A bubble is “when the prices of securities or other assets rise so sharply and at such a sustained rate that they exceed valuations justified by fundamentals, making a sudden collapse likely…” This commentary is going to be expanded as time goes on. But I wanted to quickly put something out into the world to explain my concerns with bitcoin and other high risk asset classes.
First, when I say that a sudden collapse is likely, it does not mean that one is imminent. It means that there is a high probability of it occurring. There are ways in which a bubble can end, besides in a crash. Speculation can die down slowly and allow the price to level off or drop slowly. Or the reasonable valuation of the asset can rise due to changes in supply and demand. Either of these situations would cause the bubble to end without a crash.
It is argued that $BTC is not in a bubble. One argument used is that people have been claiming that it has been a bubble for a long time, and yet even new adopters have been profiting substantially. But as I said in the very beginning, a bubble just implies a high probability of crashing. A bubble can last for a very long time before it does, if it ever does at all. Many argue that the $USD is in a bubble, by the same people who profess that bitcoin is going to continue to grow and grow and grow. I agree that the dollar is a bubble. It has yet to crash, but that does not mean that it is not a bubble. The stock market has been argued to be in a bubble. Again, I agree. Months ago I wrote an article about how stocks were overvalued. Since then, stocks have continued to climb higher, but this climb has just resulted in greater risk.
What makes $BTC a bubble? Aside from the rapid spike in price, the high volatility associated with rampant speculation are to blame. Much of the exchange volume is due to speculation, and very little is due to use. This result has been caused by the inherent deflationary nature of the cryotoasset.
One reason why I think $BTC and other cryptoassets are growing in price so much is because people who would normally be shorting the market are instead putting their money into $BTC et al. Because of the “BTFD” mentality, shorting stocks right now isn’t getting anyone anywhere, but most traders do not want to just leave their money on the sidelines. Because of the cryptoasset bubble, even though there is a lot of risk, the reward seems much better than stocks, and so money is flowing into the cryptoasset market. However, that also means that once things start to go south with the stock market, money very well may flow out of bitcoin and others and into short positions in stocks. Now, some of the long positions may transition to bitcoin or another cryptoasset, which may buffer the price, but it is hard to tell. What I do expect is a waterfall effect for the S&P 500 and other indices.
People can certainly profit during a bubble. A bubble may never really burst. However, the risk is great, and that point should be made clear. Also, the way in which the cryptoasset markets, precious metals markets, and stock markets are interacting, make the risk for stocks even greater.
One of the most important aspects of investing is improving your own “human capital” through education. The more you know, the better off you are.
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I find it interesting how foreign things like stocks and investing are to so many people. So I decided to write Investing 101 as a primer for anyone interested in learning a bit more. I will add more to this primer over time, as readers ask specific questions that they want answered.« Continue »
Black Swans do not seem like something we have to worry about, but they are incredibly dangerous, especially when there is a whole flock of them.« Continue »
This is a very quick analysis based on last week’s closing signals. First, (SPY) is not showing all that much direction, at least on the daily time scale. It could go either way. The Russell 2000 (IWM) is signaling a strong downward movement. Friday’s candlestick sets up a new resistance level at 1452. Look for confirmation of a downward trend today.
The S&P 500 is showing continued positive movement on the weekly time scale, but last week’s candlestick was much weaker than the prior week’s. The Russell 2000 finished last week off fairly weak. I would not call it a traditional shooting star doji, but it is close. At the very least it is showing increased consolidation.
Risk appetite is still fairly strong, based on the extended risk appetite index. However, both gold (GLD) and usd/jpy (FXY) is on the downtrend, with the yen reaching a ten handle last night. However, VIX is still near record low, which is signaling limited expectation of volatility in the short term.
Market Snapshot Image
There’s a fair amount of information coming out this week. One that everyone will be watching is the GDP estimate for Q2. The Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now estimate has been declining, more or less consistently, since the first estimate for Q2 was released. It is now holding at around 2.5%. Consumer confidence data is going to be released on Tuesday, although the perception of the economy and how it is actually doing seem to be fairly disconnected right now. We also have the FOMC announcement on Wednesday, even though it is not expected that there will be any change in rate policy.
Market snapshot for 7/14/2017: SPX hitting resistance while risk appetite and perception are potentially nearing a reversal.« Continue »
Cryptoassets are an emerging class of assets with a lot significant potential for wealth generation and preservation. Involvement in the “Cryptocurrency Ecosystem” requires a fair amount of knowledge about underlying block-chain technology, but it also requires significant understanding of monetary theory. $BTC, $LTC, $ETH, and many other cryptoassets have a hard cap. Once reached, no new coins are created. This drives the already speculative asset class towards even higher rates of deflation.« Continue »
I am still concerned about the financial sector in the long run. As I mentioned in “Breaking Down Bank Earnings,” a lot of the movement in the S&P 500 has come from the financial sector (XLF), and profits for the financial sector have been coming from this inflated bull market. This, along with the interconnectedness that (XLF) has with the broader market, largely through (SPY) constitutes a lot of systemic risk.
However, while there is a lot of risk, especially in the long run, the financial sector is bordering on another move higher. It depends on whether or not it can break through a key resistance level. If it does move higher, it could take the rest of the market with it.
As you can see, the $SP500#40 has been moving sideways, within a channel between roughly 380 and 420 for quite some time now. I am waiting to see if there is a significant break above 420.
I have been keeping an eye on BTC price and volume action. I already noted that we should be wary of trading volume. I do not trust this rally. I can see BTC going a fair amount lower before it starts to grow again. Consider the following chart, which you can click on to take you to a larger version.« Continue »