Better Tiger Woods than your portfolio; after all, investors are
still licking their wounds from the market meltdown. However, more and more I think the ones feeling battered and bruised are those investors that have missed the rebound. There is no doubt that everyone was deathly afraid earlier this year but the more the market moves up from here the more it feels like an opportunity of a lifetime has been squandered. Sure, those that dove into gold can take some comfort, but even they mushave stocks they've watched climb off the canvass. This isn't like the old tech stock rally where obscure names made unfathomable moves only to deflate later. Real companies that we all know have made triple-digit percentage rallies.
The pressure is on, and while there isn't the white hot glare of the media there is intense internal pressure. There is still a lot of money on the sidelines mostly gathering dust. I realize that in addition to grappling with opportunities lost many are wondering if it's not too late to jump in now. I don't think that it's too late, but would come into the market clear-eyed and with a game plan. Typically, when people miss big stock market moves they try to load up and make it up on a single idea that often is higher-than-average risk. It reminds me of the time I went golfing. For a couple of months I developed a routine of getting up early, grabbing a few clubs, and getting on my bike to ride to the driving range. It was pretty good exercise and I actually started getting good. I was whacking the ball to the back fence. I was pumped! When my golfing buddies invited me along I was licking my chops. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was peaking, the grass was freshly cut, and the air was clean.
Then I took my first swing. Yikes! The ball might have gone 20 feet. All of a sudden it became dark, the grass felt spongy and the air was filled with four-letter words. I was psyched out from the start. I was watching all these little dudes hit the ball far and I wanted to best them so I was swinging with all my might...and missing. It wasn't until we got to the turn and I was completely exhausted that I started hitting bombs. The amazing thing is that I could barely hold the club and when I struck it on the 10th hole I almost fainted as I had the longest, and straightest, tee shot on that hole. I did okay coming in although club selection was tough as I was now hitting it too long. I learned much that day about golf, patience, and how to play the game smartly. I'm not sure where this rally is with respect to where it ultimately goes but it's not too late to get into the game. That said, you must swing calmly, and play this game smartly.
There was a fantastic response to the poll yesterday. Thank you to everyone that took the time to vote, especially the great emails sent directly to me. The voting continues, you can send me your thoughts or vote on the website (wstreet.com). Here's the tally thus far on the question of who has lost the most credibility:
- Doug Elmendorf and the CBO: 53%
- Tiger Woods: 27%
- Dubai: 23%
There were also write-ins: President Obama, climate change scientists, and a vote for most credibility for Ron Paul.
Here are some of the comments (others are posted on our website under "Voice of the People").
- Tiger should "man up."
- Elmendorf who?
- The CBO and Elmendorf lost the most because St. Peter is not a journalist.
- I think it's a three way tie!
Keep the voting and comments coming!
I get a lot of interesting stuff sent to me, including books, articles, and proposals. My friend Hal McIntyre, Managing Partner of The Summit Group, sent me a copy of a jobs creation package he's trying to get traction on in Washington, DC. He sent it to all the members of the Jobs Now! Program, but so far none have contacted him. I think that the ideas are spot on, some I agree with more than others but the point is they are concrete. The proposal includes job initiatives along with the benefits and issues for each. For example:
The complete presentation is on www.wstreet.com under the featured article box "Main Street meets Wall Street."
Late yesterday the Fed's Beige Book was released to a muted response. The report was mostly the same old stuff but held up enough hope that the economy on the right track.
- "Mixed results"
- "Little change"
- "Weak, but"
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Hey everyone, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is going to pay back the government and crawl out from under the thumb of the Pay Czar and the government will spin it as a great "investment" for taxpayers. Please reject that notion. It was a terrible deal for taxpayers, who are also potential homebuyers that can't get loans and business owners that can't get loans. I'm glad this is one less entity under the control of that stupid Czar, and the stock edged higher on the news even though there will be a fair amount of dilution. The trillions of dollars put at risk to save these banks should never happen again, so never buy into the pitch this was good for taxpayers or Americans.
Initial Jobless Claims
With the monthly employment data out tomorrow, this morning's initial jobless claims data holds a little more juice. For the fifth straight week, newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits fell to 457,000, below the Street's expectation of a 485,000 decline. The four-week average of claims, which smoothes out fluctuations, dropped for the 13th straight week to 481,250, about 180,000 below the peak for this recession reached this spring. Many economists say that claims need to fall to about 425,000 for at least a month to signal that employers are adding jobs. The nation's economy has lost jobs for 22 straight months.
Surveys Hide the Entire Story; December Must be Good to Justify 4Q Estimates
By: Brian Sozzi, Research Analyst
November same-store sales, by and large, missed consensus estimates dramatically. For the month, our Wall Street Strategies comp tracker has specialty apparel retailers recording a 4.7% decline on top of a 9.6% decline a year ago. The result, as we mentioned in our early note today, reflects improved traffic on average but lower transaction values (targeted promotions, tough comparisons, sluggish sales of cold weather related apparel), and temporarily halts the month to month improvement we had bore witness to since August. Please visit wstreet.com to read remainder of article.