In the investment world, there is a boom in doom. “Fear sells,” as they say.
Those who tell and warn us of collapses and the like are always popular. When the market collapsed in 2008, it was a boom for doom. Banks imploded, the economy fell off a cliff. It was the "perfect storm "for those who thrive by selling fear.
However, I live by the words of Sir John Templeton: buy at the point of maximum pessimism. I, unlike many others, saw the 2008-2009 crash as a great buying opportunity.
However, I didn’t think it was the start of a huge bull market. You see, I study stock-market cycles. This is the theme of my new book, “The Great Super Cycle.”
When I looked back at the history of markets, I found that they always trade in cycles that repeat themselves.
When I look at the crash of 2008 going into 2009, I thought it was most similar to the 1907 and 1974 crashes. Both of these crashes were followed by two-year bull markets, which were then followed by bear markets.
However, the make-up of those bear markets was much different. Rather than being an all-out crash, those bear markets of 1909 to 1911 and 1977 were slow and grinding, with the market losing about 25 percent of its value. In addition, we saw higher inflation and higher rates during those bear markets.
Looking forward, the S&P will probably top somewhere in the 1,300 to 1,400 range if I am correct.
I expect that during the first half of 2011, after a minor correction, equity markets will climb. However, they will then top in the late first quarter or second quarter, mirroring the 1976 and 1911 tops, just like this bull market has mirrored the 1909 to 1911 and 1974 to 1976 bull markets.
During the second half of the year and into 2012, I see rising interest rates as too much for the market and a bear market unfolding as a debt crisis begins.
I am someone who profited from the bull market of 2009 to 2010. I'm not a doom and gloomer. However, I believe in cycles. If these cycles continue to repeat themselves, I see mid-2011 to 2013 as a difficult period for equities. The easy gains of the past two years won’t be there.
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