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One of the strongest themes in our markets is that not only do many believe price trends forecast the direction of economies but that price trends actually direct economic activity. It is relationship between Economic Activity, Market Psychology and Market Prices which has been the mystery of the ages.
In 2010-2012 Hedge Funds were often in the media explaining that they had made considerable bet on ‘hyperinflation’ due to Fed liquidity actions. Yes, market prices are pure market psychology with some investors judging changes in psychology or valuations better than others. Interesting historical chart (1925-2008) of S&P 500 Index and 3 levels of PER (source decisionpoint). There are only 4 periods in history of clear investment in shares on an exchange with quite low levels similar or even lower than a PER of 10 times. Hopefully you’ve managed to share in the strong rise both this year and over the past 27 month period.
The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I guess not much has changed in the land of actively managed funds over the last several years. You’d think investors would get tired of paying excessive fees for funds managed by experts who, more than half the time, don’t even beat the market they’re looking to in any given year. Well, although the majority of investors still invest in actively managed funds today, it appears more and more are switching to passively managed index funds in the hopes of better returns. At the end of the year, this allows index funds to charge less in fees as opposed to actively managed funds.
Over the past five years, and as you’d hope, this fund’s chart looks strikingly similar to the S&P 500. This means the companies with the biggest market caps in the indices they track make up the majority of the fund. Equal-weighted index funds simply invest the same percentage into each of the stocks in it the index it’s tracking.
This index fund holds all the stocks that you’d see in a traditional S&P 500 index fund.
On the other hand, index funds weighted by their fundamentals, like the Powershares FTSE RAFI US 100 (NYSE: PRF), weights its index based on a company’s book value, free cash flow, revenue and dividends.
Both of these alternatives funds are technically passively managed, so they won’t cost as much as an actively managed ETF or mutual fund.
But at the end of the day, these alternative index funds also give you the opportunity to increase your returns with less volatility than a traditional index fund.


Investment U Disclaimer: Nothing published by Investment U should be considered personalized investment advice. My analysis(which I have often repeated) indicates that it is economic activity which eventually translates into stock prices by impacting market psychology. New single-family home sales boomed 11.6% in December to a 481,000 annual rate, coming in above the consensus expected pace of 450,000. They shorted the US$(a bet that rates would rise), bought commodities especially oil and copper, shorted the 10yr Treasury and even bought farm land causing prices to double.
Fundamentals did not justify such dramatic shifts in currency, commodity prices which also impacted securities.
It was a real opportunity to invest in the period 1931-1932, after the brutal stock market falls by the American depression, or in the years 1942-1943, or in the longer period 1950-1955. Now that you’ve seen the best of the overall news, go ahead and find your own portfolio values. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer. That means instead of having a fund manager choose which stocks are likely to head higher in any given index, an index fund would simply own all of the stocks in the index.
And it minimizes the taxes investors would incur had they gone with an actively managed fund.
Put simply, these funds invest in companies based on Wall Street “popularity,” not necessarily based on their fundamentals. But you’ll probably pay higher annual fees than simply investing in a traditional index fund. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. The longest period with a cheap stock market was 1975 to 1985 after then we see the largest rise in the twentieth century, from 1985 to 2000. This is simply because fundamental and equal weight index funds require more maintenance throughout the year to maintain. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investment advice.
We can see the increase in volatility using the S&P 500 Intrinsic Value Index for comparison. This report translates to the more revealing Monthly Supply of New Homes for Sale which I correlate to jobs in Chart 3: Residential Cons Employment vs. What few paid attention to was the ‘fracking revolution’ which was already producing oil in unheard of amounts from previously unproductive sites.


We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in their own securities recommendations to readers. EOG’s Mark Papa and Continental’s Harold Hamm told us at the time that considerable production was on the way, yet Hedge Funds bet for much higher energy prices. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication or 72 hours after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation.
Having this ‘hyperinflation bet’ in place, Hedge Funds were solidly on the wrong side when Russia invaded Ukraine. Any investments recommended by Investment U should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.
I identify the Fed’s keeping mtg rates low as the reason why Single Family Home Sales remain well below historical norms and the cause for less than historical employment gains. The US$ began to strengthen and the 10yr Treasury yield fell as Russian capital along with other global players turned to the US as a safe haven. Hedge Funds who were net long in August are now net short-fundamentals do not change that quickly.
In June 2014 oil prices which were part of the ‘hyperinflation bet’ began to weaken and the volatility we have just experienced is the net result. Many things have been in the media: Saudi raised its production, the US production created a ‘glut’ and etc. This is how their children eventually enter professional jobs and the ‘middle class’ grows. If one examines the EIA data, some excess production occurred but nothing greatly out of line with history.
This recovery has not had a normal construction cycle rebound due to the Fed’s keeping mtg rates low which does not provide enough of a credit spread to permit banks to lend to FICO scores less than 720-740. In fact oil production has fallen relatively sharply from Oct 2014 due to price declines and we could be in the position of excess consumption today. Just the same, there has been an influx of global capital willing to accept lower returns in exchange for a capital safe haven.



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