Don’t Make This Mistake

October 31, 5:00 pm EST

As we discussed yesterday, it’s very dangerous to let political views influence your perspective on markets and investing.

And I suspect we are seeing plenty of people make that mistake.

That means many will be left behind on a stock market recovery, again.  That probably means the bull market for stocks still has a ways to run.  John Templeton, know to be one of the great value and contrarian investors of all time, said “bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.”

Incredibly, after a more than four-fold run from the financial crisis bottom, the stock market continues to have a LOT of skepticism. Does this mean we are only half way through this cycle?  Maybe.

The arguments for the stock market bears and pessimists on the economy have many holes, but the biggest is the lack of context.  That context:  the global economic crisis, and the aftermath (up to present day).

You can’t evaluate anything about this economy without taking into account where we’ve been over the past decade, the role central banks have played throughout, the coordinated intervention that has taken place globally (along the way) to avoid a global depression, and the interconnectedness of global economies that continues.

Without this context, the skeptics like to call it “late in the cycle” for an economy that (on paper) is in the second-longest expansion in U.S. history.   With context, we’re probably closer to “early cycle,” given that the decade of ultra-slow growth was manufactured by central banks.