Monday, November 25, 2013

Have a Healthy Thanksgiving...

Dang! I'm running out of market stuff to write about. I've already told you that valuations, while no longer cheap in my view, look okay (some sectors more okay than others). That there's enough bearishness out there to probably support the market's upward momentum (at least for the moment). That the notion that a knockout punch will ultimately come from the Fed tapering QE has become too anticipated to come true: As S&P's Sam Stovall puts it "A boxer is rarely felled by the punch he expects." So I guess today's message is simply about you relaxing and enjoying the season. The market looks to bring you holiday cheer and a happy ringing in of the new year.

Relieved? Since you were thinking the Dow's been floating in some pretty thin air up there at 16,000. That the walls of that balloon have---sooner or later---got to give way to the pressure at that altitude. And of course the last thing you want to see is a big market correction hitting your monthly statement this time of year. You like the market calm. Is that a fair assessment?

Well, shoot, if you can indeed relate to the above you're either not reading, or not believing, my stuff. You see, my friend, there is no such thing as a calm market. In fact I would argue that when the action is light, the uncertainty is palpable. If the players all believed that the market will ride the currents higher into 2014---with little turbulence---believe me, the Dow wouldn't have risen 7.77 points today, it'd be up 777. Conversely, if the players were certain there's a coming shoe to drop that would drop the bottom out of the market, well, the bottom would be dropping as I type. Clearly, at this juncture, there is little conviction one way or the other.

But that's not at all my concern. My concern is that you can relate to paragraph two. That maybe your holiday season could be less cheerful amid a falling stock market. That while you probably get, intellectually, that corrections---and bear markets---are essential to the long-term success of your portfolio, it's a different story emotionally. But that (your emotional ties to the market) is simply not healthy, at so many levels. Seriously, we in no way want the market rising in perpetuity. Why? Because that is pure fantasy. All things are cyclical: Imagine the Earth without rain---that would be the market without corrections. And, more importantly, the chemicals released by negative emotions don't mix well with cranberry sauce and turkey gravy in the tummy.

So, please, forget about the market---and go have yourself a happy and emotionally-healthy Thanksgiving!

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