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Waiting for bottom?
Old 04-24-2020, 08:45 PM   #1
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Waiting for bottom?

I'm in no rush to jump back into stocks, but I have played the recent downturn to my advantage. I'm looking for long term now but with the earnings season going on I am still short on trading. While I may not have lost any in the past week there were sure opportunities missed for a 10-15K gain, but hindsight is 20/20. I'm only 4 years from full retirement and one of my goals is to hit the 1M mark. I only need ~10K per year to do that so I'm not rushing but am I missing opportunities to hit that early?
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Old 04-24-2020, 09:23 PM   #2
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My suggestion would be to jump in sooner then later. Hard to tell if it will drop lower or stay sideways for a while. I think getting in the game is key not waiting and guessing. You have time on your side so getting in the game now and stay for the long haul.
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Old 04-24-2020, 09:37 PM   #3
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The problem is nobody knows where the bottom is, was, or will be. We will know someday in hindsight, but right now it's anyone's guess.
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Old 04-24-2020, 10:33 PM   #4
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Well, it depends on how much the Feds can plow in to prop up this market. There are always strong Bull Runs during a Bear Market .. only to tank big later. We have not yet had most of the Quarter 1 reports and the Quarter 2 reports are much worsts. We're still on Lockdown and no vaccine .. etc. We have not seen the bankruptcies. Stocks may go higher for 2-3 months and then another rollercoaster down ...
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Old 04-24-2020, 10:35 PM   #5
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Once I was trying to climb a mountain. Really. It was my first attempt, and it was a tall mountain, and I met up with some experienced climbers and we decided to stick together.

About that time, there was a younger, faster climber who passed us near the summit as a thunderstorm approached. The other climbers in my group decided to stop about 500 feet from the summit and shelter against the storm, but the faster climber decided to continue on and try to summit.

After the storm passed and we began to descend, the younger climber caught up with us on the way back down. He was excited to report that he had reached the summit, where he called his Mom on his cell phone (surprisingly good service up there). During his phone call, he reported that his jacket was making a weird crackling noise.

As he was on the highest point in the state. In a thunderstorm. Standing, with a cell phone.

Yes, good things happened to him - the summit, his phone call, and not getting hit by lightning. But he was dumb and lucky, not smart. We later decided in my group that it was really unfortunate, because he learned the wrong lesson and it would more than likely bite him in the future.
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Old 04-24-2020, 11:53 PM   #6
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You will not see DOW 18K bottom again because markets already looked to 4th quarter and the FED already did what they could to shore up the markets. Best is to DCA back in starting on Monday.
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by street View Post
My suggestion would be to jump in sooner then later. Hard to tell if it will drop lower or stay sideways for a while. I think getting in the game is key not waiting and guessing. You have time on your side so getting in the game now and stay for the long haul.
i have chosen small but cautious buying , but still keeping some cash reserves

since i participate in dividend reinvestment schemes , where possible , i am in effect 'averaging down ' with such schemes

not as good as picking the bottom , not as bad as waiting too long
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Old 04-25-2020, 03:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by fisemper View Post
I'm in no rush to jump back into stocks, but I have played the recent downturn to my advantage. I'm looking for long term now but with the earnings season going on I am still short on trading. While I may not have lost any in the past week there were sure opportunities missed for a 10-15K gain, but hindsight is 20/20. I'm only 4 years from full retirement and one of my goals is to hit the 1M mark. I only need ~10K per year to do that so I'm not rushing but am I missing opportunities to hit that early?
Please post at the end of the week in which you decide the market hits the bottom. You don't need to even hit the day, just the week.

History says you have a horrible chance of doing it and that you will cost yourself money as emotions will dictate the week you pick rather than something intrinsic and largely unknowable.

But if you pull it off, I will be duly impressed!

Thanks.
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Old 04-25-2020, 04:16 AM   #9
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All guesses but it’s your money OP. Someone always guesses right, like monkeys with darts, but you only know who on the other side - when the opportunity is long gone.
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Irrational exuberance - Rationalized
Old 04-25-2020, 04:54 AM   #10
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Irrational exuberance - Rationalized

The ‘big three’ stock indices are Dow Jones Industrials, NASDAQ and S&P500. Today, only down about 13% from their February 2020 high. However, the underlying Price/Earnings ratios have increased about 20% in the past few weeks even though stock prices are down overall. Major USA stock indices are more expensive relative to earnings now than even at their all time high in February!

Why? A lot of major USA companies pulled their annual earnings projections in March – which leaves analysts flying blind and just projecting based on last available information. Now the 1st quarter numbers are starting to come in and looking bleak – so the denominator in P/E ratios gets smaller – PE goes higher. Some companies are only reporting quarterly results, and forgoing projections. Analysts are still flying blind in the clouds and mountainous terrain. Stock prices are showing as more expensive as the current earning season unfolds. The next quarter earning season will be worse – fully reflecting the April lockdowns and mandatory business closures. If prices don’t drop, stocks will become even more expensive.

Why has the ‘efficient market’ not adjusted yet? A lot of buying is still on autopilot. The white collar crowd buying stock in the 401k plans are mostly ‘staying the course’. Companies offering 401k's usually limit investment choices - so a lot of those automatic savings go to big index funds. These savers are not the hourly workers that are unemployed and going to the food bank. Good advice for the young to keep dollar cost averaging – this event will be a buying opportunity. They also have company match to their own stock. This job benefit is now starting to crack. White collar workers are getting furloughed, taking voluntary time off, getting salary cuts and companies are stopping the 401k match. Less automatic stock purchases coming from this area starting in April. Corporate stock buybacks, another automatic feature, now grinding to a halt in some industries. Where cash was previously plowed back into company stock to reward shareholders, employees and executives – corporations are trying to conserve cash to weather out the storm. Some are even suspending dividends. Take a conditional govvie loan? – fuggetabout stock buybacks! Less buyers of stock means supply exceeds demand and starts to drop price. Slowly yanking autopilot buying is going to unwind over the upcoming weeks. And of course, the trader monkeys with suits make their commission on trades of stock – not with investors sitting on their hands – party on dudes!

Stock Market Ballast. Lifecycle funds and Pensions have plans that are managed within a balance of certain percentage of equity and bonds. When equity goes down, bonds in these funds and pensions are sold to periodically rebalance to their target bands. Bonds are turned into stocks. A nice steadying effect that should continue.

Buy on the Dippers. A proven strategy over the bull market run, and even during the recent bear selloff. However, this steadying effect on price only lasts as long as the dippers have capital to tap into. At some point, they run out of money to buy stocks and their support to the market goes away.

The Treasury and Federal Reserve. They get to pick and support some of the winners to save jobs in the long run with liquidity and credit and some outright grants. Some corporations will not go all the way in bed with the Fed and Treasury because it means giving up control, loan paybacks, and stock options. Not pure capitalism – but it saves the capitalist market by swerving dangerously to the socialist market. Keeps the BIG companies like Ford, Boeing and others from cratering. I sometimes like hearing ‘moral hazard’ from Washington to keep the corporate barbarians in the C suites on their toes.

Bankruptcies. Starting to show up with large department store chains and smaller energy producers. Small businesses are stressed to the max with failure of the PPP and had thin margins to being with. Airlines and Cruise ship operators are swimming in a sea of red ink. Before corporations wipe out shareholders in a bankruptcy filing, they do everything possible to soak up the last bit of credit – then negotiate for better loan terms. The bankruptcy process is not transparent to the markets and take months to pulse through the system – finally landing on the balance sheets of financial institutions. (Cue music for the Fed to enter and save the banks again.)

The supporting effect of automatic buying, the ballast, the dippers, Treasury and Fed focus on the companies with stock in the big three USA indexes. The publicly traded foreign, mid size and small size stocks don’t get as much of these supporting functions outlined above. These are down roughly 20%, 25%, and 30% respectively – compared to the 13% down for the big boys.

So – if you believe this virus impact will be over in a few months and a V shaped recovery is around the corner, or if you believe you can pick individual stocks that will rebound from those companies that are the walking dead on the verge of bankruptcy – then load up on equities.

Me? I have some utility stock with the belief that people will continue to pay to keep the lights on, intermediate Treasuries bought in January because if uncle sam goes bust its time for beans and bullets, and cash to last DW and myself into next year. Where and when is the bottom of the market – don’t have a clue except that it is in the future.

But what the hell do I know.
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atmsmshr View Post
The ‘big three’ stock indices are Dow Jones Industrials, NASDAQ and S&P500. Today, only down about 13% from their February 2020 high. However, the underlying Price/Earnings ratios have increased about 20% in the past few weeks even though stock prices are down overall. Major USA stock indices are more expensive relative to earnings now than even at their all time high in February!

Why? A lot of major USA companies pulled their annual earnings projections in March – which leaves analysts flying blind and just projecting based on last available information. Now the 1st quarter numbers are starting to come in and looking bleak – so the denominator in P/E ratios gets smaller – PE goes higher. Some companies are only reporting quarterly results, and forgoing projections. Analysts are still flying blind in the clouds and mountainous terrain. Stock prices are showing as more expensive as the current earning season unfolds. The next quarter earning season will be worse – fully reflecting the April lockdowns and mandatory business closures. If prices don’t drop, stocks will become even more expensive.

Why has the ‘efficient market’ not adjusted yet? A lot of buying is still on autopilot. The white collar crowd buying stock in the 401k plans are mostly ‘staying the course’. Companies offering 401k's usually limit investment choices - so a lot of those automatic savings go to big index funds. These savers are not the hourly workers that are unemployed and going to the food bank. Good advice for the young to keep dollar cost averaging – this event will be a buying opportunity. They also have company match to their own stock. This job benefit is now starting to crack. White collar workers are getting furloughed, taking voluntary time off, getting salary cuts and companies are stopping the 401k match. Less automatic stock purchases coming from this area starting in April. Corporate stock buybacks, another automatic feature, now grinding to a halt in some industries. Where cash was previously plowed back into company stock to reward shareholders, employees and executives – corporations are trying to conserve cash to weather out the storm. Some are even suspending dividends. Take a conditional govvie loan? – fuggetabout stock buybacks! Less buyers of stock means supply exceeds demand and starts to drop price. Slowly yanking autopilot buying is going to unwind over the upcoming weeks. And of course, the trader monkeys with suits make their commission on trades of stock – not with investors sitting on their hands – party on dudes!

Stock Market Ballast. Lifecycle funds and Pensions have plans that are managed within a balance of certain percentage of equity and bonds. When equity goes down, bonds in these funds and pensions are sold to periodically rebalance to their target bands. Bonds are turned into stocks. A nice steadying effect that should continue.

Buy on the Dippers. A proven strategy over the bull market run, and even during the recent bear selloff. However, this steadying effect on price only lasts as long as the dippers have capital to tap into. At some point, they run out of money to buy stocks and their support to the market goes away.

The Treasury and Federal Reserve. They get to pick and support some of the winners to save jobs in the long run with liquidity and credit and some outright grants. Some corporations will not go all the way in bed with the Fed and Treasury because it means giving up control, loan paybacks, and stock options. Not pure capitalism – but it saves the capitalist market by swerving dangerously to the socialist market. Keeps the BIG companies like Ford, Boeing and others from cratering. I sometimes like hearing ‘moral hazard’ from Washington to keep the corporate barbarians in the C suites on their toes.

Bankruptcies. Starting to show up with large department store chains and smaller energy producers. Small businesses are stressed to the max with failure of the PPP and had thin margins to being with. Airlines and Cruise ship operators are swimming in a sea of red ink. Before corporations wipe out shareholders in a bankruptcy filing, they do everything possible to soak up the last bit of credit – then negotiate for better loan terms. The bankruptcy process is not transparent to the markets and take months to pulse through the system – finally landing on the balance sheets of financial institutions. (Cue music for the Fed to enter and save the banks again.)

The supporting effect of automatic buying, the ballast, the dippers, Treasury and Fed focus on the companies with stock in the big three USA indexes. The publicly traded foreign, mid size and small size stocks don’t get as much of these supporting functions outlined above. These are down roughly 20%, 25%, and 30% respectively – compared to the 13% down for the big boys.

So – if you believe this virus impact will be over in a few months and a V shaped recovery is around the corner, or if you believe you can pick individual stocks that will rebound from those companies that are the walking dead on the verge of bankruptcy – then load up on equities.

Me? I have some utility stock with the belief that people will continue to pay to keep the lights on, intermediate Treasuries bought in January because if uncle sam goes bust its time for beans and bullets, and cash to last DW and myself into next year. Where and when is the bottom of the market – don’t have a clue except that it is in the future.

But what the hell do I know.
In general agreement with the above.
Why go Intermediate Tsy instead of Long Term Tsy? More of risk/reward ratio with potential higher volatility if it misses?
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atmsmshr View Post
The ‘big three’ stock indices are Dow Jones Industrials, NASDAQ and S&P500. Today, only down about 13% from their February 2020 high. However, the underlying Price/Earnings ratios have increased about 20% in the past few weeks even though stock prices are down overall. Major USA stock indices are more expensive relative to earnings now than even at their all time high in February!

Why? A lot of major USA companies pulled their annual earnings projections in March – which leaves analysts flying blind and just projecting based on last available information. Now the 1st quarter numbers are starting to come in and looking bleak – so the denominator in P/E ratios gets smaller – PE goes higher. Some companies are only reporting quarterly results, and forgoing projections. Analysts are still flying blind in the clouds and mountainous terrain. Stock prices are showing as more expensive as the current earning season unfolds. The next quarter earning season will be worse – fully reflecting the April lockdowns and mandatory business closures. If prices don’t drop, stocks will become even more expensive.

Why has the ‘efficient market’ not adjusted yet? A lot of buying is still on autopilot. The white collar crowd buying stock in the 401k plans are mostly ‘staying the course’. Companies offering 401k's usually limit investment choices - so a lot of those automatic savings go to big index funds. These savers are not the hourly workers that are unemployed and going to the food bank. Good advice for the young to keep dollar cost averaging – this event will be a buying opportunity. They also have company match to their own stock. This job benefit is now starting to crack. White collar workers are getting furloughed, taking voluntary time off, getting salary cuts and companies are stopping the 401k match. Less automatic stock purchases coming from this area starting in April. Corporate stock buybacks, another automatic feature, now grinding to a halt in some industries. Where cash was previously plowed back into company stock to reward shareholders, employees and executives – corporations are trying to conserve cash to weather out the storm. Some are even suspending dividends. Take a conditional govvie loan? – fuggetabout stock buybacks! Less buyers of stock means supply exceeds demand and starts to drop price. Slowly yanking autopilot buying is going to unwind over the upcoming weeks. And of course, the trader monkeys with suits make their commission on trades of stock – not with investors sitting on their hands – party on dudes!

Stock Market Ballast. Lifecycle funds and Pensions have plans that are managed within a balance of certain percentage of equity and bonds. When equity goes down, bonds in these funds and pensions are sold to periodically rebalance to their target bands. Bonds are turned into stocks. A nice steadying effect that should continue.

Buy on the Dippers. A proven strategy over the bull market run, and even during the recent bear selloff. However, this steadying effect on price only lasts as long as the dippers have capital to tap into. At some point, they run out of money to buy stocks and their support to the market goes away.

The Treasury and Federal Reserve. They get to pick and support some of the winners to save jobs in the long run with liquidity and credit and some outright grants. Some corporations will not go all the way in bed with the Fed and Treasury because it means giving up control, loan paybacks, and stock options. Not pure capitalism – but it saves the capitalist market by swerving dangerously to the socialist market. Keeps the BIG companies like Ford, Boeing and others from cratering. I sometimes like hearing ‘moral hazard’ from Washington to keep the corporate barbarians in the C suites on their toes.

Bankruptcies. Starting to show up with large department store chains and smaller energy producers. Small businesses are stressed to the max with failure of the PPP and had thin margins to being with. Airlines and Cruise ship operators are swimming in a sea of red ink. Before corporations wipe out shareholders in a bankruptcy filing, they do everything possible to soak up the last bit of credit – then negotiate for better loan terms. The bankruptcy process is not transparent to the markets and take months to pulse through the system – finally landing on the balance sheets of financial institutions. (Cue music for the Fed to enter and save the banks again.)

The supporting effect of automatic buying, the ballast, the dippers, Treasury and Fed focus on the companies with stock in the big three USA indexes. The publicly traded foreign, mid size and small size stocks don’t get as much of these supporting functions outlined above. These are down roughly 20%, 25%, and 30% respectively – compared to the 13% down for the big boys.

So – if you believe this virus impact will be over in a few months and a V shaped recovery is around the corner, or if you believe you can pick individual stocks that will rebound from those companies that are the walking dead on the verge of bankruptcy – then load up on equities.

Me? I have some utility stock with the belief that people will continue to pay to keep the lights on, intermediate Treasuries bought in January because if uncle sam goes bust its time for beans and bullets, and cash to last DW and myself into next year. Where and when is the bottom of the market – don’t have a clue except that it is in the future.

But what the hell do I know.


Your post made me think about several things short, medium and longer term. Very nice analysis and thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:32 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
Once I was trying to climb a mountain. Really. It was my first attempt, and it was a tall mountain, and I met up with some experienced climbers and we decided to stick together.

About that time, there was a younger, faster climber who passed us near the summit as a thunderstorm approached. The other climbers in my group decided to stop about 500 feet from the summit and shelter against the storm, but the faster climber decided to continue on and try to summit.

After the storm passed and we began to descend, the younger climber caught up with us on the way back down. He was excited to report that he had reached the summit, where he called his Mom on his cell phone (surprisingly good service up there). During his phone call, he reported that his jacket was making a weird crackling noise.

As he was on the highest point in the state. In a thunderstorm. Standing, with a cell phone.

Yes, good things happened to him - the summit, his phone call, and not getting hit by lightning. But he was dumb and lucky, not smart. We later decided in my group that it was really unfortunate, because he learned the wrong lesson and it would more than likely bite him in the future.

That's a really powerful example of the power of gambling, and how doing the exact wrong thing and being lucky can make you feel like you did the right thing. A great example for investing...and almost anything else!
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Markola View Post
Your post made me think about several things short, medium and longer term. Very nice analysis and thanks for sharing.
Thank you Markola.

Of course everything I wrote could be completely wrong.

Economics - the dismal field of science.
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:45 AM   #15
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In general agreement with the above.
Why go Intermediate Tsy instead of Long Term Tsy? More of risk/reward ratio with potential higher volatility if it misses?
My personal preference is to stay with intermediate Treasury bond fund FUAMX; hedging against near term deflation (potential trouble for TIPS) and long term inflation (potential trouble with 30 year Treasuries).

My original retirement strategy was a rising equity glidepath with a conservative intermediate treasury bond fund while harvesting LTCGs from megacorporation. Leaving a cash balance pension to accrue till later. That strategy has worked well up to this point.

Now I am pondering the question of if to cash out the pension and lever up to a 60/40 equity/bond split during the next downdraft. Or just let the pension ride and slowly increase to a 70/30 position.

Thoughtful opinions are welcome as I am undecided.
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DW and I are 59/58. FIRE August 2019. Non-cola pension available but will remain untouched until mid sixties to grow, max SS for DH at FRA or 70. Mega retiree health available. IRA rollover from 401k Jan 2020 for NUA treatment. LTCG next few years. AA 33% stocks, 10% cash and 57% Intermediate Treasury fund. Rising equity glidepath.
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atmsmshr View Post
The ‘big three’ stock indices are Dow Jones Industrials, NASDAQ and S&P500. Today, only down about 13% from their February 2020 high. However, the underlying Price/Earnings ratios have increased about 20% in the past few weeks even though stock prices are down overall. Major USA stock indices are more expensive relative to earnings now than even at their all time high in February!

Why? A lot of major USA companies pulled their annual earnings projections in March – which leaves analysts flying blind and just projecting based on last available information. Now the 1st quarter numbers are starting to come in and looking bleak – so the denominator in P/E ratios gets smaller – PE goes higher. Some companies are only reporting quarterly results, and forgoing projections. Analysts are still flying blind in the clouds and mountainous terrain. Stock prices are showing as more expensive as the current earning season unfolds. The next quarter earning season will be worse – fully reflecting the April lockdowns and mandatory business closures. If prices don’t drop, stocks will become even more expensive.

Why has the ‘efficient market’ not adjusted yet? A lot of buying is still on autopilot. The white collar crowd buying stock in the 401k plans are mostly ‘staying the course’. Companies offering 401k's usually limit investment choices - so a lot of those automatic savings go to big index funds. These savers are not the hourly workers that are unemployed and going to the food bank. Good advice for the young to keep dollar cost averaging – this event will be a buying opportunity. They also have company match to their own stock. This job benefit is now starting to crack. White collar workers are getting furloughed, taking voluntary time off, getting salary cuts and companies are stopping the 401k match. Less automatic stock purchases coming from this area starting in April. Corporate stock buybacks, another automatic feature, now grinding to a halt in some industries. Where cash was previously plowed back into company stock to reward shareholders, employees and executives – corporations are trying to conserve cash to weather out the storm. Some are even suspending dividends. Take a conditional govvie loan? – fuggetabout stock buybacks! Less buyers of stock means supply exceeds demand and starts to drop price. Slowly yanking autopilot buying is going to unwind over the upcoming weeks. And of course, the trader monkeys with suits make their commission on trades of stock – not with investors sitting on their hands – party on dudes!

Stock Market Ballast. Lifecycle funds and Pensions have plans that are managed within a balance of certain percentage of equity and bonds. When equity goes down, bonds in these funds and pensions are sold to periodically rebalance to their target bands. Bonds are turned into stocks. A nice steadying effect that should continue.

Buy on the Dippers. A proven strategy over the bull market run, and even during the recent bear selloff. However, this steadying effect on price only lasts as long as the dippers have capital to tap into. At some point, they run out of money to buy stocks and their support to the market goes away.

The Treasury and Federal Reserve. They get to pick and support some of the winners to save jobs in the long run with liquidity and credit and some outright grants. Some corporations will not go all the way in bed with the Fed and Treasury because it means giving up control, loan paybacks, and stock options. Not pure capitalism – but it saves the capitalist market by swerving dangerously to the socialist market. Keeps the BIG companies like Ford, Boeing and others from cratering. I sometimes like hearing ‘moral hazard’ from Washington to keep the corporate barbarians in the C suites on their toes.

Bankruptcies. Starting to show up with large department store chains and smaller energy producers. Small businesses are stressed to the max with failure of the PPP and had thin margins to being with. Airlines and Cruise ship operators are swimming in a sea of red ink. Before corporations wipe out shareholders in a bankruptcy filing, they do everything possible to soak up the last bit of credit – then negotiate for better loan terms. The bankruptcy process is not transparent to the markets and take months to pulse through the system – finally landing on the balance sheets of financial institutions. (Cue music for the Fed to enter and save the banks again.)

The supporting effect of automatic buying, the ballast, the dippers, Treasury and Fed focus on the companies with stock in the big three USA indexes. The publicly traded foreign, mid size and small size stocks don’t get as much of these supporting functions outlined above. These are down roughly 20%, 25%, and 30% respectively – compared to the 13% down for the big boys.

So – if you believe this virus impact will be over in a few months and a V shaped recovery is around the corner, or if you believe you can pick individual stocks that will rebound from those companies that are the walking dead on the verge of bankruptcy – then load up on equities.

Me? I have some utility stock with the belief that people will continue to pay to keep the lights on, intermediate Treasuries bought in January because if uncle sam goes bust its time for beans and bullets, and cash to last DW and myself into next year. Where and when is the bottom of the market – don’t have a clue except that it is in the future.

But what the hell do I know.

Lots of great responses, but definitely appreciate the lengthy post and insight.
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:54 AM   #17
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I think in 10 years, we will be higher than where we are now, and the US will still have strong global companies. Exactly how and when it will bottom is unknown.

If you want to be a trader, be a trader. As a long term investor, my job is not to guess the bottom correctly, it's only to be invested according to by risk tolerance.
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:36 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
Once I was trying to climb a mountain. Really. It was my first attempt, and it was a tall mountain, and I met up with some experienced climbers and we decided to stick together.

About that time, there was a younger, faster climber who passed us near the summit as a thunderstorm approached. The other climbers in my group decided to stop about 500 feet from the summit and shelter against the storm, but the faster climber decided to continue on and try to summit.

After the storm passed and we began to descend, the younger climber caught up with us on the way back down. He was excited to report that he had reached the summit, where he called his Mom on his cell phone (surprisingly good service up there). During his phone call, he reported that his jacket was making a weird crackling noise.

As he was on the highest point in the state. In a thunderstorm. Standing, with a cell phone.

Yes, good things happened to him - the summit, his phone call, and not getting hit by lightning. But he was dumb and lucky, not smart. We later decided in my group that it was really unfortunate, because he learned the wrong lesson and it would more than likely bite him in the future.

Love the story!

A shorter version: The second mouse gets the cheese.

Slightly longer: The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by fisemper View Post
... am I missing opportunities to hit that early?
Maybe. It's strictly a matter of luck; no one knows. Even the people that get lucky and from that conclude that they are geniuses. They don't know either.

Here is some inspirational reading on market timing: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tayl..._timing_quotes
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:03 AM   #20
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Yup, the line between capital preservation/defensive posturing and market timing can be quite gray in times like these.

I'm out of equities for now, and when I do get back in I think I'll be buying long-dated LEAP in-the-money call options on the SPY rather than direct investment in stocks.... the same upside as directly investing in SPY but lower downside, albeit at a modest cost after considering the incremental income having more invested in fixed income.
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