This week the Swedish city of Lund dumped a tonne of chicken manure in one of it’s parks at night to deter visitors to an annual celebration (1). Chicken shit wasn’t the only thing being dumped. Lots of UK bloggers are selling off, and so is the Sage of Omaha.
I try to avoid commentating on transient market flux, but right now I find myself drawn in. What the hell is going on?
Well the talk has been of whether we’ll see a V-shaped or L-shaped recovery from the March sell-off. If you read the headlines you’ll see that the stock market has been going great guns (2):
As TI at Monevator identifies in this weeks Weekend Reading it’s mostly a US market thing; and specifically the S&P500 (3). The FTSE100 is looking very L-shaped. The FTSE100 is heavy in oil and service stocks, which are taking an absolute battering. The S&P500 is tech led, companies who couldn’t ask for a better demand boost. We saw a small sell-off at the end of last week after earnings reports, but not as much as was expected (4).
If you hold a world index tracker like myself, due to sheer capitalisation size, you probably hold a decent portion of the S&P500. Like many bloggers below you might have seen a net worth jump. Tech values have gone up on expected earnings, the market appears convinced that we’ll all be back to work soon, and it’s banking on the ‘Fed put’; that cheap government lending will bolster and boost the market (5, 6).
Meanwhile, on the ground, people are being laid off and things don’t look all that rosy. Retailers with shut shops are having online sales to clear stock, a problem compounded as discount shops like TKMaxx can’t help them clear inventory (7). Manufacturers like Rolls-Royce are cutting jobs (8). Some bloggers like Playing with Fire have been made redundant (9). Others like Fire Lifestyle have lost significant portions of their turnover (10).
Poor darlings who over-extended themselves to buy property to then let on AirBnB, inflating the housing market in the process, are suddenly exposed to a lack of income (11).
The market as a whole feels quite self-contradicting, in my opinion. Tech is going to be doing well in this environment, along with all the rest of those companies raking it in with our lifestyle alterations. Meanwhile huge swathes of the economy are seeing cataclysmic change. Buffett has dumped all his US airline stock (12). He’s also said the range of outcomes from this is massive.
Me, I’m with Ermine (13). I think we have a long way to go yet. I’m still buying – I’m not a big enough man to bet against time in the market by timing the market. Tech offers plenty of potential returns, and I’m sure there are some value investor nuggets out there. I just see the stories coming out of people losing their jobs, companies shutting, and IMF predictions of global recessions and eyebrows are raised (14).
We live in interesting times.
Have a great week,
- Savings rates are being cut across the board (15)
- The International Energy Agency reckons the COVID crisis could lead to the demise of fossil fuel power (16)
- Coinciding with Shell cutting it’s dividend for the first time since WW2 (17)
- AstraZeneca is working with Oxford University on a vaccine (18)
- Tesla quietly(ish) applies to become a UK electricity supplier (19)
- Average Money Management covers their ‘alternative investments’ (20)
- Life After the Daily Grind recounts their experience of identity theft (21)
- DIY Investor UK has year end results for Gresham House Energy Storage (22)
- The IT Investor looks to summarise and compare Fundsmith and Lindsell Train (23)
- TEA has been on Meaningful Money (24)
- Playing with Fire has an April savings update (25)
- As does the Squirreler (26)
- And Early Retirement in UK (27)
- Money for the Modern Girl has a fantastic interview with a scientist who became FI in their 30s (28)
- Fire Musings runs the numbers on paying off the mortgage or investing in the current market (29)
- We get a feel for a day in the lockdown life of GFF (30)
- Banker on Fire looks at bonds (31)
- Dr Fire joins Saving Ninjas most recent lockdown reflections thought experiment (32)
- Igniting Fire has a cracking post running the numbers on a powerwall (33)
- Savings Ninja very honestly reports their failure at market timing (34)
- Much More With Less reviews the Aldi COVID food parcel (35)
- Jase at Fire Lifestyle is bit more garden than money in his April update (36)
- FI UK Money also joins the ranks with a big net worth rise in April (37)
- As does Weenie (38)
- And Ad Otium (39)
- Whereas A Way to Less sees more of a drop in expenses (40) – Though not as low as the Saving Ninja
- And Path to Life 2 has a huge savings rate (41)
- Zero to Freedom has asked 15 investors what they wished they knew when they started (42)
- South Wales FI looks at SRI/ESG investing (43)
- Monevator compares whether US treasury bonds protect UK investors better than gilts (44)