Your Almost Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

The Stock Trader's Almanac

From the archives: First edition of The Stock Trader’s Almanac, with a note from my dad.

“Perhaps it’s Talmudic wisdom but, selling stocks before the eight-day span of the high holidays has avoided many declines, especially during uncertain times.”
— Jeff Hirsch, The Stock Trader’s Almanac

We shall see if last week’s sharp decline is completely retraced, or if Thursday-Friday’s strong rebound is rebuffed, heading into Yom Kippur.

The important thing to remember with such indicators is, as Richard Russell would say, “It’s the little exceptions that get you.”

Best regards,



Your Almost Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

procrastination cartoon

Cartoon by Ellis Rosen, @Ellis Rosen

“It never rains on Rosh Hashanah.”

— Paul Sarnoff

I remember one year, walking to shul with my dad, we got soaked!

Rosh Hashanah begins Sunday evening, marking the start of Jewish year 5780.  The High Holy Days, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, are known as The Days of Awe and begin 10 days of reflection, introspection, and repentance.

We wish all who celebrate a very Happy, Healthy, and Sweet New Year!

Best regards,



Your Almost Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

grizzly bear snacking on berries

Grizzly Bear snacking on berries, h/t Drew Rush / NatGeo

After an early bounce, tired bulls are on the back foot. Hungry bears are selling. When asked why the market moved up or down on a given day, my dad would answer in his Brooklynese, “Sometimes the bulls gotta get fed and sometimes the bears gotta get fed.”

Best regards,


Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Pluggers cartoon

h/t Tribune Media Services

“Pluggers are self-deprecating and have a healthy sense of humor about themselves. They represent the majority of us who don’t live for the latest trend, who keep plugging along without fanfare and try to balance work, play and family life.”
— Gary Brookins

Throwback Thursday to this date in 2005 when I made the funny papers (see cartoon above).

Having a good sense of humor and the persistence to keep plugging along through the ups and downs of life are valuable qualities which help you on your way.

Have fun, plug away, and enjoy a great day!

Best regards,


Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

“Don’t anchor your self-worth to your net worth. Almost everything that is important in life can’t be measured in dollars.”
— Ian Cassel

…or pesos.  We’re back, recharged after a wonderful week with my in-laws down on the Baja.

Simple care and lovingkindness for your family, friends, other people, animals, and the planet, that’s the good stuff.  You see, that’s what endures.

Go get ’em, folks!

Best regards,


Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Super Bloom

Super Bloom, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, h/t Sumiko Scott / Getty Images

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
— Hal Borland

So it is, as well, with markets.  Cycles come in, sometimes stronger than others.

Welcome Home, Spring!

This year, we’ve got a Super Bloom of wildflowers in Southern California.  I love seeing the desert in bloom.  For a guy who grew up on Long Island, the desert seems like a place out of the movies.  Seeing such vibrant colors spring forth from the stark terrain gives us hope.

Best regards,



Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Russell Sage

Russell Sage, circa 1870 h/t Hulton Archive/Getty Images

“He wears no crown upon his royal head,
But many millions in his purse, instead;

He keeps no halls of state; but holds his court
in dingy rooms where thrift and greed resort;

In iron chests his wondrous wealth he hoards;
Banks are his parlors; brokers his lords,

Bonds, bills, and mortgages, his favorite books,
Gold is his food, and coiners are his cooks; …”
— John G. Saxe, The Money-King, 1854

Saxe’s lengthy mid-nineteenth century poem is descriptive of the exalted financial state of the European banking families considered to be “Money-Kings.”

In 2019, many of the poem’s couplets ring familiar with today’s growing problem of income inequality.

It’s something to consider, when considering those running for office.

Best regards,


PS My father, Paul Sarnoff, authored a biography of Russell Sage, published in 1965, Russell Sage: The Money King.  Sage banked the tycoons and helped shape the Industrial Revolution.  He became one of the wealthiest people in US history.

Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Firecracker the Pig

Firecracker, h/t

There’s an old Wall Street adage, “Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered,” warning investors against excessive greed.

Thinking of pigs reminds us to be kind and compassionate human beings.  We vote with our dollars.  Let’s strive to be socially responsible and conscious consumers, as well as thoughtful investors and speculators.

At the cusp of the Lunar New Year, the Chinese Zodiac’s Year of the Pig, with gratitude galore, we’re sending a shout out to Jordan, Matt, and all the great volunteers at Farm Animal Refuge.

It’s a wonderful place, located in Campo, California, less than an hour’s drive east of San Diego, where people can be educated and inspired by seeing fortunate animals, like Firecracker above, simply living their lives .

Farm Animal Refuge provides a true home to abused, neglected, unwanted animals.  Click here for a 2-minute video report, nicely done by the Union-Tribune.

Check out the Farm Animal Refuge nonprofit and please consider donating to them.

Many thanks,


Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Stockbroker tie

Detail from my father’s stockbroker tie

“Remember, your goal is to trade well, not to trade often.”
— Alexander Elder

I concur with Dr. Elder.  My father, Paul Sarnoff, was fond of saying in his Brooklynese, “Sometimes da bulls gotta get fed and sometimes da bears gotta get fed.  But da brokers eat wheddah da market goes up or down.”

Accentuate That

When I first went west, in the early-1980s, people made a big deal of my New York accent.

I shook my head, “What accent?”

One morning, after I’d been in Idaho for a while, I was on the phone with my dad and asked him about my brother Mitch being in New York City, down from his home in Rhode Island.  What I heard, kinda shocked me, “He met ya muddah fer lunch at some jernt uptown.”

I was taken aback, “muddah,” “jernt,” what an accent!

I guess there’ll always be a little New Yorker in me.

For thirty years now, our approach at Options Hotline is that the only ones sure to profit from doing a lot of trades are the brokers.

Any way you say it, we strive for quality over quantity.

This week’s action should reveal some valuable information about the market’s intended primary direction.

I hope you enjoyed my little story.

Best regards,