Stock Market Video
Cabot, Salem and Witches
The Hand Dealt is Determinism; The Hand Played is Free Will
In Case You Missed It
In this week’s Stock Market Video, I sound a cautionary note. It’s not that the market is in a downtrend, far from it. But the number of technical warning signals and former market leaders taken off at the knees is too high to ignore. You should be weeding out the losers and laggards in your portfolio and tightening up your stops. Nobody knows what the market will do, but fortune favors the prepared. Stocks discussed include: FleetCor (FLT), Shutterfly (SFLY), Splunk (SPLK), LinkedIn (LNKD) and Pandora (P), among others. Click below to watch the video!
Cabot, Salem and Witches
Cabot Heritage was founded in Salem, Massachusetts in 1970, which makes us 43 years old this year. That makes us a fairly venerable company as these things go, but having Salem for a home can give you a slightly different perspective on time.
That’s because Salem itself was first settled in 1623 and incorporated in 1626, so the town was already well over three-hundred years old (344) when Cabot put out its first investment newsletter. So we temper our pride in our longevity accordingly.
This August, we’re staging the first-ever Cabot Investment Conference, a three-day chance for our subscribers (and others who are interested in investing) to meet all of our editors—all eight of them—and each other. There will be a cocktail reception on Wednesday (August 14), which will be both a meet-and-greet and a chance to get to know the editors as people and to start asking questions.
Thursday will be a full day of presentations, in which each of our editors will lay out the investment rationale that guides the construction of their advisories, give strategies for the selection and handling of investments and answer questions from the audience.
After a half a day of presentations and questions on Friday, attendees will find themselves in Salem with a full weekend ahead of them.
What to do? What to do?
I thought it might be useful to give you some idea of what there is to do in Salem when you’re not getting your head stuffed with useful and interesting investing information. So here’s a guide to Salem in August in three parts: history, culture and just general messing around.
History—More than Just Witches
Yes, there was a spot of unpleasantness in Salem in 1692. The locals got a little carried away with the idea that witches were among them. After a series of Witch Trials that generated a fair amount of hysteria and left nearly two dozen dead, things returned to normal.
But while the Witch Trials are now regarded as a black eye for Salem, the town has made every effort to embrace them as part of its identity. Salem is officially The Witch City, has the outline of a witch on the side of its police cars and employs an official Town Witch. The downtown features a Salem Witch Museum, a bronze statue of Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery (on a broom) and more fortune tellers and shops full of witchy merchandise than you can shake a stick at.
Personally, I give about as much credence to fortune tellers as I do to those who predict the stock market, but if you want your palm read, your tarot cards cast or your aura buffed to a high sheen, Salem has you covered. Beyond its assorted witchiness, Salem also has many reminders of its central position in the China and spice trades, including a replica of the Friendship, a merchantman that was launched in Salem in 1797. National Park Rangers would love to show you around.
I have a lasting memory of touring one of Salem’s pre-Revolutionary Era houses years ago. I was stooping to get through a very low doorway into a very authentic kitchen, its hearth displaying all the tools necessary to get meals ready over an open fire, when I had a realization of how small these people actually were, and how dark and constricted their world was. It made me glad for my convection oven and my microwave, but it also made me sympathize with their trials, in every sense of the word. There’s also a cornucopia of restaurants, gift shops, bars, art galleries and other spots to dawdle in. The average high temperature in Salem is 79 in August, and the average low is 62. Visitors know it’s summer, but they’re not reduced to a puddle by it.
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Salem is lucky to have a world-class museum, the Peabody Essex Museum right smack in the middle of town. The Peabody Essex has great memorabilia and art connected to Salem’s sailing past, but it also features fine art collections and traveling exhibits that make it a fabulous way to spend a day.
I saw a traveling exhibition of teapots at the PEM that knocked my socks off. And the complete 18th century Chinese house that they have completely reassembled there is absolutely fascinating.
For the literary minded, the House of the Seven Gables, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is open to give visitors insight into colonial living. And Hawthorne’s own home is nearby and open to view. I always thought Hawthorne was a little creepy, and the insight provided by his house, and the one that inspired The House of the Seven Gables, didn’t cure me of that.
General Messing Around
Salem has lots to offer, including boat rides, tours (both witchy and historical) and all the usual amusements of a summer in a New England tourist town. There’s a 45-minute self-guided tour of the McIntire District, an area with more than 300 historic structures. Taking this tour will show you what Salem’s rich merchants built instead of McMansions. My personal favorites for a way to spend a few hours is just to take to the streets and look in shop windows, find a table overlooking the harbor and enjoy a refreshing beverage or renew my life-long search for the best fudge in the world.
I will also let you in on one gem that few tourists get to, even though it’s know to everybody in Salem who loves breakfast. It’s Red’s Sandwich Shop, a fixture in downtown Salem for more than 50 years. Red’s is located in the building that used to house the Old London Coffee House, which extends its pedigree back into the 17th century. The Hash & Cheese Omelet at Red’s will put a spring in your step that will last through endless sightseeing. You won’t run out of things to do in Salem. And if you take into account the compactness of New England—it’s easy to drive through five states in one day—and the closeness of Boston, Cape Cod and the coast of Maine, you have unlimited opportunities.
Combine all that with the wealth of investment lore and practical tips you’ll get at the Cabot Investors Conference, and I think you’ll want to take us up on our offer to make your August both instructional and enjoyable.
Here’s this week’s Contrary Opinion Button. Remember, you can always view all of the buttons by clicking here.
The Hand Dealt is Determinism; The Hand Played is Free Will
Tim’s Comment: Originally by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who wrote, “Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” It makes sense to me. What’s great about the investment world is that we are all dealt the same cards (ignoring the professionals with their super-fast computerized trading systems), so we all have equal opportunity to make brilliant, highly profitable investments.
Paul’s Comment: In investing, especially growth investing, which is what I know about, knowledge and confidence lead to gains, while ignorance and feeling like a victim leads to losses. The investment playing field is actually pretty level, and you can buy exactly the same issues as a mutual fund manager or a hedge fund guru. And beating them is a real thrill.
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.
Tim Lutts, editor of Cabot Stock of the Month, writes about what attendees as the Cabot Investors Conference can look forward to. He also can’t resist point out that one of his 10 Stock to Hold Forever just spiked up 21%. Stock discussed: Tesla Motors (TSLA).
I write in this issue about why individual stocks are a better deal than mutual funds and ETFs. I also try to explain what all the hollering about bitcoins is all about. Stock discussed: Huaneng Power (HNP).
Chloe Lutts, editor of Dick Davis Investment Digest, writes in this issue about various ways to invest in precious metals, and why. Issues discussed: SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), ETFS Physical Precious Metals Basket Shares (GLTR) and ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (PPLT).
Have a great weekend,
Editor of Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report
and Cabot Wealth Advisory