If you can do that every year hats off to you but I’m inclined to think there was a bit of luck involved. After all we have people like Robert Prechter that can time the stock market successfully based on hocus pocus then fall apart later because their system does not really work.
Hey 12x, I’m going to respond once realizing this is getting OT for Saul’s board. Happy to continue off board. Yes, there was, no doubt, some degree of luck. I am a long time poker player, so I have a working understanding of how skill (i.e. preparedness) and luck can combine at times for big pay offs.
You are correct CAPE was central (although it is not all I was looking at among those charts I linked). In addition to Shiller index data, the economy was heating up. I assumed that meant FED would act. You do realize, I hope, that if the FED raises rates consistently over 2-3 quarters our hyper growth stocks (and the market as a whole) are toast for a while, right? So that is what actually began to happen (as I thought it would). In 2018, Mr. Powell got a little too big for his britches, raised rates once, thought that he would do it again. And eventually got taken down (after a while). Meanwhile as the market tanked on these fed actions, on December 23rd Treasury Secretary What’s His Face called the biggest banks in the US to innocently inquire about their liquidity (DOH!)…By the 24th, it was game on.
So yes, I pulled a 1/3rd of my funds into cash when the market got over heated (i.e. paying attention to the Shiller and other economic data), then got lucky in Q4 with a combination of the FED acting as I supposed it would (a well grounded guess from paying attention) and a certain administration official pushing the panic button on the market (this was blind luck-- I could not have predicted such a fortuitous --and downright foolish (small f)-- act as that of the Treasury Secretary…calls made, by the way, reportedly from his vacation location somewhere in the tropics…lol).
I don’t think it is possible to make a move like this every year. Conditions have to line up, as they did in 2018. The FED is now clearly completely subservient to the President. That was not the case in mid-2018. How the Fed acts and the policy pronouncement they make has a great deal to do with how your and my portfolios performs. I know we want to think we are brilliant here, but there are system level forces at work that provide the enabling conditions for all of this frothiness–you doubt that at your peril, IMHO. And you fight the Fed at your peril, as well. I am not at 30% cash now, even though the Shiller data suggests we are almost back to where we were in Sept. of 2018. Why not? The Fed is not likely to even ponder raising rates at this point, or even make noises like that might, IMHO. This means the market and our stocks will continue to be puffed up (to use a technical term)by FED policy.
If I get a chance again to do what I was able to do in December, 2018 in my investing career, I will be surprised. But there is always the ability to pay attention to the regular ebb and flows of the market and respond accordingly.
And yes, as Saul noted at the start this thread, understanding the fundamental workings of the businesses we are invested in gives us the greatest edge in attempting to achieve market beating results. I agree with this wholeheartedly.
That’s all I got on this. Not going to continue an OT on the board here.