April has been the cruelest of months for traders. Unless you count last February which was pretty horrible as well. In fact, anyone active in the market has had more than enough opportunity to get themselves flipped in and out of the market with the worst imaginable timing.
No one has had a worse run of it than the well-respected Dennis Gartman who got whip-sawed out of stocks on April 7th, reiterated the call on the 10th, and suddenly showed up long yesterday morning, right in time for a rally back from where the market was at its heights.
Which isn’t to pick on Gartman in particular. This is a very difficult stock market and trading via pundit is all but impossible under the best of circumstances. If anything Gartman at least has the grace to change his mind about the call rather than sticking to disastrous, multi-year bear calls or emerging annually to shout “Crash” into any open mic a la Marc Faber in 2012, 2013 and earlier this month.
About the the only way to play 2014 without getting mowed down has been to the stay long and try to buy drops if and when the opportunity presented itself. In other words the smart money has played it the way Hank Smith of Haverford suggested back on February 3rd with the the stock at the lows for the year.
Smith is sticking with his strategy. Citing his call in February and the debacle of the last few weeks Smith says “you’ve got to be ready to take advantage of these (pullbacks). They’re going to be short-lived, and the bull market is still intact.”
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