Editor's Note: Article originally published April 4, 2016.
I call readers everyday looking for fresh market intelligence and new ways to improve my service. Yesterday, I spoke to a seven-year follower who inspired me to write this piece.
She was thinking of quitting the stock market and not renewing my newsletter. A 50-year market veteran who grew up with a QUOTRON in her house, she was getting discouraged not just by the recent market action, but the public discussion in America as a whole.
I've seen this happen to a lot of people this year. The negative advertising is so ferocious that people are literally going insane. They are being driven to the edge of despair.
I said that for a start she had to turn off the TV.
Some $8 billion will be spent on media by political candidates this year who want to convince you how terrible things are so you can vote for them to fix them.
Turn off the TV and all of that suddenly goes away, and the world becomes a better place.
My response to all of this is to only look at numbers and the US instantly becomes a mighty fine place. A 5.0% unemployment rate. Interest rates are near zero. Energy prices at multi-decade lows. Inflation is nowhere to be seen. Did I mention that the stock market is 4% short of an all time high.
Look at the world, and America is the only place you would want to keep your money. Every Chinese and Russian billionaire wants to park their money here as a safe haven. Here they get taxed. At home they get shot.
People are flocking here by the millions to take advantage of our economic opportunities, as they always have done.
Sure, there is an issue with our 2.5% GDP growth rate, a shadow of the 4% rate we saw during the go-go 1990's. I have a couple of theories about that.
This has largely to do with the retirement of 80 million baby boomers. When our senior citizens pass from the economic scene, they stop spending and increase saving, switch from equity to fixed income investment, and downsize their homes.
The drag created on economic growth is at least 1% a year and maybe more, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. This ends in 2022. We are more than half way through the hard decade now. The next decade will be a replay of the roaring twenties, as 85 million millennials become big spenders.
2) Out-of-Date Government Data
I think the GDP figures are inaccurate because they are too heavily focused on antiquated measures of the US economy, understating the true growth rate. Why place such a heavy emphasis on manufacturing, when services, where we dominate, account for 80% of the economy?
Much of online commerce, which is generating much of the new growth, is invisible to the green eyeshades in Washington, including my own business. The stock market sees this growth, which is why shares are up 300% from the 2009 bottom, while GDP has added only 19.41%, rising to $17.41 trillion.
When it comes to your investments, you are better off picking up the remote and changing channels from Fox News to CNBC.
3) Hyper-Accelerating Technology
Remember when a few days ago I predicted that the first day orders for the new Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model 3 would come in at 10,000? I lied. They are over 200,000 and the day still isn't over.
In one day, Tesla has completely blown up a 100-year-old business model, as I expected. It has already happened with music, airlines, cell phones, computers, and yes, even the newsletter business. Tesla is now so far ahead of its German, Japanese, Korean, British, and Chinese competitors that they will never catch up.
Where it is most important, the United States is spectacularly ahead of the rest of the world in virtually every important technology, and that lead is increasing.
I was at a dinner party the other night and one of the guests told me that America was angry. I piped up and said "I'm not angry. In fact things are pretty good for me." Someone else chimed in, "Yes, I'm not angry either."
I discovered the big truth in yesterday's Quote of the Day. "Economists say we're having 2.5% growth. That's a lie. The reality is that we have 5% growth for the top 20% of the economy, and 0% growth for the bottom 80% of the economy," said Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute.
I'm in the top 20%, and life is good. I bet you are too.
The message here is that you have to ignore all the noise and keep your eye on the big picture. If you can't do that you better get out of the market and keep all your money in cash before you lose it.
What all of this means is that the bull market in stocks has at least another three or four years to run.
Not Exactly an Economy in Trouble
The Tesla Model 3
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.