I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would follow the advice of a big-bank analyst quoted in the daily financial news. The timeframe they deal in makes their advice worthless.
I guess for fear of seeming short-sighted, most of the big-bank heavyweights give their market predictions and portfolio recommendations on the order of years.
For instance, I wrote before about how a top Morgan Stanley strategist was suggesting that investors should consider “taking profits” from the consumer discretionary sector.
She noted how the sector has outperformed “over the last decade,” and cited a Tax Policy Center study that said Trump’s tax cuts will add “just 0.4% to GDP in 2021, and just 0.1% in 2026.”
Do you know how much will change between now and 2021, let alone 2026? Anything and everything will change between now and then! And that’s why I think the big-bank analysts’ long-view advice is practically worthless.
Digging into the Data
Consider how much has changed over the last two-and-a-half years, and how wrong many of the big-bank analysts have been…
After what was called the worst January ever, stocks bottomed and began to climb higher on February 11, 2016.
But guess what the big-bank analysts were saying, precisely on that day?
“Everything suggests this market is heading lower. Psychology is too frail,” said LPL Financial’s investment strategist.
The market didn’t head even a dollar lower. And now U.S. stock indices are up between 68% (S&P 500) and 107% (Nasdaq 100).
Another big-bank analyst was quoted on February 11 saying, “People are losing jobs in the oil patch. The fear is that it’ll create a domino effect to other parts of the economy.”
So far, it hasn’t. Oil prices have gained between 48% (USO) and 92% (BNO) since this analyst’s bearish comments marked the low in crude.
On February 11, 2016, PIMCO warned how negative interest rates (a big story at the time) may be having a “chilling effect” on financial markets and could have unknown consequences.
That’s a special breed of cryptic, not-so-actionable advice to put it mildly.
Would you believe that instead of seeing the negative interest rates PIMCO was warning about, the 10-year Treasury rate has since spent most of its time rallying in 2016, 2017 and 2018?
Not Your Father’s Sector Strategist
Successful investing requires a good deal of humility.
You’ve got to know what you don’t know. And you’ve got to be willing to change your mind, and your investment positions, without stubbornness or ego.
I’m happy to admit that I have no clue precisely how things will change over the next several years.
That’s why I generally ignore the so-called “advice” of the big-bank analysts quoted in daily financial news stories.
That’s what my Cycle 9 Alert service is all about — finding stocks and sectors that are statistically more likely to outperform the broad market over the next two to three months. Nothing more. Nothing less.
In February and March of 2016, while the big-bank analysts were issuing their above-quoted warnings, I recommended two industrial sector plays for eventual profits of 106% and 336%.
Later that year, as many worried about a “summer slowdown,” I recommended two consumer staples sector plays for eventual profits of 56% and 80%. I also recommended the semiconductor sector for profits of 106% and 116%.
Then in early 2017, as the financial media swamped readers with fear over a wave of elections in Europe, I recommended a play on a European stock ETF, which handed us a profit of up to 213% less than three months later.
Then in 2018 We Made:
- 45% profits on the biotech sector
- 84% profits (betting against) the utilities sector
- 88% profits on oil prices
- 89% profits on the medical devices sector
- 407% profits on the consumer discretionary sector
- 430% profits on a consumer staples stock play
And So Far this Year:
- 29% profits on a long bond trade
- 58% profits on a materials stock
- 70% profits on a medical-device maker’s stock
- 36% and 186% on two health-care sector shorts
- 62% profits shorting South Korean stocks
- 64% profits on half of a gold-stock trade
- 64% profits on a Japanese stocks ETF…
These aren’t all the trades we made, just some of the highlights. But as you can see, I have no problem making “active bets” on the market’s wide range of sectors and industry groups. Just the same as the big-bank analysts who’ve no problem prognosticating what the too-distant future will hold for them.
But there’s no way I’d ever commit my own capital to their sector forecasts — particularly over such long periods of time.
Instead, I’ve found it’s far more profitable to operate on a two- to three-month basis. This allows us to stay nimble, adapt to ever-changing market conditions, and capture each sector’s strongest move.
That’s what Cycle 9 Alert is all about!