Equity Seasonality Warning


Earlier this month we sent our Purposeful Investing subscribers a warning about Seasonality.

We quoted one of the investment managers we track (Eric Roseman) who wrote: “Beware Worst Months of Seasonal Weakness”.

Though I’m tempted to plug one or two international stocks, I’m going to wait until later next
month or beyond. We’re soon entering the gates of the worst month of the year, statistically
speaking, for the S&P 500 Index. October might be infamous for two major stock-market
crashes in 1929 and 1987, but September is notoriously bad for stocks and other risk assets.

According to Yardeni Research, September has averaged a 1% loss from 1928 to 2017. Other
losing months include February and May, down 0.1% each.

We sent this note because the best period of stock market growth begins again in November 2018.  This means that September and October stock markets may tumble.  This can create losses, but low prices can also offer extra value.

Keppler Asset Management, another investment manager we track,  agrees with seasonality so we like to remind readers that the worst month’s in the stock market can create value opportunity.

A statistical analysis was done some years ago by Michael Keppler. This study shows that most appreciation in most major equity markets, is achieved from the beginning of November through the beginning of May.

Michael wrote: “Gary, We have done extensive research on seasonality and I am proud to announce that a shortened version of a major study which I have coauthored with our Director of Research, Dr. Xing Hong Xue, will be published in the Winter Issue of the Journal of Investing. Our research shows that basically in all major equity markets, nearly all returns are achieved from the beginning of November through the end of May. All the best to you and Merri. Michael

Keppler showed that over 30 years the Dow grew 8.16% overall.

There was 8.36% Growth in the months November through April.
There was 0.37 growth in the months May  to October.
$100 invested in the Dow grew to $848 overall over the 3o years.
$100 invested in the Dow grew to $1,067 if it were invested only in the months of November through April.

$100 invested in the Dow dropped to $79 if it were invested only in the months of May to October.

Historically the best six months for the best chances of equity profits starts in about 60 days.

There is no on-off switch but we should be thinking more about risk aversion and value accumulation, beginning about now,  until November.

Eric Roseman shared one idea that may do well at this time in the Advisory Extra bulletin when he wrote: “Why Low Stock-Market Volatility is Your Ticket to Big Gains”.

After skyrocketing earlier last February, global market volatility has since plunged to its lowest levels in nine months as complacency returns amid a ten-year secular bull market. From a high the first week of February at 37.32, the CBOE Volatility Index has crashed 68% to 12.02.

Throughout 2017, the VIX, a stock-market fear gauge, traded at its lowest levels since its introduction in 1993. Despite a brief spike in the first quarter, volatility remains depressed.

But with U.S. stocks still fetching their second-highest multiples in history, the Fed still hiking interest rates and trade wars escalating, the bull market in corporate earnings might be approaching its zenith – if it hasn’t already. Companies have started to raise prices to compensate for rising input costs. And the tonic of big corporate tax cuts enacted in December is bound to run out gas later this year or in 2019. The odds are therefore high that corporate operating margins are going to decline over the next several months, and that means heightened volatility.

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If you invest in a portfolio of global stocks and other risk-based assets like high-yield bonds, commodities, real estate or foreign currencies, holding an asset that can potentially thrive as volatility increases can cushion your losses. Finding alternative assets that appreciate in a bear market isn’t easy: Only a few such securities in the past have posted gains, including the Japanese yen (our favorite), the Swiss franc, Treasury securities and on occasion, gold.

There are a number of ETFs that claim to do better during periods of volatility such as the iShares Edge MSCI Global Minimum Volatility Global share ETF (ACWV) and the iShares Edge MSCI US Minimum Vol USA ETF (USMV).  My analysis is that these low volatility ETFs don’t protect much and perform poorly long term compared to standard indices such as the Dow, NASDAQ, etc.

Eric suggests a specific equity that may do well during the increased volatility in the August advisory.

Eric wrote: I think investors looking to hedge their risk exposure can add another security to the list of
potential market hedges: High Frequency Trading firms. Following a huge drubbing since
peaking last spring, the leading firm in this space has tanked a cumulative 46%, offering an
exceptional entry point for new investors.

High Frequency Trading companies or HFTs use computers and speedy connections to exchanges to buy and sell shares in fractions of a second. It’s a controversial business due to critics like financial author, Michael Lewis, who accused high-speed traders of exploiting ordinary investors in the 2014 book, ‘Flash Boys.’

Though it’s true that HFTs arbitrage securities to make quick profits, we like the business because it’s incredibly profitable amid high periods of volatility.

Case in point: February 5 to 9, 2018. HFTs in our ENR Safe-Haven Portfolio posted gains of 35% to 55% in just four days of trading that week when world markets plunged. Heavy volume and volatile markets are ideal for trading firms and we own stakes in two of largest companies.

The warning here is volatility may be ahead for the next two months.  Equities that lose less in bear markets or do well during periods of high volatility may be a good addition to portfolios now.

Subscribe to the Purposeful Investing Course to see details of the specific equity recommended now along with a stop loss and trading analysis by Tradestops.com showing good price points for this medium risk equity with a 23.81% volatility quotient.  Details are below.

Gary

The Only 3 Reasons to Invest

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The stock market has always been the best place of places to protect and increase wealth over the long haul.   Yet it’s also been the worst place to lose money, a lot of it, quickly.

There are only three reasons why we should invest.  We invest for income.  We invest to resell our investments for more than we had invested.  We invest to make our world a better place.

The goal of investing should be to stabilize our security, bring feelings of comfort and elimination of stress!

We should not invest for fun, excitement or to get rich quickly. We should not divest in a panic due to market corrections.

This is why my core stock portfolio consists of 19 shares and this position has hardly changed in three years.  During this time we have been steadily accumulating the same 19 shares and have traded only three times.

A model portfolio that dates back to 1969 has dramatically outperformed almost every stock market in the world.

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A hundred US dollars invested in that portfolio in 1969 is now worth $44833 compared to $100 invested in an equity weighted world index being worth $11,548.

This portfolio is built around a strategy that’s taught in my Purposeful Investing Course (Pi).  I call these shares my Pifolio.

This portfolio more or less matched the S&P 500 until May 2018.  Then a stronger US dollar made the portfolio look like it was falling behind.   This currency illusion creates a special opportunity we’ll view in a moment.

This portfolio above is based on stock price to value analysis built around 91 years of stock market data.

The value analysis is used to create a portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover  stock markets that are undervalued.  I have combined my 50 years of investing experience with the study of the mathematical market value analysis of Michael Keppler, CEO of Keppler Asset Management.

In my opinion, Keppler is one of the best market statisticians in the world.  Numerous very large fund managers use his analysis to manage over $2.5 billion of funds.  However because Keppler’s roots are in Germany (though he lives and operates from New York) and most of his funds registered for the European Union, Americans cannot normally access his data.

I was lucky to have crossed paths with Michael about 25 years ago, so I am one of the few Americans who receive this data and you will not find his information readily available in the US.

In a moment you’ll see how to remedy this fact.

The Pifolio analysis begins with Keppler’s research that continually monitors 46 stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  Then Keppler takes market’s history into account.

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Michael Kepler CEO Keppler Asset Management.

Michael’s analysis is rational, mathematical and does not cause worry about short term ups and downs.  Keppler’s strategy is to diversify into an equally weighted portfolio of the MSCI Indices of each good value (BUY) market.

This is an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little time, management and guesswork is required.  You are investing in a diversified portfolio of good value indices.

A BUY rating for an index does NOT imply that any one stock in that country is an attractive investment.  This eliminates the need for hours of research aimed at picking specific shares.  It is not appropriate or enough to instruct a stockbroker to simply select stocks in the BUY rated countries.  Investing in the index is like investing in all the shares in the index.  You save time because all you have to do is invest in the ETF to gain the profit potential of the entire market.

To achieve this goal of diversification the Pifolio consists of Country Index ETFs.

Country Index ETFs are similar to an index mutual fund but are shares normally traded on a major stock exchange that tracks an index of shares in a specific country.  ETFs do not try to beat the index they represent.  The management is passive and tries to emulate the performance of the index.

A country ETF provides diversification into a basket of equities in the country covered.  The expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund as well so such ETFs provide diversification and cost efficiency.

Here is the Pifolio I personally held at the beginning of 2020.   There have been no changes since.

70% is diversified into Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) developed markets: China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom.

30% of the Pifolio is invested in Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) emerging markets: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

iShares Country ETFs make it easy to invest in each of the MSCI indicies of the good value BUY markets.

For example, the iShares MSCI Germany (symbol EWG) is a Country Index ETF  that tracks the investment results of the MSCI Germany Index. The fund is at all times invested at least 80% of its assets in the securities of its underlying index that primarily consists of all the large-and mid-capitalization companies traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

iShares is owned by Black Rock, Inc. the world’s largest asset manager with over $4 trillion in assets under management.

There is an iShares country ETF for every market in our Pifolio.

This year I celebrated my 52nd anniversary of writing about global investing. Our reports and seminars have helped readers have better lives, with less stress yet make fortunes during up and down markets for decades. This information is invaluable to investors large and small because even small amounts can easily be invested in the good value shares we cover in our seminar.

How you can create your own good value strategy.

I would like to send you, on a no risk basis, a 130 page basic training course that teaches the good value strategy I use.   I call this strategy Purposeful Investing (PI).  You learn all the Pi strategies, what they are, how to use them and what each can do for you, your lifestyle and investing.

You get this course when you enroll in our Purposeful Investing program (Pi) with a triple guarantee.

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the 130 page basic training, a 46 stock market value report, access to all the updates I have sent in the past three years, two more reports on investing (described below) and an online Value Investing Seminar right away. 

#1:  I guarantee you’ll learn ideas about investing that are unique and can reduce stress as they help you enhance your profits through slow, worry free, easy diversified investing.

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.

#2:  I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  You can keep the two reports and Value Investing Seminar as my thanks for trying.

You have nothing to lose except the fear.   You gain the ultimate form of financial security as you reduce risk and increase profit potential.

When you subscribe to Pi, you immediately receive a 120 page basic training course that teaches the Pi Strategy.   You learn all the Pi strategies, what they are, how to use them and what each can do for you, your lifestyle and investing.

You also begin receiving regular emailed Pifiolio updates and online access to all the Pifolio updates of the last two years.  Each update examines the current activity in a Pifolio, how it is changing, why and how the changes might help your investing or not.

Included in the basic training is an additional 120 page PDF value analysis of 46 stock markets (23 developed markets and 23 emerging stock markets).  This analysis looks at the price to book, price to earnings, average yield and much more.This year I celebrated my 51st anniversary of writing about global investing.  Our reports and seminars have helped readers have better lives, with less stress yet make fortunes during up and down markets for decades.  This information is invaluable to investors large and small because even small amounts can easily be invested in the good value shares we cover in our seminar.

Stock and currency markets are cyclical.  These cycles create extra profit for value investors who invest when everyone else has the markets wrong.  One special seminar session looks at how to spot value from cycles.  Stocks rise from the cycle of war, productivity and demographics.  Cycles create recurring profits.  Economies and stock markets cycle up and down around every 15 to 20 years as shown in this graph.

The effect of war cycles on the US Stock Market since 1906.

Bull and bear cycles are based on cycles of human interaction, war, technology and productivity.  Economic downturns can create war.

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The chart above shows the war – stock market cycle.  Military struggles (like the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War: WW III) super charge inventiveness that creates new forms of productivity…the steam engine, the internal combustion engine,  production line processes, jet engines, TV, farming techniques, plastics, telephone, computer and lastly during the Cold War, the internet.  The military technology shifts to domestic use.  A boom is created that leads to excess.  Excess leads to correction. Correction creates an economic downturn and again to war.

Save $102 If You Act Now

Subscribe to the first year of The Personal investing Course (Pi).  The annual fee is $299, but to introduce you to this online, course that is based on real time investing, I am knocking $102 off the subscription.

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the basic training, the 46 market value report, access to all the updates of the past two years,  right away. 

#1:  I guarantee you’ll learn ideas about investing that are unique and can reduce stress as they help you enhance your profits through slow, worry free, easy diversified investing.

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.

#2:  I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  You can keep the reports as my thanks for trying.

You have nothing to lose except the fear.   You gain the ultimate form of financial security as you reduce risk and increase profit potential.

Subscribe to Pi now, get the 130 page basic training, the 120 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, plus begin receiving regular Pifolio updates throughout the year.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $197 and receive all the above.

Your subscription will be charged $99 a year from now, but you can cancel at any time.

Gary