Now marketing himself as a “rogue economist,” Harry Dent is forecasting “gold down to $750 an ounce, housing down 35%, oil down to $10 a barrel, the Dow down to 6,000, [and] a war between inflation and deflation” this year. His swami-like predictions in the past have been truly dreadful but, unlike most of his ilk, Dent has perhaps offered something actionable, if not in the way he intended. Let me explain.
So says Robert Seawright (rpseawright.wordpress.com) in edited excerpts from his original article* entitled Big Buy Signal.
[The following is presented by Lorimer Wilson, editor of www.munKNEE.com and may have been edited ([ ]), abridged (…) and/or reformatted (some sub-titles and bold/italics emphases) for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. This paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.]
Seawright goes on to say in further edited excerpts:
Despite the hyperbole about his swami-like predictions in the opening paragraph, Dent’s actual track record is truly dreadful.
- In December of 1993, Dent published Great Boom Ahead: Your Comprehensive Guide to Personal and Business Profit in the New Era of Prosperity [and, while]…the S&P 500 rose just 1% in 1994 it did, however, rise almost 29% per annum over over the following five years, giving him a plausible platform for the success of his next book.
- In October of 1999, Dent wrote the bestselling The Roaring 2000s Investor, wherein he claimed that:
- the Dow would rally big, to 44,000 by 2008, due in large part to changing demographics. He was only off by 35,000 points or so.
- “the technology revolution will favor internet-oriented companies.” Within three years, the NASDAQ had lost three-quarters of its value and the leading index of internet stocks plummeted 89 percent.
- In early 2006 Dent published The Next Great Bubble Boom: How to Profit from the Greatest Boom in History: 2006-2010
- calling for 40,000 on the Dow by 2009. Again, Dent was dead wrong. By the spring of 2009, the Dow had dropped below 6,500.
- In September of 2011 published The Great Crash Ahead: Strategies for a World Turned Upside Down Dent…predicting imminent doom, calling for 3,800 on the Dow which, as I write this, has moved above 16,000.
It’s bad enough that his books are a joke but those who invested with Dent really got hurt.
- The AIM Dent Demographic Trends Fund was launched on June 7, 1999 with Dent’s name and him acting as a consultant to the fund. The fund was up 54% for the remainder of that year but the fund’s results were dreadful thereafter.
- From 2000 through 2004 the fund lost over 11% per annum and underperformed the S&P 500 Index by almost 9% per year. In 2005 its sponsor put investors out of their misery by merging the fund into the AIM Weingarten Fund.
- The AdvisorShares Dent Tactical ETF (with the ticker symbol “DENT”) was launched in September of 2009, with Harry himself as co-manager. Unfortunately for investors. the fund’s track record was so poor it was put out of its misery in 2012.
Of course, the usual caveats apply. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while. The market is beholden to no man, even one as apparently powerful as Dent.
It seems to me that Dent is as fantastic a contra-indicator as is available. Past performance is not indicative of future results, but just look at that past “performance.” Since he is calling for catastrophe, maybe it’s time to buy.
[Editor’s Note: The author’s views and conclusions in the above article are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original post. Furthermore, the views, conclusions and any recommendations offered in this article are not to be construed as an endorsement of such by the editor.]
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