If you follow headline news, then we don’t have to tell you about the kind of hit that the recent job report had on the major markets this week. OUCH. Just today the DJI fell 105 points, the S&P 500 lost 10 points, and the Nasdaq fell 21 points. The DOW alone shed over 400 points since Wednesday!
The increase in unemployment has caused major concern for experts, as well as all of us regular ol’ citizens of the USA. The recent job report was a definite letdown, especially for economists who were predicting a rate of improvement from 9% to 8.9%. Yet here we are with an unemployment rate of 9.1%.
Last week I wrote about Hong Kong and its ability to pretty much stay a capitalist economy. In fact, in mainland China they refer to their countries economic policies as, "one country, two systems." Today we're going to talk about the other system that I call "The New China."
<<<<< This is the new MarketClub Chop in Mandarin Chinese
Besides seeing the historic sites with my wife, we traveled quite extensively covering over 3,500miles in the new China. I not only want to share with you my travel thoughts on some of these amazing historic sites, but also my thoughts on the Chinese economy. I am also going to let you in on an easy way to figure out what's going on in China at any time.
For most people who've lost 30% or 40% of their IRAs or 401(k) plans, it just looks that way on paper. In other words, it hasn't sunk in yet. The reality is that when this sinks in, and it will, the realization will have a significant negative impact on the psyche of the US consumer and the US economy.
This is the first real bear market we have seen in a generation and maybe the start of the greatest bear market we have seen since the Great Depression. All of these distressed securities have to be worked out and priced accordingly in the marketplace and that is going to take time. Right now, there is no reason to jump in and buy stocks because they look cheap.
The technical and fundamental trends are clearly down in all the equity markets as the de-leveraging of the hedge funds continues. You may remember I made a post some time ago about hedge funds. I said that in the end "they will devour their young." That's exactly what's happening right now.
This is without a doubt an extremely challenging time for both the US and world economy. There are no easy answers. China's economy was built on manufacturing and selling products primarily to the United States, but also the rest of the world. The global slowdown will dramatically impact their economy.
The fact that crude oil has crashed and lost almost half its value in a very short time has helped the consumers shake the real fear that rests in their subconscious psyche. Will lower gas prices jump-start the economy if consumers see more disposable income in their pockets? Even if lower gas prices come to fruition, will consumers commit to spending the extra money?
If we see the recent lows in the equity markets taken out, we could see another huge capitulation to new lows. If that occurs, both professional and amateur investors alike will be scrambling for the exits at the same time.
So what's an investor to do? I have blogged in previous posts that these are not markets you can buy and hold forever. Unfortunately those days are long gone. The classic fall-back line for all stockbrokers is, "if it doesn't go your way, it will work itself out in the long-term." Did General Motors (NYSE_GM) work itself out over the long-term? NO. Has GE (NYSE_GE) worked itself out over the long term? NO. This can be said for thousands of other stocks that have not gone up "in the long-term." So remember when your broker tells you to, "hold it for the long-term...it'll come back," you might want to cut your losses early.
The key thing to trading and investing is knowing what the markets are doing at all times. Right now the market remains negative. Why would anyone go into defensive stocks just to be in the market? If the trend is down in a so-called defensive stock, why would you want to hold on to that stock? It just doesn't make much sense in my book.
I believe we are going into a prolonged, protracted time when stocks don't do much of anything. People are fearful right now. Over the years we've lived the good life here in the United States. Credit was easy, people thought the money carousel would go on forever. Well, guess what? The world has been playing musical chairs and when the music stopped (read that as the credit) there are no chairs to sit on. We are left standing, not sure what to do next.
I am normally an very optimistic person, but at the moment, I feel an economic chill settling over the world for quite some time.
Having said all of this, the perception of the marketplace can change at anytime. When that does, you need to change with it. You can no longer be passive in these types of markets. The individuals who do remain passive and hold for the "long-term" are now way behind the eight ball. Unfortunately, many may never recover.
Mark my words, there will be some fantastic opportunities in the weeks, months and years ahead. But, those opportunities will only go to the well-prepared, disciplined individuals traders who believe in what they're doing in the market. That's the only way successful investors will succeed in my humble opinion.
Looking back on Roosevelt's speech in 1933, 4 years after the infamous crash of '29, he was referring to the economic conditions of the time -- better known as The Great Depression. In essence he was saying that if we can't shake our pessimistic economic outlook, it will be tough to turn things around.
The question is... are things different this time?
The answer is yes and no. People are still fearful of what the future holds and they have very little confidence in the economy. The big difference between the crash of '08 and the crash of '29 is that we now have India and China on the world stage. Back in '29, both of these countries were not on the radar. In fact India was under British Rule.
Both India and China's economies will suffer with the turn down here in the US. They are now going to have to generate their own domestic consumption patterns for the goods and services they formerly sold to the US. This is going to be hard to do as so much of their economy is based on exports which are evaporating quickly.
The fact of the matter is that the markets are extraordinarily turbulent. We do not expect, even with the worldwide bailout, for things will be rosy again anytime soon. However, that does not rule out some extraordinary trading opportunities in the markets. This is a time for rational thinking. It is also a time to eliminate fear from trading.
There is no need for fear in one's trading plan if you're running with a diversified program that has proven to be successful over time. What I mean by over time is not just the last six months, or six years, but over a long period of time I mean as much as 30 years.
When you have a program that puts the odds on your side, you can trade with confidence knowing that you're going to lose some small skirmishes in the market, but overall you will make money based on your own trading decisions.
I've put together a short 12 minute video to show you how we have fared in three different markets using this technology.
For a small percentage of you, this video will be an eye-opening experience. For another percentage of you, you are already fearless MarketClub members. There will also be some of you that are successful traders using your own system, and there is probably no need to watch this video.
Trading should be an unemotional experience. If you are trading for the excitement, odds are you're going to lose. If you are trading just to say that you trade, you're probably going to lose. If your trade for any other reason than to make money, you're probably going to lose.
The possibility of successfully trading any market is out there. This video will show you how our unemotional, time tested approach to the stock, future, forex, etf, and mutual fund market will put the odds in your favor that you are on the right side of these extraordinary trading times.
"The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today."
Franklin D. Roosevelt