I've just returned from an amazing trip to Scotland with my lovely, talented wife and two great friends. We stayed in a beautiful little Strathspey village called Aberlour – population just 970.
The best part: The regional Highland Games were held there during our brief stay. I sent pictures to my Stealth Profits Trader readers – along with an update on some 62% and 93% gainers and other positions that are heading higher right now.
You might know these games date back more than 1,000 years, so they're packed with traditions, including bagpipe and drum corps competitions (majestic) and multiple dancing events (graceful). There are footraces and long jumps where men and women run and jump to the screaming encouragement of the local spectators.
But the great crowd-pleasing allure of the games lies in the strength events, competitions where mountain-sized men in kilts battle it out to see who can throw extremely large objects with the highest accuracy: Heavy stones, massive hammers, and telephone pole–sized logs all fly through the air.
Well, the strength events saw a "ringer" this year. He was a man from outside the region, who easily won the shot put, hammer throw, and heavy weight throws – for both distance and height.
This mammoth of a man was at least 75 pounds heavier than (and twice as thick as) any of the other competitors.
Because of this, it was easy and logical to assume that he would also win the most famous of Highland Game events – the caber toss.
If you've never seen one, "the caber" is a 19-foot, 6-inch tall log that weighs 175 pounds.
Contestants balance the caber vertically in their clasped hands with the narrower end down and then run forward. They finish by tossing the log end over end, hoping to get the smaller end to flip over the thicker end and – this is key – land in a 12 o'clock position in front of them.
The ringer, this he-man of a human being, was first up.
He easily balanced the caber, but as he started running, he lumbered and laboriously made his toss.
Oh, he "turned the caber" all right – he got the smaller end in his hand to rotate over the top of the larger end in the air – but the caber landed at about 10 o'clock.
He might not have realized it, but that cost him the points he needed to win the event. Here's what happened next.
A younger and leaner contestant took his mark. He had more trouble holding the monstrous log. But as he started his run, he was so much lighter on his feet – graceful, even.
After his smooth run, the smaller contestant had more control over his caber, and he made his toss with a nearly perfect 12 o'clock landing.
And so it was that the logical choice, the one that looked best on paper, didn't end up being the one that performed best in reality.
And so it often is when you're trying to get a read on whether the entire stock market is about to choke and fade – or shock everyone to break through to new highs…
About the Author
Nationally recognized technical trader. Background in engineering, system designs, and risk reduction. 26 years in the markets.