Chief Editor
What a dream run the markets have had over recent months - but unfortunately for the time being the easy paper profits are over. At the top of each market rally, confusion sets in - mixed feelings creep in to the market's psyche and equity sectors react in varying ways to the news around them.

One of the great problems during such time for the serious investor is separating the media chaff from the wheat. As an investor it is important to try and remove the emotional front page hype from the real picture.

The short term reality is that we are now seeing a retracement - the Australian market has faced this realism earlier than most other western markets. At this stage we are more likely to see a pullback in the order of a couple of hundred points in the medium term rather than a major reversal.

The longer term outlook is somewhat less clear as on one hand we have the prospects of sustained global growth. Rising interest rates is one cloud on the horizon but another cloud - perhaps a darker one that does not receive too much media attention is the mounting debt - both personal and national - but it may take some time for that issue to impact on the markets.

As mentioned in previous newsletters the trick in these uncertain times is to back the right sector and this is something that will be very much the focus of my presentation at the forthcoming SITM Conference. Never has it been more important to have your investment tools and plans in place than right now. Backing the right sector will still make you good returns in 2004, but likewise being overweight in the wrong sector will set your returns back.

To find out more about the Conference check out for some irresistible deals that will make it easy for you to decide that being there is actually going to make you money in 2004 - that is what it is about.

Hope to see you there!

To keep a variety of trading strategies before you, this week we introduced to you Jody Osborne the Senior Writer for Optionetics. Jody has been working in the US finance industry for nearly 13 years. He provides daily market updates and insightful columns on the Optionetics website, as well as writing a variety of syndicated articles. Welcome Jody!

Enjoy the ride.

Tom Scollon

Tom Scollon