Continued from (Part I) & (Part II).
For a moment there – yeah, go on, admit it – you really did think I’d lost my mind & mutated into some kind of wild-eyed snorting pawing charging bull!? One who’d sold off his entire portfolio, plus the family silver, and blown his entire wad on a titillating smorgasbord of the past year’s hottest large cap stocks & sectors instead?
But only for a moment, I hope, mes frères?!
OK, I may be a charging (?) bull – yup, my negligible cash holdings don’t lie… And I may well believe the market ultimately loses touch with the real world (& enters the floating world). But c’mon, did you really conclude I’d lost touch with reality?
Er, no… Or should I say, hopefully not..?
Obviously, having some kind of (global) macro investment thesis is essential for all investors. Well, it should be obvious – someone who foolishly pontificates it’s all (& only) about the micro (i.e. stock picking) could be, for example, missing out on a potentially lethal big picture. But an investor who focuses exclusively on the macro is being just as foolish. Because, of course, the micro’s where you’re likely to find the best long term multi-bagger opportunities. Don’t even fight it, macro & micro are both equally important…
[OK, I’ve gotta confess, that’s pretty much a bald-faced lie – any number of studies prove asset allocation (i.e. macro) is the dominant contributor to portfolio returns. But I’ll save you from reading ’em – instead, just ask yourself whether stock picking saved your ass in the last bear market?! Er… But hey, what can you do, at least stock picking keeps me off the mean streets! ;-) ]
And the stronger your investment thesis, the greater the discipline, the conviction, and the ultimate success of your investment portfolio & returns. But an investment thesis, whether it’s macro or micro, is not a winning lottery ticket you simply collect on, it’s not a belief or principle you defend to the death, and it’s certainly not some map that’s etched in stone. It’s about making your own luck, where preparation meets opportunity…so never grow too attached to a pet thesis. Instead, consider it an evolving premise that needs to be constantly challenged & updated. Far better to aggressively ask yourself (& the world) each day why your premise might actually be wrong – rather than devoting all your efforts to constructing some tottering edifice of proof to memorialise what might be, in the end, a long-dead thesis.
I’ve been developing this market bubble thesis for a couple of years now. To date, it stands up well to scrutiny & keeps getting stronger…but I’m also very aware it’s a thesis which will continue to evolve & be tested. And I certainly don’t think we’re anywhere close to bubble territory yet – leaving aside some obvious exceptions, investors aren’t exhibiting any of the usual symptoms: Yes, I’m sure you know ’em…a twisted market/valuation logic, a blatant disregard for risk/leverage, and/or a messianic over-confidence in future growth & returns.