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Stock Market Corrections Are Beautiful and Necessary

Stock-Markets / Investing 2009 Apr 15, 2009 - 11:45 AM GMT

By: Steve_Selengut

Stock-Markets Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleEvery correction is the same, a normal downturn in one or more of the markets where we invest. There has never been a correction that has not proven to be an investment opportunity. You can be confident that governments around the world are not going to allow another Great Depression "on their watch".


Every correction is different, the result of various economic and/or political circumstances that create the need for adjustments in the financial markets.
While everything is down in price, as it is now, there is actually less to worry about. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.

In this case, an overheated real estate market, an overdose of financial bad judgment, and a damn the torpedoes stock market, propelled by demand for speculative derivative securities and Hedge Funds, finally came unglued.

But it is the reality of corrections that is one of the few certainties of the financial world, one that separates the men from the boys, if you will. If you fixate on your portfolio market value during a correction, you will just give yourself a headache, or worse.

Few of the fundamental qualities that made your IGVSI securities sound investments just two years ago have permanently disappeared. We'll be using credit cards, driving cars and motorcycles, drinking beer, and buying clothes twenty years from now. Very few interest payments have been missed and surprisingly few dividends eliminated.

Only the prices have changed, to preserve the long-term reality of things---and in both of our markets.

Corrections are beautiful things, but having two of them going on at the same time is like a trip to Fantasy Land. Theoretically, even technically I'm told, corrections adjust prices to their actual value or "support levels". In reality, it's much easier than that. Prices go down because of speculator reactions to expectations of news, speculator reactions to actual news, and investor profit taking.

The two "becauses" are more potent than ever because there is more self-directed money than ever. And therein lies the core of correctional beauty. Mutual Fund unit holders rarely take profits but rush to take losses. Additionally, the new breed of unregulated index-fund speculations is capable of producing a constant diet of volatility overload. New investment opportunities are everywhere.

Here's a list of ten things to think about or to do during corrections:

1. Don't beat yourself up by looking at your market value. You don't live in a vacuum and you should expect lower valuations. That is why you should only buy the highest quality securities in the first place and stick with a well-defined asset allocation plan. Look for ways to add to your portfolios.

2. Take a look at the past. There has never been a correction that has not proven to be a buying opportunity, in spite of the media hype that this one is somehow special. When they are broad, long, and deep, the rally that follows is normally broad, long, and steep. Get ready to party.

3. The "Smart Cash" produced by interest and dividends should be placed in new stocks for rapid profitable turnover--- don't be shy when you're looking at 50% discounts from recent highs. Buying too soon, in the right portfolio percentage, is nearly as important to long-term investment success as selling too soon is during rallies.

4. Take a look at the future. Nope, you can't tell when the rally will come or how long it will last. If you are buying quality securities now, as you certainly should be, you will be able to love the rally even more than you did the last time--- as you take yet another round of profits.

5. Buy more quickly in a prolonged correction, but establish new positions incompletely so that you can add to them safely later. There's more to "Shop at the Gap" than meets the eye, and you should remain confidently fully-invested at least until the media starts whispering: "rally".

6. Cash flow is king. Take smaller profits sooner than usual as long as there are abundant buying opportunities. Today, nearly sixty percent of all Investment Grade Value Stocks are down more than 25% from their 52-week highs. As long your cash flow continues unabated, change in market value is just a perceptual issue.

7. Note that your Working Capital is growing, in spite of fallen market prices, and examine your holdings for opportunities to average down and increase your yield on fixed income securities. Examine both fundamentals and price, lean hard on your experience, and don't force the issue.

8. Identify new buying opportunities using a consistent set of rules, be it rally or correction. That way you will always know which of the two you are dealing with in spite of the Wall Street propaganda. Focus on Investment Grade Value Stocks; it's easier, less risky, and better for your peace of mind.

9. Examine your portfolio's performance in terms of market, interest rate, and economic cycles as opposed to calendar time intervals. Apply your asset allocation to your analysis for meaningful-to-you results.

10. So long as everything is down, there is little to worry about long term. Downgraded, or simply lazy, portfolio holdings should not be discarded during general or group specific weakness--- unless you don't have the courage to get rid of them during rallies.

Corrections of all types will vary in depth and duration, and both characteristics are clearly visible only in institutional-grade rear view mirrors. The short and deep ones are most lovable; the long and slow ones are more difficult to deal with.

Most corrections are relatively short and difficult to take advantage of with mutual funds. So if you over-think the environment or over-cook the research, you'll miss the after-party. Unlike many things in life, Stock Market realities need to be dealt with quickly, decisively, and with zero hindsight.

Amid all of the uncertainty, there is one indisputable fact that reads equally well in either market direction: there has never been a correction-rally that has not succumbed to the next rally-correction.

By Steve Selengut
800-245-0494
http://www.sancoservices.com
http://www.investmentmanagemen tbooks.com
Professional Portfolio Management since 1979
Author of: "The Brainwashing of the American Investor: The Book that Wall Street Does Not Want YOU to Read", and "A Millionaire's Secret Investment Strategy"

Disclaimer : Anything presented here is simply the opinion of Steve Selengut and should not be construed as anything else. One of the fascinating things about investing is that there are so many differing approaches, theories, and strategies. We encourage you to do your homework.

Steve Selengut Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Pat
15 Apr 09, 21:10
Stock Market WIll Not Bottom Until 2012

I am sharing with you below a couple of powerful charts from Barclays and Credit Suisse that I have been sending to people since May 2008. Europeans seem to tell a bit more truth than the American banks, probably because our banks have so much to hide.

The next downdraft--I call it Real Estate Crash 2, will start slowly in May 2009 and continue till mid year 2012. Possible the markets will try for a bottom early 2012 in anticipation of the end of the RE collapse.

The subprime mess was caused by 615 billion in loans buried in derivatives--I am guessing about 20-25% of those loans went bad. Many of those people are trying desperately to keep their homes.

The next session will incorporate 1.1 trillion of option and interest only ARMS held by thinly capitalized speculators who got in too late and got trapped in upside down loans. They are screwed. I think over 50% of these loans and their derivatives will go bad--2009-2011 will be very bad years for the housing market, labor, and the consumer. I see gold and the Dow meeting at 4000-5000, Bonds will be crushed.

Note the credit Suisse Chart at the bottom resets drop off starting end of 2008 and then a whole new series of Interest only and Option ARMS readjust starting May 2009 till late 2012. In the 615 billion subprime adjustments that started all of this mess, many people worked hard to try to keep their homes.

The new series of adjustments are weakly capitalized speculator held homes that the speculators are caught upside down in and cannot get out of the contracts. They will be wiped out by the resets increasing the mortgage payments beyond their ability to pay. These failures will do severe damage to what is left of the economy after the Paulson rape of the taxpayer.

The Option ARMs and Interest Only (IOs) loans scheduled to reset in the next few years will add more trouble. These loans represent about 15% of securitized loans and some have negatively amortized, increasing the payments and making refinancing more difficult. According to data from Barclay's, about $300 billion in option ARMs and $820 billion in IO's are set to recast. The results could be payment shocks over 80% for option ARMs and over 60% for IOs according to Barclay's.

Option ARM Recast and Payment Shock Forecast

Putting it all together......the months with the green tops were mostly the subprime arm resets which is about $615 billion till may 2009, which have caused all the problems we now have.

---the orange/pink tops are another whole set of resets just starting in 2009 which is about another $820 billion between 5/2009 and 6/2012. Anyone calling a "bottom" in real estate or the home construction industry just doesn't get it.


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