It is important to separate mini-manias from true bubbles. Unfortunately, the difference is mostly the amount of money chasing the folly. Millions and even billions of dollars lost (and thousands of jobs) equate to fads, while trillions of dollars lost (and rampant unemployment and recessions) are bubbles.
As we enter 2018, numerous uncertainties are dominating the minds of American citizens and investors. We are happy to weigh in on what we consider to be both un-useful and useful uncertainties as they pertain to long duration ownership of common stocks.
Women have gotten the short stick or metaphorically the short rib ever since Eve, and I’m with Oprah for president and much, much more but hey, guys have got a few positive qualities that need to be mentioned.
In early December, small protests developed in Iran due to sharp increases in some food prices. By the last week of 2017, the protests had spread across the country and have continued into the New Year. In this report, we discuss the current protests, comparing them to the unrest that developed in the wake of the 2009 elections in Iran.
It is hard to think about 1981, my first full year in the investment business. Three-month Treasury bills were paying 18%, longer-term Treasury bonds yielded 15% to maturity and cheap stocks got 20% cheaper. In the summer of 1981, we saw a stock market decline from an already depressed market trading at eight-times after-tax profits down closer to six times.
Over the weekend I stopped to watch the last part of a James Stewart Western called, The Far Country. It was the story of two cattle drivers who took their cattle all the way to the Yukon to get a piece of the late 1890’s Klondike gold rush.
Two weeks ago, we introduced this report and covered the mass arrests that took place in Saudi Arabia over the weekend of November 4, when several princes and notable figures were detained. The official reason given for the arrests was corruption, but many have speculated that the move was a cover for Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) to consolidate power and purge elements of a potential coup.
Over the weekend of November 4, there were mass arrests in Saudi Arabia, a missile attack and the resignation of Lebanon’s prime minister. Just before that, there was a crackdown on the religious establishment. In this series, we will discuss these events, the broader geopolitics of the region and American foreign policy drift.
A massive amount of stock market capitalization is tied up in companies based on both their potential market share and hypothetical future profits. The popular arguments in their favor come from looking at a company’s total addressable market (TAM). Sky high price-to-earnings ratios and massive capitalizations are common in companies with a large TAM as we finish up 2017.
As famed market strategist Richard Bernstein has pointed out, investors should pattern common stock selection after the investment style of the Mafia. What causes the Mafia to get such good returns? How do they spot opportunities? Why should we as investors in publicly-traded common stocks emulate their behavior near the end of 2017?