Assuming You’re Inexplicably Inclined To Waste Time Picking Stocks, Here Are Some Ideas From Goldman

Now, we have seen a total reversal with people having a hard time even imagining how the market could decline. We must admit the speed and relentlessness of the move is a bit troubling.

That’s from a Morgan Stanley note out last Monday and it underscores the extent to which the psychology around equities has morphed into an all out FOMO-fest of fanaticism.

Things were briefly – and I do mean briefly – derailed on Wednesday when news that China is considering “halting” purchases of U.S. debt combined with the BoJ paring back purchases of 10-25Y JGBs to raise the specter of a “tantrum” episode. 10Y yields had risen to 9-month highs the day before and the calls for a bond bear market (and a “men” bear market) were coming in hot and heavy. The China story was fuel on the fire and suddenly, everyone began to question whether we could depend on stocks to diversify if bonds sold off hard enough and fast enough.

Everyone got over that really quickly after remembering that stocks don’t go down anymore so it makes no sense not to buy them. There will always be a greater fool willing to buy them higher, but because stocks never go down, that greater “fool” isn’t really a “fool” is he/she? No, he/she is actually a genius, just less of a genius than you are. There are no “fools” when stocks only go up. Only lesser geniuses. As far as whether you and the rest of these “geniuses” are any semblance of “stable”, well you’ll have to ask the President who knows a thing or three about stocks, stability, and genius.

But let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that you’re interested in wasting your time trying to pick stocks or otherwise find some alpha. Why you would do that is completely beyond me because when benchmarks are rising 30% every year and you can replicate those benchmarks for 10bps, it seems like you’d be a (greater) fool to waste time picking stocks when you could be golfing or doing whatever it is you prefer to do during your version of “Executive Time.”

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Disclosure: none of what I write here is to be construed as advice to buy or sell any kind of asset. It is merely my personal and not my professional opinion. Any asset can go to zero.

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