Don’t Fall For It

Published Friday, January 29, 2021 at: 8:27 PM EST

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Like lemmings going over a cliff, small investors bought shares of GameStop and a few other stocks that hedge funds had bet against this past week, causing a short-squeeze that captured financial media attention.

Don’t fall for it.

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The financial fight has been portrayed as a battle of small investors against greedy Wall Street hedge funds, and everyone loves an underdog, but it’s not that simple.

Though the underdog stuck some big hedge funds with losses estimated to total $20 billion, they did it by driving share prices on a handful of out of favor companies to absurd valuations.

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They also allegedly manipulated the market in a conspiracy and the Securities & Exchange Commission will undoubtedly be investigating.  Whoever gets caught holding the bag last could face legal and financial sanctions.

Moreover, once speculators are no longer willing to pay absurdly high prices for shares in these companies and the stocks return to proper valuations, the result is likely to cause a financial calamity for the last one holding the bag.    

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In the world of facts that matter to investors focused on building wealth sensibly, the 4% fourth-quarter 2020 rate of growth in gross domestic product reported yesterday was lower than the 4.3% expected. That was a disappointment. A revised final GDP figure will be released late this month. It could be higher, but that’s not so important in the big picture shown here.

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More important is that the 60 economists surveyed in mid-January by The Wall Street Journal were still forecasting a V-shaped recovery over the seven quarters ahead, shown in the dotted red line. The gray line shows a full recovery to a pre-Covid GDP. 

No double dip recession is expected, despite the slower than expected growth in the latest figures. 

The dotted line shows the forecast for the next 21 months.  

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index closed Friday at 3,714.24, losing -1.93% from Thursday, and down -3.36% from last week. The index is up +49.62% from the March 23rd bear market low. 

 


Nothing contained herein is to be considered a solicitation, research material, an investment recommendation, or advice of any kind, and it is subject to change without notice. It does not take into account your investment objectives, financial or tax situation, or particular needs. Product suitability must be independently determined for each individual investor. Tax advice always depends on your particular personal situation and preferences. The material represents an assessment of financial, economic and tax law at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance, or achievements may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete, and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions. Any investments or strategies referenced herein do not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any specific person. The material represents an assessment of financial, economic and tax law at a specific point in time and is not a guarantee of future results.

This article was written by a veteran financial journalist based on data compiled and analyzed by independent economist, Fritz Meyer. While these are sources we believe to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation.

Indices are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Investments with higher return potential carry greater risk for loss. Past performance is not an indicator of your future results.

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