Monday, November 21, 2011

What Did I Miss? Evidently Nothing.

As I write this post at 11:15AM today, the S&P500 Index is at 1187. My proprietary vvolatility measure, which more or less tracks the VIX, has been above a critical threshold since early August.

Interestingly, you could have been gone for the past two months and missed nothing in terms of S&P level. Or three months, since mid-August, for that matter, if you're a buy-and-hold kind of guy.

Or a year, for that matter! The S&P was at today's levels a year ago this week.

Of course, if you were invested for the past year, but rebalanced gains or were incredibly lucky with your market-timing, perhaps you sold above 1300, realizing a 10%+ gain.

But the point is, volatility has been above my threshold more than not since early 2008, or three and a half years! The interval between the US equity market turnaround in March of 2009, and the initial Greek debt crisis was only about 13 months. The highs of 1400+ on the S&P of early 2008 have never been revisited.

At present, November's S&P monthly return is below -5%.

Which is why market-timing on relatively small gains and losses in the indices is such a dangerous practice. Especially now.

No comments: