Monday, June 19, 2017

Marc Faber: Asset holders will lose 50%

Full disclosure: Marc Faber is always preparing for a stock apocalypse. (That's why he’s commonly referred to as “Mr. Doom.”) Still, he insists, there’s method to his misery. And right now he sees two red flags flapping in the market.

One: On the New York Stock Exchange, there are currently more stocks purchased on margin—that is, with investors borrowing money to buy—than since at least the 1950s. That tends to happen when the stock market is expensive, as it is today.

Prices are actually out of control, Faber says. The historical average price-to-earnings ratio is around 17—but it's around 30 today.

Once people start selling, Faber warns grimly, there will be an avalanche. “I think a realistic scenario is that asset holders will lose 50% of their assets," Faber says. "Some people will lose everything.”

His other major concern is that only a small number of stocks are driving the bulk of the stock market’s ascent. Indeed, just five companies accounted for almost a third of the S&P 500’s total gains in 2016. This means that investors are relying on fewer companies to carry the market, he points out.“If only a handful of shares are moving up, it’s a sign,” Faber says. “The market isn’t healthy.”

- Source, Time