Saturday , 23 September 2017


Today's Investment Approach Must Change to Survive Tomorrow's Major Economic Changes – Here's How

Follow the munKNEEvia twitter & Facebook

The world is hurdling toward what seems to be certain economic collapse so, if your expectations are similar to mine, then you should be exploring ways to prepare for something that eventually will become an economic dark age. Investment performance is always relevant and it has never been more important than in these difficult economic times – nor has it ever been more difficult. Markets have already changed and are getting worse…As the economy worsens, market movements [like the two 50% declines we have seen since 2000] are likely to become more pronounced [and, as such,] it behooves anyone with exposure to the stock market to understand what is happening and [take action to] protect themselves against further 50%, and possibly larger, downsides. [This article outlines how best to do just that.] Words: 1491; Charts: 2; Tables: 1

So says Monty Pelerin (www.economicnoise.com) in edited excerpts from his original article* entitled You Haven’t Made Any Money In The Stock Market This Century.

This article is presented compliments of www.FinancialArticleSummariesToday.com (A site for sore eyes and inquisitive minds) and www.munKNEE.com (Your Key to Making Money!) 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. The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article. Please note that this paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.

Pelerin goes on to say, in part:

We have passed the point where a return to normalcy is possible. There can be no political solution to our insolvency issue, but there will be a market solution. Things that cannot continue don’t. We will continue down the extend-and-pretend road until markets halt the fraud. A complete financial collapse is likely.

Investing In The New World

Most of the investing guidelines and assumptions of the last five plus decades are suddenly questionable. They worked reasonably well under a different set of circumstances, but these no longer exist. “Buy and hold” was the golden rule of investing but today this rule is likely to cost you dearly.

The notion that long term investing in stocks will produce an average 8 – 10% annual return was more marketing that truth. How could this return be achieved when the economy itself only grows at 3% real growth per year? The difference is not explained by inflation, or at least what government reports as inflation.

The chart below shows the SPY, an ETF that represents the S&P 500 index. Each bar represents 3 months (one quarter) of a year. The green bars are periods where prices increased and red where they decreased. The extremes of any bar represent the highs and lows of that quarter.

The last 15 years looks like a series of steep roller coaster rises and even steeper drops. The S&P is below where it was in 2007 and in 2007 it was below its prior peak in 2000. In 12 years, stock prices have done nothing!.

spychart

Think about this performance. When adjusted for inflation investors are worse off than the chart conveys.

Put this 12 year period into perspective. Anyone who bought and held the S&P 500 has made no profit in the twenty-first century! For humans with working lives of about 45 years and investing lives probably closer to 30, those investing during this time period wasted about 40% of their investing life if they were stock market index investors.

The “W” formation shown in the chart above provides painful meaning to the term risk:

  • The high in 2000 to the low in late 2002 represents a 50% drop in stock market wealth.
  • The market then recaptured most of this loss, although it took over 5 years to do so.
  • Then, another 50% loss was incurred when it dropped below its 2002 low…[over a period of] 1 year.
  • 4 years later the market is nearly back to it previous high, but still below where it was in 2000.

In a 12 year period, there were two 50% drops in value and two recoveries. The losses were sudden and dramatic as most market drops are. Swings of this magnitude have not been normal.  A summary of returns by decade for the US stock market is shown in this chart:

stockmarketreturns_grph

The bad years in the first decade of the 21st Century are not as bad as the 1930s, but they are close. No other decade (including the 1930s) has four years with losses exceeding 10%. How bad might this decade have been without the life support provided by unprecedented (and unsustainable) monetary and fiscal stimulus? What happens when the stimulus stops as it eventually must?

Why Invest In The Stock Market?

Given this poor performance:

QUESTION: Why does anyone invest in a market that has become increasingly risky and increasingly less rewarding? It appears to be more gambling than investing.

For someone trying to acquire wealth for retirement, a child’s education or most other purposes, swings where half your savings is destroyed (twice) within a 12-year period cannot be appropriate for such goals.

ANSWER: No one would subject his life and livelihood to such volatility if he had another alternative but the stock market is the only game left, at least for most small savers and investors. The massive interventions of the Federal Reserve…has produced the current situation.

Equity risks have increased while returns on safer investments (bonds and other fixed income securities) have been driven down. This financial repression forces people out of these safer markets because they cannot get a return that keeps up with inflation. That only leaves the stock market where many with no knowledge of financial markets desperately seek return. Many of these are:

  • the elderly who should not have their retirement funds at risk, but can get no return elsewhere [and, as such,] are forced to live out their lives in fear of running out of money.
  • the current generation…of income earners who are unable to develop wealth as a result of damaged financial markets.

Over the last 12 years, those who stuffed money into mattresses fared as well as the average stock market investor. Neither group kept up with inflation, but mattress stuffers did not suffer the nerve-wracking draw downs in wealth experienced by market investors.

What Do I Do?

For those that don’t have investment opportunities outside the stock market, there are only two choices:

  1. Invest in the stock market and take our chances
  2. Invest in bonds (or stuff our mattresses)

The latter choice is likely a certain loser given current interest rates and inflation. That leaves the stock market (I do include precious metals as a potential holding in a portfolio). The stock market still offers profit opportunities even in its current condition. It is likely to continue to do so, even as its swings may become more exaggerated.

Let’s take another look at the graph of SPY to illustrate an important point:

spychart

If you knew what was coming, you could have left the market at the top in 2000 and re-entered at the bottom in late 2002, left again in late 2008 and re-entered again in early 2009. Now, no one has the required prescience to foresee the future, but if you had, you would have tripled your money. A “buy and hold” investor, however, earned nothing in these 12 years.

Deploying a Moving Average System

Simple mechanical trading rules could have served you better than holding through these fluctuations. A moving average system, for example, would have gotten you in and out of the market as trends changed. For those unfamiliar with such a system, you buy when price crosses up through the moving average of price and then sell when it crosses down through its moving average.

With market swings like we experienced, this strategy can be effective. As prices move up, they eventually cross above the moving average (and you enter the market). When they turn down, they eventually go below the moving average (and you leave the market).

The number of days, weeks or months used to calculate the moving average determines its sensitivity and profit/loss results. An average too short creates lots of false entries and exits. One too long means later entries or exits. Entering too early means foregoing some of the beginning of the upside move while leaving too late means incurring part of the downside drop.

A moving average was used merely to show a simple alternative to the buy and forget strategy that most still employ. There are other techniques that can be more effective than moving averages. The point is that almost any reasonable approach would have done better than buy and hope.

Investors Must Shorten Time Horizons & Increase Agility

Given the change in markets and my belief that they will become more volatile as we approach economic Armageddon, investors must shorten their time horizons and increase their agility if they are to be successful.  The assumptions that buy and hold depended upon no longer are valid. There were two key assumptions:

  1. The company behind the stock which you purchased will be better off tomorrow than today.
  2. For that to happen across most stocks, the economy will be better tomorrow than today.

To the extent these assumptions were valid in the past, they are less so today and likely to become even more dubious in the future.

Conclusion

Opportunities to make a lot of money still abound, but they will not be captured with old tools or assumptions. Opportunities to lose great amounts of money also abound in future markets and it is likely that using yesterday’s rules of thumb will enhance your chances of achieving unenviable results.

Sign up HERE to receive munKNEE.com’s unique newsletter, Your Daily Intelligence Report

  1. FREE
  2. The “best of the best” financial, economic and investment articles to be found on the internet
  3. An “edited excerpts” format to provide brevity & clarity to ensure a fast & easy read
  4. Don’t waste time searching for articles worth reading. We do it for you!
  5. Sign up HERE and begin receiving your newsletter starting tomorrow
  6. You can also “follow the munKNEE” via twitter & Facebook

*http://www.economicnoise.com/2012/12/26/you-havent-made-any-money-in-the-stock-market-this-century/

Related Articles:

1. Be Careful! Former Investment “Rules” Nolonger Work – Here’s Why

investing1

Investment “rules” that were relevant for a century are obsolete. They were based on a world where economies grew, people’s standard of living increased and outcomes tomorrow better than today. Arguably each of these conditions will not hold in the future but if they don’t, neither do the rules of thumb that guided investing last century.  These guiding principles developed and worked in a world that that no longer exists but applying them in the future will result in devastating financial outcomes. [Let me explain.] Words: 1261

2. Conventional Stock Market Investing Advice Is Rooted in Myth! Here Are the Facts

investing2

The conventional stock market investing advice is rooted in myth – rooted in a false understanding of what the historical stock-return data says about investing for the long-term….Set forth below are five reasons why I believe that the conventional stock market investing advice must soon change. Words: 2067

3. You, Too, Can Achieve a 100% Return on Your Investments – Here’s How

investing4

When I first considered a high-yield investing strategy, my goal was to devise a portfolio that yielded between 6% and 8% annually. To be sure, that’s a worthy starting point. Years from now, however, I expect to own a portfolio that yields 25%, 50% and even 100% on the cost basis of many of the investments in that portfolio. [You, too, can achieve the same return on investment for your portfolio. Here’s how.] Words: 636

4. U.S. Events Suggest It’s Time to Further Internationalize Your Portfolio

investing2

With both the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling looming, US stocks beginning to trail stocks overseas and the much increased volatility of the US market compared to those outside the United States, it is getting difficult to argue that the United States is still the “safe port” in a storm. Given the changing dynamic, we continue to believe that this is a good time for investors to consider lowering their overweight position in US equities while raising the allocation to international stocks. [I explain my position more fully in this article.] Words: 711

5. These 10 Articles Will Help You Better Protect & Strengthen Your Investment Portfolio – Take a Look

investing1

We are inundated daily with a great deal of economic noise and self-serving investment advice so just what is of any real merit? I review 100s of articles every week in my effort to find the “best-of-the-best” for posting on my munKNEE.com site and offer below 10 articles with truly insightful, unbiased analysis, information and advice. Your time (and that of your financial advisor) would be well spent carefully evaluating the content of these articles and possibly implementing some aspects of such advice. Enjoy – and prosper!

6. Shiller & Siegel Forecasts of Future Real Stock Market Returns Differ Considerably

investing1

By smoothing out the effect of the business cycle on corporate earnings, investors get a truer picture of how expensively or cheaply stocks are priced. Yale professor Robert Shiller has popularized this concept and packaged it as the Shiller P/E ratio, alternatively known as the cyclically-adjusted P/E (CAPE) ratio, and it has become a widely followed and efficacious stock market valuation measure. Currently the ratio is standing at a 21.4 (approximately 30% higher than its long-term average) causing many value investors to adopt a cautious stance toward US stocks. [Let me explain more fully.] Words: 690