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OPINION

It's Witchcraft

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Those fingers in my hair
That sly come-hither stare
That strips my conscience bare
It's witchcraft

And I've got no defense for it
The heat is too intense for it
What good would common sense for it do?

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-Frank Sinatra

The Frank Sinatra standard could have been the theme for Tuesday's session where stocks hung on every word from the Fed Chairman. For many, the sway Janet Yellen has over the market is akin to witchcraft and there is no defense for it, but then again, the rub is that too few want that come-hither to be broken. Of course, one day, the Fed will raise rates and they will begin to slow. Their cooked up books will not be able to help them when it is clear they are behind the eight-ball and the hikes will become disorderly.

However, there is much more to the market and investing in stocks. The issue is, there is a large pool of money that only takes its cue from money printing. That crowd is not the individual investor blamed for all the market crashes in history.

Legend has it that once Main Street gets in the game, cicadas wake from century-long slumbers and pestilence wipes out wide swathes of the population.

Yet, the individual has missed this rodeo and the bad investors have turned out to be the smartest guys and gals in the room.

This amazing underperformance puts in one’s head the notion that it is the little guy who is dumb and should be the contrarian, indicted for getting in and out of the stock market. Moreover, the fact is the little guy has gotten out by $600 billion as measured by mutual funds and ETFs, while institutions (insurance companies, big business, colleges, and municipalities) poured in the same exact amount. That institutional money typically stays the course and it has been rewarded handsomely.

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Those hedge funds on the other hand keep underperforming this amazing rally.

It is nuts to think about the folks watching from afar that have fared better in the market than the experts.

Oddly, this helps my bull case. These funds have to make good and this next leg is a chance to get in the game, making part of the ride self-fulfilling.

Here's the problem for all investors...money is moving around too quickly as the average holding period for stock has nosed dived from 12 years in 1940, to less than a year today. Moreover, it is too much trading in an effort to beat the market on a daily basis.

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