preparing for a crash

Hedge Funds Are Failing: Regime Change

    A webinar by a prominent hedge-like mutual fund offered no good reason for their underperformance. I suspect they incorrectly assumed they were diversified, but they failed to realize that during a bubble, most assets have their correlation rise to be nearly fully correlated. The only quality diversification tools (especially during bubbles) are low duration Investment Grade bonds, or buying puts, etc. and thus they weren’t as diversified as they thought. They say their losses are in middle of the pack of peer group competitors but since they greatly underperformed a short term bond index (like the bond ETF AGG which lost 1.31% in 12 months, versus the 9.85% loss of a hedge-like fund in 12 months thru 9-30-2018) and

2018-10-19T17:29:14+00:00October 19th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Hedge Funds Are Failing: Regime Change

Bond Ratings Wrong Again

   Investment Grade bond prices haven’t been doing very well in the first half of the year. One reason is because rates went up, lowering the value of bonds. Another reason is that the Investment Grade (IG) sector is now 50% in BBB rated, the lowest rating for IG and thus only a tiny step above falling into junk category during a recession. The ratings agencies, once again, are not doing the right thing in rating bonds. The problem is that corporate bonds rated BBB may have a true value of one notch lower (the truth to be exposed during the coming recession). The bond market experts sense this and have begun to sell off this niche, making the price

2018-07-03T15:18:23+00:00July 3rd, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Bond Ratings Wrong Again

Yield Curve Inversion Coming Soon

    Increasingly more articles have been written by various people saying that the bond market’s yield curve (where yields are placed on a chart in a curved pattern) is the best predictor of recessions when it inverts and that it is getting close to inverting. It may be as little as a 0.50% rate increase could tip it over into an inversion where short term rates are higher than long term rates. The difference (spread) between the 2 year and 10 year Treasury Note is 0.44%.     The next Fed meeting is May 1 – 2, followed by June 12 – 13. So Wednesday, June 13 the yield curve could be inverted, tipping over the economy into recession, assuming they

2018-04-17T16:08:25+00:00April 17th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Yield Curve Inversion Coming Soon

Dow Has Worst Point Loss Ever

   Today’s stock crash made the Dow drop 1,175 points today. The Dow is almost down 10% intraday (8.6% at the close) from the high point of a week ago. The VIX volatility gauge closed at 38, it was at 12 last week, and in early January was as low as 9.2. The fact that VIX went up 3x in a few days is impressive. I believe in fundamental analysis. Based on fundamentals like PE10, Price to Sales, Price to GDP, stocks are roughly worth about half of their recent highs of last week. I expect to see the SP index trade at 1,400. It can drop an extra 20% due to a panic, so it could briefly hit 1,100

2018-02-05T15:30:42+00:00February 5th, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Dow Has Worst Point Loss Ever

Tech Meltdown: Will It Be The Needle That Bursts The Stock Market Bubble?

    Today’s news of the Meltdown and Spectre flaws in computer hardware and software are a stunning defeat for the tech industry in a way that reminds me of the Lehman crisis of 2008 that started the crash of 2008.   It may be that chip makers will need to rush production of millions of new chips, and then device manufacturers will have to retrofit devices, possibly creating a year-long backlog. If prominent tech companies (the FANGs companies) are the vanguard of the current stock boom then if they suffer a sharp drop in profits on top of a high PE ratio perhaps that will trigger a much needed stock market correction. The top 50 companies, (mostly tech or pharma),

2018-01-03T23:22:55+00:00January 3rd, 2018|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Tech Meltdown: Will It Be The Needle That Bursts The Stock Market Bubble?

Are Modern Stock Markets Safe Enough To Justify High Prices?

   The Great Depression was worse than the crash of 1981 or 2008 because there were no stabilizing institutions or programs like Social Security, welfare, FDIC, SEC, TARP, QE, etc. so the all-in impact meant that people in distress were in deeper trouble compared to victims of modern day crashes. However, there was one bright, risk reducing spot in the 1930’s: dividends were very high, around 6%. The big yields acted to lower duration of stocks and thus reduce risk. Also in those days people were used to the idea they had to be responsible and take care of themselves. So prudent investors would have parked cash in the least risky banks and in Treasuries before the crash; prudent people

2017-04-03T14:27:34+00:00April 3rd, 2017|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Are Modern Stock Markets Safe Enough To Justify High Prices?

Stocks Hit New High: Does That Mean Time To Buy Them?

Stocks continue to rise. The SP index reached 2,337. The ten year Treasury yield is 2.47%. As stocks rise to excessive heights that induces some bond investors to sell bonds and buy stocks. This makes bond prices go down and stock prices go up. However, since stocks are very high priced, it is wrong to chase after a bubble and buy stocks. Instead, people should avoid the bubble in stocks and seek refuge in short term duration bonds, preferably in investment grade quality bonds. The current rally reminds me of the feverish pace of the stock bubble of 1998-2000 when it kept going higher even as a growing number of experts were forecasting a crash. The experts looked bad because

2017-02-14T13:36:23+00:00February 14th, 2017|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Stocks Hit New High: Does That Mean Time To Buy Them?

Rising Tariff Taxes To Start Recession

If consumers have a choice between paying 22% more (because of new tariffs) for imported goods or paying far higher prices for domestic goods then they will continue to use imported goods. If workers in EM counties get $2 an hour versus $22 in the U.S. and labor is half the cost of domestic goods and services then EM labor has an unbeatable advantage over domestic labor, even with a 45% tariff. I doubt the new administration’s attempt to bring back the lost jobs will work. Instead, people will have to put up with higher costs and they will be forced to cut something else out of their budget, thus creating unemployment for the unlucky producer of goods and services

2017-01-12T12:45:28+00:00January 12th, 2017|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Rising Tariff Taxes To Start Recession

Do Active Managers Fail To Beat Indexes?

        Imagine an index of single family rental homes. Suppose half of them were owned by landlords who refused to buy insurance. The profits earned by uninsured landlords would be higher than the average properties’ profits unless they had a fire. The half of the landlords who insisted on being insured would underperform the index, unless a major fire occurred. If you don’t want to or are unable to buy insurance then an alternative is to try to reduce risk which is what many active investment managers do. Reducing risk means buying lower risk companies, which may be seen by the general public as wimpy underperforming stocks. In securities investing managers try to avoid excessively risky stocks and may end

2017-01-10T23:32:51+00:00October 25th, 2016|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Do Active Managers Fail To Beat Indexes?

Federal Reserve Unable To Bailout Investors In The Next Crash

The Federal Reserve is trapped in a situation where they wish they could raise rates just so they could have some ammunition in terms of the future ability to cut rates during next recession. They will need to cut rates 4% (which would result in rates at negative 3.5%) to stimulate but to do so they have to first raise them 3.5%. But that would create a recession and destroy their credibility. During the next crash they might be tempted to think that propping up stock prices by buying stocks would somehow help the economy. To do this they would need to get the law changed. But Republicans  in the House of Representatives tend to be Hard Money types that

2016-10-21T11:20:39+00:00October 21st, 2016|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Federal Reserve Unable To Bailout Investors In The Next Crash