Friends of Burkenroad Reports,
As you probably know, this month’s 24th Annual Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference has been cancelled due to the coronavirus. While we can’t be together, we’ve posted a little slice of the Burkenroad Conference online, including a portion of a webinar I did recently for the university as well as the students’ research reports. Sorry I can’t bring you Jazz Fest as well.
I have been teaching the class online, and it is going pretty well. However, I miss seeing our students and colleagues. Oh, and I very much miss baseball too. But the program itself continues to roll, and the students are producing more comprehensive research than ever. Their tenaciousness this semester leaves me in awe. I must give a special shout out to Marie Daigle, Anthony Wood and Dee Fuchs for making several smart adjustments to the way we work and, frankly, keeping our oars in the water.
In my 40 years of investing, I’ve never seen stock prices and business conditions decline so much, so fast. Our student analysts and the companies they follow are currently operating with very limited visibility. Many of the top market minds feel that we are in for a severe, but relatively short-lived, recession. I hope they’re correct.
It’s important to know that the stock market tends to move (both up and down) before an actual change in the economy. In the last recession, stocks began their 11-year bull market in the spring of 2009 while the economy didn’t pull out of its doldrums for another several months.
An alum recently reminded me of the wisdom of Bob Farrell. Bob was the chief market strategist at Merrill Lynch for decades. His 10 Rules to Remember were pushed-pinned to the wall next to my desk when I was with the investment firm of Kidder Peabody & Co. in Boston back in the early 1980’s.
They still represent sage, long-term advice to me now.
- Markets tend to return to the mean over time.
- Excesses in one direction will lead to an opposite excess in the other direction
- There are no new eras – excesses are never permanent
- Exponential rapidly rising or falling markets usually go further than you think,
- but they do not correct by going sideways
- The public buys the most at the top and the least at the bottom
- Fear and greed are stronger than long-term resolve
- Markets are strongest when they are broad and weakest when they narrow to a handful of blue-chip names.
- Bear markets have three stages – sharp down, reflexive rebound and a drawn-out fundamental downtrend
- When all the experts and forecasts agree – something else is going to happen
- Bull markets are more fun than bear markets.
Stay safe. We all need to abide by the social distancing rules. These represent our only hope of bringing us back to some kind of new normal. We all want to come out of this stronger, heathier, kinder and wiser when we reach the other side of this world-changing event.
All the best,
Senior Professor of Practice
Founder and Director
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. - Ray Charles