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Trading Blog Accountability: Bill Cara and Tim Knight at Trader’s Narrative





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bill cara.pngBill Cara is a top trading/finance blogger. He’s been featured in major print media, online at Forbes.com and other very prestigious places. Bill is a fellow Canadian and has had an illustrious career in the field of finance. I respect the guy tremendously and look up to him and his success. And I also commend him on the effort that he puts into his blog. There’s just one thing that prevents me from being a fanboy: as a permabear, he makes atrocious market calls and never holds himself accountable.

Here is what Bill wrote on July 6th, 2006, just as we were forming the intermediate bottom that launched the next upleg:

If you are bullish on equities, I think you need to batten down the hatches.
Like I say, there is a storm coming. Time to reef those sails.

tim knight tradertim.png
Tim Knight, is another highly regarded trading blogger whom I respect a lot. He’s the founder of prophet.net (a great charting tool) and an indefatigable technician. His charts are a thing of beauty. Except, as he himself readily admits, he is also a permabear. Here is what Tim wrote at the same market junction, July 8th, 2006:




I am shorting everything I can. Buying puts on everything I can. Owning nothing. My belief is the market is heading for a sustained, profound fall and my intent is to profit handsomely from its demise. There are certain sectors that seem especially juicy for a fall. Oil services. Gold and Silver. And, to keep it simple, just the good ol’ S&P 500.

Here’s what I wrote around the same time, July 6th, 2007 (Running With The Bulls):

Something similar [Pamplona’s bullrun] is afoot on Wall Street. But very few people are really paying attention and they may ‘get in the way’ of the bull.

I mention that, not to get any credit but rather because it is only fair to show you what I wrote back then myself. I did happen to get it right but only because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.

As a side note, this illustrates perfectly why I like Jason Goepfert’s site SentimenTrader so much. He is able to switch his view and stance as the data and markets dictate. Why else would I recommend him to you and give you a chance at 6 months of free access to his brilliant mind?

Getting back to the topic of accountability… To my knowledge, neither trading blog has gone back and given these calls any explicit attention. Now, I’m certainly not under the impression that bloggers should be held to the same standards as analysts or investment banks or research firms. And I’m not suggesting that we go around like a bunch of hooligans forcing bloggers to answer for their wrong calls. Their archives are there for anyone to peruse.

What I am suggesting is that we hold ourselves accountable. And do so for the simple and self-serving reason that that’s how one learns! Each time we brush a wrong call under the carpet, pretend like our call wasn’t horribly wrong, pretend that we don’t have any losing trades, etc. we deny ourselves and our readers a chance to gain further insight into the market.

So here and now, I dedicate myself to go through my own past calls. I’ll be looking forward (not to the bashing or the pats on the back but) to the insightful comments of fellow bloggers and readers so we can learn something for the next opportunity.

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15 Responses to “Trading Blog Accountability: Bill Cara and Tim Knight”  

  1. 1 The Market Speculator

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    I agree with you completely about Bill Cara. However, Tim Knight does admit when he screws up a call. And today, he offers up some bullish charts. So while he is a bear, he does look at things somewhat objectively.

  2. 2 Babak

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    really? Tim gets bullish sometimes? lol I must have blinked!

  3. 3 The Market Speculator

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    It might be a sign that it really is time to short!

  4. 4 MikeB

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    Your blog is a dizzying mess of advertisements and distraction from the real reason anyone would come here, meaningful content. Further, your pump scheme with your contest is nothing more than a spam job on your readers.

    Kind regards.

    Mike

  5. 5 Chris

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    I agree; we should go back and look at when we are right and wrong. Accountability is huge. Being wrong is part of trading and there is nothing to be ashamed of and no one can make me feel otherwise. Trading is about winning and losing but the successful traders know how to manage their money and systems to allow their winners to be larger than their losers. I can admit that I am wrong about 50% of the time (sometimes more) and I will be wrong about 50% of the time in 2007 but that’s trading in my world. I am a trend/swing trader so I am wrong a large portion of the time. But when I am right, I am right big! I happened to disagree with Bill and Tim back in late July and August of 2006 so I actually got it right but I was cautious. This is an excellent blog topic for our niche!

  6. 6 Babak

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    Thanks for your comments MikeB :)

    Chris, I’m glad other trading bloggers agree. I don’t think anyone serious about the craft would disagree. Cheers

  7. 7 Declan Fallon

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    I totally agree with the need for accountability. If you want to run the mouth you need to be objective enough to highlight the good calls with the bad. If we got it right all the time the market would be an easy game! One day somebody (who???) will compile the Ticker Sense data on individual blogger opinions and see who is best (and worst) at making the call. I don’t particularly want to do this myself as I know my stats won’t be so hot!

    Best wishes,
    Declan

  8. 8 Babak

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    Thanks for dropping by Declan.
    Love your site by the way :)

  9. 9 Tim Knight

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    I tripped across this post.

    I’m not so sure it’s a matter of accountability……speaking for myself, I don’t avoid putting up some kind of trading record on purpose. Each afternoon, I just share my own thoughts on the market. I don’t run a hedge fund. I’m not an advisory service. I trade for my own account, and I am basically writing a diary that’s open for public viewing.

    Listen, I’ve been bearish, and the market’s been bullish, and that’s been bad for me! Simple as that. But I can at least know that I’ve been sharing my own views, right or wrong, in an honest and timely way.

  10. 10 Babak

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    Hi Tim,
    thanks for your comments. To summarize, what I suggested and took upon myself is that as trading bloggers we go back to our previous calls and revisit them once in a while. btw if you’d like to get an innoculation for permabear-itis may I suggest 50 cc’s of SentimenTrader?
    j/k
    all the best

  11. 11 Jason

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    reading this blog a little after a year after it was posted. He wasn’t so wrong on his view of the market…maybe just not quite so right on the timing…..sounds no different from a lot of traders. i appreciate Tim’s comment earlier…simply a journal that the public can view. Good observation though and i do like the idea of all of us, especially those in the public eye, being a little more accountable to all that we do. Good job.

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