Nightmare on the Wall (Street)
Courtesy of jflaxman
The headline for today’s (Saturday, Oct 18, 2014) post I ripped off from a major financial media outlet. I’m so ashamed.
It was the actual headline from a piece they put up this past week to describe the market action on Wall Street. They should be even more ashamed.
Yikes! Nightmares and Blood Baths. Oh, my.
So what actually happened? Well, let’s see.
The market, as measured by the S&P 500, stood at ~1908 at the opening bell on Monday October 13th. This was already down ~100 points, or 5% from it’s all time high of ~2008 a couple of weeks back.
By Wednesday it had dropped to ~1823, triggering the “Blood Bath” headline and many more like it. That was another 4.5% drop, bringing the total loss from that all-time high to ~9.2%. Not quite the 10% that defines a market “correction” — a common and healthy event.
Also not quite enough to make it worth my trouble to rebalance my allocation and pick up some now cheaper shares. Even if I had been quick enough to do so.
And quick you’d have needed to be. Thursday and Friday brought the S&P back up to ~1887, trimming the loss from the all-time high to a meager 6%. Oh, well. Maybe next week.
So what to make of such a headline?
Well, perhaps the author has never actually seen a financial nightmare or blood bath and so mistook this week’s little blip for one. Or maybe the dramatic Halloween themed phrasing was simply too sweet to resist. Or maybe it is no more than the media’s relentless need for attention; a scary new costume to wear for the day.
But if the financial media is in such a tizzy over this not quite correction, imagine the panic if we get a real one. Or a Bear (-20%). Or an actual market crash of 40%+. With “nightmare” and “blood bath” already used up, it’s gonna be tough to write headlines for those.
Of course it is all too silly. Sensible people know we’ll all be dead of Ebola before the month’s end.
Meanwhile, here at jlcollinsnh.com we had an actual nightmare. After getting steadily more and more glitchy over the last several weeks, the blog crashed and burned. I won’t bore you with details, but the issues were major and tough to resolve.
Fortunately, I had gotten an excellent response to my Help Wanted post. As it happens, I was in conversation with my new personal hero, Lucas, when the blog fully ground to a halt. He jumped in and after two days of almost non-stop effort the site is back and the issues mostly resolved.
My apologies if you tried to log on this week and found it either completely down or painfully slow. It should be all better now with just a couple of formatting issues yet to be repaired.
If you tried to leave a comment this week, please check to see if it made it through. One of the issues was the blog got slammed with a huge volume of spam. We were dumping it overboard by the bucket full and buried in the tens of thousands might have been yours. Please post it again.
Also, if you’ve posted a question bear with me. Not having access to the blog for the better part of the week, and all the time this has taken, has me behind. But I’ll get there.
The really cool thing to come out of this has been the chance to connect with some great people, like Lucas, who so value what happens here they stepped up to volunteer their help and ideas. More than I can possibly use.
My thanks to those of you who have already helped and to those still standing by, ready and able. It has been an honor to connect with each of you and a relief to know you have my back.
In addition to the technical support needed to solve these immediate issues, I now have access to still more cool ideas and the talent to implement them.
One change you’ll already notice is the ads that had been in the right hand column are gone. The banner ad at the top and the square ad imbedded in some posts, like this one, are from Google Adsense. I have no control over what companies and products appear. But if you choose to click on them and poke around on their sites, this blog earns a few bucks to keep the lights on.
The other source of light-keeping-on revenue around here are the affiliate partners. These are companies and products I do choose. You can tell which ones, because I write a full post about them describing why I endorse them. But this is tough. There is very little out there I think enough of to recommend to you.
So far, I’ve only found four: Betterment, Republic Wireless, YNAB, and my most recent Personal Capital. If you click on the links in those posts, and then chose to buy from or do business with those companies, the blog earns a commission.
I’m excited that I have finally found a fifth and hope to have a post up about them shortly. You won’t believe what the product is, but I’m already very happily using it myself.
Oh, and if you are wondering why I don’t have an affiliate relationship with Vanguard, it is simply because they don’t have them. Maybe someday…
In addition to the changes with the ads, shortly you’ll be seeing some new features in that column. There might even be a new theme and design in the works. Plus I’ve got a folder full of post ideas waiting for me to make the time. So stick around and keep a sharp eye.
While Wall Street is having self-induced nightmares and the blog has gone thru some real ones, Mrs. jlcollinsnh and I have been out and about enjoying the New Hampshire Fall.
I hope the world and life is as beautiful where you are!
Update –Monday October 20: The market closed today at 1904, down 4 points from where it stood at the beginning of last week — the week of nightmares and bloodbaths. That’s down .002%. You can’t make this stuff up.
Update 2 — Revenue spike: Since putting up this post I’ve noticed a spike in ad revenue. This is odd because, as I mentioned above, the Skyscraper ad that used to appear in the sidebar has been eliminated. I did this for a cleaner look and I fully expected, and was prepared to accept, a drop in revenue as a result. The only conclusion is that some of you have chosen to support the blog by clicking into the remaining ads. To those who have, I thank you!
Update –Friday October 31: Today the market closed at a record 2018, just 12 trading days since dropping to the low of 1823 that triggered the Bloodbath headline. Happy Halloween!