Fear is easy to sell. As humans, our core instinct is to avoid pain and survive.
Recently, famed Elliott Wave pundit Robert Prechter has been beating the drum for Dow 1,000. Given all the fear of Big Government and crony corporations, Prechter has some serious passions to exploit. Or, is he simply offering objective financial projections? Or worse, is he certifiably insane?
On Yahoo TechTicker we briefly addressed Prechter’s apocalyptic call. However, I must add I think the US and other sovereign governments will use any means necessary to prop up markets long before asset deflation unleashes chaos not seen in generations.
There is always the statistical probability our economy will degenerate into the Dark Ages. But there exists plenty of economic activity to at least ward off a massive unwinding of all global debt. Moreover, the US has seen these debt levels before and we emerged without sharing crumbs for lunch.
Prechter’s main comparable is from almost 300 years ago:
For a rough parallel, he said, go all the way back to England and the collapse of the South Sea Bubble in 1720, a crash that deterred people “from buying stocks for 100 years,” he said. This time, he said, “If I’m right, it will be such a shock that people will be telling their grandkids many years from now, ‘Don’t touch stocks.’ ”
Call me crazy, but modern civilization hardly resembles anything from 300 years ago. And when you look at another comparable — performance of the S&P 500 — Prechter’s model doesn’t have much to add:
Since 1980, the advice in his investing newsletters, when converted into a portfolio, has slightly underperformed the overall stock market but has been much less risky, losing money in only one calendar year, according to calculations by The Hulbert Financial Digest. Mr. Prechter said he disagreed with the methodology used in these measurements, but offered none of his own.
I have no bone to pick with Prechter. In fact, I quite enjoy Fibonacci analysis. But I do think it’s fair to ask some basic questions about his model and engage in a healthy debate about its efficacy.
Disclosure: No positions