At which point do rising interest rates spark the fire? Rates are key to the equation of risk. In Friday’s On My Radar, Steve surveys what the current equity market valuations tell us about risk… and likely forward returns. Should you be playing more offense than defense or more defense than offense? Valuations can help.READ MORE
In Friday’s On My Radar, Steve provides his much-anticipated market outlook for 2018.
Steve says, “The weight of market trend evidence remains bullish. I remain focused on both market momentum and trend evidence. Despite the aged, overvalued and over-bullish environment, as evidenced in Trade Signals each week, I remain moderately bullish on both equities and fixed income.”READ MORE
On Friday, December 15, CMG Founder and CIO Steve Blumenthal was interviewed by Nasdaq global markets reporter Jill Maladrino. Jill asked Steve about the current state of the market, his 2018 outlook and his recent On My Radar piece called “Start Small, Grow Tall.”
Click below to watch the short interview.
August and September are the two worst performing months for stocks each year. You wouldn’t know it from the relative calm in the market. From Bloomberg’s David Wilson, “This month’s pattern of calm for U.S. stocks persisted even after Federal Reserve officials laid out plans to begin selling some of the central bank’s bond holdings. The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, is headed for its lowest daily average in any September since calculations began in 1990. Wednesday’s 0.4-point decline in the VIX, to 9.78, as the Fed announced the monetary-policy shift.” The all-time low was in early 2007 at 9.39. Readings below 10 are rare.
Here is a look at the VIX Volatility Index since 1999. Imagine the calm confidence that set over the market in 2007. VIX measures perceived risk. We should get worried when everyone is comfortable and see opportunity when others are in fear.READ MORE
Every month, Steve reviews several market valuation metrics in an effort to provide visibility into forward 7-, 10-, and 12-year returns. In this week’s On My Radar, Steve looks at Median P/E and also shares GMO’s 7-Year Asset Class Real Return Forecasts. It’s a must-read!READ MORE
Every month, Steve reviews several market valuation metrics in an effort to provide visibility into forward 7- and 10-year returns. In this week’s On My Radar, Steve looks at Median P/E and Warren Buffett’s favorite measure, Total Stock Market Cap to Gross Domestic Product. Additionally, Steve shares GMO’s 7-Year Asset Class Real Return Forecasts. It’s a must-read!READ MORE
In their May market review, Arthur Grizzle, CFA and Charles Culver of Martello Investments wrote an article called “Markets in a Post-Volatility World.”
We wanted to share the following selected bullet points from the piece:
- Market Volatility: Global equity markets, and especially the US stock market, have shown remarkable resilience despite elevated valuations and an onslaught of negative news.
- The last few months have seen increased dysfunction in Washington, rising geopolitical tension particularly saber-rattling from North Korea and increased terrorism in Europe, weak economic growth, and the prospect of the Fed unwinding nearly a decade of stimulative monetary policy.
- Nevertheless, market volatility sits near historic lows on both an implied and realized basis.
- Structurally, investors can analyze market volatility in two distinct ways: realized volatility (how volatile something has been historically) and implied volatility (expectations for future volatility based on the price of derivatives).
- In both cases, US stocks have shown dramatically low levels of volatility in recent years. Implied volatility is easiest tracked using the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX), which derives its price from the implied volatility of options on the S&P 500 Index.
- In May, VIX broke under 10 for the first time since 2007. Indeed, there have been only two other periods since 1990 that the VIX reached a 9-handle; one was in late 1993 through early 1994, and the other in late 2006 through early 2007.
- In each case, the index ultimately re-rated to higher levels, though in only the more recent example of 2006-2007 was this eventually accompanied by lower equity prices.
In Friday’s On My Radar, Steve Blumenthal wrote, “Last Monday, the VIX broke below 10 to close at 9.77, the lowest level in more than a decade. There are only three other days the index has closed at lower levels, all of them in December 1993. Investors are complacent to risk. They shouldn’t be.”
Investment consulting firm 720Global also recently wrote about market volatility in The Unseen, “Volatility: A Misleading Measure of Risk.”
As investors, we are negligent if we follow the Fed’s lead into this complacent stupor. By prodding economic growth with unproductive debt and reigniting asset bubbles, the central banks have simply done more of what created the spasms of 2008 in the first place. Despite the markets calm façade and historically low perception of risk, the vast chasm that lies between perceived risk and reality is troublesome.READ MORE
Notwithstanding historically high market valuations, market flows continue into U.S. equities, specifically (see the chart below) into Large Caps and Total Market.
In certain strategies, we remain “risk on” with an allocation to equities, however you have to find something that works for you. Something that you can have full conviction in… then stick to your process. For your core portfolio allocations, you could diversify to several global ETF trading strategies.
Broad diversification is key. On the other side of the next recession is the next great equity market opportunity. It is not today.
Read more in this week’s On My Radar.ON MY RADAR
In the May 5th issue of On My Radar, Steve Blumenthal provides his popular survey of current market valuation and 10-year forward returns forecast.
First, Steve offers a quick primer on valuation and price-to-earnings (P/E) in layman’s terms. Most investors (and even some financial advisors) don’t understand valuation methodologies and how median P/E works and what it tells us.
Steve presents a number of informative charts that advisors can use in their own valuation work and to discuss valuation and forward returns with their clients.
In sum, the broad market (i.e., S&P 500) remains very expensive and overvalued according to several metrics and 10-year forward returns are likely to be muted (0%-3% before inflation). Steve says, “We clearly find ourselves today in a high valuation and low potential forward return environment.” Click below to access the charts and Steve’s analysis!ON MY RADAR