Stock market rally: Is the stock market bubble set to burst?

Is now the right time to sell shares that have experienced a rally in recent months, with the aim of avoiding a stock market bubble that could burst?

A young woman in pigtails blowing bubblegum against a red background

Image source: Getty Images

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

A stock market bubble is by no means a new phenomenon. Looking back at the track record of global equity markets shows that there has always been a cycle that includes periods of growth and periods of decline.

The recent stock market rally could cause investors to consider whether a crash is now imminent. However, such events can be very difficult to predict.

As such, a strategy that aims to buy undervalued shares for the long run where they are available could be a logical approach. It may allow for strong growth in the long run, as well as some relative protection from a potential market crash.

Predicting if a stock market bubble will burst

Despite the recent stock market rally, identifying a stock market bubble that is ready to burst can be a challenging task. After all, there appear to be some companies that continue to trade at low prices even after the recent recovery.

For example, sectors such as financial services, retail and resources could contain companies that have low valuations as a result of weak investor sentiment and an uncertain economic outlook. This could mean there are still buying opportunities on offer.

Furthermore, the stock market’s performance is very difficult to accurately predict. Certainly, it has a long track record of delivering high single-digit annual total returns.

However, those returns are very unlikely to be linear. They include periods of growth and decline that themselves are dependent on a wide spectrum of factors that are tough to forecast on a consistent basis. This could mean that a stock market bubble increases in size, or bursts, in future.

A logical approach after a stock market rally

Given the difficulties in predicting whether a stock market bubble will burst or not, it may be prudent to instead focus on purchasing undervalued shares. They may offer a combination of low prices and high-quality fundamentals, such as strong balance sheets and resilient cash flow.

Not only may they be less impacted by a stock market crash because they are priced at low levels, but they could also outperform their sector peers in a bull market or bear market.

For example, a high-quality business with a wide economic moat may have more resilient sales in a downturn. Equally, it may be able to generate higher margins and profit growth that is reflected in a faster-rising share price during a period of stock market gains.

A long-term view

Clearly, no company is guaranteed to escape the bursting of a stock market bubble. Falling share prices can lead to deteriorating investor sentiment that pulls down even the most attractive stocks.

However, stronger businesses purchased at appealing prices can be a sound means of generating impressive total returns. When held for the long run, they could offer relatively strong performance compared to sector peers and the wider stock market.

Motley Fool contributor Peter Stephens has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 

More on Share Market News

Three kids with attitude
52-Week Highs

3 ASX All Ordinaries shares cracking new highs on Friday

These three All Ords shares are smashing new highs on Friday...

Read more »

Two men in suits face off against each other in a boing ring.
Cryptocurrencies

The Aussie-born crypto platform taking on Ethereum

A new platform is being launched by a 25-year-old Aussie millionaire.

Read more »

Three businesspeople leap high with the CBD in the background.
Energy Shares

Why is the Whitehaven Coal share price leaping 7% to a record high?

The coal producer is finishing this week on a high note.

Read more »

Group of people toasting with wine
Broker Notes

Treasury Wine share price celebrates Friday with a more than two-year high

Looks like it's time for some fine wine.

Read more »

A young man clasps his hand to his head with his eyes closed and a pained expression on his face as he clasps a laptop computer in front of him, seemingly learning of bad news or a poor investment.
Energy Shares

APA share price falls as payroll errors leave $32m dint

The company will recognise a $32 million provision in its financial year 2022 earnings.

Read more »

A group of miners in hard hats sitting in a mine chatting on a break as ASX coal shares perform well today
Energy Shares

Why are ASX 200 coal shares having another cracker of a day?

Why are coal shares performing so well today?

Read more »

woman lays on floor with laptop and looks anxious while using credit card
Opinions

Up 40% in a month, is it true ‘times are changing’ for the Kogan share price?

What’s been driving Kogan shares lately?

Read more »

cochlear happy, share price rise, up, increase
Healthcare Shares

Cochlear share price takes off despite guidance miss

The healthcare giant's stock is surging despite its apparent guidance miss.

Read more »