In his popular book, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics, Richard Thaler suggests that, “Many people have made money selling magic potions and Ponzi schemes, but few have gotten rich selling the advice, ‘Don’t buy that stuff’.” In fact, it can be downright unpopular to be the adult in the room when easy money seems to be falling from the skies like raindrops in Seattle in January.
Say what? It’s my suspicion that many, if not most, EVA readers have heard the term secular stagnation without quite fathoming what it means. It could be that the comprehension problem lies in that highfalutin word “secular”.
Back in early September, we ran a fascinating interview with Rick Davidson, former CEO and President of Century 21. In the exchange, Rick hinted at the beginnings of a real estate slowdown in the US, anticipating coastal markets would see the tide shifting first, before a more broad-based tightening took hold. Since then, ominous headlines have made waves in national publications, echoing and expanding on this outlook (you can find a particularly popular one in The Wall Street Journal).
How soon we forget. George Santayana long ago wrote these immortal words: “Those who cannot learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”. However, a more recent thinker took his observation one step further by wryly observing (with a little paraphrasing by yours truly): “And the rest of us are doomed to suffer along with them”.
In this week’s Guest EVA, we’ve got two of the financial world’s heaviest heavyweights weighing in on one of the weightiest investment questions: Is the Stock Market Overvalued?