S&P 500

Insider

Dreamstime

The Case For Starting To Build A (Small) Short Position

Why I just took on a new short trade in my portfolio
Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 3:01 PM

So, we're in the midst of (yet) another rally in the markets. But this one feels different...

For those sitting on large cash positions, it's increasingly looking like the long-overdue and long-awaiting end to the secular bull market may indeed arrive this year.

There is NOTHING wrong with remaining 100% in cash and simply letting your cash appreciate realtive to stocks/bonds/etc when the correction hits.

But, if you want to have some upside exposure to the correction, now is a good time to consider how much of your portfolio to allocate to that strategy. And what to put it in. And to start putting small positions in place.

Technically, it continues to look like something broke at the start of 2018. The ruler-straight run-up in the major stock indeces seen over the past decade suddenly stopped as the year began. Since then, we've seen more price volatility than in the past several years combined.

And despite the most recent price action, both the Dow and the S&P 500 remain below their all-time-highs set in early January. And while the NADAQ is now higher, there are many reasons to be concerened about its ability to rise much further -- a rationale I'll lay out shortly below.

Technical Red Flags

This latest rally is rising two important red flags.

The first is volume-related. This most recent rally has occured on exceptionally low volume, near the lowest levels seen over the past year.

This indicates that the optimism represented by today's buyers is not widespread across market participants (i.e., there's not a horde of buyers eager to keep pushing prices higher). This hints that the rally may soon run out of steam.

Low volume driving a rising market also suggests fewer buyers willing to step in to defend today's price levels if they start falling.

The second warning sign is that we're seeing Rising Wedge formations appearing in the major equity indices as we see in this chart... » Read more

Blog

imgflip.com

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Tom Petty's anthem for today's investors
Thursday, October 5, 2017, 5:21 PM

The stock market is now 70% higher than it was as the previous bubble peak immediately preceding the 2008 Great Financial Crisis.

Reflect for a moment how painful the crash from Sept 2008-March 2009 was. How much more painful will a crash from today's much dizzier heights be? » Read more

Blog

Van Halen, M&Ms, And The Next Market Downturn

How watching the right indicators will avoid disaster
Friday, September 1, 2017, 7:28 PM

Believe it or not, the rock band Van Halen found a brilliant way to teach how having good indicators is key to achieving success.

This is extremely true for the world of investing, where you're deploying capital based upon an expected future return. How do you determine when it's a good time to enter into an investment? Once in it, how do monitor the conditions supporting your rationale for holding it -- are those changing? And if so, are they getting better or worse? When should you exit the position?

For all of these questions, the better the indicators you use, the more accurate and informed your decision-making will be. And the better your returns as an investor will be. » Read more

Blog

livelifehappy.com

Better A Year Early Than A Day Too Late

Preparation only has value if it's done in advance
Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 1:42 AM

When it comes, change happens swiftly. And life after -- for better or worse -- is forever different.

I've witnessed this time and time again since co-founding Peak Prosperity. And pretty much every time, I notice that the vast majority of people -- including many of the the watchful and preparation-minded folks who read this site -- are caught by surprise. » Read more

Insider

Iconic Bestiary/Shutterstock

I Just Added To My Short Position

Keeping you updated on my portfolio positioning
Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 2:01 PM

Last year, I detailed out my personal investments in the report How My Portfolio Is Positioned Right Now. It turned out to be one of our most popular articles over the past few years.

In it, I mentioned that I'll do my best to update our subscribers when I make a material change to my portfolio allocation.

Well, I just did. » Read more

Podcast

Lightspring/Shuttestock

Brien Lundin: If They Don't Want You To Own It, You Probably Should

The wisdom (and challenges) of owning safe haven assets
Monday, August 14, 2017, 8:39 PM

One of the most perplexing mysteries to us is that right as the Federal Reserve embarked on QE3 -- which was a huge, enormous, $85 billion a month experiment -- commodities began a multiyear decline within two weeks of that announcement. Concurrently, the world’s central banks plunged the world into steeply negative real interest rates, a condition that has almost always resulted in booming commodity prices -- but not this time. Today, the ratio between commodity prices and equities is at one of, if not the most, extreme points in history.

To explain that gap, we talk this week with Brien Lundin, publisher of Gold Newsletter and producer of the New Orleans Investment Conference (where Chris and Adam are speaking on Oct 25-28): » Read more

Blog

studiostoks/Shutterstock

If Everything's Doing So Great, How Come I’m Not?

Are you better off than you were 10 years ago?
Friday, September 9, 2016, 8:26 PM

Whether it's struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living, a 0% return on savings, working longer hours while real wages stagnate, scrimping to pay back education loans, despairing at the abuses of power in our banking and political systems, or lamenting the loss of nourishing social interaction in our increasingly isolated and digital lifestyle — most "regular" people find their own personal experiences to be at odds with the rosy "Everything is awesome!" narrative trumpeted by our media. » Read more

Blog

Dreamstime

The Marginal Buyer Holds The Pin That Pops Every Asset Bubble

So it's important to watch him very closely
Friday, August 19, 2016, 2:01 AM

Those of you who took an Economics class in college may remember the saying that prices are set "at the margin". That's a fancy way to say that prices are set by the person (or people) willing to pay the most.

This person willing to pay top dollar is called the "marginal buyer". Most of us don't really think about him, but he (or she) is very, very important.

Why? Because the marginal buyer not only determines price levels, but also their stability and degree of volatility. The behavior of the marginal buyer, as well as the degree of competition for his/her "top dog" spot, sets the prices of nearly every asset class held by today's investors. » Read more

Insider

Blueximages | Dreamstime.com

Why I Went A Little More Short Today

The list making me nervous is growing fast
Monday, April 11, 2016, 10:26 PM

I've been slowly layering into a short position against the US S&P 500 stock market. At this rate, I plan to be 80% short in my trading and retirement accounts by the end of May. You know “Sell in May and go away.” I am now at 45%.

That’s my general strategy here. 

My reasons for building up this short position are many.  Here are a few of them. » Read more

Podcast

Scott E Read/Shutterstock

New Harbor: A Time For Staying Out Of Harms Way

Preserving your financial capital
Sunday, January 24, 2016, 1:16 PM

Given the brutal start to the markets in the first three weeks of 2016, we thought it a good time to check in with the team at New Harbor Financial. We have had them on our podcast periodically over the past years as the market churned to ever new highs, and have always appreciated their skepticism of these liquidity-driven ""markets"" as well as their unwavering commitment to risk management should the party in stocks end suddenly.

So, how is their risk-managed approach faring now that the S&P 500 has suddenly dropped 8% since Christmas? Quite well. Their general portfolio is flat for the year so far -- evidence that caution, prudence and hedging can indeed preserve capital during market downdrafts.

We've invited the New Harbor team back on this week to hear their latest assessment on the markets, as well as how they're approaching their portfolio positioning moving forward. » Read more