The Secret To Fun And Easy Stock Market Riches
On Tuesday, at the precise moment Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell commenced delivering his semiannual monetary policy report to the House Financial Services Committee, something unpleasant happened. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) didn’t go up. Rather, it went down.
Were the DJIA operating within the framework of a free capital market it would be normal for the index to go both up and down. But remember, the U.S. stock market is hardly a free market. Not when it’s under the influence of extreme Fed intervention.
When the Fed speaks, the DJIA should go up. At least, that’s the opinion of President Trump. And as Powell spoke, the Real Donald Trump took to Twitter, and delivered his play-by-play assessment:
“When Jerome Powell started his testimony today, the Dow was up 125, & heading higher. As he spoke it drifted steadily downward, as usual, and is now at -15 […]”
President Trump, no doubt, was falling for the post hoc fallacy by linking correlation with causation. Was this intentional? Was this ignorance? You can decide.
Regardless, the Fed’s culpable in its own right for creating the condition where the stock market only goes up. Still, the Fed’s influence is not without limits. Certainly, the stock market will one day slip through its grip. But when?
Cheap and Yummy
The DJIA has gone up and to the right for nearly 11 years. During this time there have been several moderate corrections. Yet nothing to set off a serious panic.
After this extended bull market run, many investors have swallowed the belief – hook, line, and sinker – that the Fed has erected safety bumpers along the stock market’s path. That, somehow, the Fed has fabricated a market free of risk. That Fed Chair Powell, or his successor, will always save the day with more liquidity.
Thus, bad news is good news. A slowing economy, rising unemployment rate, earnings recession, trade war, global pandemic, drone strikes, presidential impeachment trial, melting glaciers…you name it. The worse the news is, the better.
Because bad news means more Fed liquidity. And more Fed liquidity means higher stock prices. And higher stock prices means the nirvana of inflated stock portfolios. And the nirvana of inflated stock portfolios means an enlightened and purpose driven life. And an enlightened and purpose driven life means he who dies with the most toys wins.
What to make of it?
Years ago a friend of ours had grand plans of opening a restaurant called, Cheap and Yummy. His firm belief was that it would be a no fail proposition, so long as he could deliver on the big promise of cheap and yummy food. Who doesn’t want yummy food on the cheap?
Of course, the restaurant never advanced from being just an idea. And, quite frankly, the idea was a joke. No tangible steps were ever taken to bring it to fruition, as far as we know.
Here’s the point…
The Secret to Fun and Easy Stock Market Riches
After 40 years of increasing liquidity blasts into credit markets, the Fed has promised investors a much larger – and much more dangerous – joke of an idea: That investing in stocks is fun and easy.