You may have heard prognosticators talking about the “January Barometer” with trite phrases like “as the S&P 500 goes in January, so goes the year”. Don’t believe the hype…
History is full of strategies that worked for a time, became ineffective, and were subsequently abandoned.
Examples can be found in product development, marketing, and even comedy. But the easiest place to understand this phenomenon might be in military battlefield tactics.
From the time that bow and arrow and horses were used in battles in ancient times, no really significant technological advances came to the military until gunpowder was employed in the 13th century.
So for thousands of years, military tactics were of paramount importance on the battlefield. And one of the most famous, effective and enduring formations was the Greek phalanx. In this formation, soldiers packed densely together with interlocking shields and used long spears. The strength of the phalanx lied in its unified and seemingly impenetrable front.
Many variations were made to the original rectangular formation, and the phalanx as a dominant military formation reached its peak effectiveness under the command of Alexander of Macedon (better known as Alexander the Great). His use of unbalanced phalanx formations, ability to move troops quickly, and brilliant field leadership brought this military strategy to its zenith.
And then, following closely behind the death of Alexander, was the death of the phalanx. The phalanx became ineffective in the face of the faster and more flexible three-line Roman Legion. And the Roman conquest of the Greek city states and the rest of the known world followed.
In the race to control these “superweapons,” Russia, China, and America are neck-and-neck
The U.S. military is going “all in” on defense weapons – and President Trump just authorized another HUGE defense budget increase. Right now, you can bet there’s a little-known player about to take the market ride of its life. More details…
And like the rise and fall of the phalanx as a military strategy, the famous January Barometer has come to the end of its useful life.