Lonesome Tree in Sandhills

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Opposite Economic Views

~ Informed investors make stronger markets. ~

The old adages, "Everything is timing" & "90% of what happens is due to attitude" is very pertinent to smart investing. Economic pendulums swing back from going too far in either direction - its just a matter of attitudes gathering speed. Much depends on consumers.

Bear market money-makers see global economies continuing to contract well into late 2010. They expect consumers outstripped their ability to pay huge levels of debt after a decade of decadent spending like there's no tomorrow. They expect most will spend only on necessities to pay off credit card debt & car loans, but those w/low-paying or no jobs will default. They believe this process will stretch out over several years - slowing annual growth to 1.0% (down from 3.5%), and that stock prices have not yet fully priced in this timing.

Speakers' motives at the Reuters Investment Summit play a huge role. They all try to influence their particular markets up or down depending on their strategy to make money. Never mind there are few alternatives for that big load of money flowing out of hedge funds.

Bears like Atteberry, who runs a $2 billion bond fund at First Pacific Advisors in LA focused on income funds, hopes to gain more institutional & high-value clients disenchanted with hedge funds & seeking safe harbors. Taylor, an old guy who trades currencies with a $14 billion hedge fund, hopes global traders will dump currencies so he can buy cheaper.

Bullish speakers like O'Shaunessy are also trying to influence managers of institutional & high-value clients to release their big load of money to buy equities now, which would drive those market up. Even if growth in spending slows to a crawl, they believe it will pick back up so best to get into equities of companies with solid fundamentals while their stock is undervalued. How severely undervalued is the question here.

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