NOW They Tell Us

Getting caught up on the various financial publications I try to at least skim regularly (The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Investor’s Business Daily, etc.), I’ve been struck by how many money managers claim they were nervous about the market this Spring, and re-positioned their funds to raise cash (and sell equities).

With the broad averages down 15% since then, they (and their investors) are sitting pretty.

Funny, I don’t remember any of these sages saying that back then.

If anything, the consensus on the same financial pages two months ago was that the recovery was gaining traction — which meant that earnings were sure to go up, and therefore stocks were cheap.

I remember reading once that the definition of a politician is someone who looks for a parade and then runs to the front of it.

A good number of money managers subscribe to the equivalent: name the latest trend, and announce that they anticipated it.

P.S.: So did they? It can be very hard to tell.

For one thing, money managers can be bullish one day and do an about-face the next (can you say “Barton Biggs?”).

For another, many funds engage in what’s called quarter-end window dressing: whichever stocks or market sectors have been the most successful the preceding quarter, is what they buy for their fund . . . the last day (or hour) of the quarter!

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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