E-mail address: RichardStk@aol.com
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I hate to follow or even agree with some of what I’m hearing about going forward strategy, especially if such is espoused by those who were so wrong all this year. I’m speaking specifically about Bob Doll, now at BlackRock as their “Trillion Dollar” fund manager. I don’t want to pick on anyone but since he’s been leading the charge forward as stock markets collapse and getting all the face time doing such, I guess I have to. I start off very skeptical because my belief is that these big money managers are not going to get on TV and recommend anything before they and their clients get first crack at their thinking, ideas and recommendations and position themselves accordingly. I already wrote awhile back many old stock market books talk extensively about how big money always used to try to sucker the little investors. The age old technical Wall Street term “distribution” implied big guys needed little guys to unload their big positions on to when they foresaw a bear market ahead and thus put on a bullish face. It took much time to unload huge positions these large investors stockpiled so much frenzied excitement about the stock market had to be built up as big money sold. What better way today than Bob Doll coming on CNBC ubiquitously and always saying we are now in a bottoming process. He said that back in March and those who followed him are much the worst after the October panic crash. Anyway, that’s all secondary, although supporting, my main point. My main point is that Mr. Doll now says next year is going to be a good one for those taking on risk, not for those playing it safe. Again sounds good to me, at least at first blush. We all know what goes down the most generally can bounce tremendously when psychology changes. But do we really want to buy really risky investments in just the early part of the second year of a big, bad bear market? I say no. Bear markets of this size and scope historically have taken a lot longer than one year to work through.
Net, net, probably Mr. Doll will be proven correct about taking on risk, if one doesn’t factor in any time period. I’d guess risky asset classes will move fast when this bear market ultimately does end but do I really believe its going to end soon? No. And if we do have a 2009 mini bull market, say because stocks have fallen so much, then I’m not going to count on Bob and other institutional investors to tell me and us exactly when to get back out. No, starting off next year next week, I’d suggest still playing our cards close to the vest. Yes, play modestly for a continuing rally but look at it for now as just a bear market rally.
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!
12-22-2008 8:37 AM
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