As you I discussed last week, we added risk exposure to portfolios with the breakout to new highs that came in conjunction with a short-term “buy signal” as shown below.
However, when we zoom out a bit, a different picture emerges. Note that in all 3-cases, there was a “Stage-1 Advance” followed by a correction which led to a “Stage-2 Advance.” The correction that followed then provided for the final bullish advance which I call the “Charge Of The Light Brigade.”
The “Charge of the Light Brigade” was a charge of British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava in 1854, during the Crimean War. Lord Raglan, the overall commander of the British forces, had intended to send the Light Brigade to prevent the Russians removing captured guns from overrun Turkish positions, a task well-suited to light cavalry. However, due to miscommunication in the chain of command, the Light Brigade was instead sent on a frontal assault against a different artillery battery, one well-prepared with excellent fields of defensive fire.
Although the Light Brigade reached the battery under withering direct fire and scattered some of the gunners, the badly mauled brigade was forced to retreat immediately. Thus, the assault ended with very high British casualties and no decisive gains. War correspondent William Russell, who witnessed the battle, declared:
“Our Light Brigade was annihilated by their own rashness, and by the brutality of a ferocious enemy.”
This current set up is very much like what faced the British Calvary. A market is that overly bullish, overly complacent and overly valued has already had horrible outcomes for those that charged headlong into it.
Simon Maierhofer recently noted much the same in a recent article:
“The blue arrows in the updated chart below show where the S&P 500 is currently within the larger bull market cycle.”
“Regardless of where exactly the market’s at, a correction is getting closer. The initial correction will likely be a wave 4 correction (see labels). Waves 4 are notoriously choppy and frustrating. This choppy correction should be followed by another rally (wave 5) and a more pronounced drop (likely late 2017 or early 2018).
In a nutshell, although the S&P 500 is unlikely to make net progress in the coming year, there will be an opportunity for investors to lock in profits (at higher prices) and avoid a significant draw down.”
I agree with Simon. Whether it is sooner, or later, the current run-up in stocks will end very much the same as they always have with investors “annihilated by their own rashness and the brutality of a ferocious enemy.”
For now, investors race forward with swords drawn, shouting the “bull market passive indexing” battle cry in the face of insurmountable odds solely with a conviction of invincibility.
But such is the nature of every bull market cycle in throughout history.
In the meantime, this is what I am reading.
- The Imperial City’s Fiscal Waterloo by David Stockman via Daily Reckoning
- GDP Growth Rates Continue To Fall by James Picerno via Capital Spectator
- Repeal & Replace Falls Flat On Its Face by Caroline Baum via MarketWatch
- Thoughts On Full Employment & The Asset Based Recovery by Edward Harrison via Credit Writedowns
- Rosenberg: Warning Signs Are Bubbling In The Economy by David Rosenberg via Gluskin-Sheff
- Is The Economy Really Different This Time by Joe Calhoun via Alhambra Partners
- 4-Signs The Economy Is Stalling by Stephen McBride via Mauldin Economics
- The False Premise Of GOP Tax Cuts by Editorial via New York Times
- The Fed Has Hit The Pause Button by James Rickards via Daily Reckoning
- Fed Does Brutal Take-Down Of Trump’s Budget by Pedro Da Costa via BI
- All Signs Point To Slowdown In Inflation by Lakshman Achuthan via Bloomberg
- Occupational Hazards by Tyler Durden via ZeroHedge
- The Quiet Demise Of Austerity by James McCormack via Project Syndicate
- The Smell Of Dry Paint In The Morning by Danielle DiMartino-Booth via Money Strong
- Real Reason Stocks Are Hitting Records by Brian Maher via The Daily Reckoning
- History & Gravity Aren’t On The Side Of Stocks by Sue Chang via MarketWatch
- Stock Picking Dying Due To Dearth Of Stocks by Jason Zweig via WSJ
- Perfect Market Indicator Says Sell Now by Mark Kolakowski via Investopedia
- 10-Years Later Bull Market Shows No Signs Of Ending by Michael Santoli via CNBC
- Forecasting Recessions Can Boost Returns by Simon Constable via US News
- The Single Biggest Market Risk by Hedgeye
- Bull Market Still Has Legs by Michael Kahn via Barron’s
- Market Is Believing The Fed For Now by Conrad de Aenlle via NT Times
- One Reason Expensive Stocks Can Continue To Climbs by Anora Mahmudova via MarketWatch
- Stocks Will Top Out In 3-Weeks by Avi Gilburt via MarketWatch
- Here’s Why The Stock Market Isn’t Overpriced by Bob Pisani via CNBC
- Stock Market Bulls Are Wrong, It Will End Badly by Doug Kass via The Street
Research / Interesting Reads
- Did London Just Press The “Brexit” Panic Button by Wolf Richter via Wolf Street
- The Logic Of Patience (Investing) by Value Investor India
- Do You Need $1 Million To Retire by Maurie Backman via Motley Fool
- A Chat With Peter Bernstein by Jason Zweig via Intelligent Investor
- We’re Not Prepared For The Next Recession by Mark Thoma via Fiscal Times
- 7-Habits To Help Your Kids Be Successful by Vanessa McGrady via Forbes
- 50% Of American Homeowners Have Buyer’s Remorse by Abigail Summerville via CNBC
- Economy Set To Break Two Records, Only One Is Good by Pedro Da Costa via BI
- Every Seven Years by Scott Galloway via L2 Daily
- A Fanatic Is Someone Who Won’t Change Their Mind by Cliff Asness via AQR Capital Management
- 5-Surprising Facts About “Made In America” by Irina Ivanova via MoneyWatch
- Tennis Legend “Boris Becker” Bankrupt by Tyler Durden via ZeroHedge
- Wrecking Ball by John Hussman via Hussman Funds
- Are Investors Too “Bulled” Up by Dana Lyons via Tumblr
- Wear Your Twitter Trolls Like A Badge Of Honor by Jesse Felder via The Felder Report
““Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria.” – Sir John Templeton
Questions, comments, suggestions – please email me.
Lance Roberts is a Chief Portfolio Strategist/Economist for RIA Advisors. He is also the host of “The Lance Roberts Podcast” and Chief Editor of the “Real Investment Advice” website and author of “Real Investment Daily” blog and “Real Investment Report“. Follow Lance on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and YouTube