I started working in the investment business in 1976 and the stock market had been in decline for the two previous years. The market continued sideways to down for the next 6 years, culminating in the 1982 bear market bottom. Not the best time to be in the market, I sold a lot of utility stocks. I do remember in 1983, sitting around a table of friends at a luncheon club. I remember saying that the markets had just broken out technically and encouraged everyone to invest. Many were sceptical, however, the markets rallied over the next 4 years from 400 on the S&P 500 to around 700.

Billy LeCroy, a broker at the time in Seattle, wrote a response to this post on Facebook: “I was sitting with you at that table in 1983. You’re probably the best stock technician I’ve ever known. I went on to found an investment banking firm. Now retired and glad you’re still active.”

It was in 1987 that I advised clients to move out the stock market and the high yield bond market. Black Monday in October 1987, the market lost more than 20% in one day, pretty scary. The next bull market top came in March of 2000. I had just moved to UBS in January of 2000. My partner had just bought out his senior partner, who was retiring. He needed a “stock jock” and I guess I filled the bill. Only two months later I warned that the “tech bubble” was close to breaking. I advised my partner to move out of tech stocks and put the funds in small bank stocks and natural resource companies.  Advice that was not taken. Here is a look at the tech bubble as it deflates:

 

I left the brokerage business in 2002, but, continued following the markets. In 2007 I was living in Las Vegas working as a mortgage loan officer. I was playing golf with a financial advisor from New York who worked for Merrill Lynch. I mentioned to him the insanity taking place in the mortgage loan industry and how it could create problems in the stock market. I basically told him to get his clients out of the market! Not sure as to whether he listened to me, but we all know what happened. The S&P 500 hit 666 at the bottom in early 2009, a drop from 1750.

 In 2013 I decided to start a financial blog called Go Beyond Brokers. Basically suggesting that people could “be their on broker” with a little education from myself. At least I could help them relate to their current broker, helping them to ask the right questions.

So, here we are in 2017 at 2650 on the S&P 500. The “wall of worry” apparently is gone. Once that wall of worry dissipates, the belief is that prices will continue higher, that the market has no place to go but higher. This optimism fuels the final stage of the bull market, the bubble phase. I’ve been talking a lot about market bubbles, trying to wake you up!

It appears that the market still has a way to go. Also, remember that it takes some time to put in a market top. I want you to know that I’m here in Mexico to help those of you who are living in Mexico. My consultations are free and my fees are as low as .15%, quite a bit lower than the typical 1-2% charged by most financial advisors.

I just want to keep active in my retirement and help seniors in particular. Most of you have been forced into the stock market, since it has been the only alternative to getting decent returns. However, the stock market carries a lot of risk that most of you need to be aware of. Can you handle a 40% decline in the market? From top to bottom in 2008-2009 you would have lost 60%.

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