I’m still able to generate some enthusiasm about specific stocks that I think are appealing enough to buy at these prices… but I find it very hard to be optimistic in a macro sense right now, it really feels to me as though the market is whistling past the graveyard and being far too sanguine about the economy “bouncing back” as we gradually begin to reopen in the wake of the Great Cessation. Seeing stocks get back to within shouting distance of all-time highs in this economic environment gives me the heebie jeebies (the S&P 500 is only about 15% below the all-time highs set in late February, the tech-heavy Nasdaq, led by outperformers like Amazon and Microsoft, is only 7% off its highs).
But, thankfully, I (mostly) know better than to make big portfolio moves based on my “feelings” about the overall market. Those feelings would have often steered me very wrong over the past 20 years, and certainly would have made me miss a lot of the bull market in the past three or four years if I had been too indulgent with my “stocks are looking awfully expensive” feelings. Sometimes with growth and momentum stocks you have to let the market tell you when things are falling apart, resisting the temptation to sell too much of a good thing while the business is still going gangbusters… and with stocks that can reasonably be evaluated based on current fundamentals, you have to try to buy the stuff that everybody hates, with the goal, always to be that years from now we’ll own bigger stakes in good businesses than we do right now. It ain’t easy, and I don’t do it very well all the time, but that’s the goal.
It’s been a busy week in general in the Real Money Portfolio, with a lot of quarterly updates and close to a dozen trades, most of them micro-dose buys or some de-levering sales of options positions. I’ll go through the news that mattered to me, share my musings, and update you on the transactions I’ve made as they come up (the actual trades are in the Quick Take above, and are reflected in the portfolio).
I’m a little surprised that the stock market wasn’t a little more deflated this week thanks to the downbeat talk from Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway’s virtual annual meeting… ...