Market analysis and insights on Stocks, ETFs & REITs!

Longest Bull Run in the US Stock Market – Good Idea to Buy Now?

 

If you’ve been reading the news, you will know the US stock market is at an all-time high, and quite possibly one of the longest bull runs in history. According to Zerohedge, this is the longest bull run since the great pyramid boom of 2580 B.C.

Article: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-22/longest-bull-market-great-pyramid-boom-2580-bc

Also, the US economy seems to be doing pretty well, especially with the booming tech sector, and even the banks are hitting record profits.

Article: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-23/us-bank-profits-hit-record-60-billion-q2

But I think the big question on everyone’s mind is this:

 

Is this a Good Time to buy Now?

If you believe that markets follow the boom and bust cycle, such as the 10-year cycle, you will know that we are “overdue” for a big correction. Logic dictates that we aim to buy after a big crash to get the best value (and most potential upside), hence buying at the all-time highs might not seem like a good idea to many people.

 

If you look at the current chart of the S&P 500, you will see that the price is just testing the prior highs, which means that it is at a very critical point.

If prices get rejected at this level, it could end up forming a double top reversal pattern, which is very bearish and could see a decline to the 2280 levels.

For the strong uptrend to continue, prices need to confidently break above the prior highs and stay above that level.

 

What Could Go Wrong?

With escalating political tensions with many countries, and the trade war with China, a confluence of negative factors could adversely affect the fundamentals of the US economy.

Article: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-23/trade-war-escalates-us-china-slap-each-other-fresh-16-bn-tariffs

With the risks in mind, I will not be aggressively accumulating positions at this time, and will have to focus more selectively on key sectors.

 

After Crashing 20%, Is Facebook Stock a Good Buy Now?

Just last month, I made a trip to the Facebook HQ in Silicon Valley, and I was very impressed by the work culture and vibe of the whole community there. It made me glad to be a shareholder of Facebook, and since then, I have been waiting for an opportunity to buy more of it. 😀

Yesterday, after a disastrous Q2 earnings call, Facebook’s stock has plunged almost 20% so far; is this the start of something really bad, or the long-awaited chance to buy this stock?

 

Personally, I am a big fan of the tech sector, and I have been accumulating positions in the US tech giants since I liquidated all my Singapore stocks portfolio in 2015. but I am not going to jump in blindly, so let me sum up some of the key considerations:

  • The comment that spooked investors was the CFO’s prediction that revenue growth rates would continue to decelerate in the “high single-digit percentages” in Q3 and Q4.
  • While the results were not as fantastic as in the past, the disparity to analysts’ revenue and user growth forecast were not very major.
  • Facebook is likely being extremely conservative and has plenty of opportunities to gain back the momentum.
  • They are constantly innovating and acquiring new companies, some of these might turn out to be big winners
  • Its valuation based on PE is still ok compared to other stocks in the tech sector (about 30x)

 

The last time there was a plunge in FB shares due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it dropped almost 10% overnight in March. However, prices recovered very quickly, and before long prices were back to hitting all time highs, bringing valuation close to a $1 trillion market cap.

Some of the key risks could include more regulations that will hurt its bottom line, or anti-trust actions that attempt to split up the company.

But there are also upsides, such as the company leveraging on its technological innovations and data to expand to other industries and eat up the value chain.

So, in conclusion, I will not buy in immediately as I do not want to be catching a falling knife, instead I will wait for selling momentum to wane and the dust to settle before scooping up more of this stock. This is to ensure that I can get in at the best price. After all, I am still optimistic for the long run.

Will the Stock Market Crash or Continue Going Up for Another 10 Years?

Since the crash of 2008, and the recovery which started in 2009, the stock markets (especially the US markets), have been on a steady uptrend.

Chart: S&P 500 index (weekly chart)

Many of us have heard about the 10 year cycle, where the market is supposed to crash once every 10 years, for example the Asian markets during the 1997 currency crisis, and the global markets in 2007 during the subprime crisis.

However, in 2017, we did not see any significant crash or correction, which have led many analysts to rethink the theory.

Now, it is 2018, so should we be expecting a delayed crash, or are we experiencing a structural change in the markets?

If we observe the supercycles of major human technological innovations, we see that each major wave of progress is driven by a major technological innovation, such as the steam engine in the 1700’s or the internet and IT advancements in the 1900’s.

And based on the cycles, we could be in the early stages of the 6th wave, which is going to be driven by the upcoming huge advancements in applications of big data, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, internet of things, and blockchain technology.

Source: The Market Oracle

This means that we could be on the cusp of a super bull market, if these technological advancements are able to create a quantum leap in productivity for businesses and a huge jump in the standards of living across the globe. All these would translate into stronger stock prices, which instead of crashing the market, would propel it to new heights.

However, there are also major concerns:

  • Unequal gains across companies: the major tech companies may soon dominate all industries via the application of new technologies.
  • High unemployment: If machines take all the jobs, what are humans going to do?
  • High debt and leverage of US and European economies
  • Political risks: clash of superpowers (US and China)

In summary, many retail investors are wary of entering the stock market now because it is at all time highs and has already “gone up a lot” since 2009, hence they are waiting for a “big crash” before going in. However, this big crash may not come if successful widespread application of new technologies and innovation are able to drive a quantum leap in productivity.

P.S. Next week, I will be heading to Silicon Valley to explore the latest technologies and innovation at some of the biggest tech companies, join me for live updates here:
My personal FB: https://www.facebook.com/iamrecneps
My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamrecneps/

Cheers! 😀

Why I am Planning to Liquidate my Full Portfolio of Singapore Stocks

 

It has been a while since my last update on the Singapore markets (as well as my SG portfolio holdings), largely because the market doesn’t move much, so I only check on them once in a while.

Interestingly, I noticed that the STI has had an impressive run, coming off a low of 25xx to break past the 3000 level in the past few months. However, is this move sustainable?

Taking a closer look at this weekly chart which shows the historical prices over the last 20 years or so, one thing which stands out is that the market has been in a 7 YEAR sideways stagnation.

If we look back at the whole history of the index, this is somewhat unprecedented.

Which could explain why popularity in this market (as well as trading volumes) has been waning. In short, it does seem like a dying market.

Not to mention that during this same time period, the US stock markets have been steadily creeping up.

If we look at the most recent red shaded circle, that is where the current price is, and it seems to be running into massive headwinds. This means that the potential upside could be quite limited.

If we observe the large sideways range that prices have been moving in, the price is now at the top of the range. And we know that the best strategy in a range is to “buy low, sell high”, which means that the odds do not favour much more upside, unless there is some new strong positive price catalyst.

However, a cursory glance at recent news headlines seems to be painting a rather gloomy picture, with muted growth forecasts and ominous employment statistics. This tell me that downside catalysts are more likely that upside ones. In other words, there is more chance of a negative shock rather than a positive shock for prices.

In light of all these factors, I am planning to cash out most or all of my profits, and wait for more favourable odds to redeploy my capital. As a trader and investor, timing is always key.

Good luck, and trade wisely! 😀

3 Crucial Lessons From Jesse Livermore – The Greatest Stock Trader of All Time

Jesse Livermore is known to be the most prolific stock trader. Several books have been written about him and his trading track record is legendary. His profits were so great that he was reported to have owned mansions in various places around the world, each fully staffed, complete with limousines and steel-hulled yacht for his holidays.

Some of you might have read that Livermore was worth $100 million after shorting the 1929 great market crash.

Above: Some of the books about Jesse Livermore, available in major bookstores.

What Guidelines Did Jesse Livermore Follow As A Trader?

Among the many quips he had about trading and investing, I’ve picked out some of the key ones that could make or break your trading account.

While many complain about the difficulties in trading forex, stocks, or commodities, there is a good minority that makes consistent profits in the markets.

What sets Jesse Livermore apart from his peers?

 

  1. Buy rising stocks and sell falling stocks.

The above seems obvious, but many people fail to adhere to this rule. Many people like to ‘pick tops’ and ‘pick bottoms’. Now, professional traders do occasionally try to pick tops and bottoms, but they do so with very strict risk management, and always have a contingency plan for when the trade doesn’t work out.

Beginners often makes the mistake of trying to trade against the trend. While this can be profitable for some, talk to anyone in the trading industry and they will tell you that trend-following is the major money-making strategy that every trader uses. It’s simple, easy to add positions on, and it’s stress free. The problems come when beginners make a buck from trading with the trend, and start to explore ‘new ways’ to trade and invest.

 

2. Keep trades that show a profit, end trades that show a loss.

Jesse Livermore is famous for his humongous profits, but behind every profitable trader is the admirable ability to deal with a string of losses. It’s one thing to know that you need to cut losses, but it’s another to actually cut your losses when you are wrong. George Soros famously quips that it is not how many times you win or lose, it’s how much you make when you win, and how much you lose when you are wrong.

Cutting losses is a psychologically hard thing to do in modern society. We’re ingrained to be always correct, and never admit that you messed up, because it reflects badly on you as a person. However, with investing, no one is marking you for the number of losses; the profit that you make is the final report card that matters, and that’s where we want to be focusing on.

 

3. Never average losses by buying more when your stock has fallen.

Too many people refuse to be wrong on their investments or trades.

I have heard of people say this statement: “Even if the stock drops a lot, I’ll just keep it because I’m buying for ownership and dividend cashflow, not just for capital gains.” Sure, but what happens if the stock you hold drops by 70%? 80%? You’ll buy more?

Buying more when the stock has fallen is a sure-way to get your trading account to zero. It’s taking more risk when the odds are against you.

 

Think About This: Which of These 3 Guidelines Have Brought You Losses in the Past?

Many traders soon realize early in their career, that their trading accounts could have been profitable if not for silly mistakes. Avoiding these silly mistakes requires experience, maturity, the correct knowledge, and of course, proper mentoring.

I was lucky to be mentored by veteran traders early on in my trading career. Their advice, based upon thousands of hours of market experience, contributed greatly to who I am today, and I never fail to mention, during trading seminars or public events, that by tapping on their experience, I was able to quickly attain a level of success that kept me profitable.

If you’re currently struggling as a trader, ask yourself this question: “Which mistakes have I been making?”

Acknowledging trading mistakes is a continuous process of learning and growing.