Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. This is a terrible year for many research analysts, market strategists and stock market pundits as they gaze into their crystal balls in a futile bid for better clarity.
A “bear market rally” in July caught most fund managers and private bankers off guard as the 9% rebound in the S&P500 left most fund managers in the cold. With markets in bear territory, they followed the adage to sell in May. For a while, the calls seemed accurate, with news flow looking bleaker and bleaker going into June and worries over the illiquid European summer season in July and August.
Many institutional investors, suffering from their own bouts of “Foho” or fear of holding on, lightened their holdings just when markets were at their lows. Let us also not forget how JPMorgan Chase and Co in March had hurt the feelings of 1.3 billion Chinese by calling China “not investible” — only to reverse their call and play catchup just three months later.