Posts filed under “Markets”
One of my favorite pastimes is dissecting accepted Wall Street wisdom to see if it contains any value for investors or traders. Often, upon examination, the widely held beliefs turn out to be closer to magical thinking than financial acumen.
One of the more recent examples is the way some analysts use data on sentiment to determine how much an investor should allocate to equities. The problem is that the sentiment data is inconclusive and sometimes contradictory. There is no signal within the noisy data.
Sentiment is extremely difficult to use as an indicator because it is only rarely at the extreme readings needed to generate a reliable trading signal. Recall the March 2009 low, where every measure of sentiment was deep in the red. Or October 2002, by which time the Nasdaq Composite Index had fallen almost 80 percent from its high and everyone hated tech stocks. These extreme events are rare.
One of the analysts who has observed these phenomena for many decades is Laszlo Birinyi, formerly of Salomon Brothers, and now of Birinyi Associates. In this weekend’s Masters in Business interview, Birinyi describes why so many sentiment measures are worthless. There is no usable signal in the American Association of Individual Investors bull/bear survey, Birinyi says. Many other such polls also lack a consistent methodology or are otherwise flawed. They are useless to investors, he says.
Major economic indicators from 4 quarters before to 28 quarters after financial crises. Line marked “average” shows the average performance in 15 major financial crises since 1973, as identified by the IMF in the April 2009 edition of its World Economic Outlook, Index set so quarter of onset = 100. For the recent U.S. crisis,…Read More
This week in 1958: LIFE Magazine highlights a strange new phenomenon: The public is investing in the stock market as never before. “On the average,” reports LIFE, “500,000 new customers a year have been getting into the market and 8.6 million Americans now own some kind of common or preferred stock…. To an extent which…Read More
Paul Macrae Montgomery, best known as the originator of the Time Magazine Cover Indicator, and for popularizing the Hemline Indicator of the stock market, died this weekend. He was 72. I was fortunate to have had several conversations with Mongomery over the years. He was humble and soft spoken but he took delight in…Read More
Mr Draghi has come to the rescue yet again. The cut in all of the ECB’s policy rates by 10 bps, combined with an asset backed securities (ABS) and covered bond purchase programme, was more than the market expected. The decision was agreed by a “comfortable majority”. Mr Draghi confirmed that whilst the ECB did…Read More
Succinct Summations week ending September 5th Positives: 1. ECB lowers rates gives further clarity in its attempts to encourage a greater level of small and medium sized business lending. He also gets another leg lower in the euro via another cut in short rates and by adding covered bonds to its menu of asset purchases….Read More
The longest bull market for the S&P 500 since 1950 lasted 9 ½ years (actually 2,388 trading days). The current bull market (which began on 3/09/09) has lasted 1,375 trading days (through Friday 8/22/14), or 1,013 trading days short of the longest bull since 1950. During the final 1,013 trading days of its 9 ½…Read More
Most of what we see and hear about how to invest comes from either the fund industry or the financial media – both of which have their own agendas. This landmark documentary is an attempt to redress the balance.
Nine months in the making, How to Win the Loser’s Game aims to provide ordinary investors with the information they need to achieve their investment goals. It includes contributions from some of the biggest names and brightest minds in the investing world.
It’s being released in ten weekly, stand-alone parts, followed by the full-length, 80-minute film. Please share these videos with family, friends and colleagues, and help us to build a better, fairer and more transparent investment industry for all.
The Declining U.S. Reliance on Foreign Investors Thomas Klitgaard and Preston Mui Liberty Street Economics, August 20, 2014 The United States has been borrowing from the rest of the world since the mid-1980s. From 2000 to 2008, this borrowing averaged over $600 billion per year, which translates into U.S. spending exceeding income by almost…Read More