When does the bull market end?
It ends when it ends.
No one can reliably tell you in advance. There aren’t any formulas. There’s not enough data to calculate it. The machine is biology, not physics. The relationship between sentiment and fundamentals is too complex – even if you know what the data will be a year from now, five years from now, you cannot possibly know how a billion investors around the world will be reacting to it.
Some people will try to call tops in real time and occasionally get lucky through an accident of history. They’ll be famous for a little while and then forgotten as subsequent calls become money losers on a regular basis.
The market timer who nails a top can never just go away after because the chemical high they feel from being so celebrated is more powerful than heroin. They need that high back so badly that they never shut up and they never stop trying. Imaging having a moment in time when the entire world thinks you’re the most brilliant person alive – and then imagine having it ripped away from you. You’ll become Gollum-esque in your efforts to win it back.
This leads to ever more outrageous stunts by these people to get attention for themselves, increasingly provocative rhetoric.
You can’t ignore their calls completely because they sound so convincing and the media loves to write about them.
There’s a better way: Treat it all like comedy.
I’ve come across a magical web page, hosted on Business Insider, that appears to have stopped updating sometime in the middle of 2015. The BI bloggers must have ceased to tag their posts or something. But it remains on the site as an amazing resource for you anytime you come across a crash call or a top call that has you dismayed.
The comedy you will need to avert making drastic moves with your long-term capital is all here – dire warnings about every economic data point, every asset class, every conceivable geopolitical crisis under the sun. Strategists and economists, analysts and traders, newsletter creeps and bloggers managing zero dollars, billionaire hedge fund managers and anonymous weirdos, former mob bosses and current Bond Kings – it’s all here.
Anytime you feel tempted to panic based on the strident pronouncement of this or that purported expert, visit this page and scroll down. And continue to scroll until the poison’s all gone. Laughter is the best medicine.
And when the real bear market does arrive, which of course at some point it will, these reminders become doubly important – because that’s when the rhetoric gets taken up yet another notch.
But you can begin to build up a tolerance now. Begin your training below: