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The Best of Kass

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners is known for his accurate stock market calls and keen insights into the economy, which he shares with RealMoney Pro readers in his daily trading diary.

Among his posts this past week, Kass explained what Super Bowl ad spending means for stocks and reviewed the past week's economic indicators.

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Gold, Apple and the U.S. Stock Market
Originally published on Friday, Feb. 15 at 11:05 a.m. EST.
  • Look at the subsequent price drops following gold's high in September 2011 and Apple's high in September 2012.
For those who are of the view that the U.S. stock market feels like it will never decline, I suggest you look at the price of gold in mid-September 2011 and the price of Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) shares in late-September 2012.

At those times, investor sentiment was at an extreme.

Now look at the subsequent price drops following those heights.

Position: None

Gold, Apple and the Stock Market (Part Deux)
Originally published on Friday, Feb. 15 at 12:53 p.m. EST.
  • Applying Jim Grant's insight to current conditions.
Let's continue the thread of the last post (above).

When looking at the stock market optimism today, I am reminded of Jim Grant, who once wrote in Minding Mr. Market:

Progress cuts with a manic bull markets there is no clear demarcation between progress and fantasy...there is little or no permanent truth in financial ideas have their seasons...the higher the market, the easier it is to sell but the more disingenuous the sales pitch becomes...and the biblical injunction about the first and the last trading places often has literal truth.

Jim Grant went on: "The country's most admired companies are frequently on their way to becoming the least admired investments."

The same may be said for asset classes like U.S. stocks today compared to gold in 2011 and Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) shares in 2012.

Position: None

Practice Your Defense
Originally published on Friday, Feb. 15 at 8:33 a.m. EST.
  • It's not your batting average that counts in investing and trading; it's your defense.
When we met in nineteen thirty-eight, it was November
When I said that I would be his mate, it was December
I reasoned he would be the greatest husband that a girl had ever found
That's what I reasoned
That's what I reasoned
Then April rolled around
Strike three, ball four, walk a run'll tie the score
Yer blind, Ump,
Yer blind, Ump,
Ya mus' be out-a yer mind, Ump!
-- Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. " Six Months out of Every Year," Damn Yankees

This week pitchers and catchers report, as baseball's spring training gets into swing this month.

As I have repeatedly written over the years, the real key to delivering good investment and trading returns is not your offensive ability and swinging for a high batting average; it is importantly about your defense on the field.

Let me explain.

A high batting average and an impressive display at the plate (measured by the number of stocks that rise in your portfolio as measured against your total positions taken) is important, but it is not as significant as many think.

The key to delivering returns is defense, controlling your risk by stopping your losses and, when you are up at the plate, letting your profits run.

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