S&P500 June 1999 to June 2008
One might think that the chart above would give the usual cheerleaders some pause.
One would be wrong.
WSJ: "The good news is stocks typically snap back from a bear market in relatively short order."
Apparently, good news is good, bad news is good — its all good!
That seems to be the philosophical approach some people are taking
to the market’s turmoil. When things are going swimmingly, you
should be a buyer because (of course) markets tend to go up over time. When things
are ugly, well that apparently is also a buy signal.
A brief look at the papers this morning has the usual suspects talking up what a buying opportunity this market is. Consider:
Market Update: For Stocks, the Worst Is Over (Kiplingers cover via NYT)
Bear Market Guide: Relax, make money (Money Magazine)
What to Do to Survive This Market: "It’s hard to time the market, so stay in and benefit from the inevitable turnaround" (WSJ)
To those of use who have
spent decades studying contrary indicators, this stuff is laughable —
and quite dangerous. At least Barron’s has an interview with Peter Schiff — as penance for their disastrous June 2nd 2008 "Buy GM" cover story a month ago.
S&P500 investors are on the verge of experiencing something not
seen for a very long time — a losing decade. If markets continue
their losing streak for a few more months, that is a realistic
possibility. The S&P500 is now down 4.8% since June of 1999. To hit the decade mark, the SPX would need to be below the 1998 close of 1,229 — less than 50 points below Friday’s close of 1278.38 come December 31st. This has not occurred since the 1930s.
Most people assume that 1929 was when all the damage was done; it
wasn’t — the rally and subsequent collapse was the most dangerous
period. Trying to buy cheaply all-the-way-down is where nearly all the
pain came from…