"Fundamental v Technical "
I wrote this article nearly a decade ago
I can't see that anything has changed since
“No man can serve two masters,” wrote Saint Matthew.
There are two basic approaches for deciding the future direction a sailing ship of any size and design might move.
The fundamentalist approach is faced with a massive information-gathering problem. Every fact relevant to the craft must be known and weighted according to its importance and its price equation. The skipper here assumes his own interpretations and his known facts are better than average.
He will analyze all the facets of world politics and its effects on the global economic community on a regular basis. He will study each member of the global exchange from currencies and interest rates to commodities and raw materials, to the latest developments in design technologies in the multitude areas of human activity.
He then turns his head to the economic statistics price/earning ratios, dividend yields, company reports on as many ships as he can mentally digest and consume as much written matter time allows. This is truly an awesome task for any skipper even those with a crew of skilled academics on each floor of a high-rise office building.
Unfortunately for the fundamentalist by the time he receives most of his information and statistics it is hopelessly out of date. By the time he evaluates and mixes up his recipe for a rational decision the moon has moved the tides. He often complains he is living in an irrational world and that the world has just gone temporally mad. Naturally, “She’ll be right in the long term,” he always says.
How often does a ship move in the opposite direction immediately after a good or bad report? Since information is never leaked in this fairest of all sports with its strong rules of fair disclosure, he will often claim an event has already been factored into the equation by the gamblers. How often does he cling to the skimpiest of fundamental good news as the price descends deeper and deeper south?
Because this has happened so often in the past it has even turned some fundamentalist heads inside out and they have developed a reverse fundamental approach.
This down-under, upside-down fundamentalist or contrarian viewpoint has surprising much to offer. Here the skipper has acknowledged the fact that punching the latest fundamentals into his computer will result in garbage.
He has accepted the fact that everything has been leaked and that it is not a fair game at all, but All-Out War.
Also, in view of his past experiences he has decided that he hasn’t been as close to the good information chain link as he would have liked and refuses to be fair game in the future.
The Technical believes that no fundamental fact whatsoever matters unless the masses have this shared psychology and provides the only mechanism to measure this irrational and emotional component.
Any experienced campaigner knows and the novice will soon discover how deeply the counter productive aspects of tension, anticipation and anxiety alter the way a skipper sails the seas. Usually directly proportional to the funds committed.
The technical believes the oceans are extremely efficient with its global sharing of information and regularly observes the actions of others, not their talk.
The technical can put objectivity at the helm and control the nemesis of all sailors at sea on the Global Exchange namely, emotion and rationale. They provide the mechanism to set entry and exit points, set risk/reward ratios and even foster a safety and risk management approach to sailing in all types of sea and weather conditions.
Technical allows the skipper to step back and gain a better insight and perspective of the Global Exchange and carry out numerous ship surveys. A chart is worth more than a thousand words.
The technical viewpoint encompasses every participant’s knowledge and beliefs about the future direction a craft may head next. It takes into account all the known facts as well as the human interpretation of those facts. More importantly it also takes into account fundamental news not yet known to the general public and is right up to date.
Finally, the fundamental academic with the I know all attitude who has ridiculed and under estimated his technical opponent for so many years, now believes he has room on board for some technical.
Unfortunately, as more and more skippers sail on technical, more ships are now moving accordingly, there is no room onboard for any fundamentalist with his long term excuse and his minuscule amount of up to date facts. He is in fact a most dangerous dinosaur to have onboard. He must be avoided at all costs and only regarded as fair game. Whether he is a bull or a bear he cannot change his spots and will always cloud a skipper’s judgment and coarse many costly delays.
Sailing in this modern era is All about the
Technical verses Technical.