by Jason Bodner

October 27, 2020

The other night I found my wife watching “CITIZENFOUR,” a documentary about the whistleblower Edward Snowden. I saw it right after its 2014 release. Whether you feel Snowden is a hero or a traitor isn’t the issue here. The issue is that Big Brother is alive, well, and certainly stronger than in 2014.

Government agencies, along with the world’s largest companies, watch, listen, monitor, record, and archive every electronic interaction you have with the outside world – or worse, your inside world. Snowden’s point was to educate global citizens that their privacy was both compromised and exploited.

Think about all your “free” (or even paid) services. Think of email services like gmail, AOL, or Yahoo that archive your every conversation or search. Every internet search tied to your ip address is logged.

Think of the worst thing you have ever searched; it’s out there forever, as is everything you’ve ever said or looked at on Facebook, Instagram, Snap, etc… Siri on your iPhone is always listening, along with Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby. Your location, purchasing habits, and commuting times are all stored. At home, you’re watched by your computer webcam. And who uses cash anymore? Every time you swipe your credit card or use Apple Pay or similar, it just adds to your profile.

There exists a digital fingerprint representation of you that is so detailed and accurate that all someone needs to replace you is to get a well-studied lookalike and step into your computer – and he/she is you.

This is what Snowden realized and why he decided to go public with the information. The truly scary part is that everyone has become so reliant on these tools for their modern ease-of-life. So, when he blew the whistle, few cared: The aftermath was short-lived and didn’t result in any major government changes.

It’s like that funny scene in Ghostbusters, when Louis is hunted by the dog-like beast outside the “Tavern on the Green.” He screams in horror for help. The diners stop in silence, watch him get attacked and then, after about two seconds, return to their conversations as if nothing happened.

The Warning Scene from Ghostbusters Image

We reacted the same as these diners. Why? Because we all know it’s happening and dismiss it by saying: “I have nothing to hide.” Are you sure? We quietly accept the tradeoff for convenience, but what we lose is our freedom of privacy. But then, imagine life without all this convenience! “It’s not worth it. I couldn’t get off the grid even if I tried. And I’m such a small actor in this huge play; there’s nothing I can do.”

How the Real-Life “Silence of the Lambs” Changed My Life

That’s the level of chilling insight I got when I was working on some of Wall Street’s biggest stock deals in the early 2000s. The big boys run the show and my actions as a professional were a drop in the ocean.

Then, I realized the power lay in tracking the Big Money. I didn’t have to know who or even where they were. I just had to try to track and record their moves. That’s when my idea of stalking the silent Big Money began. If I could see what the masses couldn’t see, I could flip the odds from against me to for me.

I started this study in 2002 and never looked back. I wanted to give the disadvantaged average investor like me the upper hand by being able to surf the Big Money that really drives markets. I felt I could predict with a degree of accuracy which stocks would rise. I did something next best to being a big money player: I figured out a way to watch them safely from afar. It’s like creating market night vision goggles.

The single broadest gauge born out of this is the Big Money Index (BMI). It tells us when aggregate Big Money is buying or selling. That information is immensely powerful. Looking at a BMI chart, it’s clear: They often know and act ahead of market moves – not because they know before (which is usually true) but because they often dictate the moves by their actions:

MapSignals Big Money Index Chart

Graphs are for illustrative and discussion purposes only. Please read important disclosures at the end of this commentary.

Notice in January that Big Money buying slowed and reversed. Stocks kept rising until February when the reality of coronavirus set in. Big Money began selling a full month earlier. In March, the market became deeply oversold. We were sending in the Marines to buy great stocks. Big Money rocketed and lifted the entire market with it. Then in September stocks began to sag, consistent with pre-election “risk-off.” But look how the Big Money Index began falling slowly from July then accelerated its drop in late August.

Let’s face the hard truth: Big forces will always have the upper hand. Big corporations, governments, and Big Money will always use their natural advantage. We can’t change that, but there is something you can do about it: Flip the script. If you wanted to get off the grid, for instance, you could use encrypted email, delete your Facebook account, and strictly use cash. Impractical as it may be, it’s possible.

Prevailing at stock timing and stock selection may be much easier than getting off the grid. You could simply watch the Big Money movements, provided you know how. It all has to do with understanding your place in the stock “pecking order.” Big money accounts need investors and traders to buy from and more importantly to sell to. If you’re not watching the Big Money, odds are you’re the trader they need.

Stocks are like free services – akin to Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo, Google, etc. Ask yourself: Why are they all free? If you can’t figure out what their product is, chances are YOU are the product.

All content above represents the opinion of Jason Bodner of Navellier & Associates, Inc.

Please see important disclosures below.

Also In This Issue

Global Mail by Ivan Martchev
Timing the Big Gold Move

Sector Spotlight by Jason Bodner
Your Life’s an Open Book – and so is Big Money Trading

View Full Archive
Read Past Issues Here

About The Author

Jason Bodner

Jason Bodner writes Sector Spotlight in the weekly Marketmail publication and has authored several white papers for the company. He is also Co-Founder of Macro Analytics for Professionals which produces proprietary equity accumulation/distribution research for its clients. Previously, Mr. Bodner served as Director of European Equity Derivatives for Cantor Fitzgerald Europe in London, then moved to the role of Head of Equity Derivatives North America for the same company in New York. He also served as S.V.P. Equity Derivatives for Jefferies, LLC. He received a B.S. in business administration in 1996, with honors, from Skidmore College as a member of the Periclean Honors Society. All content of “Sector Spotlight” represents the opinion of Jason Bodner

Important Disclosures:

Jason Bodner is a co-founder and co-owner of Mapsignals. Mr. Bodner is an independent contractor who is occasionally hired by Navellier & Associates to write an article and or provide opinions for possible use in articles that appear in Navellier & Associates weekly Market Mail. Mr. Bodner is not employed or affiliated with Louis Navellier, Navellier & Associates, Inc., or any other Navellier owned entity. The opinions and statements made here are those of Mr. Bodner and not necessarily those of any other persons or entities. This is not an endorsement, or solicitation or testimonial or investment advice regarding the BMI Index or any statements or recommendations or analysis in the article or the BMI Index or Mapsignals or its products or strategies.

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