This past weekend, we discussed the breakout of the markets to all-time highs. The question I asked this past weekend was simply; “The bull market is back, but can it stay?”
A look at combined problems of pensions and lack of savings facing #babyboomers as they face retirement.
The previous recessionary warnings from autos was dismissed until far too late. It is likely not a good idea to dismiss it this time.
Last week, the Federal Reserve released their March FOMC meeting minutes. Following the release, the markets surged higher as the initial reading by the markets was “the Fed is done hiking rates.”
There is little argument the streak of employment growth is quite phenomenal and comes amid hopes the economy will continue to avoid a recessionary contraction.
The market, and the yield curve, are trying to tell you something very important.
Let’s review the periods just prior to the onset of the last two bear markets to see if there are any similarities to today’s environment.
The most critical aspect of the financial system is "trust" in it. After years of Wall Street "raping and pillaging" individuals to line their own pockets, the next bear market will likely destroy the remaining "trust."
In a widely expected outcome, the Federal Reserve announced no change to the Fed funds rate but did leave open the possibility of a rate hike next year.
It is critically important to remain as theoretically sound as possible as a large majority of investors have built their portfolios on a foundation of false ideologies. The problem is when reality collides with widespread fantasy.
There should be no one more concerned about YOUR money than you, and if you aren’t taking an active interest in your money – why should anyone else?
There has been a lot of commentary as of late regarding the issue of corporate share repurchases. Even Washington D.C. has chimed into the rhetoric as of late discussing potential bills to limit or eliminate these repurchases. It is an interesting discussion because most people don’t remember that share repurchases were banned for decades prior to President Reagan in 1982.
With the fundamental and technical backdrop no longer as supportive, valuations still near the most expensive 10% of starting valuations, and interest rates higher, the returns over the next decade will likely be disappointing.
One of the most highly debated topics over the past few months has been the rise of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). The economic theory has been around for quite some time but was shoved into prominence recently by Congressional Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “New Green Deal” which is heavily dependent on massive levels of Government funding.
With the month of February now officially in the books, we can take a look at our long-term monthly indicators to see what they are telling us now. Is the bull market back?
Earlier this month, I penned an article asking if we “really shouldn’t worry about the Fed’s balance sheet?” The question arose from a specific statement made by previous New York Federal Reserve President Bill Dudley...
Tax Cuts a Year Later - Did They Deliver as Promised? A look back at what we stated about #tax cuts prior to their enactment and where we are today. Did they lift up the average American? #GDP
The market is downright bullish. There is little reason to argue the point given the bullish trend since the December 24th lows. Of course, such is not surprising given the Fed’s dovish turn from tightening monetary policy to quietly putting the “punch bowl” back on the table.
For the Fed, it is a choice between the lesser of two evils. The only question is did they make the right one?
Bill Dudley, who is now a senior research scholar at Princeton University’s Center for Economic Policy Studies and previously served as president of the New York Fed and was vice-chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee, recently penned an interesting piece from Bloomberg.
If you haven’t heard about Modern Monetary Theory, or “MMT” for short, by now, you will soon. It is highly likely that MMT will be increasingly touted by economists and politicians from both sides of the aisle, as the economic prescription, even panacea, to cure our economic ills.
Since the financial crisis, there has been much commentary written about the low forward returns on stocks over the subsequent 10-year period from high valuation levels. The chart below shows the forward 10-year returns from previously valuation levels.
The reality is that we can’t control outcomes; the most we can do is influence the probability of certain outcomes which is why the day to day management of risks and investing based on probabilities, rather than possibilities, is important not only to capital preservation but to investment success over time.
Currently, there are few, if any, Wall Street analysts expecting a recession at any point in the future. Unfortunately, it is just a function of time until the recession occurs and earnings fall in tandem.
With debt levels rising globally, economic growth on the long-end of the cycle, interest rates rising, valuations high, and a potential risk of a recession, the uncertainty of retirement plans has risen markedly. This lends itself to the problem of individuals having to spend a bulk of their “retirement” continuing to work.
In the “rush to be bullish” this a point often missed. When data is hitting “record levels” it is when investors get “the most bullish.” Conversely, they are the most “bearish” at the lows. But as investors, such is exactly the opposite of what we should do. It is just our human nature.
I was digging through some old charts over the weekend and stumbled across this gem from AlphaTrends which explains the “best time to buy stocks.”
Secular markets, bull or bear, are not defined by price movements.
Over the last few weeks, I have been asked repeatedly to publish my best guess as to where the market will wind up by the end of 2019. Here it is...
When the “bull is running” we believe we are smarter and better than we actually are. We take on substantially more risk than we realize as we continue to chase market returns and allow “greed” to displace our rational logic. Just as with gambling, success breeds overconfidence as the rising tide disguises our investment mistakes.
From the previous peak in early December, the market has yet to even achieve a 38.2% retracement of that decline. It would not be surprising to see this rally try and recoup a full 61.8% of the decline over the next several weeks.
Last Monday, Jeff Gundlach, famed bond fund manager and CIO of Doubleline, made an interesting comment during an interview with CNBC when he stated that the 10-year Treasury yield would top 6% by 2020 or 2021. 6% would be the highest yield since 2000.
It is important to remember, that “Risk” is simply the function of how much you will lose when you are wrong in your assumptions. 2018 has been a year of predictions gone horribly wrong.
IF “Santa” is going to visit “Broad & Wall” this year, it will most likely occur between the 10th through the 17th trading days of the month. Such would equate to Friday, December 14th through Wednesday, December 26th.
Now, I am not talking about a 20% correction type bear market. I am talking about a devastating, blood-letting, retirement crushing, “I am never investing again,” type decline of 40%, 50%, or more.
By itself, margin debt is inert. Investors can leverage their existing portfolios and increase buying power to participate in rising markets. While “this time could certainly be different,” the reality is that leverage of this magnitude is “gasoline waiting on a match.”
Last week, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about the plunge in oil prices in recent weeks. One of the biggest fallacies about plunging oil prices, and subsequently lower gasoline prices, is that it is a huge windfall for consumers. Even President Trump stated as much last Wednesday morning.
Last week, I touched on the issue of corporate profits and tax cuts. While the promise was that tax cuts were going to a massive boost to economic growth, the reality has been quite different.
As I have pointed out previously, the U.S. is currently running a nearly $1 Trillion dollar deficit during an economic expansion. This is completely contrary to the Keynesian economic theory.
Last week, General Electric (GE) did something that many never thought would happen. They slashed their dividend to just $0.01 per share. We are talking about GE. A company which has been bringing “good things to life” for well over 100-years.
Fox Business recently discussed a new study showing that more Americans doubted they would be able to save enough for retirement than those confident of reaching their goals. There were some interesting stats from the study.
Is the stock market a signaling a recession? A look at the historical performance of the S&P and #NBER recession announcements.
Throughout history, individuals have been drawn into the more speculative stages of the financial market under the assumption that “this time is different.” Of course, as we now know with the benefit of hindsight, 1929, 1972, 1999, 2007, and most likely 2019, were not different – they were just the peak of speculative investing frenzies.
There has been a lot of angst lately over the rise in interest rates and the question of whether the government will be able to continue to fund itself given the massive surge in the fiscal deficit since the beginning of the year.
Without the passage of the C.R. the government was facing a “shut-down” just prior to the mid-term elections. So, rather than doing what is fiscally responsible for the long-term solvency and financial health of the country, not to mention the generations to come, they decided it was far more important to get re-elected into office.
Last week, James Rickards posted an interesting article discussing the risk to the financial markets from the rise in passive indexing.
There is a LOT of optimism in the markets currently. But why shouldn’t there be? Speaking at Davos, the head of world’s largest hedge fund says “If You’re Holding Cash, You’re Going to Feel Pretty Stupid”.
As I noted this past weekend, 2017 was a year for the record books. Not surprisingly, the strong advance fostered a surge in investor optimism which pushed allocations to equities to the second highest level on record.
Market crashes are an “emotionally” driven imbalance in supply and demand. You will commonly hear that “for every buyer, there must be a seller.” This is absolutely true. The issue becomes at “what price.” What moves prices up and down, in a normal market environment, is the price level at which a buyer and seller complete a transaction.
The current market advance both looks, and feels, like the last leg of a market “melt up” as we previously witnessed at the end of 1999. How long it can last is anyone’s guess. However, importantly, it should be remembered that all good things do come to an end.