Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Contrarian Indicators

I used to pay a lot of attention to the stock market. I actually used to study it and try to pick stocks just as they were breaking out and hopefully going upward. It was kind of a hobby of mine. Those times are long gone for me as I just couldn't keep up with it as too many other things became more important.

However, one thing I remember very well. That is a contrarian indicator. Investor's Business Daily had several key indicators they used to show when a stock was worth buying. One of them was the overall health of the market. They showed over the course of history that when optimism in the market was very high, that is when markets crashed and conversely, when it is very low, that is when markets did very well. In other words, the crowd is always wrong in investing (as is the case in much of life).

I am not trying to give investment advice and I certainly would not recommend anyone buying stocks right now. What I am saying is that I am optimistic. From a worldly standpoint, all this fear is good for the market. From a Christian perspective, I believe all this is good also (in fact I know God will use it for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose - Romans 8:28 paraphrased).

I read an interesting article this morning in which the author had this to say about our uncertain times:

So why am I hopeful? Because I believe the coming years are going to reveal some pernicious weeds in our culture for what they are. One of the characteristics of weeds is that they suck up resources from other plants. They are quick-growing, quick-spreading, invasive. They do not coexist with the other plants in the garden, they overtake them. Kudzu is a weed not because it is unattractive in its own way or even has no rightful place in the ecosystem, but because it grows over and chokes out other valuable and beautiful things. Weeds are, as every gardener knows, the easiest thing to grow.

And I believe the fundamental weed in the American garden is, in fact, ease. Easy-ness. Effortlessness. Along with the incredible benefits of the rise of technology has been this terrible weed: the idea that things should be easy. The Staples office-supply chain has profited handsomely selling the ultimate symbol of our times: a plastic button that does absolutely nothing but is great fun to push, labeled "easy."

To read the rest of this story, go here.

So are you worried or fearful today? If you love God and are called according to His purpose, then be encouraged by Romans 8:28. God will work all this out for good!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

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