"...someone with a great risk-adjusted return might have employed a strategy of selling way out-of-the money puts on equities since late 2008. That strategy would have produced great return/risk performance, almost like a money machine, but the trouble is that type of strategy also embeds a large tail risk. So even though the track record of this strategy would show low volatility, there would be the risk of catastrophic losses... Ironically, many strategies with low volatility are the most susceptible to event risk.
Despite all of the arm waving and pounding on the table by advisors touting long-term average returns, time-in-the-market, etc., the psychological impact of loss is all too real. While “buy and hold” investing has its appeal during bullish trending markets, the “impact of loss” on individuals is a far greater emotional pull. This is why investors tend to do everything backwards by “buying high” (greed) and “selling low” (fear).
Throughout history, as shown in the chart below, prices have ALWAYS, and I repeat ALWAYS, eventually found their limits. There has never been a “permanently high plateau” that inoculated investors from devastating consequences of misconceived and poorly managed investments.
The recent appreciation in financials is apparently a response to the new administration’s planned policies that are generally viewed as beneficial for the financial sector. Given the regulatory oppression of the past eight years, this may very well be a sound reason to own bank stocks. However, the R2K index is trading at grossly elevated levels. Owning the index for anything other than pure speculative trading is ridiculous. Owning the index for its bank exposure is insane.
Amid the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in the stock, bond, and commodity markets this week, a few 'rotten' things began to emerge. With major indices diverging notably, new highs and new lows soaring, and breadth deteriorating, analysts noted the re-awakening of The Hindenburg Omen signal...