Quote of the Week

 “Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.” – Joel Osteen

Tech Corner

Last week we had a typical Quad IV week. The S&P 500 was down -2.18%, the Dow was down -1.27%, and the Nasdaq was down -4.12%. At the moment there doesn’t seem to be a bottom to the stock market.

This week I have been calling some clients to check in with them to see how they are doing. Other than catching up I had an alternative motive to see if they had read last week’s letter. The response was around 50% who read the letter which is about what I would expect.

In last week’s letter I discussed how valuations have effected the stock market decline so far this year. I also discussed that we have not yet experienced the next potential leg down due to the up-coming corporate earnings reporting. What I am saying is that I don’t think the carnage is close to being over. Because I think that it is important for you to understand, I am repeating last week’s letter this week.

I am also re-printing a chart showing how much you would need in percentage return to get back to even for various percentage losses.

If you have any friends that are invested in the stock market and they are hoping that it will turn around soon we would be happy to discuss with them the market forces about to happen and why.

We are currently 70% in cash with the remainder invested in gold, US dollar, China, and some bonds.

Larry’s Thoughts

Before I start I want to recommend a video on YouTube. If you go to YouTube and type in the search box: “Financial Advisor Summit Kyle Bass CNBC”, it is the first video to pop up and lasts just over 20 minutes. Kyle Bass is one of the people I follow. You will learn a lot, I promise.

Last week the markets had a big rally. However so far this week the markets are giving some of it back. Unfortunately, we will always get strong short-term rallies in a bear market which gives the uninformed investor (not paying attention to the math) hope that the markets are going to start going back up. Note: until the math changes we won’t change our positions.

Last week the Dow was up +5.4%, the S&P 500 was up +6.4% and the Nasdaq was up +7.5%.

I want to explain how stock market valuations work. In general when interest rates on bonds go up that negatively affects stock valuations. So far this year interest rates for the 10-yr US Treasury Note has risen from 1.55% on January 1st to 3.24% as of today.  Put yourself in the position of buying the stock market vs the bond market. If bond yields are up, that makes the bond market more attractive and the stock market less attractive when you are looking for a safe return. So you would be more tempted to buy bonds vs stocks. That being, stock valuations tend to go down.

The graph below shows how valuations of the stock market have been driven down because interest rates on bonds has risen. The valuation of the stock market is down between 25% and 30%. On the graph the earnings line shows an increase. What happens if the earnings line starts to decline? Answer: the P/E ratio (price/earnings) starts to go down. If the earnings go down (the denominator) it will drag down the Price (the numerator).


So what does this all mean for stock prices? According to projections for corporate earnings to be reported for the second quarter, they are expected to fall very steeply. So far we have had a valuation decline due to rising bond rates. That is the first leg of the decline. If corporate earnings come in as expected that could or should be the second leg down. I don’t know for sure what will happen, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we have a second leg down for the stock market. How’s that for a math lesson?


If you have friends or family in need of financial life planning services,

It would be the honor of Laurence Lof Financial Advisors to assist them.

We value your referrals!


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These are Larry Lof’s opinions and not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Due to our compliance review process, delayed dissemination of this commentary occurs.


The S&P 500 index of stocks compiled by Standard & Poor’s, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. The Index includes a representative sample of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.


Technical analysis represents an observation of past performance and trend, and past performance and trend are no guarantee of future performance, price, or trend. The price movements within capital markets cannot be guaranteed and always remain uncertain. The allocation discussed herein is not designed based on the individual needs of any one specific client or investor. In other words, it is not a customized strategy designed on the specific financial circumstances of the client. Please consult an advisor to discuss your individual situation before making any investments decision. Investing in securities involves risk of loss. Further, depending on the different types of investments, there may be varying degrees of risk including loss of original principal.

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