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Fright Night and the Scary Market

It’s hard to ignore Halloween if you work in Salem, Massachusetts. And with the Big Day falling on a Saturday this year and the weather nice, it will likely be an even bigger deal than usual. A quick walk through Salem’s downtown at any time of year will reveal enough witch shops, fortune-tellers and scary museums to satisfy your taste for the weird.

Stock Market Video

Fright Night and the Scary Market

This Weeks’s Fortune Cookie

In Case You Missed It

In this week’s Stock Market Video, I look at the rebound in the market and see both strength and weakness. There is a strong leadership group in the market and those stocks are in fine shape. But there are also a ton of stocks that are still trading below their 200-day moving averages. Yes, the percentage of stocks is up from the August and September troughs; but it’s still pretty high. The strength of the market tells me it’s time to do some buying, but the weakness below the surface leads me to recommend leading large-caps that trade on plenty of volume. And I wear my Halloween tie! Click below to watch the video.


Fright Night and the Scary Market

It’s hard to ignore Halloween if you work in Salem, Massachusetts. And with the Big Day falling on a Saturday this year and the weather nice, it will likely be an even bigger deal than usual. A quick walk through Salem’s downtown at any time of year will reveal enough witch shops, fortune-tellers and scary museums to satisfy your taste for the weird.

During the Halloween season, the urge to put on a costume just gets to be too much for some people. Heck, I even put on a Halloween tie to record the Cabot Weekly Review video. And the urge to turn houses into homes for giant spiders (with webs), bats, skeletons and ghosts (plus tombstones, orange lights and jack-o-lanterns) is pretty much irresistible.

But going in search of things that scare you is one of the foundation stones of Halloween. Scary movies and haunted houses will let you test your startle reflex and give you a surge of adrenalin. And masked marauders assaulting your house demanding booty will finish the job.

Speaking of extorted sugary treats, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) predicts that American will spend $2.6 billion on Halloween candy this year, with 70% going for chocolate varieties, 13% into candy corn, 6% for chewy candy and 5% for gummy candy.

Perhaps moved by national statistics on obesity and diabetes, the NCA also cites survey research showing that parents are having sincere conversations with their children about the importance of moderation and balance in the consumption of sweets.

It’s enough to make a (black) cat laugh.

Maybe kids today exhibit more maturity and exercise better self control than I did in my trick-or-treating days. As I recall from my youth, Halloween was the #1 holiday for greed and unbridled consumption. And, because I’d actually hauled my little bag around the neighborhood all by myself, I felt that I’d earned it and deserved the right to gorge myself however I wanted.

But if Halloween is scary for a few nights every year, the pressure of money matters can scare you spitless all the year round.

There aren’t a lot of ways for a financially worried person to get much traction in pulling in more money. You can ask for a raise or (perhaps even as a result of asking for a raise) look for a better job. You can hold a yard sale or list stuff on eBay, sell your “scrap” jewelry, your blood or your spare time.

If your strategy is to make a life-changing amount of money without much effort, your choices are limited to playing the lottery (a path so risky that your chances of winning are virtually identical whether you buy a ticket or not), or heading for a casino or some variety of online betting site. But you must realize that the odds are profoundly not in your favor.

Not surprisingly, if you’re willing to put in the effort, I have a suggestion. It isn’t all that fast, and it isn’t all that easy. But it can be tremendously rewarding, in both monetary returns and personal satisfaction.

I suggest that you team up with Cabot and take charge of your own financial future. Cabot’s advisories will give you detailed, step-by-step advice about how to buy and sell stocks. We will tell you what to buy and at what price. We will let you know when to sell and when to avoid the market if it goes sour. Then we will tell you when conditions turn positive again (as they have now) and how to increase your buying.

Now if the idea of entering the stock market just caused your blood pressure to shoot up a few points, I understand. It’s the same reaction as when the guy wearing the hockey mask (or holding the chain saw) leaps out of the shadows in a horror movie.

But buying stocks on your own and buying stocks when you have an experienced, disciplined ally telling you what to do are two very different things. It’s like having someone to watch your back when you open the door to that dark room in the old, abandoned mansion.

Letting yourself be frightened at Halloween is fun. But letting yourself be frightened out of the stock market just wrong. We’d like to help. Click here for more details.

Here’s this week’s Fortune Cookie. Remember, you can always view all previous Fortune Cookies here and Contrary Opinion buttons here.


Tim’s comment: An English poet, textile designer and socialist of the Victorian era, Morris was writing in particular about art, but I find the quote relevant to all the details of life. The more involved you are in a full (rather than narrow) life, the less time you have to be unhappy.

Paul’s comment: I think the secret to happiness is that it isn’t really a secret. There’s a lot in life that you can’t control, but the decisions to read, to watch good movies, to spend time with friends and family, to do meaningful work and be a force for good in your community, these are always within your control. And attending to the details of those enterprises will present you with much to be happy about.


In case you didn’t get a chance to read all the issues of Cabot Wealth Advisory this week and want to catch up on any investing and stock tips you might have missed, there are links below to each issue.

Cabot Wealth Advisory 10/26/15 – The Oprah Effect: Weight Watchers (WTW) Could Triple

Cabot’s value expert, Roy Ward, who helms Cabot Benjamin Graham Value Investor, looks at the changing fortunes of Weight Watchers and what might happen now that Oprah has made a big investment. Stock discussed: Weight Watchers (WTW).

Cabot Wealth Advisory 10/27/15 – Beneath the Stock Market Surface

Tim Lutts, Chief Analyst of Cabot Stock of the Month, looks at the history of Puerto Rico and how the little-known Jones Act contributes to its economic difficulties. Stock discussed: Seaspan (SSW).

Cabot Wealth Advisory 10/29/15 – Three Companies that are Reinventing Themselves

Cabot Small-Cap Confidential’s Tyler Laundon takes a look at a couple of large-caps that are using the move to the cloud to get their mojo back and at a mid-cap information management specialist. Stocks discussed: Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Tyler Technologies (TYL).

Have a great weekend,

Paul Goodwin
Chief Analyst of Cabot Global Stocks Explorer
and Editor of Cabot Wealth Advisory

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Paul Goodwin is a news writer for Cabot’s free e-newsletter, Wall Street’s Best Daily.