Does anyone get any benefit from his continual pounding of the same idea? I do not. However on the rare occasion that he actually talks about stock picks, it is always very interesting and useful. The Barron’s article was about 90% sparring match which could be summed up with the following;
Barrons: Wouldn’t such and such make a difference?
Schiff: No it wouldn’t.
Just the last little bit was about stocks and there was no depth to that part of the interview.
Taking a slightly less dramatic approach to this there is precedent for and current evidence of the big boy on the block becoming a little less important a destination and a less rewarding destination. This is something I have been writing about for a while and investing around longer than that. Anyone without decent foreign exposure during this bull market has had a much harder time making this decade work for them.
So we are somewhere in the middle of what I think is a normal bear market–that will either turn out to be right or wrong. While I am not a believer in decoupling in the way most people use the term there are countries that will go down less than the US or turn around sooner than the US and when the bear ends many of those countries will have much larger bull markets than the US has. This is exactly what happened in the last bear/bull cycle that ended last fall. You can check Hussman for the exact figures but the approximate doubling of the S&P 500 in the five years ending October, 2007 is pretty anemic for a bull market.
In that same time however Australia, as measured by iShares Australia (EWA), which I own, was up 250% and Brazil as measured by iShares Brazil (EWZ) was up 1400%. So you need foreign exposure.
Tech had a bubble that it has not recovered from, but it did do better than the S&P 500 in the post bubble bull. If the thing unwound with the banks is a bubble (for now I believe that is the wrong word) then it is possible or even likely that the recovery will deliver subpar returns. If tech and financials do in fact deliver below normal bull market results when the next bull starts then investors will have a problem.
This is where themes or “new” sectors can come into play. I have written about a few of these things like farm land, airports and hydro funds. The thing I always say is that no matter what is going on in the US market our financial plans call for some number and we all have to give ourselves the best shot of getting that number.
The picture is from about 90 minutes before game time at Fenway when a nasty storm blew through. It is taken from the third base line right next to the entrance of the Pavilion restaurant looking through the stairs to the seats.