Goldman Sachs advice scares the beejeebies out of me!

“We think it’s time to say a ‘long good-bye’ to bonds, and embrace the ‘long good buy’ for equities” announces Goldman Sachs!

This sort of pronouncement has the ability to turn someone who’s been a diehard bull since 2010 into a cowering bear.

“Given current valuations, we think it’s time to say a ‘long good-bye’ to bonds, and embrace the ‘long good buy’ for equities as we expect them to embark on an upward trend over the next few years,” Peter Oppenheimer, chief global equity strategist at Goldman Sachs in London, wrote in a report Wednesday.

The prospects for returns in equities versus bonds “are as good as they have been in a generation,” he wrote.

And it’s not because of the gloriously public resignation of one of their own, claiming that the company suffers from ethical turpitude. As I cover in my book A Maverick Investor’s Guidebook, there’s advice and then there’s business…and on occasion they can indeed be mutually exclusive.

The resignation Wednesday by Greg Smith, a 33-year-old banker for Goldman in London, was a shot from within Goldman’s ranks. In an Op-Ed article for the New York Times, Smith said the bank sells financial products “that we are trying to get rid of.”

“It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off,” Smith wrote.

Frankly, over the many years I’ve been a money manager the horror stories concerning ‘culture’ on trading desks abound: Morning meetings that began with ‘how can we make our clients’ money OUR money today?’

What scares me is that when advice is offered so confidently, it usually means the beginning of the end. But as I’ve argued in past rants, most folks aren’t even aware that the stock markets have been making money – mostly since their performance measurement starting point is an emotional one (i.e. from the top of the market) rather than a statistical one (from the point of maximum misery). See my post called Markets Report Card….

Now that the S&P 500 is 24% higher than it was on September 30th, 2011 it’s time to BUY equities??? It’s been time to buy for six months or longer.

I believe the stock market has more legs. Ask any trading professional and he will tell you that despite the rise in the stock market, volumes have been light for many months. There have been more buyers than sellers to be sure and now that institutional and retail investors are warming up to risk when the returns are double-digit (over just a six month period versus a meagre couple of percent for government bonds over years) there’s a chance many more buyers are coming. Goldman might be long stocks, and the advice just might be to encourage investors to buy stocks from them at much higher prices than they paid. If this is true, then just maybe they’ll make the same mistake ALL investors make…and sell too early.

For those who enjoy a good sales pitch, watch this classic.

About Mal Spooner

Malvin Spooner is a veteran money manager, former CEO of award-winning investment fund management boutique he founded. He authored A Maverick Investor's Guidebook which blends his experience touring across the heartland in the United States with valuable investing tips and stories. He has been quoted and published for many years in business journals, newspapers and has been featured on many television programs over his career. An avid motorcycle enthusiast, and known across Canada as a part-time musician performing rock ‘n’ roll for charity, Mal is known for his candour and non-traditional (‘maverick’) thinking when discussing financial markets. His previous book published by Insomniac Press — Resources Rock: How to Invest in the Next Global Boom in Natural Resources which he authored with Pamela Clark — predicted the resources boom back in early 2004.
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1 Response to Goldman Sachs advice scares the beejeebies out of me!

  1. Pingback: Goldman Sachs advice scares the beejeebies out of me! |

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