actually transition a little bit to markets. I know we have a few more minutes here and maybe just get some insights into what you’re thinking about markets. I mean, I know you’ve always talked about the relationship between cyclicals and defensives and, and other other sort of tells that would warn of, you know, changing environments for for equities. I mean, obviously, we’re in a bull market at the all these things have been tailwinds to the market. Are you seeing anything that would raise concerns for you? Are we just continuing in this rotational bull market?

 

Chris Verrone  51:39

You know, I’ll share a couple observations. I think this is still very much a bull market. That’s- I think that’s well said, I think there’s some there’s some things under the surface that are not uncommon for the second year off of a low like, I think it was maybe mid April, we got as high as like 97% of the S&P above the 200, you’re gonna get a narrowing of participation at some point like that can’t persist into perpetuity. Right, right. So I think what a lot of people see is like this devastating contraction of breath, the last three or four months is actually not very different than what you see in any year or two off a low. And our kind of big theme for 2021. Was the language frustrating, but not fatal, right most second years off of a low are frustrating markets. And I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been frustrated with the tape over the last 2 3 4 months. Now, there was a couple things that stand out. I would say number one, and what I’m going to give you here, Dave, is that this would be a good example, like this is how I’ve started every meeting over the last several days, right? This is what I’m focused on everyday with clients. I’d say number one, I think if you’re positioning for growth scare today, you probably already missed it. Or at the very least we’re in the later innings of this growth yet, right? Because yields already went 175 to 115. Copper already went down 20, crude already went down 20. Right. And the flows reflected as well. Look at February, March, April, everyone out there was a convicted cyclical bull, convicted bond bear, and then there were the flows to prove it. And the positioning to prove it. That’s changed dramatically here. The big outflows for financials, big inflows into bonds, big outflows from energy. So positioning has really cleaned up I think over the last four or five months and kind of as I’ve been saying, in meetings, like, I have no idea what the economy is going to look like the next eight weeks, I have no idea what the news flows will be the next eight weeks. But the positioning backdrop is meaningfully different today than it was in February, March April that I think kind of observation number one very important. The second thing we’ve kind of been focusing on lately is if you had told me that bond yields were going to go 175 to 115. On March 31 right bond yields were 175 on March 31. If you told me six months later, they’d be 120, 125. Say Chris, what will financials do? I’d be like, oh, boy, not gonna be good, right? There’s a fourth best performing sector over that period. Financials have kept their heads above water in what was a very unfriendly rate environment for them. Look at these insurance stocks. They’re all breaking out. AIG Look at that. Look at Pru. You know the brokers don’t go down. Ray J. Jeff. Steeple, Goldman Piper, Morgan Stanley. I mean, they have brushed off rates. And then if you told me Okay, over that same period of time, two of the three worst sectors with bond yields gone 175 back to 115 would be huge. And staples. I’d say No way. No way. But that’s precisely what’s happened. Right. So, like, let’s acknowledge that the leadership has interpreted this move in yield I think differently than the consensus would have anticipated. That’s been a big feature in our work. Other things that I think is worth reiterating in in this forum, like homebuilding, housing construction, any derivative of that trade acts well, the US Steel’s the world. Well, the Alcoas act well,  the Cleveland cliffs act well, those are some leadership stocks here. Now what I’ve I’ve been surprised about I think that’s always a really important question to ask yourself. very introspective. What is surprising you about this market? What’s surprising me about this market is I would have expected if bond yields were going to go 175 to 115. I would have expected all the real speculative corners of the market, the arc stocks, the solar stocks, the IPO stuff, I would have expected them to be a heck of a lot better than they have. They’ve been indifferent. I mean, they’ve been like modest underperformers since rates peaked. So again, we talked earlier about is the market rewarding the consensus narrative. The consensus narrative was long duration assets do well when rates fall; rates fell and long duration the long duration things didn’t do particularly well. I mean, the move in tech but leadership from Tech the last four or five months has been entirely mega cap tech. I mean, it’s been the Adobes, the Nvidias, the Microsofts, the Googles, the Facebooks, right that TMT leadership hasn’t really permeated to the lower capitalization stocks that I think are really important observations. The last thing we kind of we’ve just been saying the last couple days in our work is every call I’ve been on for two or three weeks now, I’ve been asked Chris, is China investable? Or is China uninvestable, right. That’s the big question people want to address. And I have no idea. Whether it’s investable, or uninvestable, I’m gonna let you figure that out. But what I can tell you is the rubber band has been stretched really, really far in one direction here over the last couple months. And if I was short K wave or short Baba or short Mcal, I declare victory and move on or – Now you’re short derivatives of that stuff. Like, okay, you’ve made money with an LDS short, you’ve made money with a wind short, you’ve made money, move on, and maybe play on the other side here, rent them for a trade. But I just always want to be aware of when the rubber band is stretched too far in one direction. And then on top of that the sentiment overlay of everyone asking whether China’s investable, listen, it may be, but doesn’t mean it can’t rally 30% of the over the next, you know, eight weeks.

 

Dave Lundgren  57:11

Right?

 

Tyler Wood  57:11

Do you think the US dollar chart has anything to say about that trade? Would you be looking to that for an indication?

 

Chris Verrone  57:18

I don’t know. That’s a hard question. dollar seems to have turned here. I think it’s going to struggle to get through 95, 96 DFY. Remember DFY is like 65% euro as well. So anytime you’re having a conversation about DFY, you really have a conversation about euro. I think when you look at some of the other individual pairs around the world, it’s less conclusive, like we should probably do more often in this business, when we don’t have a strong view say we don’t have a strong view. And I don’t have a strong view. First, folks, thank you.

 

Dave Lundgren  57:45

Do you think about the fact that security prices typically don’t trend probably 70% of the time, that actually should be your view the majority of the time, but we don’t get paid for saying I don’t know what what about I think one of the most important themes going forward for this say the next decade is what actually does happen to inflation. When you guys look at it from the various disparate lenses within strategics. Are you coming to a consensus view on what inflation looks like and what and how that might impact leadership in the equity markets going forward?

 

Chris Verrone  58:13

I’ll make a few observations that try to incorporate views from all the different disciplines that we cover and kind of what my partners see as well, because I think that’s that’s equally as important here. I’d say number one, from a from a markets perspective, when I see like materials continuing to outperform staples, I think that’s a good proxy for like input costs for stocks that have very sensitive costs, right. That’s roughly at new highs right now. So materials making new highs, relative to staples, that would argue we are in some type of reflationary inflation environment, I think that persists here. If you start to look at that chart from a longer term perspective, that really peaked in about 07 08 and was declining for the last, you know, 13 14 years, it’s only in the last 12 months that that’s turned up. I think that could be something there structurally, when I think about our analysts, I think Don Rissmiller, kind of from the economic side has made a really important observation. He observes that the goalposts keep changing in this transient per sticky debate, right, what began as, hey, you know, maybe prices run off for a few weeks or a few months, has now morphed into, well, if inflation is 3% for the next three years, it’ll eventually go back down. Alright, so I find it interesting when the goalposts move. And I think the goalposts are moving and you know, the third thing I would say is there’s almost no one in financial markets today that has invested in an inflationary environment, right. Like one thing I don’t want to see I don’t want someone to show me what sectors do well in inflationary environments and the study starts when Gix began in 1989. Useless, absolutely useless, right, totally out of sample. I think there’s a lot of data on the street that doesn’t have the net necessary time behind it. I mean, if we’re going to really talk about inflation, our position for what we know what decades we have to look at, I think that’s where we should be focused. Now, I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, but I think that’s where we should be focused. The other thing I would just observe, and this kind of comes, again, from my partner and my mentor in this business, Jason Trennert, there’s two things we’re not allowed to say, At Strategas, we’re not allowed to say 0% or 100%. Right? We can’t say there’s a 0% chance of this happening or 100% chance of this thing happening, because we don’t know. No one knows. Right? We’re all playing the same parlor game. I find it interesting. How confident some of the central bankers are. They are a competent bunch.

 

Dave Lundgren  1:00:41

With poor forecast records, by the way.

 

Chris Verrone  1:00:44

I mean, Philip Lane, Chief Economist of the ECB, quote, 0% chance that price pressures around the reopening of the economy are sticky. 0%, not not five, but not 10. While Brainerd, we have quote we have we have the tools to gently guide inflation, back to trend, gently guide inflation go as Paul Volcker, how you gently guide inflation, right, you create a recession and the appetite for that year? Right. Chairman Powell, we have no intention of repeating the mistakes the 1970s. Well, of course, you have no intention. But these are the things that as someone who’s humbled by markets every day, I am struck by the confidence that comes from that group.

 

Dave Lundgren  1:01:30

Not to put any pressure on you at the at the very end of this. But your colleague, Todd Sohn, who’s also a CMT charterholder had sent us an email complimenting us on our last episode with Pamela Yoon, and the many great things about that episode. And he says it was the best episode he’s heard so far. So you know, the bar has been set, not to foster many debates on the team there, whatever. But you know, I think you did a pretty good job here, Chris, it was, it was an awesome conversation. It’s always great to talk markets with you, your depth of knowledge and your self awareness. And everything else is just something I’ve always appreciated. So I really appreciate you spending the time with us today on this.

 

Chris Verrone  1:02:01

Well, David, it was a great privilege to be to be part of this. And Tyler, thank you as well. Number two, you mentioned my right hand, man, Todd, so And yeah, he’s the one doing all the hard work and making a lot of the big calls. He’s a very talented technician, and he is indeed great. He should be on this call next. And then, you know, just in terms of what what you guys are doing with this podcast, this is fantastic. It’s so good to hear about other people’s experiences and processes and how they go about markets. Because, listen, we’re all learning every day of how to be better and better if you’re better or be better analysts. This forum is a really helpful one.

 

Dave Lundgren  1:02:37

Thanks for that. And thanks for participating.

 

Tyler Wood  1:02:40

For all those futures for tickets, clients and future technical analysts of the world. There’s a lot to take away from this. So looking forward to seeing you again in New York or Boston or wherever our paths may cross. That’s great, guys.

 

Chris Verrone  1:02:50

Thanks again.

 

Dave Lundgren  1:02:56

Tyler, can you tell us a little bit about what’s happening within the CMT Association in the coming months?

 

Tyler Wood  1:03:01

Absolutely, Dave, it’s gonna be a very busy fall for the CMT Association. Let’s run down this list very quickly. Want to announce that the Charles H Dow research competition is now open for those who would like to submit. And as part of the mission for advancing the discipline of technical analysis, we offer this research competition each year for ideas which help express new methods for technical analysis and advancing the discipline. I also wanted to mention that this month Technically Speaking magazine, that monthly issue that goes out to all members, features a very special 20th anniversary recognition of the attacks on 9/11 that holds a near and dear place in a lot of CMT members’ hearts. Our office was actually located in the south tower. We lost a lot of our archives, the library, as well as a few members of the CMT community on that day. And Michael Kahn, the current editor of the Technically Speaking magazine, has a special issue for us this month, so be sure to check that out. The other exciting news to announce is the CMT Asia Pacific Summit taking place October 2, and 3rd, that’s featuring top analysts, money managers, and those advancing the discipline of technical analysis from across the region, Australia, Japan, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, we’ve got speakers coming from far and wide. That conference is an entirely virtual format, and it is open to all whether you attend live or you watch the sessions on demand, as they all will be recorded. You can register at CMTassociation.org under our learning and events section. For those who are members or candidates in the CMT program, that is an entirely free two day Thought Leadership Conference. For everybody else we welcome you to attend. Check it out. We’ve got a lot of channels for content, education, continuing ed and professional development. These conferences are really a labor of love for all the staff and volunteers at the CMT Association. I want to give special thanks to our board members in Asia, Jamie Coutts, Akira Houma and Akshay Chinchalkar for helping put that event together. Last and perhaps most important, Dave, is that we are 100 days out from the next administration of the CMT exams. I know a lot of our listeners are already candidates in the program and we wish you all success and commend you on your efforts that you’ve put into study. For those who are considering a career in finance, aspiring professionals, or even veteran managers 20 years in the business, it never hurts to add tools to your toolkit and the CMT program has been growing in popularity and recognition with employers worldwide. We exist to offer two paths. One is to open career opportunities for our candidates. And the second is to help through the CMT Program, to improve investment discipline and decision making. So your next chance to sit for the CMT exams will be December 2 through the 12th. Again, about 100 days out, which gives you plenty of runway to dedicate a study plan and ensure your success on those exams. The standard registration period closes October 4, this is the month to really commit to your study plan and to ensure your success. I wanted to also mention that there’s a discount code for those who would like to use it D21CMT50 will take $50 off your registration on or before October 4. And Dave, you know, I’m asked by candidates all over the world, just how rigorous this program is. And we certainly do see that the value of the CMT continues to expand and increase year after year as candidates go through the program. But really, I think the question they’re asking is, what is the likelihood of passing? So I wanted to share the trailing five year average pass rate for the CMT level one exam is 63%. It’s not an impossible endeavor. I want to encourage everybody out there who’s considering the program as take that plunge. Sign up now sit for the exam. And you can register right now at CMTAssociation.org. And that’s it for me, Dave, we’re looking forward to seeing you next month. Fill the Gap is brought to you with support from Optuma. In addition to candidate study of the official CMT curriculum, Optuma provides a full video course on all of the material that candidates need to know for each level of the CMT exams. Each course is broken up into modules, ranging from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the complexity and length of the topics being covered. Learn more at Optuma.com.