METAR Frequently Asked Questions

What is the METAR Board?

The METAR (Macro Economic Trends and Risks) Board is dedicated to collecting and analyzing data that affects our understanding of current and possible future macroeconomic environments. We recognize that one way to profit and to avoid risk is to anticipate market movements.

The METAR Board is interested in the macroeconomic trends in many investments (stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, real estate, etc.), as well as many markets (local, national, and international). Each has trends and cycles. They may be somewhat correlated, but they don’t move in lock step.

The METAR Board discusses trends, cycles and risks, and how movements in one investment may influence movements in a correlated investment.

While the focus of the METAR Board is Macro, we also welcome posts with a tighter focus (such as individual stock, bond, commodity or real estate analysis). These may be cross-posted to a board with that specific interest (e.g. a post about bond movements may be posted on both METAR and Bonds & Fixed Income Boards).

The METAR Board recognizes that each investor has different levels of risk tolerance, as well as different time scales. We also recognize that different opinions make a market. One investor may see opportunity, and another see too much risk, in exactly the same data. Both may be correct, based on their individual risk tolerance and time scale.

Many METAR Board members are risk-averse. Others are more opportunity-oriented, and more risk-tolerant. We seek to identify both opportunities and risks. Discussions of risk and probability of outcomes are valued, on this board.

The entire spectrum of investors is welcome on the METAR Board. Bulls, bears, the bold and the risk-averse, trend-followers and tinfoil-hat contrarians, and everyone between, are welcome on the METAR Board.

Just remember: We are all friends here, and what is right for one may be wrong for another. Analyze, but don’t get personal!

We expect the market to surprise us all, regardless of our best efforts.

METAR Board Ground Rules

The METAR Board is a warm, friendly place. No personal attacks or insults will be tolerated.

The METAR Board is exclusively economic. Any post that does not contain economic analysis must be labelled Off Topic (OT).

The METAR Board is not political. We don’t want our board to degenerate into political wrangling. A post is purely political if it discusses a topic without analyzing its economic impact. Posts about how political developments affect the macroeconomic trends are on-topic. Links to government data are especially welcome.

Religion has no more place, on the METAR Board, than does politics.

METAR Data Sources

Data-based opinions are highly valued, on the METAR Board. While the Motley Fools does not allow entire copyrighted articles to be posted, the Board appreciates snips and links.

Personal observations of markets and investments are also highly valued. The more data, the better, since data gives each of us the basis for analyzing the opportunities and risks, in light of our personal needs. If you post a link to an article with data, feel free to either agree or disagree with the conclusions of the author.

Some links to data sources


The Market Traders (current home of Mike Shedlock, this board’s founder)

Yahoo Finance

Charts of Stock Indices, Interest Rates, etc., including “real” (inflation adjusted) interest rates

Safe Charts

Shadow Government Statistics (for those who believe the government is manipulating statistics)

for various spot prices (ex: natgas) :

USD Index:

More futures (I mainly use it for S&P, Nasdaq, and Nas100):

Economic Calendar:

Earnings Calendar:

All kinds of data from the St. Louis Fed: