How low can stocks go? Updated risks and values – September 10th

How low can stocks go? Updated risks and values – September 10th

Bottom Line: The purpose of this story is to inform you as to what's possible in a near worst-case outcome for the financial markets. The reason is to understand what's possible, though unlikely, so you can plan soundly for your financial future unemotionally. The US stock market is the greatest wealth creation machine in the history of the world. I want you to benefit from it without making emotional mistakes with money.                  

Too often when we have a rare short-term downturn in the markets - it's too late to offer up information that might have been helpful ahead of time. This week's edition of "how low can stocks go" goes as follows...re the Dow, S&P 500 & Nasdaq stand against their all-time high levels:                           

  • DOW: 2%
  • S&P 500: 2%    
  • Nasdaq: 3%      

Something got in the way of the recession. Reality. Yes, the initial trumped up fears of a recession, in what appeared to have been a coordinated attempt between leftist politicos and fake news media, brought about selling...but then reality happened. That’s why stocks are almost back to all-time highs and the emotional selling that took place is in the rear-view mirror. As I mentioned on back of the most recent jobs report. Not only is the economy on solid ground. It’s potentially in a position to accelerate from here through year end. This is yet another reminder as to why I do this weekly update. Over the short-term anything can happen in the markets. Overtime reality and pragmatism wins. Speaking of which... Stocks remain up double-digits for the year.

Year to date...

  • The Dow is up by 15%, the S&P 500 is up by 19% & the Nasdaq is up 22%        

Those are well above average gains for a full year turned in already in 2019. This is a good time to check in on your investments. If your stock-based investments aren’t up by 15% to 22% at a minimum – you've been under-performing; you should figure out why...especially if you have a financial adviser that isn’t at least market average. 

As far as how low stocks could go...? If only market fundamentals mattered here's what we'd want to consider regarding the S&P 500 for example.                           

  • S&P 500 P\E: 22.16
  • S&P 500 avg. P\E: 15.76                     

The downside risk is 29% based on earnings multiples right now from current levels. That's 9% less risk compared with this time last year. Stocks are still generally a far better value than they were a year ago. That’s part of what’s so exciting here. Despite the gains in 2019, fundamentals have improved faster than stock prices. There’s considerably more value in the market today than even a year ago based on earnings. 

I don't expect a 29% selloff but it's always important to ensure that you're positioned for negative adversity. If a short-term decline at those levels wouldn't affect your day-to-day life, you're likely well positioned. If not, you should probably seek professional assistance in crafting your plan that balances your short-term needs with long term objectives.

 

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