Two Amazing Things (Thanks Mr. Dines)

by JDH on February 12, 2011

Two amazing things happened this week (and yes, I am being somewhat facetious on both counts).

First, Friday was school ski trip day, where all the kids in grades five through eight go skiing for the day. It’s the only field trip of the year where all of the fathers volunteer to go (for most of the trips only the mothers volunteer). It’s a fun day, and all of the father’s get to say “see, I participate in my child’s education!”

Like their father, neither of my sons are athletes. They aren’t great at basketball and all of the other school sports. In fact, the only sport they are much better than average at is downhill skiing. I take them skiing a few times a year, so they’ve had practice, so they are more than competent when compared to their friends who spend their time on hockey and other non-skiing activities.

For my oldest, in grade seven, he looks forward to the trip, because it’s the one day of the year he’s an real athlete. He’s just as good, or better, as all of the other male athletes in grade seven and eight, so he can hang out with them, and be cool. As soon as we get there he says “Bye Dad” and he’s off with his friends.

My youngest is in grade five, so this was his first school ski day. He also knows how to ski, so he was looking forward to it, but somewhat less so since he had never been before. He gets along fine with everyone, but he’s nowhere near as extroverted as son #1. So we spent the morning in the intermediate ski lesson, and at the end of it he got his “two stripes”, which means he can ski on every hill. Only one other kid in his class got two stripes, and the other kid is a real athlete, so son #2 was quite proud of himself.

Back to amazing thing #1: After lunch, we road the lift up with the other two stripe kid, and when they decided what hill to go down my son said “Dad, if you want, you can go back to the chalet.”

Yup, son #2 ditched me. He would rather hang out with the cool kids then be seen with his Old Man. He’s all grown up.

It brought a tear to my eye.

But only briefly. I was actually quite happy to go back to the warm chalet and take my ski boots off and hang out with similarly ditched fathers.

Why am I telling you this story? I’ll get back to that momentarily. First, let’s discuss amazing thing #2:

On the front page of The Dines Letter on February 11, 2011, after a discussion of a particular stock that had “sextupled” in value (albeit over a six year period) Mr. Dines wrote those words that you almost never see him write: “we are satisfied to take the profit on it.”

Yup, a sell signal. Amazing. As we discussed in my commentary on The Dines Letter 2011 Annual Forecast Issue, sell signals are not a common occurrence.

So, what do all of these amazing things mean? Quite simply, it means that things change.

My little boys are not little boys anymore. They are almost teenagers, and while they are happy to have me around to buy them lunch, beyond that they have moved on. They don’t need me as much anymore.

And even Mr. Dines, the “keep an iron hand on the tiller” guy, the guy who recommended holding Pinetree from the top at $16.15 all the way down to the bottom at $1.82, an 89% drop, is actually specifically recommended that you take profits.


Well, if things change, I guess I need to change with the times as well. That being said, here’s my plan for this week:

First, I am actually going to read through the current issue of The Dines Letter (which I haven’t really done for a while), and I will review his current thinking to see if he has gotten his mojo back. As I have reported many times before, Dines is great at identifying the start of a trend; he’s less proficient at knowing when to exit.

Second, I am going to review the trends and see where we are at. Specifically:

  • has gold topped out (I doubt it)?
  • is uranium’s long consolidation over? is it time to get back in?
  • are the rare earth’s another area to jump into, now that the initial euphoria has died down? (I do own one or two, but they are not a major holding)?
  • are there other trends I should be watching for?

If you have thoughts or comments, please point me in the right direction by posting your thoughts over on the Buy High Sell Higher Forum, and I’ll report back next week.

Thanks for reading, and have a good week.

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