Dennis Gartman is a trader. Not to be confused with the homonym “traitor,” this is how he opened the Chamber Strome Business series on February 13th showcasing his down to earth perspective on what may be perceived as an inaccessible topic to many. Gartman proved otherwise. The Hampton Roads Chamber is a powerful economic partner and was proud to bring this economics expert to speak to our community. This series is a partnership with Old Dominion University Strome College of Business.
In his presentation A Traders Perspective on the Capital Market, economist Dennis Gartman held the audience rapt with his humorous, surprising and entertainingly opinionated take on the current economic climate. Author of the daily Gartman Letter and often appearing on CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg radio, Gartman provided sound advice to the business professionals in the room and offered guidance and encouragement to the Old Dominion University Strome College of Business students in attendance.
“Take as many courses in writing, public speaking and psychology as you can. If I had to re-do my schooling, I would take more classes in psychology,” Gartman said. “It plays a far greater role in the business of trading than anything else because we are human and we are irrational and rational at the same time. It’s the markets job to test you.” He highlighted the close relationship between the study of human behavior and a trader’s perspective by saying, “Economics is the study of people’s propensity to do something.” He has made his career studying and acting upon that principle and it has served him well.
Gartman spoke from 45 years of experience in the capital market and he emphasized both the cyclical and unpredictable nature of the economy. He stressed his primary rule of life, “Do more of the things that are working and less of the things that aren’t.” He provided anecdotes from the sugar crash of the early 1970’s to the imbalanced trade deficit that has continued for decades, to the slow recovery from the last recession. “You have no idea how far down can be, once down gets going,” said Gartman.
In regards to international tariffs, Gartman hopes the U.S. does not raise them. “It would be a mistake to do so in the name of fair trade which is a pre-cursor to a recession. We are lucky that it’s U.S. currency that controls the reserve currency status. As long as we remain the country with the world’s strongest military power, we remain the dominant force in currency.” He assured the audience he is not kept awake at night worrying about the budget deficit. “It will become a problem once it becomes a problem, but it won’t be one, until it becomes one.” This philosophy echoed through his presentation as he discussed the repetition of economic ups and downs throughout the decades.
Another boon for the United States economy is its production of crude oil. “We have gone from 4 million to 12 million barrels of crude oil production a year in less than a decade. We will soon be a net exporter of oil,” Gartman said.
Some of his other insights included staying away from bit coin, the genius of block chain methodology, reading the Financial Times of London daily, and using derivatives to hedge.
The Hampton Roads Chamber means business and is proud of their partnership with Old Dominion University and of the business students and future leaders in attendance. The Chamber Strome Series continues on March 6th as Deepa Subramaniam presents Collaboration and Innovation. Register for the event here.
Thank you to our sponsors: Series Presenting Sponsor Union Bank & Trust and Host Sponsor Westin Virginia Beach Town Center
Photo Caption: Old Dominion University Strome College of Business students with Dean Jeff Tanner and Dennis Gartman