Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Back In the Gambling Pits

A relatively unknown film in the Western world, Tazza (Korean for "hustler") is a Korean gambling movie that came out last year. If the ridiculously good looking TOP isn't enough to get you to watch the show, there's also the super sexy and cute (how is that possible?!) Shin Se-Kyung. Of course, let's just say I'm a cinephile and wanted to know the story line, all right?

As the usual with casino and con job movies, you're expecting a major plot twist where the bad guy thought he was winning all along until the very end, then everything is revealed leaving the bad guy looking like a fool while the good guys run away with a million bucks.

*Warning, spoilers ahead*

While the story starts off following a young hustler gaining wild success, he runs into a series of "bad luck" that strips him of everything he got. It is only later that he realizes that he was actually the one being hustled, instead of the one trying to do the hustling! (a la "Italian Job") In the movie the hustler spends much of his time learning what went wrong and how he will not be made a fool again.

Tazza is a pretty interesting take on this genre of film because it flips you back and forth until you aren't even sure who is the good guy or the bad guy anymore. It is a pretty intense movie actually.

Some people who know my back story know that I started off "investing" in CFDs. Of course, that was a horrible idea and it became a money sink-hole for me. I did ever manage to re-coup all my losses after months of study, practice and patience, but that epic win was enough to inflate my ego until I popped and made losses again.

Since then, I've been only a casual "player" of CFDs, preferring to dabble in this rather than the other usual suspects (4D, Toto, sports betting, online poker, casinos). I've made money and I've lost money, but over the past 1 year my account has been pretty much the same. It keeps the boredom at bay while helping me keep tabs on the market. Not a bad deal actually.

In mid-Oct, I started to see a very interesting technical case developing, and since then the reasons for my trade have become even more compelling.

There are hundreds of indicators, as well as variants and tweaks to each one, but I'll just be sharing what I use.

My leading indicators - RSI(5), RSI(14), Slow Stochastics - are flagging oversold
My lagging indicators - MACD, various moving averages and their crossovers are also indicating that the larger trend has turned and price reversal is imminent.

There are just a couple of indicators that I use which are NOT constructive to my thesis. However I don't believe that the stars can ever align perfectly just for you.

Adding to the fact that the index hasn't moved anywhere in 8 months is also a pretty big deal in my opinion. When things trend sideways for a long time, it is usually a sign of an impending excessive move.

These are the technical aspects. Adding in the fundamentals, we have a ridiculously expensive stock market, declining margin debt, declining corporate profit margins, and lots of other more specific and less general things.

Perhaps the only things that are positive signs are "surveys" and of course the price of stocks themselves.

I've been around technicians long enough to know the "price is the ultimate indicator", but if all of my system checks are telling me no, it makes it hard for me to go on ahead with the status quo and say yes just because everyone else is saying so too.

Of course I might be wrong. I've been wrong many times before. I concede that the market could make that excessive move UP instead of down like I am expecting. However, with all the available information that I have in front of me, I don't think that is how it is going to play out. If it is a melt-up panic-buying scenario, that's even worse because we're looking at the dotcom bubble all over again. Either way, I don't think we will be lingering around these levels for much longer.

This is the market and we are all free to make our own choices based on whatever information we choose to process. All you have to do is to put your money where your mouth is at. I'm betting that the US indices go down from here. Of course it isn't with everything that I have. If the stock market explodes up and I get margin-called, I'll be pretty pissed, but my life still bumbles along. Like I said, this is NOT investing, it's gambling.

If we continue shooting to the moon and I am proven wrong, I'll be stopped out and it's back to the drawing board for me to re-examine what went wrong and what I can do better in the future. Well, that assumes I will still have the will to continue this dangerous game I've been playing after being burnt so many times.


  1. Hi GMGH,

    The movie looks interesting enough. Will try to catch it!

    1. Hey Mr15HWW,

      Hehe, are into heist and con movies? Have you come across The Usual Suspects from your DVD hunts? It's an oldie, but a classic imo!

  2. Hi GMGH,

    The most recent one I watched with this kinda theme was 21. And it's been some time... :p


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