Market Cycles

Bob Farrell's (Illustrated) 10-Investment Rules

Regardless of how many times we discuss these issues, quote successful investors, or warn of the dangers – the response from both individuals and investment professionals is always the same... “I am a long term, fundamental value, investor.  So these rules don’t really apply to me.” No, you’re not. Yes, they do. Individuals are long term investors only as long as the markets are rising.

Bulls, Bears & The Broken Clock Syndrome

“Put simply, most apparent “opportunities” to obtain investment returns above zero in conventional assets over the coming decade are based on a misunderstanding of valuations, total returns, and historical yield relationships. At current valuations, virtually everything is priced for a decade of zero. The unwinding of these speculative extremes is likely to be chaotic, and will likely occur over a shorter horizon than investors imagine."

"Trouble In Paradise" - Hopes Of Economic Growth Just Took A Beating

The ongoing misinterpretation and massaging of economic data to spin a positive view on the economy are fine and good. However, real economic recovery must start with the average American since consumption makes up nearly 70% of economic growth. While the current Administration and Federal Reserve promote policies that are supposed to create economic prosperity for all, the reality is that remains bottled up on Wall Street.

"This Whole Mania Will End Tragically" - Impermanence & Full-Cycle Thinking

"This whole speculative mania will end tragically. How did we not learn this from 2000-2002, or 2007-2009, or the collapse of every other mania in history? My sense is that it’s a mistake to assume that yield-seeking hasn’t been fully exhausted across every class of securities...For those who insist that there is always a bull market somewhere, I would suggest that the most likely bull market to emerge here will be in bear market assets."

The Fed's 3rd Mandate & The Value Of Cash

Jan 2008: Bernanke "The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession." Jun 2008: Bernanke "The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished." Jun 2016: Yellen "chances of recession this year are 'quite low'... The U.S. economy is doing well. My expectation is that the U.S. economy will continue to grow." Channelling Bernanke?

Imagine...

Now imagine what might happen next...

Does The U.S. Have A Plan For The Post-Oil Era?

The world's largest exporter of crude oil, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, recently announced a plan for its post-oil future. If a country almost synonymous with the oil economy can see the need for such a plan, how can the rest of the world, particularly the United States, the world's largest consumer of petroleum, not see the necessity of such foresight?

"Bored" Chinese Workers Created "Uncontrollable Bubble" In Commodity Futures

With the collapse of China's smoke-and-mirrors commodity bubble comes the post-mortem as the horde of Chinese gamblers flood from one government-appointed market to another as the American dream of get-rich-quick schemes appears to have been adopted by the burgeoning middle classes now disillusioned with real work. As Bloomberg reports so shockingly, from the Dutch tulip craze of 1637 to America’s dot-com bubble at the turn of the century, history is littered with speculative frenzies that ended badly for investors; but rarely has a mania escalated so rapidly, and spurred such fevered trading, as the great China commodities boom of 2016..."you have far too much credit, money sloshing about, money looking for higher returns."

Visualizing The Market Cycle

Like many controversial topics in investing, there is no real professional consensus on market timing. Academics claim that it’s not possible, while traders and chartists swear by the idea. That said, as VisualCapitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, one thing that everyone can probably agree on is that markets are cyclical and that securities do have recurring chart patterns. They aren’t predictable all of the time, but learning the fundamentals around market cycles can only help an investor in furthering their understanding of how things work.

Cycles, Bounces, & The Only Question That Matters

Unfortunately, when central-planners "drag forward" future consumption today, you leave a "void" in the future that must be filled. That future "void" continues to expand each time activity is dragged forward until, inevitably, it can not be filled. This is currently being witnessed in the overall data trends as seen in the deterioration in corporate earnings and revenues. The only question is whether Central Banks can continue to support asset prices long enough for the economic cycle to catch up. Historically, such is a feat that has never been accomplished.

Worst Case Scenario: 73% Down From Here

QE3 ended 17 months ago and shockingly the S&P 500 is exactly where it was 17 months ago. How many bull markets go flat for 17 months? As John Hussman accurately points out, we are experiencing a topping formation in the third and biggest bubble of the last 16 years. It’s a long way down from here.

3 Things: 80% Or Bust, Mind The Gap, It’s A Bunny

“The McKenzie study also noted that on average “analysts’ forecasts have been almost 100% too high” which leads investors to make much more aggressive bets on the financial markets. “

Can Draghi's "Kitchen Sink" Beat Recessionary Earnings?

Despite ongoing Central Bank interventions which boost asset prices and acts as a huge wealth transfer tax from the middle class to the rich, corporate earnings are a direct reflection of what is happening in the actual economy. Wall Street has always extrapolated earnings growth indefinitely into the future without taking into account the effects of the normal economic and business cycles. This was the same in 2000 and 2007. Unfortunately, the economy neither forgets nor forgives.