In fact, he believes there is at least a 50% chance of a “melt-up” over the next six months to two years and, if this happens, there is a further 90% chance stock markets could have at least half of their value wiped out.
‘Fomo’ driving markets
I can see the rationale behind his thoughts. There is an abundance of research available which suggests that, as investors fixate on bullish narratives late in the cycle, such as the current solid global GDP numbers and the impending US corporate tax cut, they experience a feeling of Fomo or ‘fear of missing out’.
That’s to say, they carry on buying into already-expensive equity markets and, while this may appear logical at the time, is nothing more than the result of herd mentality. It only takes a quick online search to see that long-term investors – even those who are nervous on today’s toppy valuations – believe everything will be fine so long as good stocks are bought and held onto.
However, this reasoning ignores today’s pricing and whether it presents itself as an attractive opportunity or not. We are worried that today’s investors are overlooking valuations in favour of the late-cycle bullish narrative and are ignoring the fact they are less likely to make money when they buy into expensive assets.
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