Markets are down slightly at the moment and your focus will probably center on one of two headlines today, depending on whether you are a market optimist or pessimist.
Pessimists will probably focus on a Bloomberg story that gives the warning that China might soon halt buying U.S. Treasuries … for if this turned into outright sale … it could have quite an effect on our fixed income market … the dollar … and, eventually, equity securities.
Optimists will not only look at comments from Ralph Acampora, who feels the bull will continue its run, but also legendary investor Bill Miller … who gives the opinion a 30% “market melt-up” might soon be in the cards.
Another big story of the day is a claim that the richest man in the world is now … drumroll … Jeff Bezos … as Amazon continues its expansion into every area of our lives. What happened to Bill Gates you wonder? Bill would certainly have more wealth than Jeff … but he has chosen to give away a substantial amount to those less fortunate than he. Who has more money? Jeff Bezos for sure. But it is only money. By his generous actions alone, Bill Gates might be considered the wealthier man.
Meanwhile I am still feeling the remnants of losing a wallet late last week. I’ve received two “fraud alerts” from credit card companies as I had to use “rarely-used” cards to pay for rides on Lyft and had to stop everything to try to convince them that … yes … a Pennsylvania resident’s card somehow ended up in Las Vegas … and its uses are, in fact, legitimate.
There are two other stories included below … that I find a bit disturbing.
The first (last story below) tells of Generation Xers. … those who should now be preparing for retirement … who might not be able to do so. Why am I concerned? We have just been through 10 years of a pretty remarkable market. At some point there will be a decline. If the shelves have not been stocked during times of plenty, then it might be much more difficult do so during times of lean … this can’t be put off indefinitely or the situation will indeed worsen.
But there is continuing information that shows the U.S. has the highest mortality rate among youth in developed nations.
We can spend much of our focus on stories like “who-said-what-to-whom” and such nonsense… but there are important things going on … so many important things … that … somehow … we have lost track of.
Our children are our future and in many ways we are failing them. And the government is not to blame.
The fault is our own.
Have a great day,
Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Emerald Asset Management
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 337-9230 ext. 6
… as of 11:24 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
Fourth quarter GDP estimates seem to be all over the place ... but one thing that could have helped is the increase in warehouse inventories ... as manufacturers prepared for good times ahead (Reuters)https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-economy-inventories/u-s-wholesale-inventories-rebound-strongly-in-november-idUSKBN1EZ1WS?il=0
I am not a big fan of technical analysis. Sure, I look at it ... but feel fundamental analysis is at the core of discovering stock value. Still, there is something to be said for momentum ... and this market sure has it (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/10/this-bull-market-is-more-powerful-than-the-late-1990s-acampora-says.html
... and even a tried-and-true investor such as Bill Miller feels this bull will continue to run ... in fact, he provides the view that it could pick up speed (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/09/legendary-investor-bill-miller-market-could-be-headed-for-a-melt-up-of-30-percent.html
What could slow things down in the U.S.? A collapse of treasuries (which would hurt some fixed income investors) and Chinese exiting them could be a catalyst (Bloomberg)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-10/china-officials-are-said-to-view-treasuries-as-less-attractive
The U.S., of course, looks to be a world leader in many different areas ... but in terms of rankings for child mortality ... we should ... well ... not be proud of where what we have become (CNN)http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/08/health/child-mortality-rates-by-country-study-intl/index.html
Quick ... who is the richest man in the world? No, it's not Bill Gates ... it is actually Jeff Bezos as his little book seller (Amazon) has grown into quite a behemoth (CNN)http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/09/technology/jeff-bezos-richest/index.html
... but what should be the goal of an investor? To be tremendously rich? What I really think it should be is to be simply comfortable ... but some getting close to retirement are falling woefully short (USAToday)https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/01/10/retirement-crisis-37-gen-x-say-they-wont-able-afford-retire/1016739001/