Bitcoin, Musk, Pot and the (dying) Bull market

With a title like this its hard to resist the addition of this famous picture of Elon.

Musk

The theme of this post is to look at the longest bull market in human history which officially occured on August 22nd 2018.

With the closing bell, U.S. stocks on Wednesday marked what is being considered the longest bull market in history: 3,453 days. [1]

This still carries on (just) on the current date of 29/01/2019. Mentioning the Nasdaq is not allowed for obvious reasons.

I’ll have to look at historical bull and bear markets in more detail sometime but Robert Shiller wrote a great book called Irrational Exuberance which is an entertaining read (written in 2005 I think) about speculative manias (and crashes) throughout history.

Two charts of the S&P 500 are shown below with grey sections showing recessions

SP500 1

They both give the points value on the y-axis but the second chart shows inflation adjusted returns.

SP500

One interesting thing to see is that we only returned to the same inflation adjusted value of the S&P 500 acheived at the peak of the tech boom just prior to the year 2000 in the May of 2016. Some lost decade (and a half). It would be interesting to compare the Nasdaq to this.

In my opinion this really illustrates the size of the bubble in 2000.

To adress the title of the post I believe that what has driven this longest of bull markets has been the vision of a better future. Investors and the public after suffering nearly two decades of catch up grasped onto anything that gave them hope of a better world (and the possibility of a quick buck).

Musk, with all his stupid stunts exemplifies a dreamer uncowed by wall street to innovate - although this may be changing.

Bitcoin with its promise of slower payments than Visa promises easier money laundering amongst other things I don’t pretend to understand.

And pot stocks, well they promise something…

I think that these visions are slipping back into reality like the new tech companies did in the early 2000’s and hence the bull market may well be on its last legs.

Further posts on these topics are coming! Including some reasons to stay bullish!

  1. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/making-sense/what-the-longest-bull-market-in-history-means-for-the-economy-and-your-investments 

Written on January 30, 2019