Between fear and complacency….

Monday, 11th March 2019

Between fear and complacency….

The bull market in stocks turned 10-years-old on Saturday….

It’s not been a case of straight up like a vertical line. Bull markets don’t work that way. And nor do bears….

But looked at across the length and breadth of an entire decade, stocks have been going up, up, up….

…. Fueled by the lowest interest rates ever known to man and plentiful cheap and easy credit for governments, businesses and consumers….

…. And given extra impetus by government/central-bank-backed programmes of quantitative-easing, money-printing or bond-buying (call it what you like)….

To put things into context, the FTSE 100 closed at 4434 at the end of 2008 – down 31.8% on the year before….

By July 2018 – at its all-time-highest-point – the index had not only bounced back but had gained more than 75%….

  • Buttering the bread….

It’s not been entirely plain sailing since….

Markets appeared to be on the turn at the end of 2018 with sharp drop-offs in stock values across the global board….

And why not? A correction appeared overdue. And there was plenty going on in the world to unnerve stock-market investors….

…. A trade war boiling-up between the US and China….… Click here to read more

A message from the billionaires….

Wednesday, 27th February 2019

A message from the billionaires….

You know who I feel sorry for?

The world’s billionaires….

All 2,208 of the blighters (figure from Forbes)….

The richest fractional percentile of the world’s population has got it tough….

They get the blame for everything….

  • Playing a good hand of cards….

We must remember that the billionaire didn’t necessarily ask to be part of the global financial elite….

He can’t help it if – as a result of his powers of intellect, creativity, innovation, technical expertise, capacity for hard work, tolerance to risk and out-and-out criminality (only one or two bad eggs!) – the world has rewarded him so generously….

He can’t be blamed if – as has happened – he got richer over the last decade of cheap and easy credit whilst everybody else got poorer….

The billionaire is like any other player at the table. He can only play the cards the universe has delivered into his hands….

And he must play that hand as best he can – to his own ends and advantage….

Which of us would not set out to do the same?

  • Doing good out in the world….

But few people these days have sympathy for – or empathy with – the plight of the common-garden billionaire….… Click here to read more

Let’s start rating economic forecasters….

Wednesday, 13th February 2019

Let’s start rating economic forecasters….

Some folk collect stamps….

Here at Money Truths we collect economic and market predictions that turn into train-wrecks….

Perhaps we have a strange sense of humour. Perhaps we are simply warped. Maybe a bit of both….

But we collect these things anyway….

Primarily, because they amuse us and because laughter is always the best medicine….

But also, because these tales of wrong-headedness serve as a constant reminder of the fallibility of ‘experts’ when it comes to predicting the future….

  • Off-beam certainty….

Take Irving Fisher, for instance….

He was a smart guy. He was widely considered one of the great economists of the first half of the 20th century. He figured out the relationship between inflation and interest rates, among other things….

He was just the type of guy you might expect to know what was going on – and what would happen next….

But the world – especially the world of money – doesn’t work that way. It can make a fool out of just about anybody. Even Fisher fell victim….

Back in 1929, Fisher had this to say about the stock market….

‘Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau….Click here to read more