An Honest Stock Market Update

It's sad because it's true.

Aug 12, 2014 at 11:16AM

NEW YORK -- Stocks gained momentum on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 48 points, reversing losses from last week's decline. 

Experts hailed both moves as a "remarkable, textbook example of pure statistical chance," chalking up Monday's gains to a couple random marginal buyers being slightly more motivated than a few random marginal sellers. 

"Imagine you pick 1 million random people from around the world every day," said Toby McDade, chief investment officer of Momentum Fee Capital Management. "Some days, 51% would be in a good mood, 49% in a bad mood. The next day maybe it's the opposite. Other days, random chance could mean 8% of people are really pissed off for no real reason. This is basically what the market is on a day-to-day basis," he said.

Asked what his clients thought of this view, Mr. McDade laughed. "Oh my God, you think I could tell my clients that? How could I justify my salary?" Clients were told Monday's gain was caused by a mix of reversing geopolitical instability, shifting uncertainty patterns, a risk-on atmosphere, and a perfect storm of beta meeting sigma. None knew what those words meant. 

American corporations earned $4.62 billion of net income on Monday. Financial advisors, analysts, and brokers, collected $630 million in fees. No media outlet reported these figures, despite being the two most important numbers necessary to understanding investing.

A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the economy added 209,000 jobs last month. An economist from a right-leaning think tank called the report disappointing. Another at a left-leaning organization called it encouraging. Neither has a reputable track record. Both yelled. The jobs report has a margin of error of plus or minus 100,000, and will be revised seven times in the coming years. No one whose outlook was swayed by the report said they care about these details. 

Marc Faber appeared on TV predicting a 20% stock market crash within the next six months, repeating a call he has made bi-weekly since the Carter administration. Another pundit explained that his last failed prediction would have been right if only he hadn't been so wrong. Executives of financial TV networks met to discuss why ratings are at decade lows. 

The yield on 10-year Treasury bonds fell from 2.42% to 2.38%. Nobody knows why. 

An FDIC report showed banks increased lending last quarter. Analysts called this a new bubble created by the Fed, though it's what any rational person would expect to see happening during a recovery after a deep recession. 

In Nevada, 52-year-old Ronald Palmer put his life savings into gold after spending 10 minutes reading something on Google about inflation written by a guy who learned about inflation by spending 10 minutes on Google. 

Nineteen-year-old Travis Baker spent the afternoon day-trading penny stocks because his prefrontal cortex isn't yet fully developed and he couldn't recognize risk-reward trade-offs if they hit him in the face. 

An army of bloggers reported from their parents' basements that Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn't understand technology. Reached out to for comment, Cook giggled, shook his head, and said one of his main regrets in life is not taking the advice of unemployed anonymous bloggers. 

Long-term investors finished Monday one day closer to their goals. 

Analysts expect the news to be no different tomorrow.  

Check back every Tuesday and Friday for Morgan Housel's columns on finance and economics. 

*This article is fake, but just barely. 


Contact Morgan Housel at The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information