Which Way Stocks?
“Up, Down, or Sideways”
(I think that about covers it)

Blogger Barry Ritholtz (“The Big Picture”) is not exactly shy about criticizing Realtor foibles (I think it’s got something to do with his mother being one).

So it certainly seems fair to point out some of the fence-straddling, cover-all-bases gobbledygook investment managers like Ritholtz (his other hat) periodically spew.

See if you can discern what the normally pull-no-punches Ritholtz thinks stocks are going to do from this excerpt:

The conditions for a major reversal are not conclusive. That doesn’t mean it cannot happen, it just means that at this moment, making decisions with imperfect information, we put the odds of a hefty drop of 20+% at about 25%.

Given that liquidity is still so abundant, we expect the pullback to be somewhat contained, but deeper than the prior 3 wobbles (June, September, January) since the rally began. We could see a deeper than 10% pullback. Depending upon conditions and internals, our expectations are that we will be buyers into a 10-20% correction. From current levels, we do not expect to revisit the lows.

If the correction fails to materialize, and the market rallies aggressively, with firming internals, we will reconsider our posture. We are always willing to redeploy cash higher into a possible melt up.

I still expect a 25% correction at the end of this rally. I am unable to say with any degree of conviction that the current market turmoil is that major move down.

–Barry Ritholtz, “Market Changes Tone During Correction“; The Big Picture (5/5/10)

Got all that?

Can you say, “hedge your bets??”

How about, “I haven’t a clue.”

Personally, I prefer the answer J.P. Morgan gave when he was asked what stocks were going to do: “they’re likely to fluctuate.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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