Friday, January 13, 2012

Thoughts on Investing from Ed Easterling

12 Rules of Market Cycles:

1. Secular cycles are driven by the inflation rate (deflation, price stability, and higher inflation)

2. Secular bulls occur when P/E starts low and ends high over an extended period

3. Secular bears occur when P/E starts high and ends low over an extended period

4. Cyclical bulls and bears are interim periods of directional swings within secular periods

5. Cyclical cycles are driven by market psychology, illiquidity, or other generally temporary condition(s)

6. Time is irrelevant to the length of secular stock market cycles

7. Secular bulls require a doubling or tripling of P/E

8. Secular bears occur as P/E stalls and falls by one-third to two-thirds or more

9. When real economic growth is near 3%, there is a natural floor for P/E between 5 and 10, a natural ceiling around the mid-20s, and a typical average in the mid-teens

10. If economic growth shifts upward or downward for the foreseeable future, the natural range moves upward or downward, respectively

11. Inflation drives P/Es location within the range; economic growth drives the level of the range

12. The stock market is not consistently predictable over months, quarters, or periods of a few years; the stock market is, however, quite predictable over periods approaching a decade or longer based upon starting P/E

Steve Cook received his education in investments from Harvard, where he earned an MBA, New York University, where he did post graduate work in economics and financial analysis and the CFA Institute, where he earned the Chartered Financial Analysts designation in 1973. His 40 years of investment experience includes institutional portfolio management at Scudder, Stevens and Clark and Bear Stearns. Steve's goal at Strategic Stock Investments is to help other investors build wealth and benefit from the investing lessons he learned the hard way.