Back in mid-December, when the stock market’s valuation and the mood of investors hit its high, the S&P 500 was trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.9, based on expected earnings for the next four quarters. Since then, while stocks are up, they haven’t nearly kept pace with earnings growth, which is on track to climb 25 percent this year. The result: Stock market valuations have plummeted, falling well past correction territory, which is typically considered a drop of 10 percent. At one point on Tuesday, the weighted valuation of the stocks in the S&P 500 fell to as low as 15.6, or down 17 percent from the December high. The S&P’s P/E ended the day at 15.9.
“If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” is the perfect way to describe the current market. Investors are all playing the same game and reinforcing the passive investing trend by constantly plowing more money into passively managed funds. The management fee of the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: IVV) is just 0.04% which is extremely low and positive for investors. However the low fees, mindless investment strategies, and extremely high valuations will lead to a catastrophe when the same mindless buying reverts to panicked, mindless selling.
Publisher’s Note: If you’re not averaging double-digit percentage gains on your investments, it’s worth your time to check out Nicholas Vardy’s portfolio strategy. You can learn about his two most recent recommendations — both up over 50% in just the last few months — along with his favorite “wealth-compounding machine” — here in his updated research report. Click here to keep reading.
You only have to observe how the word “globalist” has become a slur to see that people have turned against liberal internationalism and those who support it. Globalization has been terrible for millions of middle- and working-class Americans, and they are very unlikely to vote for politicians who support it. By lowering the living standards for millions of Americans, the Liberal International Order has become the architect of their own downfall.
Historically, municipal debt predates corporate debt by several centuries—the early Renaissance Italian city-states borrowed money from major banking families. Borrowing by American cities dates to the nineteenth century, and records of U.S. municipal bonds indicate use around the early 1800s. Officially the first recorded municipal bond was a general obligation bond issued by the City of New York for a canal in 1812. During the 1840s, many U.S. cities were in debt, and by 1843 cities had roughly $25 million in outstanding debt. In the ensuing decades, rapid urban development demonstrated a correspondingly explosive growth in municipal debt. The debt was used to finance both urban improvements and a growing system of free public education.
There was a great sense of triumphalism in the councils of the president’s economic advisory committees. But then, lo and behold, comes the Vietnam War, comes the demographic, comes the coming of age of the baby boomers, comes all sorts of things which in retrospect appear to have been instigators of the price inflation. But they were not so regarded at the time.
A great example of what we can expect can be taken from Japan. In 1989, the Japanese stock market index (Nikkei) was at 38,916 points with a P/E ratio of 60. This is almost double the valuation of the S&P 500, but if we apply the S&P 500’s current P/E ratio of 26.14 to the Nikkei in 1989 it would be at 16,954 points. Fast forward almost 30 years and the Nikkei is at 18,331 points for an imaginary total return of 8% if equal the current S&P 500 P/E ratio.
During the first three quarters of 2016 we were open to the possibility that a new cyclical gold bull market got underway in December of 2015, but over the past 18 months we have been consistent in our opinion that the December-2015 upward reversal in the US$ gold price did NOT mark the start of a bull market. Since late-2016 there have been some interesting rallies in the gold price, but at no time has there been a good reason to believe that we were dealing with a bull market. That’s still the case. The question is: what will it take to set a new cyclical gold bull market in motion? Read More
4. Understand that the dominant phenomenon of our era--exponentially accelerating complexity--is an emergent phenomenon that we can't handle with our archaic cultural genome (see #1). Hence we're converting the sky into a lethal gas chamber of commerce, arming it with weapons of mass extinction that bring the promise of "a premature and perverted death" for our descendants. Economists have literally externalized the sky while extolling the trade "benefits" and "efficiency" of 20 countries shipping parts to construct a Barbie doll. Can't get away with that; and we ain't. Verily, that's called being lethally wrong. Pssst: The sky? That be fundamental.
7. The low interest rates that I can actually obtain right now will not be around much longer. With inflation and growing lack of confidence in US, interest rates will rise. This assumes the 80% scenario of inflation. It is possible Gary is right and we stay in low interest environment for a couple more years, but it is still likely to go up, along with inflation, at some point in the not too distant future.
It seems a lot of the otherwise sellers hold off selling and banks being very slow releasing REOs. They seem to think market will improve in San Diego in the next few months or later. Many of the ones on the market are so over priced they don’t go anywhere and price reductions are slow to come. There is definitely a stalemate between sellers and buyers in San Diego market.
Older investors who need cash returns like dividends should mostly sit tight, or shift asset mixes more toward U.S. stocks, since the U.S. has the world's most fundamentally strong and stable economy right now. U.S. company dividends are not in apparent danger. But older investors tempted to try to snag some Apple or Facebook on the cheap might want to wait for clearer signs of stabilization before trying to make an opportunity of the sell-off.
The above chart may not seem like a big deal to some but keep in mind the United States had never witnessed a year over year drop in nationwide home prices since the Great Depression. Not only has that been surpassed but home prices are now back to levels last seen 8 years ago. The lost decade is now nipping at our heels but what about two lost decades like Japan?
The trade war has barely just begun, and yet significant ripple effects are already being felt all across the U.S. economy. Once thriving businesses are on the verge of failure, workers are being laid off, and some sectors of the economy are witnessing enormous price hikes. Right now the mainstream media is absolutely fixated on the drama surrounding the recently concluded Trump-Putin summit meeting, but the consequences of this trade war will ultimately be far more important for the lives of most ordinary Americans. As more tariffs continue to be implemented, this will perhaps be the biggest disruption to the global economic system that we have seen in decades. Perhaps you have not been affected personally yet, but for many Americans this trade war has changed everything. For example, just consider the plight of soybean farmer Tim Bardole… Read More
At the time of publication, Michael Brush had no positions in any stocks mentioned in this column. Brush has suggested AMZN and GOOGL in his stock newsletter Brush Up on Stocks. Brush is a Manhattan-based financial writer who has covered business for the New York Times and The Economist Group, and he attended Columbia Business School in the Knight-Bagehot program.
George is well versed in several areas, so I’m sure we will get into many intense discussions on topics ranging from technology to finance to economics. Yet, George is only one of the speakers that attendees will get to hear and meet. I really hope you can be there to experience it in person, with me. If you’re ready to learn more about the SIC 2018, and the other speakers who will be there, you can do so, here.
One of the strangest things about this strangest-ever expansion has been the way pretty much everything went up. Stocks, bonds, real estate, art, oil – some of which have historically negative correlations with others — all rose more-or-less in lock-step. And within asset classes, the big names behaved the same way, rising regardless of their relative valuation.
As this stock market correction progresses, it is natural to consider what levels may be effectivein halting the decline. We have recently taken a stab at a couple potential “support” levels in the U.S. market with excellent success, so far. Those posts include Monday’s The Mother Of All Support Levels on the broad Value Line Geometric Composite which held precisely, as well as a few Premium Posts at The Lyons Share covering key sectors, which also held on cue: Market Leaders At Must-Hold Levels and Finally Some Support To Bank On (if you’d like to see these posts, shoot us an email at [email protected] and we’d be happy to share). Read More
Such behavior is rare, however. To illustrate, consider the several hundred stock market timers monitored by my Hulbert Financial Digest. These are professionals, needless to say, rather than amateurs like the rest of us. It’s their job to identify market tops and bottoms, which is yet another way of saying that they will be more heavily exposed to equities at those bottoms than at tops.
Municipal bonds have much higher interest rates compared to their FDIC-insured counterparts: CDs, savings accounts, money market accounts, and others. Over the last five years, the average interest rate return on municipal bonds has hovered around 4.5%, while CDs of similar lengths have been at 1.5%. Among other factors, this is a result of the longer, fixed return periods. Unlike stocks and other non-dated investments, municipal bonds have fixed rates and are far less liquid. As a general rule, municipal bonds with longer time to maturity have higher coupon rates.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast wherever you listen.Turkey is the Epicenter of Emerging Market ConcernsRight now, the epicenter of the concerns about the emerging markets is coming from Turkey. What is the problem with the Turkish lira? Turkish President Erdogan is veering off into some very dangerous territory with his stance with the Central Ban ...…
It’s just amazing what is happening in China. And I think that it represents a clear and present danger to everyone with money at risk. Not just the Chinese. Not just the real estate markets in countries favored by the Chinese, such as Australia. Not just in the industrial metals markets – China has been kind of 100% of the demand for the margin for steel and the like. But this debt thing is a very, very important low-hanging dark cloud over the world, and we have all gotten used to it.
I feel that the market is at it’s worst as far as the quailty of available homes at “Fair” prices – we realize that we will lose money, that’s a fact! Also, the sale will unfortunatly bolster the false values of the market. As the Doc’s readers know far too well, the stars have aligned and the wave is comming soon, prices will move further downward to a point of equalibrium with incomes, inventory, supply and demand. It looks like the banks will fight the whole way down delaying a natural correction. Folks have far too much debt into thier properties to make Short sales, preforclosers, forclosures sales work and finding folks who’ve lived many years in the same home with a good amount of equity to negociate with are very rare and thier homes are seldom Gems.
Japan urban land prices are back to levels last seen in the 1980s. You have to ask if there are parallels to our current condition. The first point we all have to agree on is that both economies had extraordinarily large real estate bubbles. For the United States the answer to this assumption is a big yes. We can run off a check list of how our real estate markets run similarities:
There’s a paradox at the heart of global finance. The U.S. share of the world economy has drifted lower for decades, and now President Trump is retreating from the American chief executive’s traditional role as Leader of the Free World. Yet the U.S. dollar remains, as the saying goes, almighty. “American exceptionalism has never been this stark,” Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets and chief global strategist for Morgan Stanley Investment Management, said at a Council on Foreign Relations symposium on Sept. 24. Read More
Questions like Ron’s that suggest the decay of capitalism and free markets should raise concerns for anyone’s market thesis, bullish, bearish or agnostic. What stops a central bank from manipulating asset prices? When do they cross a line from marginal manipulation to absolute price control? Unfortunately, there are no concrete answers to these questions, but there are clues. Read More
Now the similarities are closely aligned in terms of banking policy. Our Federal Reserve followed a more aggressive path than Japan in bailing out our large banks. Yet all this did was make the too big to fail even bigger and exacerbated underlying issues in our economy. Four full years into the crisis and we are still dealing with a massive amount of shadow inventory. Remember the initial days when the talk was about working through the backlog of properties in a clean and efficient manner? Whatever happened to that? Banks operate through balance sheet accounting and it has made more sense to pretend the shadow inventory has somehow maintained peak prices while chasing other financial bubbles in other sectors. Not a hard way to make money when you can borrow from the Fed for virtually zero percent.
In my opinion, flyover America voted Republican because the “deplorables” want to defend Trump. They want to defend him for two reasons. One is that he spoke to their economic plight caused by the US corporations exporting their jobs, leaving the American workforce and middle class hard-strapped. The other is that the adoption of Identity Politics by the Democratic Party has made the Democrats the party that hates white people—especially white heterosexual males who are defined as the victimizer of minorities, homosexuals, and women. Read More
Obviously nobody knows for sure. That is what makes investing interesting and sometimes downright scary. But we need to parse through the data available and find where our convictions lie. This article is meant to give readers all the ammunition they need to discern a position for themselves but we will also provide our assessment at the end. It is fine to disagree. We need investors on both sides of the argument. That is what makes up a marketplace in the first place.
After a period of excellent returns since 2008, Gilts will no longer be a profitable investment and those investors that ventured into Gilts as a way of increasing income from cash could get a nasty surprise when they realise how sensitive Gilt prices are to changes in yield. With the 10 year yield at just 1.3% compared to an inflation rate of 3.1%, those investors are already suffering a loss in real terms. But if we get an adjustment back to a positive real yield, the capital loss will be extremely damaging to prices. For long dated securities, losses could be in excess of 20% for a movement in yield of just 1% and that would be just the start of the adjustment. That recovery period could stretch into years.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/The Catalyst is Rising Interest RatesOctober is just one week old and the carnage on Wall Street has already begun. I wonder if the October complacency is beginning to be shaken with the down move that we see. Now, the Dow Jones is not down very much; in fact, ...…
Upon his death on November 9, 1976, Smokey's remains were returned by the government to Capitan, New Mexico, and buried at what is now the Smokey Bear Historical Park, operated by New Mexico State Forestry. This facility is now a wildfire and Smokey interpretive center. In the garden adjacent to the interpretive center is the bear's grave. The plaque at his grave reads, "This is the resting place of the first living Smokey Bear ... the living symbol of wildfire prevention and wildlife conservation."
The bear market always proceeds in a manner which discourages investors from selling anywhere near the top. The biggest losses and the gloomiest media coverage occurs only at the end, encouraging investors to sell in disappointment just before each bear-market bottom. The biggest monthly outflow in U.S. history occurred in February 2009, just before one of the strongest and longest bull markets in history.
In late 2018, the bad economic news just keeps rolling in. At a time when consumer confidence is absolutely soaring, the underlying economic numbers are clearly telling us that enormous problems are right around the corner. Of course this is usually what happens just before a major economic downturn. Most people in the general population feel like the party can go on for quite a while longer, but meanwhile the warning signs just keep becoming more and more obvious. I have been hearing from people that truly believe that the economy is “strong”, but if the U.S. economy really was in good shape would new vehicle sales be “collapsing”?… Read More
In spite of not normally looking back, I have had a look at a Newsletter that I wrote in July 2009 when gold was just over $900 and the Dow 9,100. It was called “The Dark Years are here” and received quite a lot of attention at the time. This was at the end of the sub-prime crisis when the Dow had just declined by 60% and gold had risen from $250 in 1999 to $925. Read More
This book will make self investors think about how to allocate their own investments. Markets have really fallen apart since the book went to press. Of course commodity sectors, international and emerging markets have fallen as much or further and the dollar has risen. I think Peter Schiff's analysis deserves a lot of merit and the selloffs in the overbought commodities and emerging markets areas gives investors a great opportunity to reanalyze their own portfolios. Great read!
Listen to him say….”THESE ARE THE FACTS.” This video is very entertaining and very informative. It shows you how much of a shyster these real estate agents can be. He says “there’s a whole bunch of us (realtors) out there who know real estate – it’s what we do for a living. We’re licensed and WE HAVE TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, BY LAW. Boy, what a shyster.
Beyond that, self-motivation is an issue even for people who are hard-working. Most of the people reading this have probably gone to the gym, tried to lose weight and/or gain muscle. How many have successes? How many of people reading this have remained constantly motivated day in day out, year in year out? That is tough, but being a rational investor, requires that kind of discllipine.
For the study, researchers from Suranaree University of Technology in Thailand derived the extract of broken bones from the fruit pods of the plant. They looked at the effects of broken bones plant extract on the adipogenic and biomolecular change in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. They used the cell line 3T3-L1 to establish the potential toxic effects of broken bones plantextract during adipogenesis, the differentiation of pre-adipocytes into adipocytes. Read More
Jim: Well, Jay Powell has one commanding credential. And that credential is the absence of a PhD in economics on his resume. I say this because we have been under the thumb of the Doctors of Economics who have been conducting a policy of academic improv. They have set rates according to models which have been all too fallible. They lack of historical knowledge and, indeed, they lack the humility that comes from having been in markets and having been knocked around by Mr. Market (who you know is a very tough hombre).