HomeKatusa Investment InsightsBeware the BBQ Pitch: Counter Indicators to Avoid Losing Money

Beware the BBQ Pitch: Counter Indicators to Avoid Losing Money

The smell of sizzling burgers and the hum of lively banter – it’s the epitome of summer.Yet beyond the family camaraderie and lip-smacking barbecue, lies an unconventional and perhaps overlooked treasure chest of investment wisdom.The unlikely source?Your overly enthusiastic brother-in-law or, let’s say, the Uber driver that got you to the party.It’s a familiar setting where casual conversation can save you from a severe financial bruising. Because in the world of investing, preventing loss is just as important, if not more so, than securing gains.So, how can the incessant chatter about a ‘hot stock’ he came across in a pop-up ad save you from financial grief? More than you might think…

Listen to the Uber Window

Welcome to the era of the “Uber Window” – a concept that transforms every casual conversation into a potential goldmine of market insights.By mapping out when Uber drivers first started raving about Bitcoin (around the $40k mark) or GameStop (circa $400), we reveal a unique and effective investment compass.We’re not advocating following every piece of financial advice from an Uber driver, but their chatter can be a useful counter-indicator. In essence, when they start advising you on investments, it might be a signal that the market is overheated.What they hear and when they hear it can be attributed to how far outside the deal room they are.

The “Ring of Coverage”

Let’s visualize a bullseye of investing news called the “Ring of Coverage.”At the center, we have ‘boots on the ground’, and the decision makers in the room. Katusa Research prides itself on that mantra of being first to the story.This is followed by investment research firms, financial newsletters, Jim Cramer and the stock message boards like StockTwits.At the outer ring we have the brother-in-laws and Uber drivers with their RobinHood accounts.

  • The closer the advice source is to the center, the higher the potential for profitability.

Conversely, as we move outward, the risk of encountering overhyped, overvalued, and often misleading information increases.

The Brother-in-Law Indicator

Full Disclosure:[The following depiction is not based on a real brother-in-law of anyone at Katusa Research. Any similarity to a real-life person is entirely fictional. Or is it!?]I can spot it from a mile away.The look on the face is the same every time. If it was closed captioned it would read “I can’t contain my excitement with what I’m about to tell you. Give me some confirmation bias.”Picture this scenario, I’m sure it’s happened to you…Clutching a half-empty beer, my BIL started rambling about a ‘revolutionary’ tech stock he’d read about in a pop-up ad. This was the same guy who had just learned how to check Reddit last month. Yet here he was, trying to sell me on his latest investment ‘discovery’.His enthusiasm was genuine, but as an experienced investor, I had an instinct for the kind of indicators that spell trouble.

  • Little did he know, he was turning into my most reliable counter-trend signal – a walking, talking ‘Brother-in-Law Indicator’.

Should you run for the hills? Perhaps. But instead of dismissing the enthusiasm outright, take a moment to consider it from the perspective of the “Brother-in-Law Indicator.”This modern-day Shoeshine Boy concept suggests that when investment tips start trickling down to unlikely sources, it may be a sign that a market peak or bubble is nearing.The upshot? It’s time to protect yourself from possible losses instead of dreaming about the gains that might never materialize.The old school wisdom of ‘buy low, sell high’ holds true even in this age of artificial intelligence (A.I.) and quantum computing.Our approach combines this timeless principle with modern indicators like the “Uber Window”, the “Ring of Coverage” and the “Brother-in-Law Indicator”.

What’s Hot and What’s Not

The easiest way to spot what’s hot and what isn’t in the financial markets is to do a simple Google search of the trends in the USA.Right now, the hottest thing in the markets is Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), as you can see by the interest/trend spike below…

No question you’re reading about A.I. on Bloomberg, in your email inbox, seeing it on T.V. And likely your BIL is telling you all about the coolest startup in the sector.And we’ve seen no shortage of presentations and company decks for rounders trying to raise money for their next A.I. deal. The money is flowing in, and the sector is hot.Now you have the tools in your back pocket…

  • All of the above can serve as useful checks on our investment strategies.

While the Brother-in-Law Indicator reminds us to be cautious when inexperienced investors start doling out advice, the Ring of Coverage signals potential overvaluation when a sector becomes mainstream.In combination, these two indicators can help us avoid getting caught up in market hype and maintain a balanced, thoughtful approach to investing.These anecdotal indicators should not replace thorough market analysis but should serve as useful tools in your investment strategy.By remaining aware of these counter-trend signals, you can navigate the complex investment landscape with a more informed, critical eye.So next time you find yourself at a family barbecue, listen to your brother-in-law’s investment tips.You never know what valuable insights it might offer!Regards,Marin Katusa and the Katusa Research Team


Details and Disclosures

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