Why do you live in Costa Rica?
Believe it or not, that’s the question we hear most…We grew up in Southern California. We initially came to Costa Rica to visit our mother, who was living here, planning to stay one year. That was more than 30 years ago. We liked it and we stayed. So we’ve been lucky to have the best of both worlds.
How’d you get started in this business?
We’ve been studying the markets for over 30 years. First we worked for a private investor in Costa Rica and then for a local brokerage firm before we started our own business and the newsletter about 30 years ago. In the early days it was difficult to obtain market information. We listened to the BBC, armed forces radio and got The Wall Street Journal two days late. By the time we started the newsletter, communications had become easier, and now they’re a dream compared to before. Today you can virtually live anywhere.
As sisters, how do you work together and what happens if you disagree?
We’ve always gotten along well and have worked together most of our adult lives. And we usually agree on the markets. But when we don’t, we’ll discuss it, take a hard look and come to a mutual conclusion.
What type of analysis do you use to forecast the markets?
When it comes to analyzing the markets, there are essentially two schools of analysis, technical and fundamental. We use both.
Which do you prefer?
If we had to rely on one, it would be technical. A picture is worth a thousand words and when you’re often drowning in fundamental details, the charts tell the story. We feel strongly that without technical analysis you’re flying blindly. Charts are like road maps and they help point the way. Of course, fundamentals are also important and ideally the fundamentals and technicals will complement each other.
Which technical indicators work best?
When you find something that works, it’s best to stay with it. Our leading indicators fit this category and they’re our favorites. They’ve been extremely reliable in indicating when a market is extremely oversold (and therefore poised to rise), and overbought (poised to decline). So they not only tell us when a rise or decline is maturing but also when to buy and sell, when it’s okay to hold because the market has room to rise further, or to stay out because it’s going lower.
What about correlations?
In any market, there are always dozens of factors to consider. The markets are a reflection of everything that’s happening in the world and that makes it all the more interesting. What happens in one country or market, will affect the other and that’s why correlations between markets have become more important in the past few years and it’s something we do regularly. All markets tie together, one way or the other, and in relation to what’s happening in the economy, geopolitically and so on. So it’s very important to see not only what a market is doing, but also to try and understand what the implications of those actions are and how they’ll affect other markets.
What if your forecasts are wrong?
By their nature, markets change and that means you have to change with them. Being flexible is probably one of the most important keys to successful investing. There’s no room in this business for egos. And if you’re a serious investor that’s good because it enables you to learn from your mistakes, improve, study what’s right and what’s not, and then move on. As simple as that sounds, it really can mean the difference between success and failure. For instance, if you believe something is going to happen, but it doesn’t, then so be it. Change, deal with reality and move on, just like you would with anything in life. And even though that can be hard at times, especially when a scenario seems obvious, you have to go with what’s happening.
Do you enjoy your work?
Yes. The markets are an ongoing learning experience. One of the most fascinating things about the markets is that they’re consistently challenging. No matter how long you’ve been an investor, or in this business, you never stop learning. Since the markets change constantly, it makes our job different and interesting every day. We consider ourselves lucky to be students of the markets.
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