Contrarian Much? from anonymous

September 10, 2015 |

Time to reflect on the market as we are at the anniversary of the 6 year bull market.

I hardly know anyone who was bullish at S&P 666 in March 2009, then the market tripled. Think back, who was bullish, maybe that person is worth listening to.

Over the past 8 years whenever I speak to a new hedge fund they are short the same stocks, Kone, H&M, Novo, throw in SHB and Autoliv and you have a basket of the highest quality stocks in Scandinavia (and the best performing companies over the past decades). Therein, I believe, lies the value of local research and knowledge.

Even though every fund is said to be 'contrarian' there are always the current fashionable ideas that everyone gravitates to. Currently, in Scandinavia it is short ICA SS (on the thesis that Sweden will be hit with hard discounters like the UK. ICA's margin was hit in Q4 which reinforces the short sellers thesis independently of the reason) and long AKA NO (oil is said to be 'contrarian', couple that with a divestment case and you have powerful story for the analysts to pitch to their PMs).

Crashing commodity prices, currency war, crashing yields (with a big chunk of European debt trading at negative yield), surely this can't be because everything is so rosy in the world, this cant possibly be 'good' news. Couple this valuations close to ATH and I have for the first time in 25 years sold everything (I started investing when I was 12). Everything.

The ones who were bearish during the past 6 years blamed, QE, the Fed. 'My model couldn't possibly predict the government distorting the market like this'. Now the thesis is 'money is free, the only place to invest is the stock market', 'yields will stay at zero forever', 'buy high yielding stocks'. Peter Thiel argues that high dividend stocks are one most bond-like, so aren't that the biggest bubble around. And at the end of the day aren't Peter Thiel smarter than all of us?

Just to keep things honest. Today, I've have started to buy back. Since I usually sell too early and buy too early, I'm looking to scale in over the coming month or so. Even though I sold at around 2070 and we are now 150 points lower (not sure what the futures are exactly right now), it is really painful to see the market go higher when you're out–it is too hard to get back in when you sold, the lesson is of course not to time the market (even though I was successful this time). In my 401k, I have a guaranteed 3% pa return fund, which was not a bad option during the past 6 months.


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