Hi there, welcome to this blog.
Perhaps you buy stocks sometimes, and you're trying to get a feel for where the market is going, and you need a bit of clarity about that. It would also be helpful to see some practical tools that can create this clarity for you. In the end we all want to perform better in the markets, and we all want better clarity. I'm trying to achieve this clarity, for you and for myself. I'm also showing some very helpful tools in a real market situation, so you can start to use these tools yourself.
Maybe you are in the financial trenches every day as a seasoned veteran or maybe you have a totally different background. The common theme is that we are on the ground, running, and once in a while we need to jump into an air balloon and soar above the landscape and get some perspective. Maybe here - leaning against the railing of the air balloon, looking at the landscape together - we can get ideas, methods and a perspective that will help us both when we get back on the ground again.
So basically this is a personal blog about the financial markets and financial analysis.
Writings for my desk drawer
My main audience is my desk drawer. If you happen to stop by and peek inside the drawer, you are welcome. But my idea is to write for the fun of it, and my audience is my desk drawer. I thought of writing this as another book (my first book about technical analysis was published in 2014), but that would involve years of work and why wait that long? So I'll write this as a blog. My aim is to write a blog every 14 days or so, but let's see how it goes. As with everything in nature, this too will fluctuate. And in order to remove any notion of perfection I deliberately aim to ramble, make errors and make a very subjective and personal view. The aim is free writing in the flow. I especially want to dispense with academic phrases. I often find academic writing is killing anything that's interesting, so I will deliberately make this as subjective and personal as I can. By entering this site and opening my desk drawer you accept this notion, and you enter at your own risk. You are climbing this mountain alongside me at your own risk, and I'm giving no concrete buy/sell advice. Use your own discretion and common sense (which applies to everything in your life). Every idea I present here is a potential ticking time bomb inside your head. You never know when it explodes...it could be in a burst of butterflies :-)
With a personal blog you might want to know who is writing it. It is not absolutely necessary to know, because 'the subject' and the blog posts are what is important. But if you really feel that you want to know, then I'll try to give an idea about who I am and what I stand for.
My name is Tom Bundgaard, and I live in Denmark. When I'm not writing on this blog, my day job is as a Chief Analyst at Kairos Commodities. I'm forecasting commodity prices, doing research and giving lectures throughout Europe. My travels, lectures and consultancy work are giving me a great feel for how companies in Europe are working in this specific field.
On the right there are some pictures of me, both in private and when I'm giving lectures. Notice how the computer screen at the top is showing cocoa beans. Good chocolate is one of my hobbies. I even give lectures about chocolate, tasting, beans and what production steps make a good chocolate. That's just for the fun of it, because the real thing, of course, is eating it.
A person that has had a profound impact in my life is my mentor and friend, shown in the picture to the left. Svend Jørgen Jensen from Demetra. He turned my life in a new direction when I met him. Even today, after so many years, I really don't find people or other analysts that have that kind of depth in their analysis, in addition to an open and inquisitive mind coupled with integrity and fairness. When I met him I already had an education as Academy Economist, and I had worked many years as a purchasing manager. I had travelled mainly in China and the Far East for more than 14 years, buying all kinds of specialised stuff. I knew purchasing, commodities and prices very well. This is more or less where it all started. I got to know many commodities really well, I got to know purchasing 'in the trenches' and I got to know prices. I was being subjected to huge waves all the time. Price waves, mind you. In purchasing you are subject to price volatility in towering waves, and you are swimming for dear life without a life vest, without a life raft, without knowing when the storm will calm again. This got me frustrated. I studied this field to try to understand where the next wave would come from, having small successes that spurred me on, and huge gaps that told me I didn't have a clue or a firm grasp on anything solid. Water is slippery when you try to grab it. But when compared to other purchasing managers I felt I had an edge in the methods I used.
I was perhaps a little smug in secret, the feeling you get when you are a little bit ahead. And that's when I attended an evenings lecture with my mentor and that changed my life. In that evening I saw methods and an overview that totally blew me away. The 'edge' I was so smug about was like a single brick compared to a full mansion. My brick was fine, but nothing compared to a full two story mansion with garden and everything. I remember sitting at the lecture, having one single, very clear impression. It was like hitting a huge brass gong from Nepal, and it gave a clear and vibratory resonance within: "This is what I want to do for the rest of my life". It has stayed with me since. I went up to him and asked him how I could proceed, and what book I should read. I had a focus and a purpose like I had never felt before. He was very kind, and gave me a suggestion of what to read. It was not just some random academic writing. I don't know whether it was by chance or whether he had an insight into human nature, because he directed me to an obscure, little known topic that was absolutely perfect for me. And I started reading, and reading, and spent 10 years on the subject, keeping in touch with him occasionally. The whole thing unravelled from technical analysis into macro economics and fundamental analysis. And every step of the way we kept in contact, discussed ideas, and ended up giving lectures together and writing a book together. A true mentorship. I always tell our students that they need to find a mentor. I learned 10 times as much from my mentor than I did in all my education.
After having read and studied for 10 years I wanted to take a formal degree in technical analysis, so I joined the Society of Technical Analysis in London and took the STA degree. After that I wanted to take the last and final step you can in that direction, a Master of Financial Technical Analysis from the US. All of this was really, really great. Fascinating. I was riveted. And yet I still learned 10 times as much from my mentor. That's why you need a mentor. One day you can be a life changer for someone else. I certainly had my life changed around by all of this. Twenty-five years later I'm sitting today in my sofa on a Thursday evening, after a working day, with a hot cup of tea beside me, writing on my blog. Who would have known back then??
What I'm trying to achieve is not about scoring goals. It's not about making money or being right. As mentioned in one of my blog posts I have a joke about "There are two types of people": "Those who divide people into two types and those who don't" (now it's your turn to smile). I'm actually the type that doesn't put people into two brackets. But I have met two personality types in the financial world. Let's call them Hunter and Gatherer. You're either in it for the money, being a day trader, competitive, and the results are what counts, and the methods are secondary things, so you are really hunting and killing. That's a competitive hunter. Nothing wrong with that. I'm a Gatherer, and there's nothing wrong with that type either. A gatherer is not that much into shooting living creatures dead, but is trying to fertilize the ground and grow a garden with useful plants and herbs, gathering. It's all about building, maintaining, caring and seeing things grow...and of course harvesting at the end of the cycle. Not shooting things dead and triumphing. For a gatherer it's a matter of seeing patterns that create a meaning for you. Getting so high in your air balloon that you get the big perspective. It's about investigation and questioning and sensing. It's about being a detective.
My ideal and aspiration is what is termed 'the Copenhagen Spirit'. It's a term from the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. Physicists from around the world worked closely together at the Bohr institute - in the 1940'ies I think - discussing ideas in a special way that was later termed the Copenhagen Spirit. A spirited dialogue, but totally without attack or defensiveness (that is all too common). Creating a valued dialogue where you are not just waiting for your turn to speak, but actually listen actively. Seeking a balance where you want the absolute highest standard within the field, but at the same time really putting practical results equally high as theory. Using dialogue to propel the balloon higher than you could on your own. Not only that, Niels Bohr is known for a nice quote: An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field. I usually say to my audience that "from that perspective, I'm a real expert". I do that to create a smile and it works. The truth, however, now that you are asking, is that I'm far from finished making mistakes, even in this narrow field :-)
What I want is to discuss ideas without trying to shoot them down, looking at them from all angles and then test them rigorously to see if they work or not. Even when they don't work (and even when I knew they wouldn't work ahead of time) I always, always, learned something in the testing process. Like Edison said: He didn't fail. He just found 1000 ways that didn't work in making light. But then he found it and made light. But we're not stopping there. We keep refining. Making the light shine brighter, longer, making it more robust, more user friendly, more economical. Product development. In this analogy technical analysis works, it makes light already. But we are not stopping because of that. We want to refine it, make it shine brighter, longer. So we are thinking and testing at the same time. Inspiring each other. This is the Copenhagen Spirit that is needed. And it has nothing to do with Copenhagen or geography, but with respect, attitude and spirit. That's my aspiration.
That's the reason for this blog...if you survived getting as far down in the text as here, that is.
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