Housekeeping and Shortwave Radio Note first:
That killer quake in Haiti this weekend, 7.2 and at least a couple of dozen dead, resulted in the American Radio Relay League sending out an advisory to ham radio operators to give some elbow room to the emergency nets:
“IARU, Region 2 has requested that the following frequencies be reserved for emergency use during this event: 3750 kHz, 7150 kHz and 14330 kHz.”
If you’re a casual shortwave listener (or maybe have been dinking around with one of those cheap SDR receivers), remember to listen on lower sideband for the 3750 and 7150 kHz nets and upper sideband for the 14330 kHz net on 20-meters. I’m pretty sure low power (100 watts) adjacent within 5-kHz would be appreciated, as well. (Thank you – de ac7x)
Elliott Wave In the Shop
Economics sounds really fierce and like a big time waster if you’ve been out of school for a while. Besides, what possible good could it do, around the house when you’re just trying to raise the family and/or live happily ever after?
The answer is a TON. And, in the case of my Fall deck building spree (as the weather cools) it turns out my cost of decking will be more than 40% cheaper building in September as compared with building back in April when the urge first hit.
To follow along with how the “seasoned citizens” work this kind of “shop problem” the first step will be to get you some foundational knowledge.
Starting with Elliott Waves discussed on Wikipedia here. (Go ahead, click over there and at least get the idea of how prices (and Covid, by the way) move in Waves.
Elliott is both about making money as well as keeping money. That is, when you are in a third or fifth wave, you patiently wait for the wave to complete while trading with the trend. When the wave pattern reverses, it may be (a little safer) to short the market and make money on the downward trend, as well.
As Bob Prechter has noted many times on his Socionomics.net site, the drivers of Elliott seem to work in many aspects of Nature. (Five tenets one-pager here.)
Then, if you go over to the Johns Hopkins data page here, and you focus on the weekly cases over the past year and something, you can sketch-in how an Elliott wave count might evolve with Covid.
“What About the Deck?”
Well, this same approach to the data can also be applied to many other things in Life including (and especially) the price of lumber to build that Big Deck project you’ve been saving up for.
Going over to https://FinViz.com we’ll borrow a lumber chart and show you how we can apply Elliott and at least partly optimize our Deck costs:
We’ll skip my ad hoc use of numbers and letters (which to real experts like Prechter denote an impulsive or corrective wave series) and skip right to the point:
We might count a five wave advance in lumber, which came to a “tilted Head & Shoulders” (gray box) end in late May. Since then, a C wave (*of iii) down has been HAMMERING (bad pun, couldn’t resist) lumber prices. Then we SAW (ok, no apology) a possible D wave rally and could we be in an E?
If so, no wonder the Buyed-Em administration is all panicky about Lumber prices – it’s all SCREAMING deflation.
Time Series Disease
My buddy Gaye Levy and I wrote a book long ago (11-Steps to a Strategic Life, I think it was) and (*in part) it was about looking at life to use financial and other supply and demand changes for personal advantage. Among much other fine thinking in the book.
What I’m getting to is the prices on FinViz are only a starting point. Because they are wholesale commodity-sized lots. It takes a while for the price changes to percolate through the system.
To see it, you need to have a kind of “Rain Man” (the movie, eh?) outlook toward data that flows through your life. When you know you will need to replace a deck, for example, when you see the first signs of rot, start collecting data. The circ saw and lumber yard trip will come later when prices are to your advantage, not the lumber yard’s!
Back in April of this year, when Elaine came in and announced “The deck is getting soggy and I almost put my foot through it!” The logical move was to build a spreadsheet and begin to track prices over time for the wood products I was interested in. As of Friday, it looked like this:
For your convenience, in the chart above this snip, I put some yellow boxes in and from these you can get the idea that the lag between the spot prices and the retail prices is more than, oh, five minutes. More like probably 45-90 days.
As one of the Lowes people told me on the QT “Prices had gotten so high there was little sell-through. People couldn’t afford to build things…but now, prices have started coming down and lumber is picking up.”
Still, more declines are possible – and we will get some housing start data this coming week. But for dads who have “helpers and tool shaggers” who might head back to school shortly, at least we’re now into a window where the long-delayed home improvement projects might get spooled up between now and September 6 which is the late Labor Day this year.
What happens after that is anyone’s guess: Slow Joe is anxious to throw money at Housing. If that happens, prices might quickly firm (greed is inbuilt) and a potential fifth wave to complete the lumber decline will fail and prices will start back up with gusto.
Or not…since who knows how bad the stock sell-off this fall will be?
Look at Price Impacts Already!
(There is a God, since George is getting to a point…)
Take a look at how a deck (and then some) worth of lumber has bounced around this year:
So, as you can see, if I’d gone out and NAILED the deck rebuild back in April, it would have cost about $1,431. But had I ordered wood yesterday, it would have been $821. A savings of $610. Which is just great. Laziness pays!
The two yellow squares tell me the comparison between doing the project with 5/4 by 8-foot (pronounced five-quarter decking) or using the slightly thicker 2-by-6s. As you can see, the 2-by’s got cheaper-quicker. Which means if I want to use 5/4 decking, prices should come down a little more in September. Summer is home handy bastard deck building season.
Hope This Helps?
Economics does have real-life applications. Like Pappy always said, “You can only spend it once.” (There’s a bunch of fine print “…unless you’re the Federal Reserve, the BIS, and so forth.…)
Also, remember, there’s the seasonal beer adjustment not shown. Beer tends to be inversely correlated to temperature for 10-20 percent of its price.
I have to go feed Elaine breakfast now. You see, her foot went through the now quite-rotten deck at the end of July. I’ve been bringing her meals out every day since, till I tear down the old deck and free her foot. She’s been a good sport about it, mostly. But she’s anxious for lumber prices to come down, too… (They just don’t make ’em like her, anymore. I’m a lucky man.)
Write when you get rich,