High-Flying Stock Markets Are Nothing To Be Afraid Of

The last eight years or so have given us what must be the strangest stock market bull run in history. I wrote five years ago that this is the bull market that nobody loves, and investors find it just as difficult to embrace today.

Wall Street, London and other major global stock markets are nudging all-time highs, but investors continue to remain sceptical. Are they right to be afraid?

Big money

Nobody wants to throw their money into the stock market just as it runs out of juice. However, refusing to invest also carries major costs. Investors have made big money in recent years, but those who have hung anxiously on the sidelines have completely missed out.

Flying high

Global stock markets are flying at the moment, with many posting rises of almost 20% over the past year. In the US, the Dow, S&P and NASDAQ all posted record closes recently. In the UK, the FTSE 100 recently broke through 7,500 for the first time ever. The MSCI All World Index has also hit its all-time high, boosted by strong Asian markets. Normally, investors would be cheering along. Why so nervous?


Many fear that US stocks look overvalued, with the S&P 500’s price/earnings ratio currently standing at 25.80, well above its long-term mean of 15.90. They are particularly concerned that the Trump trade is now played out, amid suspicions that his tax, infrastructure and military stimulus blitz could prove a damp squib.

Zero options

The question you need to ask yourself is this: what would you do with your money if you sold up today? Park it in cash or bonds, for a near-zero return? The global property market is starting to wobble, and you can’t get your money back in a hurry if prices slide.

By selling up you would also forego all those juicy dividends, plus further stock market growth if you get your timing wrong, and almost certainly will.

You then face the tricky decision of when to buy back in.

Fun, fun, fun

International equity investors should be celebrating rather than fretting right now. They have had a tremendous year. Enjoy!

Even if markets corrected, by, say, 10%, investors would be well up on a year ago. You would still be richer.

Also, if you cannot cope with a temporary market correction, you shouldn’t be invested in stocks and shares anyway. If you plan to leave your money in the market for at least 5 or 10 years, and preferably longer, you can ignore short-term slips.

Show some love

This market could fly even higher. Alternatively, it could crash. Nobody knows. Either way, it is nothing to be afraid of. Simply hold on until the market recovers, as it always does.

You should also treat any dip as an opportunity to pick up your favourite stocks at reduced prices. Market crashes are nothing to fear. Instead, you should learn to love them.

5 things every SMSF must do in 2017

Whether you've been running an SMSF for many years, or you've only just established one more recently, the income tax and regulatory environment in which SMSFs operate can be quite convoluted.

We've put together a list of the five most important things that we believe will help you keep your SMSF on the straight-and-narrow now and into the future.

Simply click here to access...

Motley Fool contributor Motley Fool staff has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.