Yesterday on Bloomberg, Barry Ritholtz posed the question "The Trump news flow is overwhelming. What should we do?
With over a 1.37 billion people, Chinese spent more than half a trillion dollars eating out in 2016. In a recent report, Dianping Meituan, which offers food-ordering and delivery services, estimates the country spent 3.5 trillion yuan ($507 billion) dining out in 2016. This number eclipses the GDP of Sweden ($496 billion), Belgium ($455 billion), Norway ($387 billion) and many other countries.
Another interesting fact from the report is that the country's favorite meal out is hot pot with roughly 22% market share. For those not familiar with hot pot, it consists of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of a dining table. While the pot is kept simmering, it is basically a do it yourself meal as you cook your favorite meats, seafood, veggies, dumpling and noodles. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce.
Last Wednesday, Convergex's Chief Strategist Nick Colas pondered on this question, "What would US stocks do if President Trump resigned?"
At the recent Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting in Omaha, vice chairman Charlie Munger said that he thinks that stock market investors may be able to find better investment opportunities in China. He said, "I do think the Chinese stock market is cheaper than the American stock market. And I do think China has a bright future."
Whenever markets reach new highs, it is inevitable that people begin to ponder if this is a top or even worse, a bubble. This led the WSJ to ask famed investor Jeremy Grantham point blank, "Is the US market in a bubble or is it different this time?" His response is certainly worth a few minutes of your time.
On the Runnymede blog, I have discussed buying fear in 2014 and 2015. The thesis is simple and taken from the great Warren Buffett. His famous rule is "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. While this seems like a simple rule, even Buffett admits that it is easier said than done. Buffett said, "There is no comparison between fear and greed. Fear is instant, pervasive and intense. Greed is slower. Fear hits."
You may have heard media reports about a new fiduciary rule for retirement accounts that the Trump administration is trying to rescind. Understandably, you have questions about how this might impact to your accounts. The rule was designed to ensure recommendations made by financial advisors to their clients regarding their retirement accounts are always made in the best interests of the client without any conflicts of interest. This rule was set to go into effect in April, but that is being delayed by 180 days and may be killed entirely.
For years, Tom Lee has been known as Wall Street's eternal bull. His S&P targets were virtually always the most bullish on the street. When I reviewed what other strategists were predicting this year and Tom Lee hadn't released his numbers, I just assumed he would be the most bullish on the street, again. Perhaps we should check to see if Tom Lee has been abducted by aliens and replaced by a clone because Tom Lee is the most bearish strategist on the street with a S&P target of just 2275.
As we near a close to 2016, it is time to look forward to 2017. We have done this in 2014, 2015, and 2016 so it is becoming a tradition to see which strategists did well and which missed the mark. What do the experts think will happen in 2017 and should we even care?
Perhaps you are familiar with Philip Telock's landmark UC Berkeley study that looked at 82,000 predictions over 25 years by 300 leading economists. It turned out that their so called expert views were no better than random guesses, and worse, the more famous, the less accurate the prediction.
Last year, the strategists predicted a bull market for 2016 and they almost hit the number right on the mark. Their average forecast was for a 7.2% gain in the S&P 500 to 2215. They should get a round of applause as the S&P finished at 2239. Well done. Deutsche Bank's David Bianco gets the highest grade with a forecast of 2250, only missing by 11 points. Barclays' Jonathan Glionna should also be given a trophy as he was within 2% for the past couple of years. Let's look at the numbers.
It wasn't so long ago when people would check stock prices in the newspaper with their morning coffee. You could check your portfolio once a month when your account statement would arrive in the mail.Fast forward to today and thanks to the internet and phone apps, you can check your investments up to the second. However, is having so much data at your fingertips making you a bad investor?
Per a recent Wall Street Journal article, the answer for many people is yes -- for the simple reason that they tend to make investment decisions based on short-term losses in their portfolio, ignoring their long-term investment plan. Behavioral economists call that tendency "myopic loss aversion" and this is an increasing problem in todays always connected world.
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