Just curious to see what people think of the current market conditions.
Are we in a bear rally or actual recovery?
My gut: bear rally.
My old (but not too decrepit's) gut says: ditto.
Interested in a proposition?
For most of us ... it doesn't make much difference!
The money manager for whom it does make a difference? Someone who comes into a bucket of money, all at once ... which, for most of us, is an unusual experience ... one that I wouldn't want, right now.
Most of us develop small increments of savings available to invest, from time to time, over extended periods of time.
So - when's the best time to invest?
Answer: when you have some money available ( ... stupid). Don't worry about the comment - that's just me, having some fun: best to have some fun, whatever you do. Probably an especially useful piece of advice, when dealing with stuff that we usually consider ... *serious*! (Even more so, when it's about **very** *serious* business)!
The alternative is to hang on to the money currently available when you don't like the current situation.
That's called market timing - and most shrewd and experienced advisors recommend against it ... saying that no one is smart enough ... or in possession of enough information ... to bring it off.
Sir John Templeton, shrewd manager of money, who ran one of the early mutual funds (begun about 1954?), was one of the early ones saying so. Many others have said so, since.
Not only that - his practice was to stay fully invested, ongoing. If I remember correctly, his flagship Templeton Growth Fund once lost money two years in a row - but grew like gangbusters for a couple of years after that (sorry - I sold mutual funds 25 years ago, for about a year - I don't remember the figures and can't lay my hands on them easily at the moment.
And I'm not about to look, for I found an interesting book in the library the other day, that I referred to here a few days ago, "New Rules of Retirement - What your Financial Advisor isn't telling You". It's sitting here, open on my desk at about a third of the way through ... and it's so popular that one can neither put it on hold or renew and can only borrow for seven days rather than the usual 3 weeks ... and late penalty is $2.00 per day rather than the usual 15 cents. And - it's due tomorrow: library closes at 5.
Do I live by the credo - "Live dangerously ... maybe die young!"? ... but I've been able to avoid the second half of that, for I've been collecting pension for several years.
If your experience is different from those who advise not to try to time the market - let us know, O.K.? And let us know the price you want to become our advisor(?).
If you invest a given amount, from time to time as you save it, you have some money starting work in a situation where there's a possibility/probability of long-term growth.
Your earlier investment amounts have been at work for varying amounts of time: some are up, some are down from the level at which they began.
The longer the downturn keeps going - the larger number of those amounts that you'll have working. They'll be down more, so it'll take longer for them to break even ... but there'll be a much larger number of them that'll be growing, when the real recovery begins.
And ... you'll have avoided arriving at the station just to watch the train that just pulled out ... disappearing down the track!
But ... usually, even after several false starts, when the recovery begins, it takes off at a rapid rate ... more like a plane mounting into the sky ... and watching planes take off without you is even more disconcerting than seeing a train pull out, leaving you standing here. Swearing, possibly?
Usually, the longer the recovery is delayed, the faster it gains ... the higher that it rises ... and the longer that growth is sustained.
Who shouldn't get involved with equity investing?
Folks who figure to die within the next five years ... (maybe 10?)!
When I was 70, I figured that I should plan to fund myself till age 100 - 6 blocks of 5 years each.
And since, once I'd eaten the money in the first block, it was no longer available to continue earning ... and since the ravages of inflation would mean that I'd be paying more for the same stuff in later years ... I'd better make that money in the first block stretch over 10 years, not five. Maybe need higher health costs near the end, as well - though that's of much less concern to us Canadians.
Which means that I wanted to leave 5/6th (almost 85%) of my total funds intact in my hands and working for me, ten years from then.
Now, at 80, I'm thankful to be enjoying good health, am doing what I choose while living within the income from my pensions, and saving some to add to my investments - which are 80% in equity-based financials.
So what if they'd dropped by about 30% at the worst of the recent shrinkage ... I figure that they'll come back, given some time.
I'm considering making some loans, fully secured by collateral to provide a low rate of interest, in order to purchase some more.
Many consumers like to buy goods on sale.
Stocks are on sale.
They may be on fire sale later ... but they're on sale now.
As a mutual fund manager (and marathon runner) with a good track record told us mutual fund sales guys 25 years ago ... "I like to buy a Dollar for 60 cents!".
Question: do you have all of your assets denominated in one country's currency?
Remember what the advisors say about having all of our eggs in one basket - and the virtues of diversification?
If Easter is important to you - I hope that you have one that's both blessed and memorable!
wait until (if) they fix the banks and bring back some sensible regulation that's up to date, considering modern highly computerized markets and trading worldwide. without that, the market's not going anywhere, except, of course, the bank vps will get their bonuses. if THE PARTY OF NO wakes up and decides to lead, follow, or get out of the way, maybe we'll move ahead. but don't expect that to happen anytime soon.
"Are we in a bear rally or actual recovery? My gut: bear rally."
Bear rally and a dead cat bounce.
Dead Cat bounce-definition/Wikipedia:
A dead cat bounce is a figurative term used by traders in the finance industry to describe a pattern wherein a spectacular decline in the price of a stock is immediately followed by a moderate and temporary rise before resuming its downward movement, with the connotation that the rise was not an indication of improving circumstances in the fundamentals of the stock. It is derived from the notion that "even a dead cat will bounce if it falls from a great height".
P/Es too high.
Dividend rates too low.
Too much crap still around.
Get some of your assets denominated in other than U.S. Dollars: other world powers are talking about setting up a world money standard that's based on several currencies.
The former major power is downward bound - as happened to the other biggie 20 years ago.
Afghanistan did them in, too.
I'd be ecstatic if our budget was only bloated by $100 billion per year for the mideast. It's the other $1.9 - 2.9 trillion of fat that's "doing us in".
The Bad Bank Bailout(BBB) cost Ten whole bucks.
The Big Shot Bankers (BS) get to keep their bonuses: contractual, as you recall.
GM gets one sole peanut ... and their head guy gets fired.
There's something fair about that?
Like ... what??
And ... the Bad Bankers ... are still in place ... managing the Bailout Bucks ...
... instead of being in jail!!
Dad used to say, "Some cats have longer tails than do others!".
P.S. Three cheers ... for deregulation!
The deregulation that the Big Shots love!
No, it's the deregulation that Republicans love.
It is only "deregulation" when it is consistently applied - that means the same in good times and bad.
Which bankers are you talking about? The ones at AIG that the media, ACORN, and the union were all up in arms about? Or the ones at Fannie and Freddie that got bigger bonuses that no one seemed to notice?
And, remember, the government could have just as easily told these people last fall that they were going straight salary (no bonus) while they were using federal funds. But instead, they asked them to defer almost all of their salary until March, 2009, which was to be paid as a "bonus". Then, after these people have worked for free for six month the government comes in and says, "Oh, by the way, all that money we are under contract to pay you, we're going to take 90% of it back".
What has happened is no different than you asking a GC to build you a house and when it is complete say, "You know, I think you earn too much, so I am only going to pay for materials"?
Evidently, the people that OWN the banks feel that these "Bad Bankers" still bring something to the table. It's that whole "free society" thing getting in the way again!
Why? Did they break the law?
Face it, like most Americans, you have been and are being manipulated. Economies go up, economies go down. It is a natural cycle. And it is good. Contrary to the populist belief, down cycles are not something to be avoided. They "clean house" setting the table for a stronger up cycles.
That is, unless you screw with them.
Injecting artificial buoyancy into a down cycle will keep it from being as deep ... but it will go on much longer and the weak that would normally be cleared out will survive to sap productivity from the subsequent up cycles. The net result being less growth with increased baggage. Do this several times in a row and you get to a point where you cannot pump enough support into the system and it collapses.
Which leads us back to manipulation. If it were not for the money being jammed into these sectors by the government, most people would not have the feelings of anger that they do. More importantly, we would be out or heading out of this recession (instead of heading into a depression) and this "good crisis" would have "gone to waste".
For the low, low cost of several trillion dollars, the Federal government has purchased a villain that can be used as a target to deflect anger from where it should really be directed: Washington, DC. This allows the Federal government the freedom to push through programs that would otherwise not have a chance.
I believe that if there hadn't been money injected into the various sectors, the world would be dealing with a depression that would make the 1929 depression look like child's play. And we wouldn't be heading out of anything in April, 09. That's what the manipulation has tried, so far successfully, to avoid.
ole joyful, which of the 'bad bankers' do you think should go?
The "manipulation" by the Federal Government turned a deep recession into The Great Depression.
The class warfare, anti-business legislation shoved down this country's throat ensured that our economy was depressed for much longer than the rest of the world.
Sound familiar? It should because it is exactly what we are going through now as we head into The Greater Depression.
The mortgage brokers who were willing to lend money to buy a house to people who had no down payment ... and some, we're told, with no job.
To make a commission.
Then ... the agencies that peddled those rotten mortgages to the financial agencies, with them being cleared as good by the rating agencies ... who wanted to keep the business of the big guys.
And the big guys ... who lent out the same dollars more than a dozen times.
Maybe the main trouble is that .. they can't be put in jail ... 'cause they didn't break any laws ... or transgress any regulators' rules (which usually would have gotten them kicked out of the business, for good).
As for the shareholders ... I think that many of them don't know what's really going on ... and many of the Board members are part of the inner circle ... and they have agreed with the managers for years to scratch one another's backs.
I think that a number of the options granted to the management types should not be exercisable for, say, ten years ... so that they need to be interested in the long term best interests of the agency, rather than short-term fast profits.
Part of the trouble is the natural movement of the free enterprise system ... that moves into the private enterprise system, where they claim that the movement of the markets will keep the participants honest.
But those enterprises love competition among their suppliers ... and among their cutomers ... but they hate it on their own level, and will squeeze out their competitors, buy them out, or, when they get large enough, encourage regulations to get put in place that makes it almost impossible for competitors to open up shop.
When they get big enough ... with few competitors left ... and actal "competition" dead and buried ... when they've developed enough power ... they not only control the market ... they get too big to be allowed to fail.
patser-"I believe that if there hadn't been money injected into the various sectors, the world would be dealing with a depression that would make the 1929 depression look like child's play. And we wouldn't be heading out of anything in April, 09. That's what the manipulation has tried, so far successfully, to avoid.
ole joyful, which of the 'bad bankers' do you think should go? "
Which 'bad bankers do YOU think should go patser?
Our country and the entire globe are in a free fall because of the banking industry and their greed. We CAN blame the depression on them. Just like we did the LAST one.
What they did was WORSE then what Madoff did. The people who went to Madoff KNEW the risks of investing. The taxpayers weren't asked (or even given the option) to decide.
Instead of rewarding fraudulent behavior, we need to support those stronger institutions who didn't play games with their balance sheets.
Nurses and doctors in the ER or medics under fire during wartime perform a vital function. Triage. They figure out which patients have the best chance of survival, and they focus their efforts on them. Those who are unfortunately a lost cause are kept as comfortable as possible until they pass on.
That's precisely what Washington SHOULD be doing with financial firms! Policymakers should be figuring out which institutions are too weak to survive, then euthanizing them.
More specifically, they should deny them bailout money ... let them fail ... then let stronger competitors pick over their carcasses. If need be, bolster those stronger companies with aid so that the entire system doesn't come crashing down.
THAT would be a solution I think we could all live with.
Sure you can blame the bankers... you'd be wrong, but you can still blame them.
A speculative bubble combined with horrendous government policy cause the crash and then the subsequent recession and depression.
The only difference between then and now is that the speculative bubble then was Joe Average trading on margin because "the stock prices will always go up", as opposed to 100% LTV financing since "housing prices will always go up".
But, then again, blaming the bankers falls exactly in line with the attitude of your average US citizen; everyone's a victim and no one takes responsibility. Guess what? A lot of people had access to the same financial instruments and did NOT take advantage of them because they made no sense.
Availability does not imbue blame. It was greed ("We're going to make so much money when the prices go up"), pride ("We deserve this house"), and envy ("Bill bought a house, we should, too") that caused these homeowners to ignore the basic and glaring risks of what they were signing their names to.
As a personal financial advisor for years, I am aware of the lack of wisdom which many use as they go about their financial business, so if my earlier messages left the impression that I intended to absolve them, that was far from the case.
We've been on a great Greed Drunk in this society for years - figured that we deserved to have whatever we wanted ... right now.
Ask a substantial proportion of the populace what interest rate they're paying on unpaid balances on their credit card ... and they can't tell you.
One woman on the radio was crying the other day that they'd signed a deal, proposed by a door-to-door salesperson, for guaranteed rate for power for something like 3 - 5 years ...
... and when their first bill arrived, it was for about 3 X the rate that they'd been paying. It would cost something like $300. (or $1,000.) to get out of the contract ...
... and being on limited income, she was unable to pay, after while ... so power cut off ... then re-connection charge ... plus the need to post a bond in case such happened again.
I've said to hundreds of clients (or potential ones) that we all need to learn how money works.
A local guy who wrote a book called, "Financial Freedom Without Sacrifice" has said for years that they should teach a great deal more about personal money management in schools ... and I agree.
He has encouraged companies to offer his services to speak to groups of their employees, perhaps unions, etc. to help them build more effective financial managment in their own lives.
With regard to the financial problems that our societies are dealing with these days ... there's enough guilt to go around ... with some left over.
We may have a bigger problem to deal with than we've contemplated ... for our proclivity to living on hot air in recent times (while our manufacturing base was being hollowed out) and the recent responses made to try to deal with the financial mess, along with the expensive Iraqi adventure, may result in the scuttling of the U.S. Dollar as the world's reserve currency.
Dad, a dirt farmer of World War II vintage, used to warn us about the errors of living beyond our means ...
... seems to me that there are some similarities to a young male teen who, obsessed with the power and speed of an automobile (but less than fully cognizant of his lack of skills as the one in control) sometimes gets himself into a peck of trouble.
And others, along with him.
Good wishes for increasing skill in the management of your income and assets ... and encouragement and instruction of your offspring in a similar enterprise.