Blogs & Comment

Trading in the shadow of Armageddon

The current credit crisis has This time its different written all over it. Financial Armageddon hasnt looked as likely in almost a century. But then the fear gauges are screaming BUY STOCKS! So too the example of astute investors.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) hit an all-time high of 58 on Oct. 6 (in the past, a jump into the 30 to 40 range was a reliable buy signal). Mutual fund outflows in September soared far above the previous monthly high (established in the last bear market earlier this decade). And our eras investing demigod, Warren Buffett, is on a buying spree.
Still, I lost my nerve today and dumped the double-long ETFs(e.g. Horizons BetaPro S&P/TSX 60 Bull Plus), at breakeven as the higher open retreatedwithin the first hour of trading. After a taking a break from the market (running some errands etc.), the nerves steadied and I plunged back in near the close of trading with an even larger position (and at discount of about 8%, to boot).
Yesterday, the Financial Times of London ran a piece Markets and cannons. The gist was that while we may not be sure if an unstoppable deflationary bust is unfolding, what is certain is that there will soon be a tremendous rally just as there was during the Great Depression. The 1930s saw nine of the 10 best days for US stocks ever recorded.
And as noted in a previous post to this blog, the two greatest rallies in U.S. stock markets occurred in the midst of the Great Depression . Over the three months to September of 1932, the S&P 500 rocketed upward by 150%. The second rally came after the market had fallen 25%: it gained over 120% during the first half of 1933.
It sure would be nice to see some of that upside action for the double-long ETFs. Maybe the Federal Reserve will soon follow the lead of the Australian central bank and slash discount rates by a large amount.
Lest my friends in the buy-and-hold and passive investing camps shake their heads at this wanton display of market timing and short-term trading, let it be known that the double-long ETF trades are just a part of the explore part of a core-and-explore portfolio.