Circling Back Around

In my September 5th blog post after posing the question whether the DJ Internet index formed an intermediate term top, I stated I would circle back around to find the answer to the question. At the time the almost ideal head and shoulders topping pattern had developed and, if played out, pointed to a 12% (or more) decline in the index. I also stated “The two possibilities are 1) a completion move down to T1 or below; or 2) a failure confirmed by a move back above early August’s right shoulder high (before it has completed a move to T1)”.  Here is how the chart of the index looked at the time of the post.

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Fast forward to the present and here is how the chart looks as of yesterday’s close.

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With the benefit of the recent US Stock market weakness, the answer to my question was a resounding yes as the index met and eventually exceeded the pattern’s target, falling 20% peak to trough as measured from the pattern’s neckline. This is NOT a testament to the power of technical analysis being a predictive tool. It is not. What it is though, is a very good risk management tool. At the time of the post an investor in the index, armed with the knowledge of the possibility of a 12% or more decline in their investment, needed to ask themselves if they wanted to accept that risk. If so, welcome to investing, you just experienced a 20% drawdown. Now what? If not and you exited, congratulations, you have a bigger pile of cash to invest when the next opportunity arises. Not if it arises, but when