Next time you get sick, I have a project for you. Spot the exact moment when you begin the transition from illness back to full health again.
That is an “inflection point.”
Simply stated, it is the instant of a trend reversal. It’s not limited to medicine, politics, economics, or statistics. It’s one of those universal “things” in societies. The sort that are left unspoken, untaught, but which are nevertheless critical to how a human progresses through life.
We show it in data sets all the time. The local tide tables will reveal the precisely calculated moment of low tide, for example. A minute later and the tide will begin coming in again. But until that inflection point the tide is still going how, regardless of how slowly.
In gambling – as well as stock trading – there is an inflection point where the direction of the trend changes.
Last week, I forecast an “inflection point” in the market should be along this week, or next. My thinking had to do with trend channels, Elliott Waves, and our own proprietary way of looking at the markets. Essentially, it said I was simply early when I called for a major bullish move up in stocks. “Not yet, Ure,” the data said. “Soon, but another week or two…maybe even three…”
We MAY have passed the inflection point – where the market will begin moving upwards again – but it might not be apparent.
One problem is the futures this morning are pointing down again. But not as far as the short nosebleed at mid-morning Monday that allowed us to cash in on the inflection point.
A lower low may happen, of course. But it’s the learning to spot inflection points – and use them for financial gain – that constitutes “The Great Art.”
There’s an almost Zen-like aspect of such points. It’s the ultimate going with the flow in many ways.
You can see it at work on the battlefield.
One soldier will be firing and looking nervously over his shoulder almost as soon as decisive engagement begins. This soldier is anticipating reinforcements too early.
A second soldier nearby is also firing. Except this one is doing a far better job of it – not being distracted by expectations, hope, and wishes for reinforcements to show up. His job – which he’s almost resigned to is to fire and hold off the enemy as long as possible. It sets a pattern for his life: He will tend to be so busy firing (doing as he has been ordered) that he may miss the moment when help arrives and even be surprised by its arrival.
The third soldier is the “Lucky One.” He fires without distraction until – for reasons that aren’t even conscious most times – he senses the arrival of reinforcements. This is the man who will go through something akin to a “charmed life.” He will seemingly get all the breaks.
Fortune will be smiling upon him some will claim. Yet under closer inspection it’s revealed that his internal guidance system has made him who he is.
Every morning when I go through my “morning routine” I spend a bit of time nowadays honing this undocumented skill.
I fire up my Kindle, load up a casino app (GSN Casino) and head right to the Outlaw Poker table.
Within a dozen hands of five card draw, I can sense how the “ol’ luck” is running.
Some mornings I will bust. But on a slowly growing list of mornings I can run a couple of thousand chips up to 100,000 – or more.
This is where we get into statistics a bit.
Luck – or what we think of as luck – runs in streaks. The art of “inflection-catching” is to very quickly recognize how “luck” is running.
As a pilot, catching the inflection moment of weather is another great way to practice building of “luck.” Weather is a kind of “bounded luck” which can be played a bit, just as playing cards is similarly bounded. You’ll never encounter snow if it’s 50 degrees on the ground, at least until you’re 6,000 feet up. 3 or 4 degrees temperature change per thousand feet is a bound.
Similarly, strong head or tail winds require steep pressure gradients – these too are bounding elements.
Inflection points related to investment are ever-present yet few see them going by.
Take real estate: Residential is still doing fine and most people would call it sufficient to know that one fact.
Yet, it is not. Commercial real estate is looking “peaky” right now. It’s because the etailers and the One Big Box Above Others (Walmart) have defined the future – and the eventual death of shopping malls.
That inflection point is somewhere around right now, but few will actually understand its importance. Yet etailing, robotics, drones, and package delivery services are conspiring to bankrupt those anchor tenants every mall needs.
There are important inflection points in politics, as well.
Take the allegations (Fox News) that Obama national security advise Susan Rice demanded the “unmasking” of America citizens associated with the Trump transition team.
This is a huge story – and yet the word “Rice” didn’t appear on the front page of the NY Times when I looked. The NY Post on the other hand did report the story on its front page.
This MAY be the moment of a major inflection point in the Nation’s affairs. If, indeed, Rice did unmask private citizens (whether incidental to surveillance or not) then it will tend to move people toward thinking “Hey, so they DID spy on Trump’s people…”
Couple that with Jared Kushner going to Iraq and Donald himself giving away his presidential paycheck to help fund the National Park Service and you have a series of events, actions, and promises that MIGHT reverse Trumps slide in the polls.
To us, it will be another inflection point to be cognizant of.
I’ve only come to the realization of the importance of inflection points recently, say the past year or three. But improving my recognition of them seems to be a very nice addition to what’s already been a grand life of adventure.
Regardless of your age, any study you can do of “The Moment when Trends Reverse” seems like one of the best uses of time there is.
Write when you get rich,