By Nigam Arora
As the coronavirus spreads, some investors seem to be in the mode of buying the dip in stock prices.
Buying the dip has worked over the past decade. The reason has been that money printing by the Federal Reserve and other central banks has kept interest rates low. Also, investors have been brainwashed. (More on that later.)
Investors are suffering from recency bias. Please see “This 25-year stock market chart shows investors are under a spell of bullishness.”
Why not just buy the dip? Is there even any point to analysis because the prevailing wisdom is that the stock market always goes up and pullbacks are brief? What if you have not drunk the Kool-Aid?
Prudent investors ought to pay careful attention to four charts.
Please click here for a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Please click here for a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from the early 1900s to the mid-1900s.
For the sake of transparency, these charts have been previously published and no changes have been made.
Note the following:
• The first chart shows the raging bull market since March 2009, when The Arora Report gave a major buy signal after being in cash, inverse ETFs and short positions since 2007.
• The first chart shows three support zones that deserve investors’ attention. For more on these support zones, please see “Buffett is bullish on stocks but says the market can drop 50% — is he wrong?” and “This is the No. 1 mistake investors are making now — here’s how to avoid it.”
• During this period of the bull market, the market leaders have been large-cap tech stocks, such as Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/lastsale AAPL -1.44% and Microsoft /zigman2/quotes/207732364/lastsale MSFT -0.92% .
• During the present bull market, semiconductors have often been early indicators. Semiconductor stocks such as AMD /zigman2/quotes/208144392/lastsale AMD -4.27% and Micron Technology /zigman2/quotes/205710729/lastsale MU +0.32% , which have been leading the rally, are now being crushed.
• The second and third charts show that there have been periods in the U.S. stock market when, depending on your starting point, passive investing would not have done well.
• Leaders of the past bull markets have not been the leaders of this bull market.
• Contrary to investors’ deep belief in stocks such as Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/lastsale FB -2.53% and Salesforce /zigman2/quotes/200515854/lastsale CRM -0.0074% , these stocks may not be the market leaders in the next bull market.
• The fourth chart shows that if you were passively investing in Japan over 25 years ago, you would still be underwater.
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