March Stock Market Update: Slowing Growth, Macro Overview

Mar. 12, 2019 8:10 AM ETGLD, MJ, NFLX, QQQ, SLV, SNAP, SPY, TSLA, VPU, XLP, XSW24 Comments


  • Determining how aggressive or defensive to be in a gradual way is less stressful than making binary all-in or all-out investment decisions.
  • Some recession indicators are flashing yellow, but not yet red.
  • The power of dollar-cost averaging is tremendous, and makes investing a lot simpler than some folks make it out to be.
  • Stock valuations remain high by many metrics and investors are clearly still willing to take bullish risks.

This is an excerpt from my March newsletter issue from my website. Every 6 weeks I send out an update like this to give a high-level view of how I see things going on in various markets.

March 2019 Newsletter OverviewAggressive Vs. Defensive Positioning

I like to do an update on recession indicators every few months to see where we stand in the market cycle.

My goal is not to try to time the market precisely. However, knowing where we stand in the cycle can help inform us on how aggressive or defensive we should be. Highly-valued stocks late in the business cycle historically give worse returns than cheap stocks earlier in the business cycle.

Aggressive can mean holding more stocks or riskier stocks, while defensive can mean having less stock exposure or insisting on investing in higher quality businesses.

Right now from everything I've seen, I'd characterize recession indicators as beginning to flash yellow, meaning that things are starting to look the way they often look about a year or two before a recession, historically speaking. They're still not yet flashing red, which would imply that a recession is imminent.

A mistake that I think a lot of investors make is that they tend to think in a binary way and go "all-in" or "all-out" on an idea.

If they are enthusiastic, they put way too much money into something, like cryptocurrencies or cannabis stocks which have both been hot over the past couple years. If you find yourself very excited about any particular area, it's probably the case that a lot of other people are excited about it too and you should seriously question what valuation multiples you're willing to pay and how much of your portfolio you're willing to put in. Sometimes less is more.

Alternatively, if they fear a

This article was written by

Lyn Alden Schwartzer profile picture
Author of Stock Waves
High-probability investing where fundamentals and technicals align!
With a background that blends engineering and finance, I cover value investing with a global macro overlay. My focus is on long-term fundamental investing, primarily in equities but also in precious metals and other asset classes when appropriate.


My work can be found at,, and within the Seeking Alpha marketplace where I work with the Stock Waves team to blend their technical analysis with my fundamental analysis for high-probability long-term setups.

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.

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