Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, After a week on vacation, I got the joy of coming back to an Administration threatening North Korea over nuclear weapons. Now, you would suspect the possibility of nuclear war might just be the catalyst to send markets reeling, but looking at the market’s reaction on Thursday, I suspect there will be t-shirts soon reading: “I survived the threat of nuclear war and the ‘great crash of 2017’ of 1.5%” As shown, the market did register a short-term “sell signal” last Friday and downward pressure has continued to build all week. The sell off on Thursday led to a break of the 50-dma and is threatening the bullish trend support line which has existed since the beginning of the year. IF the market does not regain the 50-dma by close of the markets today, I would suspect we will likely be looking for a decline to 2400. Such a correction, a whopping 3.03%, would likely shock many investors who have become overly complacent in recent months due to the abnormally low levels of volatility. The sell-off on Thursday also resulted in a sharp snapback in volatility which had recently touched historically low levels. While this is likely not the beginning of the next cyclical upswing in volatility just yet, it should serve as a good reminder of what will happen when volatility does return. One interesting note was the consternation by the mainstream media and analysts over why stocks did not perform better in the recent earnings reporting season when it was so good. Well, despite the much trumpeted operating earnings growth of 7.67%, reported earnings (the actual earnings that matter) only rose by 0.51%. Furthermore, revenue, which is what happens at the top-line of the income statement, has remained mired at the same level as it was in Q4. With markets having already priced in much of the forward estimates, there seems to be little catalyst to push stocks higher at this point leaving investor risk elevated. While the markets can certainly remain “irrational” longer than logic would dictate, it only seems prudent to step back and the question of “what will likely happen next?” For me that question has three outcomes: The bull market continues for another 12-18 months as “greed” and “exuberance” push asset prices to further extremes. The subsequent “reversion to the mean” wipes out the majority of gains from the 2009 lows resetting valuations and investor psychology for the next bull market. There is a mid-term correction within the next few months, like the beginning of 2016, which fails to shake out investors and sets the market up for the final leg of the bull market melt-up as the final capitulation of buyers makes its appearance. The subsequent “reversion to the mean” resets the market by 50-60%. The market drifts sideways for the next couple of months, and then, as the realization that legislative agenda is not forthcoming, the debt ceiling fight or some other political debacle sends investors rushing for the sidelines. The sell-off sends “algo’s” into a “sell the rally” mode and margin calls exacerbate the selling. The stampede to “sell everything” will result in the same “reversion to the mean” which will, as noted, wipe out 50-60% of investors portfolios as the next recession resets expectations to economic realities. There is no case that be made that supports “the bull market will continue forever.” When you are standing on the edge of cliff, looking at the ground far below, there is always that momentary desire to take a leap. Fortunately, for most, rationality takes hold. Unfortunately, in the financial markets, irrationality historically prevails and very few investors survive the fall. So, with that said, here’s what I am reading this weekend. Politics/Fed/Economy Trump Economy: Progress & Peril by Stephen Moore via The Washington Times The Dem’s “Better Deal” by Allan Golombek via RCM Debt Limit Showdown by Caroline Baum via MarketWatch Debt Ceiling Fight, This Time Is Different by Michael Hiltzik via LA Times Republicans Can’t Just Pivot On Tax Reform by Russell Berman via The Atlantic Trump & The Outrageous Tax Reform Hoax by Brian Beutler via The New Republic Trump’s Great Growth Debate Is Guesswork by Robert Samuelson via RCM If Gov’t Doesn’t Act, Fools Rush In by Brad DeLong via Project Syndicate What Happens In Washington Matters To The Markets by Komal Sri-Kumar via Bloomberg The False Premise Of GOP Tax Cuts by Editorial via New York Times What’s Trump Got To Do With It? by Andrew Ross-Sorkin via NY Times Something Unusual About Jobs Numbers by John Crudele via NY Post Trump May Rate Credit For Market Boom by Ira Stoll via NY Sun No Trump Bump by Heather Long via Washington Post Our Broken Economy – In One Chart by David Leonhardt via NYT Markets Charts Without Context Breed Hysteria by Aaron Brown via Bloomberg Expect A Market Crash by Tyler Durden via ZeroHedge Pay No Mind To The Market’s Seasonal Curse by Sue Chang via MarketWatch 401k Accounts Are Booming, What Should You Do? by Stan Choe via AP Paul Singer: The World’s Most Feared Investor by Ahmed, Deveau, Sam & Benhamou via Bloomberg What Happens When There’s A Rush Of Sell Orders? by Jared Dillian via Mauldin Economics Markets Don’t Crash From All-Time Highs by Charlie Bilello via Pension Partners North Korea Effect On Stocks by Michael Kahn via Barron’s Hickey: Trouble Ahead For The Markets by Christoph Gisiger via Finanz Und Wirtschaft U.S. Companies Less Profitable More Highly Valued by John Mauldin via Mauldin Economics Beneath Market Calm Are Signs Of Caution by Landon Thomas via NY Times Gundlach: Too Much Glee In The Markets by Erik Schatzker via Bloomberg Stock Market Bulls Are Wrong, It Will End Badly by Doug Kass via The Street This Is Why It’s So Hard To Be A Contrarian by Stefan Cheplick via Medium Research / Interesting Reads Richest Men In History In One Chart by Shawn Langlois via MarketWatch There They Go Again by Howard Marks via OakTree Capital The Transformation Of The American Dream by Robert Shiller via NYT As Good As It Gets by Joe Calhoun via Alhambra Partners August Of Our Discontent by Cliff Asness via AQR Capital Management 5 Highly Respected Investors Are Worried by John Maxfield via Motley Fool FLASH CRASH: Seth Klarman Weighs In On HFT by Jody Chudley via Daily Reckoning Google Employee Full PC Manifesto by Kate Cooper via Gizmodo The Reason Everyone Resents Millennials by Bill Murphy Jr via Inc. Student Borrowers Face Relentless Debt Collector by Michelle Conlin via Reuters In Debt We Trust For U.S. Consumers by Vince Golle via Bloomberg Time Is Running Out With North Korea by George Friedman via MarketWatch Still Too Much Risk In The Financial System by Mohamed El-Erian via Bloomberg Singer: “I’m Very Concerned About The Global Economy by Tyler Durden via ZeroHedge Extreme Market Losses At Speculative Extremes by John Hussman via Hussman Funds Internal Cracks Or Chasms? by Dana Lyons via Tumblr Much Bigger Than The Dot.Com Bubble by Jesse Felder via The Felder Report “Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.” – Warren Buffett
Authored by Robert Shiller, originally posted op-ed at The New York Times, The Transformation of the ‘American Dream’ “The American Dream is back.” President Trump made that claim in a speech in January. They are ringing words, but what do they mean? Language is important, but it can be slippery. Consider that the phrase, the American Dream, has changed radically through the years. Mr. Trump and Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, have suggested it involves owning a beautiful home and a roaring business, but it wasn’t always so. Instead, in the 1930s, it meant freedom, mutual respect and equality of opportunity. It had more to do with morality than material success. This drift in meaning is significant, because the American Dream - and international variants like the Australian Dream, Le Rêve Français and others - represents core values. In the United States, these values affect major government decisions on housing, regulation and mortgage guarantees, and millions of private choices regarding whether to start a business, buy an ostentatious home or rent an apartment. Conflating the American dream with expensive housing has had dangerous consequences: It may have even contributed to the last housing bubble, the one that led to the financial crisis of 2008-9. These days, Mr. Trump is using the hallowed phrase in pointed ways. In his January speech, he framed the slogan as though it were an entrepreneurial aspiration. “We are going to create an environment for small business like we haven’t seen in many many decades,” he said, adding, “So, essentially, we are getting rid of regulations to a massive extent, could be as much as 75 percent.” Mr. Carson has explicitly said that homeownership is a central part of the Dream. In a speech at the National Housing Conference on June 9, he said, “I worry that millennials may become a lost generation for homeownership, excluded from the American Dream.” But that wasn’t what the American Dream entailed when the writer James Truslow Adams popularized it in 1931, in his book “The Epic of America.” Mr. Adams emphasized ideals rather than material goods, a “dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.” And he clarified, “It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of a social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and recognized by others for what they are.” His achievement was an innovation in language that largely replaced the older terms “American character” and “American principles” with a forward-looking phrase that implied modesty about current success in giving respect and equal opportunity to all people. The American dream was a trajectory to a promising future, a model for the United States and for the whole world. In the 1930s and ’40s, the term appeared occasionally in advertisements for intellectual products: plays, books and church sermons, book reviews and high-minded articles. During these years, it rarely, if ever, referred to business success or homeownership. By 1950, shortly after World War II and the triumph against fascism, it was still about freedom and equality. In a book published in 1954, Peter Marshall, former chaplain of the United States Senate, defined the American Dream with spiritually resounding words: “Religious liberty to worship God according to the dictates of one’s own conscience and equal opportunity for all men,” he said, “are the twin pillars of the American Dream.” The term began to be used extensively in the 1960s. It may have owed its growing power to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, in which he spoke of a vision that was “deeply rooted in the American Dream.” He said he dreamed of the disappearance of prejudice and a rise in community spirit, and certainly made no mention of deregulation or mortgage subsidies. But as the term became more commonplace, its connection with notions of equality and community weakened. In the 1970s and ’80s, home builders used it extensively in advertisements, perhaps to make conspicuous consumption seem patriotic. Thanks in part to the deluge of advertisements, many people came to associate the American Dream with homeownership, with some unfortunate results. Increasing home sales became public policy. In 2003, President George W. Bush signed the American Dream Downpayment Act, subsidizing home purchases during a period in which a housing bubble — the one that would lead to the 2008-9 financial crisis — was already growing at a 10 percent annual rate, according to the S.&P. Corelogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price index (which I helped to create). This year, Forbes Magazine started what it calls the “American Dream Index.” It is based on seven statistical measures of material prosperity: bankruptcies, building permits, entrepreneurship, goods-producing employment, labor participation rate, layoffs and unemployment claims. This kind of characterization is commonplace today, and very different from the original spirit of the American dream. One thing is clear: Bringing back the fevered housing dream of a decade ago would not be in the public interest. In “House Lust: America’s Obsession With Our Homes,” published in 2008, Daniel McGinn marveled at the craving for housing in that era: “In many neighborhoods, if you’d judged the nation’s interests by its backyard-barbecue conversation — settings where subjects like war, death, and politics are risky conversational gambits — a lot of people find homes to be more compelling than any geopolitical struggle.” This is not to say that homes have no appropriate place in our dreams or our consciousness. To the contrary, in a 2015 book “Home: How Habitat Made Us Human,” the neuroanthropologist John S. Allen wrote, “We humans are a species of homebodies.” Ever since humans began making stone tools and pottery, they have needed a place to store them, he says, and the potential for intense feelings about our homes has evolved. But the last decade has shown that with a little encouragement, many can easily become excessively lustful about homeownership and wealth, to the detriment of our economy and society. That’s the wrong way to go. Instead, we need to bring back the American Dream of a just society, where everyone has an opportunity to reach “the fullest stature of which they are innately capable.”
Presenting this morning's best overnight wrap, which comes courtesy of Rabobank's Michael Every, and whose title, "Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?", was inspired by obvious events. Market comments “I see a little silhouetto of a man; Scaramucci, Scaramucci, will you do the Fandango?” I didn’t sleep well last night after watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones. While I enjoyed it, I couldn’t escape the feeling that major developments are happening too fast as the show tries to shoe-horn lots of developments into the remaining 4 hours of this series/season. Plots that took months of viewing to play out in the first four or five series now seem to happen on fast-forward, and colourful characters just disappear. As a result the whole world seems a little less believable somehow. Then one wakes up to find out that the new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci has been fired just 11 days into his tenure. (“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?”) Even more amazingly, this was not due to his recent profanity-strewn interviews, or character assassination of the now ex-Chief of Staff Priebus, but allegedly because Scaramucci told the new Chief of Staff, former general John Kelly, that he didn’t report to him but directly to the president…on which note he was then summarily dismissed. Quite naturally, this news (and a weaker-than-expected Chicago PMI) have pushed the broad USD index lower yet again, and this morning in Asia we are trading at below 93 at the time of writing, the lowest point since May 2016. Indeed, EUR/USD tested over 1.1840 early this morning, the first time we’ve been there since early 2015. (Despite yesterday’s Eurozone unemployment printing at 9.1%, a tick better than expected, while core CPI for July was a tick higher at 1.2% y-o-y, one can almost hear “Thunderbolt and lightening, very, very fright’ning me” playing in the ECB.) The biggest question now must surely be if this latest White House firing is indicative of an administration in total meltdown, in which case the USD seems unlikely to avoid being swept along with it. Or could the new Chief of Staff bring some much-needed discipline and order to the Trump administration? Considering how far the Greenback has already fallen at a time when the Fed is after-all raising rates and looking at reversing QE might an indication of that counter-trend prove a turning point in the other direction? It’s worth considering, even if for now the market seems to see that a slowing-raising Fed is massively out-gunned by a nowhere-near raising ECB. In another market-related headline today I see that Alan ‘Never-met-a-bubble-I-didn’t-like’ Greenspan is arguing to equities are not in bubble territory despite their stratospheric P/E ratios and similar measures, but that the bond market is. He might know something about that having been the instigator of the delicate “just slash rates” policy stance that we have come to rely on for decades now. Then again, he’s been wrong on just about everything else for just as long, so it may be another counter-indicator (or, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no”). Robert Shiller certainly seems far less sanguine. Meanwhile, we have finally seen an official Chinese response to President Trump’s tweets on North Korea: Beijing’s UN Ambassador has stated “No matter how capable China is, China’s efforts will not yield practical results because it depends on the two principal parties.” That doesn’t point to any kind of imminent de-escalation of tensions; neither does US officials proposing to supply Ukraine with “defensive weapons”, as the Wall Street Journal reports, though the White House has yet to sign off there. (“Sends shivers down my spine, body’s aching all the time.”) And down in NZ --and just two months before the upcoming general election-- opposition Labour Party Leader Andrew Little is stepping down because his party’s polling number have not been Large. (“Goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go.”)
The stock market's unusually low level of volatility could mark the "quiet before the storm," warns Robert Shiller, the famed Nobel laureate and economics professor at Yale University, who shared some alarming facts about the stock market that cause him to "lie awake worrying." The Nobel laureate says low volatility paired with a questionable price-earnings ratio could wipe out a chunk of the stock market's value. "The price increase just went step-by-step with the earnings increase. I think it's an overreaction to good earnings." The ratio of P/E-to-VIX is euphoric... His Shiller PE Ratio, also known as CAPE, shows the price-earnings ratio based on average inflation-adjusted earnings from the last 10 years is over 30. The number carries significance because the only times it's been higher was just before the Great Depression in 1929 and mid-1997 to mid-2001. "I worry that historically earnings have been trend-reverting," said Shiller. "Admittedly, we do have a president who's going to 'make America great again.' So if he's right, maybe then we're launching out in a whole new path. But it would be the first time in American history." Shiller's latest analysis shouldn't be taken lightly. His forecasting skills were recognized in 2013 when he won the Nobel Prize in Economics. He's known for predicting both the dot-com bubble and the housing bubble in his book "Irrational Exuberance." If Shiller is right and the stock market ultimately goes back to trend, it could create havoc. "It would definitely be a negative for equities. It would be pretty big. We are at a high valuation. The only time we've had a higher valuation than where we are now was around 1929 and around 2000," Shiller said. "We could see a major correction," he said. "This is not a forecast. It's a worry." To visually comprehend the decoupling from reality (and multiple expansion), here is the Russell 200 this year...
The VIX has recently flirted with its all-time closing low, analysts worry that volatility has been so low for so long that analysts are worried that the next sizable negative shock will cause investors to panic and dump their holdings. Other than a handful of selloffs over the past couple of years (Aug. 2015, Jan. 2016, June 2016), Federal Reserve-led easing has guided markets steadily higher since the crisis. As MarketWatch reports, The Dow hasn’t experienced a 5% drop since 2011, and before that a 5% drop hadn’t happened since 2008, when there were 9 such drops. The blue-chip index closed at a record high on Friday, leaving it just 200 points shy of 22,000. At this level, a 5% selloff would equate to a 1,100-point, one-day slide in the gauge - an eye-popping four-digit drop. Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, says the market isn’t prepared for a large selloff because "garden-variety" volatility has been largely absent from US stocks for the last year. "'I would say no because we’re out of practice. Your usual standard garden-variety volatility just hasn’t been around, and we haven’t seen it for 12 months,' Hogan told MarketWatch. 'Quiet markets have been the norm and not the exception and I think a major pullback is going to feel a whole lot larger for lack of experience and the numbers are larger,' he said.” Hogan isn’t the first strategist to point out the market’s vulnerability to a sharp rise in the VIX. As Morgan Stanley’s Chris Metli said in a research note exploring what a “short vol unwind” might look like. Low volatility has produced a regime where the risks are asymmetric and negatively convex, so being prepared for an unwind is critical, since a 3% or 4% move in the S&P 500 can have a disproportionately large impact on the VIX as dealers and exchange-traded products rush to hedge. According to Marketwatch and Dow Jones data, even a 2.5% drop in the Dow, adding up a 550-point decline, could rattle investors. Moves of this magnitude, while still relatively rare, are far more frequent, with 564 such moves occurring in the Dow since 1901. The most recent slump of this magnitude occurred on June 24, the day after the Brexit vote, when the Dow tumbled about 610 points, or 3.4%. There were three such moves in 2015. The S&P 500 is also long overdue for a major pullback. As for the S&P 500, 61 of the past 67 years have seen at least one 5% drop, or 91% of all years, according to Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist, at LPL Financial. "‘The inevitable 5% drop will be a shock to nearly everyone,’ Detrick said. ‘We’ve been historically spoiled so far this year, but as the economic cycle ages, we fully expect more volatility the remainder of this year and the likely 5% correction to take place as well,’ he said.” Still, it’s important for investors to remember that while a 5% might “feel like 1987,” it’s necessary to “flush out the weak hands,” Detrick says. “The important thing to remember is the Fed is still accommodative, earnings continue to improve globally, and inflation is contained - meaning any pullback could be a nice opportunity to add equity exposure. Although a 5% correction might feel like 1987 to some of us about now, pullbacks and volatility are perfectly normal parts of bull markets and are needed to flush out the weak hands.” Market luminaries including billionaire investor Howard Marks and Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller have warned investors to be cautious. According to Shiller’s CAPE ratio, a popular measure of equity valuations, S&P 500 valuations are at levels only seen twice before: in 1929 and 2000. Shiller said on CNBC Thursday that he “lies awake worrying” about how long this period of quiet will last. Doubleline Capital founder Jeff Gundlach said his fund bought up VIX calls when the index hit its most recent lows. To be sure, investors are willing to pay a premium for protection. According to Bank of America, the market has never "trusted" the VIX as little as it does now, and has never before been willing to pay, and bet, more for upcoming imminent sharp moves.
Following a flood of warnings in the past week about both the precarious state of markets and the global economy, most recently from the otherwise stoic Howard Marks warning about bubble-like condition in the market (especially when it comes to passive investors), as well as Robert Shiller who explained what "keeps him up at night", we were due for some good news. It came over the weekend courtesy of Morgan Stanley's co-head of economics, Chetan Ahya, who writes in his Sunday Start weekly piece that "2017 is unlike 2012-2016" - a period characterized by an economy that rebounded on several occasions, prompting several narratives of "false starts", only to see the global recovery fade and keep central banks stuck in printing mode. In other words, this time - Morgan Stanley predicts - will be different. We are not so confident. Here is Morgan Stanley's explanation why this time the handoff from central banks to the private sector should work out: Why 2017 is unlike 2012-16 Over the last five years, the global economy has been through a number of wobbles. Initially, DMs faced unprecedented deleveraging headwinds. Subsequently, China and other EMs underwent a period of deep adjustment. The outcome was a global expansion that was un-synchronous and heavily dependent on policy stimulus, which has been reflected in years of below-par growth. From 2012 to 2016, global GDP growth has averaged just 3.3%Y and more recently, since 2Q14, global GDP growth has averaged just 3.2%Y, well below the long-term average of 3.5%Y. That was then. Fast forward to today, global growth is tracking at its fastest pace since 2Q14. The growth has been broad-based, with upside surprises in Europe and China. While we do expect some moderation in growth in 2H 17 from the current high levels, full year global GDP growth is estimated at 3.6%, which would be the strongest rate of growth since 2011. Moreover, at the current juncture, global growth is tracking better than what we have built in for the full year (2017), principally due to a stronger than expected outturn in 2Q. There are a number of factors which differentiate this year versus the preceding five years. First, both DM and EM growth is accelerating for the first time since 2010, and within that, the recovery has been broad-based across individual economies too. Second, global trade in value and volume terms is also growing at its strongest since 2011. Third, the global investment cycle has also improved meaningfully, as global ex-China gross fixed capital formation grew at the fastest pace in 1Q17 since 1Q15 in %Y terms and in a broad based fashion. Finally, while the strength of the recovery is similar to that of 2010-11, it is important to note that the recovery was, to a large extent, driven by base effects and was therefore somewhat statistical in nature as it reflected a recovery from a deep recession and that recovery was driven by aggressive monetary and fiscal expansion in both DM and EM. When evaluated against this context, global growth is currently tracking at the best rate since the 2003-2006 cycle. Despite the recent strength in global growth, our conversations indicate that there is still a fair bit of skepticism. The three key debates are: 1) Will tightening by DM central banks cause a sharp slowdown? Investors contend that the recent subdued inflation prints are pointing towards some weakness in aggregate demand and the planned removal of monetary accommodation by DM central banks will hurt the recovery. However, we think that private sector risk attitudes are normalizing, as deleveraging pressures are now behind us. Indeed, within G4, the non-financial private sector has been leveraging up for the past 4 quarters and fiscal policy is not tightening as it was between 2011 and 2015. As the private sector takes on a greater role in driving growth, monetary accommodation can be gradually rolled back without causing a sharp slowdown in growth. 2) Will a weakening of credit impulse in China weigh heavily on growth? As regards China, investors are concerned that the recent cyclical strength has been due to past policy stimulus and with policy makers now dialing back the stimulus, growth would decelerate sharply as it did during 2013-15, creating challenges not just for China but would also weigh on the rest of EMs and global economy. There are three offsets to this policy tightening. First, external demand is recovering after five years of deceleration and the contribution of net exports to growth has turned positive. As exports growth is recovering, policy makers in China – who tend to run a counter-cyclical growth model – are relying less on debt-fueled public investment demand, which is resulting in a paring back of aggregate credit growth. Moreover, private sector investment and private consumption are improving, which is lending support to the ongoing recovery. In the property market, inventory levels have been declining rapidly and even though property purchase restrictions have been tightened, the property market is unlikely to require or experience that depth of adjustment that it experienced in 2013-15. 3) Is recovery in EMXC just about commodity price improvement and China? The third debate revolves around the impact that stimulus in China has had on other EMs via a boost to commodity prices. As China withdraws its stimulus and commodity prices reverse, growth in EMXC will decelerate. In our view, the recovery that is underway in EMXC is not just about commodity prices. Indeed, both commodity exporters and importers have had a recovery in growth. More fundamentally, the majority of EMXC have had to undergo a period of adjustment (payback), as they had pursued unproductive expansionary policies post 2009, which resulted in elevated macro stability risks. This adjustment is now completed in most of these EMs and hence a gradual recovery is now underway. To be sure, there are still risks to global growth, particularly in DM as they are more advanced in the business cycle. In that context, if DM central banks tighten even more aggressively than we are building in, it could weigh on growth. In China, we are watching risks to growth that could emerge if policy makers take up more aggressive tightening from 4Q17 post the 19th Party Congress. Our base case is that global growth will moderate somewhat in the coming quarters from the current high run rate, but will settle on average at above trend for both 2017 and 2018. In other words, the experience of the past five years is unlikely to be a good guide for what will unfold next in the global economy. Reflecting this broad-based, synchronous global recovery, our strategists continue to recommend US and Japan as our preferred equity markets, and have a preference for EM fixed income over US credit. In currencies, they like owning USD against low-yielding currencies like CHF and JPY and selling it against EUR, and select EM currencies like PLN, IDR and MXN.
Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, As a portfolio manager, I start each morning by consuming copious amounts of a heavily caffeinated beverage and a data feed from a litany of web and blog sites. Over the last few days, as asset prices have set new records, there have been numerous articles on whether the market is currently in a bubble. Here are a few I grabbed from a Google search: Where’s The Next Bubble Forming In The Markets? How The ETF Bubble Feeds The Stock Market Bubble Market Entering A Bubble Zone U.S. Stock Market: Is The Bubble About To Burst Well, you get the idea. First, like a “watched pot never boils,” bubbles occur when no one is looking for them. Bubbles are a function of greed running rampant combined with a mass hypnotic state the current ride will never end. The shear fact that multitudes of articles are being written about “market bubbles” is a sign that we are likely not there…just yet. However, as a shot of caffeine hits my brain, I read with interest a WSJ article entitled “Tech Is No Bubble, But The Market Might Be” which I have summarized for you: Technology stocks have finally surpassed the 17-year old peak. 80% of the gains in the technology sector has come from just 8-companies. A measure of dispersion in performance shows little excess from the long-run average. While there may be an “everything bubble,” technology stocks don’t look especially frothy. While these are certainly some interesting arguments, the comparison between now and the turn of the century peak is virtually meaningless. Why? Because no two major market peaks (speculative bubble or otherwise) have ever been the same. Let me explain. In late October of 2007, I gave a seminar to about 300 investors discussing why I believed that we were rapidly approaching the end of the bull market and that 2008 would likely be bad…really bad. Part of that discussion focused on market bubbles and what caused them. The following two slides are from that presentation: Every major market peak, and subsequent devastating mean reverting correction, has ever been the result of the exact ingredients seen previously. Only the ignorance of its existence has been a common theme. The reason that investors ALWAYS fail to recognize the major turning points in the markets is because they allow emotional “greed” to keep them looking backward rather than forward. Of course, the media foster’s much of this “willful” blindness by dismissing, and chastising, opposing views generally until it is too late for their acknowledgement to be of any real use. The next chart shows every major bubble and bust in the U.S. financial markets since 1871 (Source: Robert Shiller) At the peak of each one of these markets, there was no one claiming that a crash was imminent. It was always the contrary with market pundits waging war against those nagging naysayers of the bullish mantra that “stocks have reached a permanently high plateau” or “this is a new secular bull market.” (Here is why it isn’t.) Yet, in the end, it was something that was unexpected, unknown or simply dismissed that yanked the proverbial rug from beneath investors. What will spark the next mean reverting event? No one knows for sure, but the catalysts are present from: Excess leverage (Margin debt at new record levels) IPO’s of negligible companies (Blue Apron, Snap Chat) Companies using cheap debt to complete stock buybacks and pay dividends, and; High levels of investor complacency. Either individually, or in combination, these issues are all inert. Much like pouring gasoline on a pile of wood, the fire will not start without a proper catalyst. What we do know is that an event WILL occur, it is only a function of “when.” The discussion of why “this time is not like the last time” is largely irrelevant. Whatever gains that investors garner in the between now and the next correction by chasing the “bullish thesis” will be wiped away in a swift and brutal downdraft. Of course, this is the sad history of individual investors in the financial markets as they are always “told to buy” but never “when to sell.” For now, the “bullish case” remains alive and well. The media will go on berating those heretics who dare to point out the risks that prevail. However, the one simple truth is “this time is indeed different.” When the crash ultimately comes the reasons will be different than they were in the past – only the outcome will remain same.
Yale economist sees trouble ahead for the stock market rally.
After drifting lower for the past month, the SPX rebounded, once again confounding the naysayers by making yet another new high. Widespread belief that stocks were overpriced has made investors
Robert Shiller, Project SyndicateInequality is usually measured by comparing incomes across households within a country. But there is also a different kind of inequality, in the affordability of homes across cities, and the impact is no less worrying.
Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, Over the years, I have regularly addressed the psychological and emotional pitfalls which ultimately lead individual investors to poor outcomes. The internet is regularly littered with a stream of articles promoting the ideas of “dollar cost averaging,” “buy and hold” investing, and “passive indexing” as the solution to achieving your financial dreams. However, as I addressed in the “Illusion Of Declining Debt To Income,” if this was truly the case, then why is the majority of Americans so financially poor? But here are some stats from a recent Motley Fool survey: “Imagine how the 50th percentile of those ages 35 – 44 has a household net worth of just $35,000 – and that figure includes everything they own, any equity in their homes, and their retirement savings to boot. That’s sad considering those ages 35 and older have had probably been out in the workforce for at least ten years at this point. And even the 50th percentile of those ages 65+ aren’t doing much better; they’ve got a median net worth of around $171,135, and quite possibly decades of retirement ahead of them. How do you think that is going to work out?” So, what happened? Why aren’t those 401k balances brimming over with wealth? Why aren’t those personal E*Trade and Schwab accounts bursting at the seams? Why isn’t there a yacht in every driveway and a Ferrari in every garage? It’s because investing does NOT WORK they way are you told. (Read the primer “The Big Lie”) Here are the 7-Myths you are told that keep you from being a successful investor. The 7-Myths Of Investing 1) You Can’t Time The Market Now, let me be clear. I am NOT discussing “market timing” which is specifically being “all in” or “all out” of the market at any given time. The problem with trying to “time” the market is “consistency.” What I am discussing is “risk” management which is the minimization of losses when things go wrong. While there are many sophisticated methods of handling risk within a portfolio, even using a basic method of price analysis, such as a moving average crossover, can be a valuable tool over long-term holding periods. The chart below shows a simple moving average crossover study. The actual moving averages used are not important, but what is clear is that using a basic form of price movement analysis can provide a useful identification of periods when portfolio risk should be REDUCED. Importantly, I did not say risk should be eliminated; just reduced. Again, I am not implying, suggesting or stating that such signals mean going 100% to cash. What I am suggesting is that when “sell signals” are given, it is the time when individuals should perform some basic portfolio risk management. Using some measure, any measure, of fundamental or technical analysis to reduce portfolio risk as prices/valuations rise, the long-term results of avoiding periods of severe capital loss will outweigh missed short term gains. Small adjustments can have a significant impact over the long run. 2) “Buy and Hold” & “Dollar Cost Average” While these two mantras have been the “core” of Wall Street’s annuitization and commoditization of the investing business by turning volatile commission revenue into a smooth stream of income, it has clearly not actually worked for the investors that were sold the “scheme.” To two biggest reasons for the shortfalls was: 1) the destruction of investor capital, and; 2) investor psychology. Despite the logic behind “buying and holding” stocks over the long term, the biggest single impediment to the success over time is psychology. Behavioral biases that lead to poor investment decision-making is the single largest contributor to underperformance over time. Dalbar defined nine of the irrational investment behavior biases but the two biggest of these problems for individuals is the “herding effect” and “loss aversion.” These two behaviors tend to function together compounding the issues of investor mistakes over time. As markets are rising, individuals are lead to believe that the current price trend will continue to last for an indefinite period. The longer the rising trend last, the more ingrained the belief becomes until the last of “holdouts” finally “buys in” as the financial markets evolve into a “euphoric state.” As the markets decline, there is a slow realization that “this decline” is something more than a “buy the dip” opportunity. As losses mount, the anxiety of loss begins to mount until individuals seek to “avert further loss” by selling. This behavioral trend runs counter-intuitive to the “buy low/sell high” investment rule and continually leads to poor investment returns over time. 3) More Risk = More Return: The next “myth” is one that is too often uttered. Investors are continually prodded to take on additional exposure to equities to gain the potential for higher rates of return if everything goes right. What is never discussed, is what happens when everything goes wrong? If you look up the definition of “risk,” it is “to expose something of value to danger or loss.” As my partner Michael Lebowitz noted: “When one assesses risk and return, the most important question to ask is ‘Do my expectations for a return on this investment properly compensate me for the risk of loss?’ For many of the best investors, the main concern is not the potential return but the probability and size of a loss. No one has a crystal ball that allows them to see into the future. As such the best tools we have are those which allow for common sense and analytical rigor applied to historical data. Due to the wide range of potential outcomes, studying numerous historical periods is advisable to gain an appreciation for the spectrum of risk to which an investor may be exposed. This approach does not assume the past will conform to a specific period such as the last month, the past few years or even the past few decades. It does, however, reveal durable patterns of risk and reward based upon valuations, economic conditions, and geopolitical dynamics. Armed with an appreciation for how risk evolves, investors can then give appropriate consideration to the probability of potential loss.” Spending your investment time horizon making up previous losses is not an optimal strategy to build wealth. 4) All The “Cash On The Sidelines” Will Push Prices Higher How often have we heard this? I busted this myth in detail in “Liquidity Drain” but here is the main point: Clifford Asness previously wrote: “There are no sidelines. Those saying this seem to envision a seller of stocks moving her money to cash and awaiting a chance to return. But they always ignore that this seller sold to somebody, who presumably moved a precisely equal amount of cash off the sidelines.” Every transaction in the market requires both a buyer and a seller with the only differentiating factor being at what PRICE the transaction occurs. Since this must be the case for there to be equilibrium to the markets there can be no “sidelines.” Furthermore, despite this very salient point, a look at the stock-to-cash ratios also suggest there is very little available buying power for investors current. There is no cash on the sidelines. 5) Tax Cuts Will Fuel The Markets We are told repeatedly that “cutting taxes” will lead to a massive acceleration in economic growth and a boom in earnings. However, as Dr. Lacy Hunt recently discussed, this may not be the case. “Considering the current public and private debt overhang, tax reductions are not likely to be as successful as the much larger tax cuts were for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Gross federal debt now stands at 105.5% of GDP, compared with 31.7% and 57.0%, respectively, when the 1981 and 2002 tax laws were implemented. Additionally, tax reductions work slowly, with only 50% of the impact registering within a year and a half after the tax changes are enacted. Thus, while the economy is waiting for increased revenues from faster growth from the tax cuts, surging federal debt is likely to continue to drive U.S. aggregate indebtedness higher, further restraining economic growth. However, if the household and corporate tax reductions and infrastructure tax credits proposed are not financed by other budget offsets, history suggests they will be met with little or no success. The test case is Japan. In implementing tax cuts and massive infrastructure spending, Japanese government debt exploded from 68.9% of GDP in 1997 to 198.0% in the third quarter of 2016. Over that period nominal GDP in Japan has remained roughly unchanged. Additionally, when Japan began these debt experiments, the global economy was far stronger than it is currently, thus Japan was supported by external conditions to a far greater degree than the U.S. would be in present circumstances.” The outcome of tax reform/cuts at the tail end of an economic expansion may have much more muted effects than the market has currently already “priced in.” 6) Cash Is For Losers: Investors are often told that holding cash is fooling. Not only are you supposedly “missing out” on the rocketing “bull market” but you cash is being dwindled away by “inflation.” The problem is, and as I will discuss in a second, is the outcome of taking “cash” and investing that cash into the second most overvalued market in history. As I discussed in the “Real Value Of Cash:” The chart below shows the inflation-adjusted return of $100 invested in the S&P 500 (capital appreciation only using data provided by Dr. Robert Shiller). The chart also shows Dr. Shiller’s CAPE ratio. However, I have capped the CAPE ratio at 23x earnings which has historically been the peak of secular bull markets in the past. Lastly, I calculated a simple cash/stock switching model which buys stocks at a CAPE ratio of 6x or less and moves back to cash at a ratio of 23x. I have adjusted the value of holding cash for the annual inflation rate which is why during the sharp rise in inflation in the 1970’s there is a downward slope in the value of cash. However, while the value of cash is adjusted for purchasing power in terms of acquiring goods or services in the future, the impact of inflation on cash as an asset with respect to reinvestment may be different since asset prices are negatively impacted by spiking inflation. In such an event, cash gains purchasing power parity in the future if assets prices fall more than inflation rises. While cash DID lose relative purchasing power, due to inflation, the benefits of having capital to invest at lower valuations produced substantial outperformance over waiting for previously destroyed investment capital to recover. Much of the mainstream media will quickly disagree with the concept of holding cash and tout long-term returns as the reason to just remain invested in both good times and bad. The problem is it is YOUR money at risk and most individuals lack the “time” necessary to truly capture 30 to 60-year return averages. 7) If You’re Not “In,” You Are Missing Out: As discussed with respect to “holding cash,” periods of low returns have always followed periods of excessive market valuations. In other words, it is vital to understand the “WHEN” you begin investing that affects your eventual outcome. The chart below compares Shiller’s 20-year CAPE to 20-year actual forward returns from the S&P 500. From current levels, history suggests returns to investors over the next 20-years will likely be lower than higher. The Truth No one can rely on these “myths” for their financial future. Again, if the “myths” above weren’t “myths,” wouldn’t there be a whole lot of rich people heading into retirement. In the end, only three things really matter in investing for the “long-term:” The price you pay. When you sell, and; The “risk” you take. Get any one of those three things wrong, and your outcome will be far less than you have been promised by Wall Street.
**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org): Must- and Should-Reads:** * Public Spheres for the Trump Age: Fresh at Project Syndicate | Equitable Growth * Hoisted from the 2007 Archives: Clueless Brad DeLong Was Clueless: Central Banking and the Great Moderation * **Josh Barro**: GOP healthcare bill will poll badly no matter what: "Now I have to call those providers' offices and get duplicate receipts and upload them and allow seven to 10 days for processing... * **Patrick Iber**: On Twitter: "[email protected] has a phenomenal review/essay of @dandrezner's _The Ideas Industry_ in the latest @NewRepublic... * **Paul Krugman** (2015): When Values Disappear: "Back in the 60s and 70s... there was much talk about the disintegration of... African-American values... * **James Hamilton**: Are we in a new inflation regime?: "I’m not saying the Phillips Curve has no basis in facts... * **Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca**: Kansas or California?: "Donald Trump and congressional Republicans[']... claims are baseless... * **Dylan Matthews**: What’s the point of an anti-immigrant left?: "Beinart’s policy argument is... mistaken... * **Paul Krugman**: Oh! What a Lovely Trade War: "I’m not making a purist case for free trade here... ---- **Interesting Reads:** * **Dan Diamond**: On Twitter: Many GOP senators, home for...
**Comment of the Day: Investingidiocy**: How Leveraged Should Your Stock Market Investments Have Been? : "So... Optimal Kelly. Right?..." This is what happens (or would have happened). That's the baseline for discussing what one should have done (and what one should do). But it doesn't lead to any immediate conclusions, as issues are complex... As I understand it, the Kelly Risk Criterion has a legitimate claim **if** your portfoio is all of your wealth, **if** the bets are independent, and **if** you have a constant degree of relative risk aversion of 1: log utility, in which equal proportion increases in your wealth generate equal steps toward eudaemonia. If you have other resources (or obligations), if the bets are not independent, or if you have a different utility function than log and thus a different degree of relative risk aversion, you should not be doing Kelly but should be doing something else. Do note that, with monthly rebalancing, the β=4 portfolio loses 100% of its wealth between August and October 1929; that the β=3 portfolio loses 99.9% of its wealth between August 1929 and May 1932; that the β=2 portfolio loses 98% of its wealth between August 1929 and May 1932;...
## How Leveraged Should Your Stock Market Investments Have Been? **J. Bradford DeLong and Siyuen Chen** Here we have Robert Shiller's working, updated data series for the U.S. stock market over the long run: starting in 1871—back when the stock market was overwhelmingly railroads—with the Cowles Commission Index then spliced to the S&P Composite . If you had taken 1 in real value, invested it in the stock market in January 1871, reinvested the dividends, and paid no taxes, you would have 16,000 today. Such are the returns to patience, risk-bearing, diversification, and capital ownership in the extraordinary economic boom that was the extended American century. By contrast, if you had taken your money and invested and reinvested it in 10-year U.S. government bonds—again, without taxes—today you would have only 37 in real value. "Only". That 1-to-37 in real value is itself powerful testimony to how scarce financial capital has been in the economy over the past century and a half even when it has to pay the enormous safety and liquidity penalty that the market has exacted. Take a look at the stock and bond portfolios as they compound here: The cumulative real return from investing in the S&P...
Gold Up 8% In First Half 2017; Builds On 8.5% Gain In 2016 - Gold up 8% in first half 2017; builds on 8.5% gain in 2016- U.S. dollar down 6.5% - worst quarter in seven years- Gold higher in all currencies except Draghi's euro - Gold outperforms bonds; similar gains as stock indices- S&P 500 and Dax outperform gold marginally- World stocks (MSCI World) up 10%; gold outperforms Eurostoxx (+6%) & FTSE (+2.3%)- Silver up 3.7% in first half ; builds on 15% gain in 2016- Stocks, bonds, property buoyed by stimulus- Resilience in gold as world struggles to hold confidence- "If one hasn’t diversified this would be a good time to do that" - Shiller Editor: Mark O'Byrne Finviz.com From President Trump taking office, Fed policy tightening to European and UK elections, Brexit rumblings and growing Middle Eastern risks, the first half of 2017 gave witness to a few trends which look set to impact markets in the coming months. Gold and silver are amongst the best performing assets in 2017, with gains of 8% and 4% respectively and stayed resilient despite poor sentiment. Demand drivers such as geopolitical uncertainty, a weak dollar and low interest rates continue to provide support for the precious metals as does renewed robust demand in the Middle East, India and China. Given 2016 finished with a sell-off in the precious metals, both gold and silver have remained impressively resilient in the face of overwhelmingly bearish sentiment in much of the media and with the retail investing public in the U.S. and most of the western world. Gold rose in value in all currencies except the euro in which it fell 1.2%. This is compared to say the likes of crude oil which has been under pressure of late and experienced a 20% correction. Not even the world's two top oil producers agreeing in May to prolong their ongoing output cut from the first half of 2017 to the end of the first quarter of 2018 has been enough to prop up the price. For silver fans, the last few weeks have been disappointing as silver has dropped 4.9%, while gold has dropped only 1.9%. Silver often mimics gold but of late industrial traits in the metal have affected its price more than usual. We may have seen a turnaround this week however as silver has traded near a two-week highs as a stumbling dollar provided a boost to both precious metals. Trump’s arrival in January set off quite a Trump rally in the first quarter of the year however this was not able to be maintained. Multiple distractions have meant that Trump’s policy agenda has been thrown off course and delayed. The Trump rally in the first quarter appears to be stalling badly as false promises come to fruition and he struggles to execute policies in the face of powerful vested interests in corporate America and on Wall Street. The world is changing rapidly posing risks to any sort of conventional economic recovery. As a McKinsey study highlighted this week, ‘Even if we rebuild factories here and you build plants here, they’re just not going to employ thousands of people -- that just doesn’t happen,” said report co-author and McKinsey Global Institute Director James Manyika. “Find a factory anywhere in the world built in the last 5 years -- not many people work there.” Robert Shiller, Nobel Laureate economist, told CNBC this week that investors should be cautious about investing in US stocks in such ‘an unusual market.’ The CAPE index he devised thirty years ago is at ‘unusual highs’ which is concerning. The Yale professor advised, ‘One should have a little of everything if one hasn’t diversified this would be a good time to do that.’ Trump delays and scandal has weakened the US currency and benefited gold. Despite this record-high equity prices and bond prices with higher U.S. bond yields appear to have kept a lid on gold and silver prices which would normally have seen greater gains in an environment of such uncertainty. Speaking of currencies, strength in the euro has meant investors are currently paying the least for gold than they have in earlier months as the currency climbs amid speculation that the ECB plans to reduce monetary stimulus. Gold priced in euros is currently down more than 10% from its 2017 peak in April. However, further euro gains against the US dollar would likely support the sentiment surrounding gold and could lead to gold breaking out in dollar terms above the key $1,300/oz level. Gold in Euros (5 Years) Positivity around the euro is unlikely to last as fears regarding contagion in the eurozone begin to resurface. The government of Italy’s bailout of two Italian banks of a sum equal to the country’s defence budget will be enough to remind markets that a couple of positive election results is not enough to support the eurozone which is just balancing on a precipice of unsustainable debt levels. Eurozone banks in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland remain vulnerable. Central banks elsewhere continue to affect sentiment around precious metals and sometimes in an unexpected fashion. Federal Reserve rate policy was expected to weaken gold, however rate hikes prior to June prompted gold to climb as opposed to tumble, as one might expect. Across markets interest rates remain historically low and government bond yields are low to negative. Worries over this situation are exacerbated further as disparities between how central banks move forward are becoming clear. For example the U.S. Federal Reserve is starting to raise interest rates but some major central banks continue to keep rates low and print more money. As a result, gold and silver both remain far more attractive stores of value. Brexit has and will continue to provide support for both metals. Gold has outperformed sterling this year (+2%) as the currency continues to suffer thanks to uncertainty regarding the divorce talks between the sovereign country and the European economic union. The country’s assumed fail safe London property market is rapidly coming undone as 75% of houses sell for below asking price. Goldman Sachs explained this week that the bank is bullish on the yellow due to ‘global growth momentum likely having peaked’ and gold therefore representing a ‘good hedge for equity.’ More importantly it pointed towards peak gold mine supply in 2017 as a reason for gold to head above it’s commodity team year-end target of $1,250. Supply of gold will continue to be anaemic while demand remains robust as the likes of China, India and Russia buy up physical gold. Yuan weakening and a slowing property market has helped to drive demand in China, while India saw its gold imports rise fourfold in May compared to last year. Considering Robert Shiller’s comments, the reasons for diversification continue to grow every day, mainly due to fear trades and poor economic management. Where should we start? Worsening relations in the Middle East, worries over North Korea’s nuclear program and therefore US-China relations, Brexit uncertainty, the gaping difference between central banks’ monetary policies, lack of progress in US congress and finally the looming threat of inflation following on from years of QE around the world. Whilst gold and silver may not have performed to the same extent they did in the first-half of 2016, we can be assured as they have held themselves well despite a bearish environment in terms of U.S. and western sentiment. There seems little cause for the precious metals to be pushed lower in the medium to long-term. The primary cause of the global financial crisis was insolvent banks and massive debt in all segments of society. This has yet to be addressed in any sustainable manner. Arguably, the financial position of banks and even more so western sovereign nations is in a far worse place than in 2008 whilst political instability is very real and poses very real risks to markets and risk assets. Gold and silver's continuing gains reflect both the massive global financial bubble and increasing geopolitical dangers. Investment and savings diversification is now more important than ever. News and Commentary Gold steady ahead of U.S. Independence day holiday (Reuters.com) Asia Stocks Mixed While Oil Gains for Eighth Day (Bloomberg.com) Industrials Push Rebound in U.S. Stocks; Oil Gains (Bloomberg.com) U.S. Consumers Sour on Outlook While Happy With Their Finances (Bloomberg.com) UK household savings ratio plunges to all time low (Nasdaq.com) Source: bmgbullion Blowing bubbles: New world economic order (ABC.net.au) The Coming Carmageddon (DailyReckoning.com) World’s Most Dangerous Man (DailyReckoning.com) U.S. Gold Exports Surge As Its Gold Trade Deficit Continues (SRSRoccoReport.com) Bitcoin Nears Bear Market Territory (Fortune.com) Gold Prices (LBMA AM) 03 Jul: USD 1,235.20, GBP 952.09 & EUR 1,085.00 per ounce30 Jun: USD 1,243.25, GBP 957.43 & EUR 1,090.83 per ounce29 Jun: USD 1,246.60, GBP 959.88 & EUR 1,093.14 per ounce28 Jun: USD 1,251.60, GBP 976.25 & EUR 1,101.91 per ounce27 Jun: USD 1,250.40, GBP 980.31 & EUR 1,111.36 per ounce26 Jun: USD 1,240.85, GBP 975.56 & EUR 1,109.32 per ounce23 Jun: USD 1,256.30, GBP 987.70 & EUR 1,125.27 per ounce Silver Prices (LBMA) 03 Jul: USD 16.48, GBP 12.72 & EUR 14.49 per ounce30 Jun: USD 16.47, GBP 12.69 & EUR 14.44 per ounce29 Jun: USD 16.83, GBP 12.98 & EUR 14.76 per ounce28 Jun: USD 16.78, GBP 13.08 & EUR 14.78 per ounce27 Jun: USD 16.66, GBP 13.07 & EUR 14.79 per ounce26 Jun: USD 16.53, GBP 12.98 & EUR 14.79 per ounce23 Jun: USD 16.71, GBP 13.12 & EUR 14.97 per ounce Recent Market Updates - Pensions Timebomb In America – “National Crisis” Cometh- London Property Bubble Bursting? UK In Unchartered Territory On Brexit and Election Mess- Shrinkflation – Real Inflation Much Higher Than Reported- Goldman, Citi Turn Positive On Gold – Despite “Mysterious” Flash Crash- Worst Crash In Our Lifetime Coming – Jim Rogers- Go for Gold – Win a beautiful Gold Sovereign coin- Only Gold Lasts Forever- Your Future Wealth Depends on what You Decide to Keep and Invest in Now- Inflation is no longer in stealth mode- James Rickards: Gold Will Start Heading Higher On “Dwindling” Supply- Billionaires Invest In Gold- Brexit and UK election impact UK housing- In Gold we Trust: Must See Gold Charts and Research Important Guides For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017: Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK) Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.
Pensions Timebomb - Pensions "Are Going To Be A National Crisis" - America’s underfunded pension system is “not a distant concern but a system already in crisis”... - Tax may explode as governments seek to bail out insolvent pension plans - Illinois, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Kentucky and eight other states vulnerable - The simple mathematical mismatch at the heart of the pension crisis... - Why the pension crisis really is “America’s silent crisis”... - Pensions timebomb confronts Ireland, UK and most EU countries By Brian Maher, Managing editor, The Daily Reckoning "This is going to be a national crisis..." “This” being America’s woefully underfunded pension liabilities, according to Karen Friedman. She’s the executive vice president of the Pension Rights Center. (A place called the Pension Rights Center does in fact exist. We checked.) MarketWatch columnist Jeff Reeves howls in confirmation that “collapsing pensions will fuel America’s next financial crisis.” “This is not a distant concern,” warns he, “but a system already in crisis.” According to data supplied by the Federal Reserve, pensions — public and private combined — were roughly 27% underfunded at the end of last year. By some estimates, America’s public pensions alone are sunk in a $6 trillion abyss. The issue, approached from any direction, is an impossible knot… a tar pit… a minotaur’s maze of blind alleys and dead ends. How has the American pension come to such an estate? Most public pension systems were built upon the sunny assumption that their investments will yield a handsome 7.5% annual return. But consider… The average public pension plan returned just 1.5% last year. Last year marked the second consecutive year that plans undershot the 7.5% return rate, according to Governing magazine. The same plans worked an average gain of 2–4% in 2015. A highly technical term describes the foregoing if it goes on long enough... and we apologize if it sends you to the dictionary: Insolvency. Briefly turn your attention to the Golden State, for example. California. State pensions are only in funds to meet 65% of their promised benefits. And California pins its hopes on that golden annual 7.5% return to make the shortage good. But it’s in a devil of a fine fix if the average public pension plan only returns 1.5%. The math is the math. California essentially depends on returns 400% above the norm, according to financial analyst Larry Edelson. But California is by no means alone. We won’t run the entire roll call of shame. But the great state of Illinois, for one, risks sinking into a $130 billion "death spiral" from its unfunded pension liabilities, as Ted Dabrowski of the Illinois Policy Institute described it. S&P Global Ratings has even threatened to downgrade the state's credit score to "junk" status. New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Kentucky are also among the worst deadbeats. But the problems run from ocean to ocean and south to north. A report from Moody’s reads thus: For many states and municipalities, exposure to unfunded pension liabilities is already at or near all-time highs. Since cost burdens are already expected to further increase, pension fund investment performance is critical for the credit quality of many governments. Not even a "best case" cumulative 25% investment return on public pension plans would stanch the blood flow, according to Moody’s. They say that best-case 25% would merely reduce pension liabilities a slender 1% through 2019 due to weak contributions and poor past investment returns. “But I don’t have a pension,” comes your response. “This doesn’t concern me.” Ah, but have another guess — at least if you swear off your taxes in these United States. Is it your belief that governments will let their prized public pension plans flop? There are votes to consider, after all. Jilted pensioners are capable of generating a good deal of hullabaloo, hullabaloo to which the official ear is exquisitely attuned. Besides, do you think kind Uncle Samuel will turn the politically strategic states of California and Illinois out on their ears? As our resident income specialist Zach Scheidt argues: Your tax bill could explode as governments around the country seek to bail out insolvent pension plans. And you know how much politicians like to use your tax money to bail out some constituent. They like to prove their “compassion” with your money! “Expect to pay higher state and local taxes for fewer services in the years to come,” adds Larry Edelson, before mentioned. And: “Don’t be surprised if authorities of all shapes and sizes — from local governments to national agencies — up the ante to get ahold of your assets any way they can.” We would have to agree. You shouldn’t be surprised in the least. And we can scarcely imagine the holy hell that would follow another financial crisis. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner warns the state’s pension crisis is driving his beloved Land of Lincoln into "banana republic" territory. But we suspect the good governor’s mouth ran away with him here... Can you imagine comparing the venerable, eminently worthy banana republic... to Illinois? The pension crisis is truly “America’s silent crisis” and indeed the world's silent crisis. From The Daily Reckoning newsletter Related Content 85% of Pension Funds Will Go Bust Within 30 Years Pensions Timebomb in “Slow Motion Detonation” In U.S., EU and Internationally Investing in Gold In Your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) News and Commentary Gold steady on easing dollar, stocks amid hawkish central banks (Reuters) Technology Shares Lead Stock Rebound; Oil Gains: Markets Wrap (Bloomberg) Nikkei dives under 20,000 as Asian markets sharply pull back (Marketwatch) Tech Spoils Bank Party as Stocks, Dollar Slide: Markets Wrap (Bloomberg) The Yellowstone Supervolcano Has Just Seen 878 Earthquakes in Two Weeks (Science Alert) Source: Cape Shiller via ZeroHedge Robert Shiller: "The Index I Invented Is At Levels Last Seen In 1929 And 2000" (Zerohedge) How owning a home in Britain became a luxury (Moneyweek) Petrodollar wars - Gold in your custody cannot be hacked, erased, or frozen (Zerohedge) Should you own bitcoin or gold? That’s easy (SCH) Lessons from ten of the greatest trades of all time (Moneyweek) Gold Prices (LBMA AM) 30 Jun: USD 1,243.25, GBP 957.43 & EUR 1,090.83 per ounce29 Jun: USD 1,246.60, GBP 959.88 & EUR 1,093.14 per ounce28 Jun: USD 1,251.60, GBP 976.25 & EUR 1,101.91 per ounce27 Jun: USD 1,250.40, GBP 980.31 & EUR 1,111.36 per ounce26 Jun: USD 1,240.85, GBP 975.56 & EUR 1,109.32 per ounce23 Jun: USD 1,256.30, GBP 987.70 & EUR 1,125.27 per ounce22 Jun: USD 1,251.40, GBP 988.36 & EUR 1,120.13 per ounce Silver Prices (LBMA) Silver Prices (LBMA) 30 Jun: USD 16.47, GBP 12.69 & EUR 14.44 per ounce29 Jun: USD 16.83, GBP 12.98 & EUR 14.76 per ounce28 Jun: USD 16.78, GBP 13.08 & EUR 14.78 per ounce27 Jun: USD 16.66, GBP 13.07 & EUR 14.79 per ounce26 Jun: USD 16.53, GBP 12.98 & EUR 14.79 per ounce23 Jun: USD 16.71, GBP 13.12 & EUR 14.97 per ounce22 Jun: USD 16.58, GBP 13.09 & EUR 14.85 per ounce Recent Market Updates - London Property Bubble Bursting? UK In Unchartered Territory On Brexit and Election Mess- Shrinkflation – Real Inflation Much Higher Than Reported- Goldman, Citi Turn Positive On Gold – Despite “Mysterious” Flash Crash- Worst Crash In Our Lifetime Coming – Jim Rogers- Go for Gold – Win a beautiful Gold Sovereign coin- Only Gold Lasts Forever- Your Future Wealth Depends on what You Decide to Keep and Invest in Now- Inflation is no longer in stealth mode- James Rickards: Gold Will Start Heading Higher On “Dwindling” Supply- Billionaires Invest In Gold- Brexit and UK election impact UK housing- In Gold we Trust: Must See Gold Charts and Research- Pension Funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Central Banks “Stock Up” on Gold “Amid Uncertainty” Important Guides For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017: Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK) Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.
Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, Over the last couple of week’s, volatility has certainly picked up. As shown in the chart below, stocks have vacillated in a 1.5% trading range ever since the beginning of June. (Chart through Thursday) Despite the pickup in volatility, support for the market has remained firm. Importantly, this confirms the conversation I had with Kevin Massengill of Meraglim just recently discussing the impact of Algorithmic Trading and how they are simultaneously currently all “buying the dip.” As he notes, this is all “fine and dandy” until the robots all decide to start “selling rallies” instead. (Start at 00:02:40 through 00:04:00) But even with the recent pickup in volatility, volatility by its own measure remains extremely compressed and near its historical lows. While extremely low volatility is not itself an immediate issue, like margin debt, it is the “fuel” that when ignited “burns hot” during the reversion process. Currently, as we head into the extended July 4th weekend, the bull market trend remains clearly intact. With the “accelerated advance” line holding firm on Thursday’s sell-off, but contained below the recent highs, there is little to suggest the advance that began in early 2016 has come to its final conclusion. However, such a statement should NOT be construed as meaning it WON’T end as it more assuredly will. The only questions are simply when and how deep the subsequent reversion will be? Volatility is creeping back. The trick will be keeping it contained. In the meantime, this is what I am reading over the long holiday weekend. Happy Independence Day. Politics/Fed/Economy When The Fed Worries About Overheating Economy, Watch Out by Pedro Da Costa via BI Yes, The Fed Is Holding Down Interest Rates by Joseph Salerno via Mises Institute GOP Can No Longer Repeal Obamacare by Tyler Durden via ZeroHedge What’s The Matter With Health Care? by Caroline Baum via MarketWatch How The Fed Handles Stability Is Key To Avoiding Crisis by Edward Harrison via Credit Writedowns Not Secular Stagnation, The Reality Of Slow Growth by John Mauldin via Mauldin Economics The False Premise Of GOP Tax Cuts by Editorial via New York Times Did She Just Say What I Think She Said by Mike O’Rourke via Hedgeye Here’s The Real Health Crisis In America by Jake Novak via CNBC The Seattle Minimum Wage Study by Alex Tabarrok via Marginal Revolution Yield Curves & Fed Mistakes by David Keohane via FT Alphaville Rate Hike? What Rate Hike? by Jeffrey Snider via Alhambra Partners Video Markets Will U.S. Drillers Drive Oil Prices Into The Ground by Danielle DiMartino-Booth via Money Strong Uncomfortably Numb by Eric Parnell via Seeking Alpha Trader Warns We Are In A Lot Of Trouble by Tyler Durden via ZeroHedge Stock Market Sending Yellen A Crucial Message by Joe Ciolli via BI Markets Have Been Too Good For Investors by Michael Santoli via CNBC Oil’s In A Bear Market, Stocks To Follow by A. Gary Shilling via Bloomberg Stockpicking Is Only Slightly Better Than Lottery by Paul Merriman via MarketWatch The Move In Stocks & Bonds Is Dangerous by Peter Tchir via Forbes There Is No Such Thing As An Einstein Investor by Robert Shiller via NY Times The Bulls Are Still Winning by Michael Kahn via Barron’s Stocks Don’t Become Less Risky by Mair Statman via MarketWatch RIP? Death Of Diversification by Tae Kim via CNBC David Rosenberg: Stock Market In Denial by Stephanie Landsman via CNBC Might Not Have Seen The Peak, But We’re Close by Doug Kass via Real Clear Markets Investors Should Hang In There Even With A Correction By Byron Wein via Real Clear Markets Research / Interesting Reads “Tightening” Slugfest At The Fed by Wolf Richter via Wolf Street America’s Silent Crisis by Zach Scheidt via The Daily Reckoning If This Isn’t A Housing Bubble, Would Hate To See One by Mark Hanson via MHanson.com What Darwin Owes Adam Smith by Matt Ridley via Foundation of Economic Education Really Stupid Things Uttered By Really Smart People by Doug Kass via Real Clear Markets Investors Have Lost Sight of Purpose Of Indexes by Aaron Brown via Bloomberg It’s Financial Suicide To Own A Home by James Altucher via James Altucher Nope, You Can’t Afford That New Car by Catey Hill via Moneyish 10-Harmless Mind Tricks To Make People Like You by Travis Bradberry via CNBC Hold Up On That $15/hr Minimum Wage by Noah Smith via Bloomberg Leverage Will Make Any Correction Quick! by Jared Dillian via Maulding Economics Ultimate Symbol of Pre-Recession Boom Is Back Ana Swanson via Washington Post Nope, You’re Not Ready To Retire (Signs) by Katie Brockman via Motley Fool Two Main Supports Now Missing by John Hussman via Hussman Funds Stock Speculators Take Record Risk by Dana Lyons via Tumblr Yes, Bitcoin Is A Bubble by Jesse Felder via The Felder Report “Life is [Stocks] are a fragile thing. One minute you’re chewin’ on a burger, the next minute you’re dead meat.” – Adopted From Lloyd, “Dumb and Dumber”
With the Shiller CAPE index having surpassed the 30x for the first time since September 2001, its creator, Nobel Laureate and Yale School of Management Economics Professor Robert Shiller is warning investors that they should be cautious about investing in such an “unusual” market. “… the CAPE index that John Campbell and I devised 30 years ago is at unusual highs. The only time in history going back to 1881 when it has been higher are, A: 1929 and B: 2000.” “We are at a high level, and its concerning.” However, the index has risen to these levels before without precipitating an immediate collapse, Shiller said. Indeed, during the history of the stock market, it has only traded at a richer valuation during one period - June 1997 to September 2001 - as the dotcom farce blew and burst. Historical data for the index is available going back to 1881. Luckily, Shiller says, US investors at least have the option of investing in foreign markets. There are plenty of venues today that allow clients paying in dollars to invest in foreign markets. “I think people should be cautious now. We have a high market. That doesn’t mean I would avoid it all together. One can invest abroad also, the US has an unusually high stock market compared with other countries, or one can invest in low cape sectors.” “The world looks better and cheaper than we do?,” CNBC asked. “Yea – well the world believes in us, I guess. I think everyone should diversify. "One should have a little of everything if one hasn’t diversified this would be a good time to do that.” The market’s fragility is becoming increasingly apparent as vol events become more frequent. In Thursday trading, the S&P 500 was off as much as 1.4% - sending the VIX up 50%+ before the panic-vol sellers stepped in. The FANG stocks, which contributed an outsize portion to this year’s rally, are facing their worst week in five months.
Мировой фондовый рынок потерял в III квартале 2015 г. $11 трлн. Падение во всех крупных мировых экономиках сильно ударило по "бумажному богатству", и это был худший квартал для фондового рынка с 2011 г.
«Сейчас очень опасное время», - отметил в интервью CNBC нобелевский лауреат Роберт Шиллер. – «Типичное соотношение P/E (прим. ProFinance.ru: цена акции/доход на акцию), на которое обычно смотрит большинство инвесторов, на самом деле вводит в заблуждение. В то же время соотношение CAPE (Cyclically Adjusted Price-Earnings, разработанное господином Шиллером) указывает на «спра читать далее…
Не могу уже вспомнить, когда мне тут объясняли, почему не надо было ждать роста цен на недвижимость в Германии...Как бы то ни было, Бундесбанк уже разглядел возможные пузыри на рынке недвижимости в крупных городах страны :). Логика прежних рассуждений о недвижимости в Германии была простой. Валюта в Германии казалась недооцененной из-за большущего профицита по счету текущих операций, поэтому цены должны были расти. Процентные ставки ЕЦБ были слишком низкими для Германии, что обязано было стимулировать рост цен на недвижимость. Понимающие это инвесторы должны были ускорить рост цен... Сегодня трудно найти читающего человека, который еще не слышал о свежеиспеченном лауреате Нобелевской премии Роберте Шиллере. Многие сразу же нарисуют его знаменитую картинку американского пузыря на рынке жилья. Но еще больше вокруг уверенных в том, что они видят пузырь на рынке недвижимости, будь то в Австралии, Канаде, Великобритании, Китае, России...Нельзя за такое осуждать. Раз уж жилье доминирует наше и их богатство, то очень хочется знать, пора ли купить квартирку или же лучше вовремя соскочить с обреченного поезда. Вдобавок к мыслям о Москве, Лондоне, Париже, Берлине, Таллине, Риге, Юрмале и Малаге, не лишне еще раз вспомнить о Гонконге. Ведь это Гонконг был правильной подсказкой к пониманию кризиса в Латвии и еврозоне. На рисунке из мартовского доклада цб Гонконга о финансовой стабильности показаны цены на жилье. Виден пузырь 1997 года, падение цен к 2004 году, в течение 6 лет, как заказывали Рейнхарт и Рогофф, и последующий волшебный взлет к сегодняшнему счастью (или горю?). После лопнувшего пузыря в 1997 году правители Гонконга уже прекрасно понимали, чем рискуют, как понимают сейчас специалисты Бундесбанка, насмотревшись на страдания Ирландии и Испании. Поэтому они внимательно следили за ростом цен на недвижимость и изо всех сил старались защитить экономику от будущих потрясений. О перспективах Гонконга в период "необычной" политики ФРС давно уже записывал здесь и здесь. Там же сохранил параграф Позена о трудностях определения пузырей, не говоря уже об их предотвращении оружием денежно-кредитной политики. Со времени тех записей, несмотря на 6 раундов (!) затягивания гаек в Гонконге и настойчивые публичные предупреждения цб, цены на жилье продолжали расти...Уже много лет не стихают споры о пузыре на рынке недвижимости Гонконга.
Колонка опубликована в журнале "Профиль" от 20 октября 2013 года (N833) Присуждение Нобелевской премии 2013 года по экономике еще раз подтвердило, что современная экономическая теория — это не наука и с научными критериями подходить к ней глупо В этом году решение о присуждении Нобелевской премии в области экономики выглядело донельзя скандальным. Два из трех лауреатов — Юджин Фама и Роберт Шиллер — не только радикально расходятся в своих концепциях по одному и тому же вопросу, но еще и крайне неодобрительно отзываются друг о друге. Кстати, последнюю из известных мне колкостей в адрес своего оппонента Шиллер опубликовал совсем недавно, в конце июля этого года. Ситуация, конечно, абсурдная. Один (Фама) говорит, что финансовых пузырей нет и быть не может, потому что никто не знает, что это такое. Другой (Шиллер) утверждает, что пузыри возможны и он знает, что они собой представляют. Он же предсказал кризис 2007—2008 годов. Фама же уверяет, что такого рода предсказания ничего не стоят, поскольку раз в сто лет и палка стреляет, и если постоянно одно событие предсказывать, то рано или поздно повезет. Третий лауреат, Ларс Хансен, теорией не занимается и своей концепции не имеет. Он разрабатывает методы количественного анализа явлений финансового рынка. И полученные им результаты опровергают теоретические построения обоих его коллег. Впрочем, чтобы опровергнуть разработанную Фамой концепцию эффективных рынков, никаких сложных расчетов и не требуется. События 2007—2008 годов наглядно показали ее ценность. Любопытно, что Фама был одним из претендентов на Нобелевскую премию еще в 2009 году, но тогда ему ее постеснялись дать. Как будто с тех пор что-то изменилось! Один из наших отечественных либералов, защищая решение Нобелевского комитета, заявил, что «на самом деле в гипотезе эффективных рынков нет ничего такого, что можно опровергнуть эмпирически». Ну да, и в гипотезе всемирного заговора тоже нет ничего такого, что можно опровергнуть эмпирически. Невозможность эмпирического опровержения — это, согласно общепринятому критерию Карла Поппера, как раз явный признак ненаучности теории. Любой человек, претендующий на то, чтобы называться ученым, кто бы он ни был, должен это понимать. Но ни тем, кто вручает премию, ни нашим либералам Поппер не указ, хоть именно он и разработал любезную сердцу и тех, и других концепцию открытого общества. Так какую мысль хотели донести до нас таким экстравагантным способом? Еще раз подтвердилось то, о чем многие догадывались, но не решались говорить вслух. То, что называется современной экономической теорией, — это вовсе не наука, и с научными критериями подходить к ней глупо. Это религия, организованная как бюрократическая структура. В таких структурах вознаграждается не реальный результат, а правильное поведение. Что сегодня является правильным и одобряемым поведением? Прежде всего это доходящая до абсурда верность букве и духу первоисточников религии. Это качество в полной мере присуще Юджину Фаме. Он из трех лауреатов самый титулованный, обладатель множества других премий. Его теория эффективных рынков — это теория о божественной сущности финансовых рынков, то есть теория ни о чем. Другой нобелевский лауреат, Пол Кругман, в свое время иронизировал по этому поводу, что рынки правильно оценивают, что пол-литра кетчупа должны стоить ровно в два раза дешевле одного литра, но ничего не могут сказать о том, почему и литр, и пол-литра стоят столько, сколько они стоят. Присуждение премии Роберту Шиллеру сигнализирует, что в рамках религиозной доктрины допустима некоторая доза безобидной и не сильно противоречащей догматам ереси. После кризиса такой допустимой ересью были признаны исследования в области так называемой поведенческой экономики. Здесь идея заключается в том, что сам рынок устроен идеально, но сомнению подвергается способность простых людей правильно пользоваться ниспосланным им инструментом. В тех сложных условиях, в которые попала ортодоксальная экономическая наука, когда противоречия между ее утверждениями и реальным положением дел бросаются в глаза всем, хорошим поведением считается «просто возделывать свой сад» и стараться не задумываться о высоких материях. Упорный труд есть лучшее средство справиться с обуревающими человека сомнениями. Этот образец поведения демонстрирует Ларс Хансен — и поделом награда. В общем, последнее решение о присуждении Нобелевской премии по экономике показало, что она не имеет никакого отношения к поиску истины, а есть лишь способ контроля и управления научным сообществом. http://www.profile.ru/article/ekonomika-kak-religiya-77602. От ред. so-l.ru - в смысле религиозности науки показательны слова самого Шиллера в которых он это прямо и признает, см. интервью: