If you’re a buy-and-hold investor, it’s getting harder to earn a buck out there. Stocks are expensive… as in really expensive… and pockets of the market cheap enough to consider are getting smaller by the day.
Consider the cyclically adjusted price/earnings ratio (CAPE), also called the Shiller P/E after Yale Professor Robert Shiller brought it mainstream.
The Shiller P/E compares current stock prices to a 10-year average of profits. The thinking being that in any single year, earnings might be unusually high or unusually low depending on where in the economic cycle you are. But in any 10-year window, you would have seen a boom, a bust and everything in between.
Well, you’re not going to find much hope for the future after today’s figures. The S&P 500 is trading at a CAPE of 27.2. That’s 63% higher than the long-term average of 16.7… and it suggests that stocks will actually lose money over the next eight years or so.
Even if stocks manage to defy the odds and eke out a profit over the next decade, it won’t look anything like the returns we’ve seen since this bull market started in 2009. So if you’re going to earn a respectable return, you’re going to have to do things a little differently. You’re going to take a more active approach to investing.
Even if the longer-term trend is sideways or down, there are plenty of shorter-term trends lasting weeks or months that can be profitably traded. And remember, the stock market is a market of stocks; even if the averages are drifting lower, there can be sectors of the market posting very respectable gains.
That was certainly the case for most of 2016. For the first six months of the year, the S&P 500 traded sideways. But the Consumer Staples Select SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLP) was up nearly 10% including dividends.
As my friend and colleague Adam O’Dell likes to put it: “There’s always a profitable trend, somewhere.”
And finding those trends is where my friend Adam really excels.
You see, he doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about market valuations or what stocks “should” do. Instead, he focuses on what the market is actually doing. That’s the essence of Adam’s Cycle 9 Alert.
Adam’s system reduces the investment process to just two metrics: trend and momentum.
The trend is simple enough to find. Cycle 9’s algorithm asks one simple question: Is the price of a stock higher than it was three months ago? If not, it is tossed out of consideration. But if the price is indeed higher, Adam’s system asks a second question: Is the price showing upward momentum?
Here’s where it gets fun. Not only must the stock be in an uptrend, but the speed at which it is rising needs to be accelerating. I won’t reveal any of Adam’s “secret sauce,” or the precise ways that he calculates momentum, but you get the idea.
Adam looks for strong sectors growing stronger… regardless of what the market is doing… because those are the sectors that his research has proven likely to outperform over the following two to three months.
Then, to nail down even additional earnings potential, Adam takes one final step and selects an options contract to hold over that period that will pay off handsomely if and when the trend continues.
And guess what? It works.
Adam started Cycle 9 Alert in 2012 as a system-driven strategy designed to do well in both bull and bear markets. And the markets have had a wild ride over that period, having some impressive runs… and some gut-wrenching volatility. Yet through it all, 61.7% of Cycle 9 Alert’s trades were profitable with an average return of 15.59%.
I don’t know what the market will do over the next decade. No one does. But I do know what it is likely to do based on history, and it isn’t pretty. If you want to keep the odds on your side, and who doesn’t, now is the time when an active approach to your investing is essential.
In fact, next week, Adam is publishing a special webinar explaining how you can tilt the market’s odds in your favor – be it in a bull or bear market – using a tailored system like Cycle 9 Alert. Be on the lookout for how to sign up for that in the coming days.
I can guarantee you won’t find information like this anywhere else.
Portfolio Manager, Boom & Bust