Things are Not as They Appear: Tiger, John and the Market

by JDH on December 12, 2009

Talk about backwards world. The greatest golfer in the history of the world, renowned for his mental toughness, has now been revealed to be not mentally tough at all. It was all an act. We had hints of his underlying true character before. Throwing clubs. Temper Tantrums. A higher than mighty attitude that lead to a history of never saying anything of substance to the media. When you think you are the greatest, you don’t need to answer questions.

All that has changed, as Tiger Woods has been revealed as a liar, and a cheat. His days as the glory boy are over forever.

I know of another golfer, by the name of John Daly. Everyone likes John. He is a jovial, happy go lucky guy. He too has had relationship issues with woman, as demonstrated by, I believe, three wives. He likes to eat (leading to weight gain up close to the 300 pound level), and drink. He has also thrown golf clubs, and his behavior lead to a six month suspension from the PGA Tour last year. He was at the bottom.

So here’s the backwards world part: John Daly has lost 150 pounds, appears to be sober, and is back playing decent golf. Tiger has announced an indefinite break from golf.

John Daly never tried to hide his problems, or run from the media. He is what he is, and everyone forgives him and loves him. Tiger, better than the rest of us, shuts the door and says it’s a private matter. Sorry, Tiger, when you get paid millions for your image, your image is not a private matter. There comes a time in life where you can’t simply run and hide on your yacht. You need to stand up and face the music, like a man. That’s what mental toughness is.

Tiger has long told us that the most important influence in his life was his now deceased father. Was his father a philanderer? Is that where Tiger learned this behavior? During their years on the road together, Tiger as the young golf phenom, his father by his side, his mother at home, is that where Tiger learned from his father to play the field? Or did all of Tiger’s problems start when his father died, and Tiger had no-one to turn to for advice? Either way, this is a very sad story. Either Tiger’s father was a horrible father, teaching his son by example some very bad behavior, or Tiger never did grow up, and so without his father he couldn’t cope.

I could care less about Tiger’s image; he has millions more than I will ever have. I have some sympathy for his wife, although it’s unclear to me how it’s possible to have a husband who sleeps around for years without you knowing. I do have great sympathy for his children who, unlike Tiger, will grow not idolizing and respecting their father, but will instead have to live with the knowledge that their father was a cheat and a liar.

Will he step up to the plate, come clean, and change his ways? So far, there is no evidence that he is capable of that.

We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. If you are truly sorry, and you change your behavior, I’m all for forgiveness. But you have to really mean it, and you have to change. Time will tell what Tiger is truly made of. David Letterman said he was sorry, and he seemed to mean it, and the issue is over (although I haven’t discussed that with his wife). People will forgive, but only if you mean it.

So here’s my first prediction for 2010: John Daly will win more golf tournaments that Tiger Woods.

Now that I have that off my chest (and I apologize for that diversion), here is something else that is not what it appears to be:


The Dow appears to be on a nice winning streak, onwards and upwards. Yes, there is some obvious resistance just below the 10,500 level, but it looks good, right? Here’s another perspective:


Priced not in dollars but instead in ounces of gold, the Dow peaked in August, and is now firmly in a down channel. It’s not going up; it’s going down. How’s that for a different perspective? Things are not always what they seem.

So as I mentioned last week, I believe we are close to an intermediate bottom for gold, so this week I started buying. I bought the usual blue chip golds, like AEM.TO – Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd., K.TO – Kinross Gold Corp. and G.TO – Goldcorp Inc., and I put in some stink bids to increase my holdings of PAA.TO – Pan American Silver Corp., SLW.TO – Silver Wheaton Corp. and SSO.TO – Silver Standard Resources, Inc.

I am now 25% invested, 75% in cash, and I expect to continue to deploy cash over the coming weeks. Why? Because the market is not what it seems. It is not going up. The recession isn’t over. The government can’t create jobs. The deficit is exploding upward, so the only logical choice is to come clean and buy gold.

Thanks for reading, and next week I promise to change my behavior and not waste time discussing Tiger Woods.

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