How to Tune Out and Cash in Big in a Scary Market

Keith Fitz-Gerald Jun 01, 2019

If you’ve ever felt like you’re being relentlessly bombarded with information, you’re onto something. And if there’s any doubt, I’ve got the numbers to prove it.

Data varies, but the average person sees between 5,000 and 10,000 advertisements a day. That’s up as much as 9,900% from when I was growing up, when that figure was less than 100.

We’ve been led to believe, or – dare I say “sold on the idea” – that the multitasking enabled by so much information is good for us. We’re supposed to be better surgeons, better thinkers, better pilots, better people – heck – better everything because of the connected world.

But it’s simply not true. Studies like those from Stanford University’s Communication Between Humans and Interactive Media Lab show that it’s actually terrible.

Instead, we’re learning to ignore information, because that’s how our brains protect us. Effectively, we’re learning to “sample” lots of things while concentrating on just a very few things.

In the process, we’re just as likely as not to miss the critical things that actually matter. The Internet, in all its guises, has made the problem worse – especially when it comes to money.

Investors who fall prey unknowingly risk losing their shirts.

The ongoing trade war with China is a perfect example…

Information Overload Is Costing Investors Billions of Dollars a Day

In no particular order, these are just the first three stories I see on Google News as I write this Monday morning.

“Was This the Moment U.S.-China Trade Talks Fell Apart?” ­- South China Morning Post

“The U.S.-China Trade War’s Global Economic Impact” – Bloomberg

“The Trade War with China Is Now a Long-Term Problem” – Forbes

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You don’t need me to tell you these headlines are all distinctly unsettling (whether that’s by design or not is a story for a different day).

The effect headlines like these have on information-overloaded investors is paralyzing. They’re gripped by worry over the possibility that the conflict could damage our economy, our investments, even our lives.

Well, guess what: It already is.

What we’re thinking about – and what everyone else should be thinking about – is how to play the situation we’ll be in when there’s a deal. That’s the stuff that hasn’t been priced into the markets, because most people cannot think that way.

It’s counterintuitive, but that focus is very much what you want right now if you’re interested in big profits – like I am.

This Stock Proves My Point (and Puts Cash in Your Pocket)

Current market conditions are perfect for contrarians.

That’s not a word you hear me use very often, because it carries many meanings, most of which are wrong.

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Contrarians are not simply people who go against the grain for the sake of going against the grain, like everybody thinks. The way I use the term, I mean people who simply examine the other side of things and make a well-thought-out, profitable decision.

It so happens that often enough, that decision will take them in the opposite direction of the crowd.

The Short-Term Trading Index (TRIN), or Arms Index, which compares the number of advancing and declining stocks with advancing and declining volume, is reading 1.13 right now.

That’s a bright, neon sign that markets are very oversold, thanks to short-term traders who couldn’t get out of their own way if they tried.

But this “short-termism is blinding them to the historical fact that markets have rallied as much as 9% every time we’ve seen such low readings.

Rallied!

Let ’em go ahead and miss out on all that upside; it just means more for us.

Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) is the perfect contrarian play for an oversold moment like this.

It’s a great company making must-have, world-leading products critical to artificial intelligence, Big Data processing, and digitization.

Only now, its shares are trading more than 50% down from their 52-week high, at around $144, because “20% of its revenue” is “potentially impacted by China.”

Flip that around, and you can see 80% the company’s revenue is not impacted by China.

Think about this for a second… the headlines are a distraction. AI, Big Data, deep learning… these are all things our world “must have,” and that’s what Nvidia makes.

It was doing this before the trade war started; it’ll be doing just that long after we’ve got a deal.

The fact that it’s been beaten down by distracted investors makes buying in an extremely savvy and potentially extraordinarily profitable move.

Focusing on the upside is how you will really bank the big bucks.

Believe it or not, your brain is actually programmed to do this. There’s a chemical called noradrenaline that helps you concentrate, and your body will produce more of it when you focus by shutting out the distractions… like the headlines, your smartphone – even “crazy” uncles if you’ve got one.

Noradrenaline helps control the primordial section of your brain – the prefrontal cortex that controls our executive functions… planning, analysis, thinking, doing – which is constantly in conflict with the impulsive section responsible for our survival.

And, of course, our profits.

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