Time To Take A Bite Out Of Apple On The Short Side

Summary

  • On May 13th, 2016, I wrote a public Seeking Alpha article stating that Apple was trading at its cheapest valuation in a decade.
  • The total return for AAPL shares since that articles publication was close to 400%, with the S&P 500 Index up roughly 60% over this time frame.
  • In 2020, I have been more bearish on AAPL shares, securing a 221% gain on AAPL puts, with a February 28th, 2020 closing transaction.
  • That first sale of the put options was too early, given the melt-down the broader equity markets suffered over the course of March of 2020.
  • Today is a perfect time to use Apple as a market hedge on the short side, again, as its enormous market capitalization and elevated price-to-sales-ratio will make it hard for shares to move higher going forward.

“I will go to my grave… believing that really loose monetary policy greatly contributed to the Financial Crisis. There were obviously problems with regulation, but when we had a 1% Fed Funds rate in 2003 after, to me, it was pretty obvious that the economy had turned (up) and I think the economy was growing at 7% to 9% nominal in the fourth quarter of 2003 and that wasn’t enough for the Fed. They had this little thing called ‘considerable period’ on top of the 1% rate just so we would make sure that their meaning was clear. And it was all wrapped around this concept of an insurance cut… I’ve made some money predicting boom-bust cycles. It’s what I do. Sometimes I am right. Sometimes I am wrong, but every bust I had ever seen was proceeded by an asset bubble generally set up by too loose policy…” – Stanley Druckenmiller

(Source: Image From Author’s May 2016 Seeking Alpha Apple Article)

Introduction

On May 13th, 2016, I wrote a public Seeking Alpha article stating that Apple (AAPL) was trading at its cheapest valuation in a decade.  The total return for AAPL shares since that article’s publication was close to 400%, with the S&P 500 Index up roughly 60% over this time frame. 

(Source: Author, Seeking Alpha)

More recently, I have turned somewhat bearish on AAPL shares, especially as the company has continued its climb towards the $2 trillion market capitalization mark.

In fact, earlier this year, I purchased January 2021 puts on Apple shares, and then on February 28th, 2020, I cashed these puts in for a 221% gain, which was too early with the benefit of hindsight, even though I wrote publicly about the risks of COVID-19, including this article, titled “Two Black Swans“, which was published on Seeking Alpha on February 25th, 2020.

Alternatively, you could say I cashed in at a decent time, given the broader stock markets seemingly parabolic rise from its March 23rd, 2020 lows, which has been led by the largest market capitalizations stocks, including Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), (GOOG), Facebook (FB), and of course, Apple.

Whatever logic you subscribe to, I think it is a perfect juncture to take a bite out of Apple shares on the short side again. 

Why?

I feel this way for three reasons.  First, the company’s sheer size and elevated price-to-sales ratio is going to make it hard to grow robustly going forward, secondly, on a broader valuation basis, shares are no longer cheap, like they were in May of 2016, and third, market participants are using the leading growth stocks as a bet on continued disinflationary pressures amdist the COVID-19 pandemic, yet some combination of a vaccine, treatments, or herd immunity is likely to usher in a historic capital rotation towards value equities and economically sensitive equities.

Apple’s Sheer Size Is A Headwind

Apple’s market capitalization at Friday, July 31st, 2020’s closing price of $425.04 is a remarkable $1.84 trillion.  In fact, with a 10.47% share price gain during Friday’s trading session, Apple shares added over $174 billion dollars in market capitalization.

Breaking this down further, that $174 billion gain in market capitalization, if ascribed to one company, would make that hypothetical company roughly the 35th largest company in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).

For perspective, the market capitalization of Pepsico (PEP) is $191 billion, the market capitalization of Abbot Laboratories (ABT) is $178 billion, the market capitalization of Saleforce.com (CRM) is $176 billion, the market capitalization of Oracle Corporation (ORCL) is $170 billion, and the market capitalization of AbbVie (ABBV) is $167 billion.

Again, for perspective, Apple gained roughly the amount of market capitalization in a single day, that some of the largest companies in the S&P 500 Index have taken lifetimes to build.

Overall, AAPL shares now compromise roughly 6% of the S&P 500 Index (SP500), and with Friday’s move, they should surpass Microsoft as the venerable index’s largest holding, which will be mirrored in State Street Corporations (STT) SPY product.

The problem with being this enormous, is that Apple is going to have a hard time growing revenues, profits, and cash flows at a rate that make a material impact on the overall size of the enterprise.

Building on this narrative, at a trailing-twelve-month revenue run rate of $274 billion, Apple is selling at an almost 7x revenue multiple for the past twelve months, and revenue has not really grown at all from 2018’s annual levels ($266 billion).

On this note, given this price-to-sales multiple, we have to remember what Scott McNealy, the former CEO of Sun Microsystems said about his company trading at a 10x revenue multiple at the peak of the dot-com bubble era.

‘At 10 times revenues, to give you a 10-year payback, I have to pay you 100% of revenues for 10 straight years in dividends. That assumes I can get that by my shareholders. That assumes I have zero cost of goods sold, which is very hard for a computer company. That assumes zero expenses, which is really hard with 39,000 employees. That assumes I pay no taxes, which is very hard. And that assumes you pay no taxes on your dividends, which is kind of illegal. And that assumes with zero R&D for the next 10 years, I can maintain the current revenue run rate. Now, having done that, would any of you like to buy my stock at $64? Do you realize how ridiculous those basic assumptions are? You don’t need any transparency. You don’t need any footnotes. What were you thinking?’

Scott McNealy – Business Week 2002

Now Apple is not Tesla (TSLA), which sports a price-to-sales ratio over 10 (though to be fair to Tesla, revenues could surge higher on higher vehicle volumes), however, with Apple’s revenue growth already slowing to a crawl, and the sheer size of Apple’s revenues being so large, it is going to be hard to grow revenues and profits to simply maintain the company’s stock price anywhere near today’s levels, let alone grow it, at least in my opinion.

Apple’s Valuation Ratios Today Are Head & Shoulders Above Where They Were In May Of 2016

Remember, we just established that Apple shares are trading for almost a 7x price-to-sales multiple, with very little revenue growth the past two years.  Building on this narrative, the valuation table image below, with underlying data from Morningstar (MORN), is taken directly from my May of 2016 public article.

(Source: Author’s May 2016 Article, Seeking Alpha, Morningstar)

Notice that back in May of 2016, Apple shares were trading at 2.3 times price-to-sales multiple, a 10.3 times price-to-earnings ratio, and a 3.9 times price-to-book ratio.

Today, those valuation multiples for Apple are 6.9 for the price-to-sales multiple, 32.2 times for the price-to-earnings multiple, and 25.2 times for the price-to-book multiple.

(Source: Morningstar)

Given these extended valuation ratios, it should be no surprise that Morningstar had a $285 fair value target on AAPL shares as of July 31st, 2020, which is a tidy 32.9% below Apple’s recent closing price

Growth Stocks Could Be Hurt In A Capital Rotation

It has already been established that Apple is a growth stock without revenue growth, as their trailing-twelve-month revenues of $274 billion are only modestly above their 2018 fiscal year revenues of $266 billion and their 2019 fiscal year revenues of $260 billion.

This flat-line in growth is decidedly different than their large-cap growth peers.  On that note, an analyst can say whatever they want about Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft, and some of these companies are ridiculously overvalued too, in my opinion, however, at least these companies are firmly growing revenues.

Building on this narrative further, we know that growth stocks have outperformed their value counterparts for the better part of 13 years now.

(Source: Nomura)

This outperformance has grown amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, with growth stocks actually less sensitive to asset manager’s modeled COVID factors than their value peers.

(Source: Los Angeles Capital Management)

This makes sense as many of the leading growth stocks like Amazon, Netflix (NFLX), and Shopify (SHOP) have actually benefited, on both a relative and absolute basis, from the lifestyle changes that COVID-19 has engendered.

Apple has fit firmly into this camp, with shares making new all-time highs, as they have gotten a revenue boost from more employees working from home, and the resulting technology spending.

(Source: Author, StockCharts.com)

The fly in the ointment here is that Apple is really not a growth stock these days, even with their recent quarterly earnings that came in better than expectations, so it has been lumped in with the positive leading growth stock beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet Apple has not yet seen a commiserate, sustainable boost in their business, at least on the same percentage terms as some of their peers. 

For example, Amazon is Apple’s closest peer in terms of market capitalization, and Amazon reported earnings on the same day as Apple, and the company topped their consensus revenue estimates by roughly 10% for the second quarter of 2020, showing overall revenue growth of 40% year-over-year that dwarfed their larger capitalization rival, with Apple reporting 11% revenue growth year-over-year.

Closing Thoughts – Apple Is A Terrific Company That Is Significantly Overvalued

Back in May of 2016, I could not say enough good things about Apple’s stock from a value perspective.   Today, with Apple’s price-to-sales, price-to-earnings, and price-to-book multiples all significantly higher than they were in 2016, and with the company showing a lack of revenue growth the past three years, I am much more skeptical on shares.

So skeptical, in fact, that I purchased Apple January 2021 puts on January 24th, 2020, and then took a 221% gain on these a few weeks later.

(Source: The Contrarian)

With Apple shares climbing even higher in the summer of 2020 than they were earlier in the spring of 2020 before the COVID-19 outbreak, I think now is the ideal time to use a short position again in Apple shares as a hedge against a broader market decline.  This hedge serves dual purposes for me personally, which are protecting my long positions, and guarding against a capital rotation where in-favor stock like Apple are sold, and out-of-favor stocks that are undervalued, like Antero Resources (AR) that I profiled recently here, appreciate.

Given how overvalued Apple shares are today compared to where they were in 2016, it is also possible that Apple’s common stock underperforms the market, and even declines on an absolute basis, irrespective of the broader markets overall direction.

The possibility of outright declines in Apple’s common shares seems farfetched now, with the afterglow of Apple’s recent multi-year bullish performance fresh in investors’ minds, however, we only have to look back to the first half of 2016 to see an environment where Apple’s stock was out-of-favor.

Shares do not have to go all the way back to their May 2016 levels of $90 per share for current Apple investors to suffer, as simply going back to Morningstar’s fair value target of $285 would imply an outright decline of roughly 33% below Apple’s closing price on Friday, July 31st, 2020.

Wrapping up, without a doubt, Apple has been one of the most remarkable growth stories in U.S. business, particularly over the past two decades.  Personally, over the last decade, I have owned Mac’s, iPod’s, iPad’s, iPhone’s, and Apple common shares, so you could even say I am a connoisseur of Apple’s products.

Common shares have appreciated by roughly 500x from their 2000-2002 lows, propelling Apple to become the largest market capitalization stock in the world. Whether you own Apple shares outright or not, most investors have an implicit stake in the company, because Apple has a roughly 6% weighting in the S&P 500 Index and a roughly 12% weighting in the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ). 

The significant weightings in benchmark indexes are a result of historic run of growth, and many traders front running valuation insensitive and price insensitive index/ETF buying, however, Apple’s revenue growth has slowed and stalled, and its once formidable free cash flow yield (the company generated over $66 billion in FCF in the past twelve months) has shrunk to under 4% as its market capitalization has ballooned.  Apple remains a fine company, just an expensive one on a valuation basis, and this poor valuation starting point is a recipe for poor future stock returns. 

Disclosure: I am/we are short SPY in a long/short portfolio, I plan on shorting AAPL shares again via put options in the next 72 hours, and I am long AR.

Additional disclosure: Every investor’s situation is different. Positions can change at any time without warning. Please do your own due diligence and consult with your financial advisor, if you have one, before making any investment decisions. The author is not acting in an investment adviser capacity. The author’s opinions expressed herein address only select aspects of potential investment in securities of the companies mentioned and cannot be a substitute for comprehensive investment analysis. The author recommends that potential and existing investors conduct thorough investment research of their own, including detailed review of the companies’ SEC filings. Any opinions or estimates constitute the author’s best judgment as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice.

EQT Corp Up 49.1% Last Week; Inflection Point Is Here

EQT Corp Up 49.1% Last Week; Inflection Point Is Here

Mar. 17, 2020 8:54 AM ET|About: Antero Resources Corporation (AR)EQTSPYUNGXOMSummary

EQT Corp, the largest dry natural gas producer in the U.S., gained 49.1% last week.

Many natural gas equities had stellar performance weeks, while SPY dropped 9.5%, and historic volatility engulfed the markets.

Looking through the volatility, the inflection point is clearly at hand.

Introduction

There has been historic volatility in the financial markets.  That is not hyperbole, as the chart of the $VIX shows below.

In fact, even though the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) declined 9.5% last week, we have seen daily price moves, on a regular basis, that exceed that move.

In this swirling sea of turmoil, one sector that I have extremely bullish on stands out.

Specifically natural gas, and more specifically, the historically downtrodden natural gas equities, which have both been contrarian trades and investments even for contrarians.

Dry natural gas prices rose 9.4% last week, the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) rose 10.7% last week, and the largest dry natural gas producer in the United States, EQT Corp (EQT), rose 49.1% last week.

Macro Is Turning Sharply To Favor Natural Gas

Anybody that has been reading my work knows that I have been extremely bullish on natural gas prices and natural gas equities.

Why?

In a nutshell, both lower 48 dry natural gas production and liquids production are rolling over, as the charts of my colleague Lothar Grall illustrate.

(Source: Lothar Grall, The Contrarian)

Keep in mind, this data is from the EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report, and production was already in decline for dry natural gas and rolling over for liquids before COVID-19 became a full blown pandemic, and Russia and Saudi Arabia got into a full scale oil war.

The latter has cratered crude oil prices, and effectively rendered obsolete the primary bearish natural gas thesis, which was that unending associated dry gas production growth would forever impair dry natural gas prices.

Natural Gas Equities Have A Contrarian Surge

Again, last week, with the SPDR S&P 500 Index down 9.5%, the largest natural gas producer in the United States, EQT Corp (EQT), surged higher by 49.1%.

That is a monumental move, in a week of historical market volatility, and adding to the narrative, many of the leading dry natural gas producers had a strong week of relative, and absolute, price performance.

As this narrative begins to flow through to market participants, there is potential for extraordinary gains, perhaps even a generational wealth opportunity, as I wrote about in an article highlighting Antero Resources (AR) recently, in some of the largest dry natural gas producers in the table above.

On this note, much beleaguered Exxon Mobil (XOM), which is widely ridiculed for their XTO energy purchase in 2009, which gave them greater natural gas exposure, could get a material, unexpected (by many market participants) boost from higher dry natural gas prices.

Closing Thoughts – Take Advantage Of What I Think Is A Historic Opportunity

Many always ask me how I had a year like I did from November of 2008 to November of 2009.

The answer was really simple.

1. Have an accurate bigger picture macroeconomic view.

2.  Identify opportunities that are mispriced by the markets.

3.  Take advantage of the panic selling.

Fortunately, for market participants today, we have all the ingredients necessary for one of the great contrarian inflection points of all-time.

For members of my research services, I have published several recent pieces quantifying the historical volatility and the opportunity as follows:

Chronicling Another Historic Day In The Market & Putting Together A Buy List

Another Historic Market Day This Week – Chronicling Black Thursday & Looking Forward

Chronicling A Historic Day In The Stock Market & A More Historic Day In The Energy Market

(Note: Members can click on these articles to access.  Also, the first article is still being distributed).

Somewhat unbelievably, we have had three historic days in the stock markets in the past six trading sessions, really four historic days counting Friday’s big gains, so the volatility is incredible.

Seeing through all of this volatility, there are clear inflection points at hand, and the relative and absolute opportunity right now is as big as I have seen in my 25 year plus personal and professional investment career.

In summary, buy what is cheap, and buy into the panic, as the cheapest valuation equities with the best future return prospects will often rebound ahead of a bottom in the broader equity market.

Specific to my research services, I am offering a 20% discount to membership (I am extending this through March) to “The Contrarian” (past members can also direct message me for a special rate), the lowest price point since the founding members price, where we have a live documented history dating back to late 2015.

Additionally, I am offering a limited time 50% discount for the first 10 new members (I expect these slots, some of which I view as a stepping stone to “The Contrarian”, to fill up fast as they have done previously) to a host of research options, including a lower price point. If you subscribe to a premium option (I have had one concierge slot open up), I will set-aside time for a personal phone call to get up to speed. To get these offers, go here, and enter coupon code “opportunity” without the quotes.  Either way, once you sign up, I will follow-up with a welcome email within a day.

Reach out with any questions via direct message (I enjoy the dialogue at market inflection points).

Via my research services, or another avenue, please do your due diligence, and take advantage of what I believe is a historic inflection point, which I believe will supersede 2000-2002 in the growth-to-value rotation.

WTK

P.S. Resilience is perhaps the most important ingredient to be successful in life, and in the markets. Keep that in mind right now.

Disclosure: I am/we are long AR, EQT, UNG, XOM, and short SPY in a long/short portfolio.

Additional disclosure: Every investor’s situation is different. Positions can change at any time without warning. Please do your own due diligence and consult with your financial advisor, if you have one, before making any investment decisions. The author is not acting in an investment adviser capacity. The author’s opinions expressed herein address only select aspects of potential investment in securities of the companies mentioned and cannot be a substitute for comprehensive investment analysis. The author recommends that potential and existing investors conduct thorough investment research of their own, including detailed review of the companies’ SEC filings. Any opinions or estimates constitute the author’s best judgment as of the date of publication, and are subject to change without notice.

EQT Corp Finished Up 49.1% Last Week

The largest natural gas producer in the United States had a remarkable week in the middle of market turmoil.

For the week, with the S&P 500 Index (SPY) down 9.5%, EQT Corp (EQT) rose 49.1% for the week.

Natural gas (UNG) prices also rose 9.4% for the week.

Meanwhile, oil prices (USO) declined 23.1% for the week.

Bigger picture, price action is telling us that major inflection points are at hand. Best of luck to all.

Volatility Is Above 2008 High Levels As Dow Jones Industrial Average Has 2nd Worst Percentage Decline

Volatility Index Sets New Highs

This is just a short post to document something remarkable.

Volatility is actually above 2008’s high levels.

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) posting is second worst percentage decline ever, and a cluster of recent days on the worst performing days list, perhaps the jump in volatility amid the COVID-19 pandemic should not be a surpise.

Adding to the narrative, the S&P 500 Index (SPY) posted its third worst percentage decline day ever.

Ultimately, volatility is opportunity, and this elevated volatility will not be around forever. Thus, I think market participants should be making their shopping lists for what to own on the long side.

The Signal Event Is Potentially Here

I originally wrote this Monday morning, February 24th, before the market opened here, however, I want to post here for archives.

The Signal Event Is Potentially Here

Feb. 24, 2020 7:08 AM ET|2 comments |About: SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (SPY), Includes: AAPLAMZNBACBAC.PABAC.PBBAC.PCBAC.PEBAC.PKBAC.PLBAC.PMBML.PGBML.PHBML.PJBML.PLBRK.ABRK.BCC.PKC.PSCMCSACPRJCVXDISFBGOOGGOOGLHDINTCJNJJPMJPM.PCJPM.PDJPM.PFJPM.PGJPM.PHKOMAMRKMSFTOPEPPGQQQTTBBTBCUNHVZXOM

Summary

  • I have been waiting for a long time for a set of events to end the virtuous melt-up, fueled by passive and ETF fund flows.
  • Coronavirus could be the black swan that causes a reversal of these fund flows.
  • Non-correlated equities with low index representation stand to benefit disproportionately.

Introduction

We are potentially on the verge of an historic capital rotation from growth to value, sparked by black swan catalysts that nobody envisioned a short time ago.

Building on this narrative, on February 6th, 2018, I wrote one of my most popular articles published on Seeking Alpha titled, “Be Prepared For A Crash – Part II“, and in the article, I specifically investigated the lack of price discovery in the markets, as passive, ETF, and dividend growth fund flows were largely price insensitive and valuation insensitive in their endless buying.

Today, that virtuous, seemingly never ending cycle has the potential to work in reverse fashion.  In Steven Bregman’s words, all that was needed was a signal event to jump start a golden age for active investors, and we may have one transpiring in real time. 

The Signal Event Could Be Happening Right Now

In a September 21st, 2017 article I authored for members of The Contrarian, titled, “Investment Philosophy – A Golden Age For Active Investors Awaits“, I pontificated on how there was very little price discovery in the market.

To illustrate this point, I referenced several quotes from Steven Bregman, president and co-founder of Horizon Kinectics, who presented at James Grant’s October 4th, 2016 Investment Conference.

Here is the first set of quotes I referenced:

“A golden age of active investment management awaits only one signal event, Steven Bregman, president and co-founder of Horizon Kinetics, told the Grant’s conference-comers on Oct. 4. A collapse of the index/ETF bubble is that intervening disaster. To hear Bregman tell it, no crash would be so well-deserved

He called the exchange-traded fund excrescence the world’s biggest bubble.

“It has distorted clearing prices in every sort of financial asset in every corner of the globe…,” asserted Bregman. “[I]t has created a massive systemic risk to which everyone who believes they are well diversified in the conventional sense are now exposed.”

I could not agree more with the statement quoted above, and these price distortions have increased at an exponential rate from 2017-2019, and early into 2020, as crowded trades have become more crowded.

Conversely, the “Have Not” equities have been shunned to an even further degree, creating the most bifurcated market that I have seen in my 25 plus years actively investing and speculating.

A Historic Capital Rotation Is On The Horizon

Once passive, ETF, and index fund flows reverse, the disproportionately beneficiary equities, think the leading market capitalization index favorites, are going to be the equities that are hurt most by the reversal of fund flows.  Conversely, out-of-favor equities that have been shunned, will actually benefit, as long/short funds reduce gross market exposure, and net buying, at least net relative buying will head to these equities.

On this note, here are the 25 largest components of the SPDR S&P 500 Index ETF (SPY), which have all been buoyed by never ending passive fund flows.

  1. Microsoft (MSFT) – 5.0% weighting
  2. Apple (AAPL) – 4.8% weighting
  3. Amazon (AMZN) – 3.2% weighting
  4. Facebook (FB) – 1.8% weighting
  5. Alphabet Inc. Class A (GOOGL) – 1.6 % weighting
  6. Alphabet Inc. Class C (GOOG) – 1.6% weighting
  7. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B (BRK.B) – 1.6% weighting
  8. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) – 1.5% weighting
  9. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – 1.4% weighting
  10. Visa Inc. Class A (C) – 1.3% weighting
  11. Procter & Gamble Company (PG) – 1.1% weighting
  12. Mastercard Incorporated Class A (MA) – 1.1% weighting
  13. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH) – 1.0% weighting
  14. Intel Corporation (INTC) – 1.0% weighting
  15. Bank of America Corp (BAC) – 1.0% weighting
  16. AT&T Inc. (T) – 1.0% weighting
  17. Home Depot Inc. (HD) – 1.0% weighting
  18. Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) – 0.9% weighting
  19. Walt Disney Company (DIS) – 0,9% weighting
  20. Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) – 0.9% weighting
  21. Coca-Cola Company (KO) – 0.8% weighting
  22. Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) – 0.8% weighting
  23. Comcast Corporation Class A (CMCSA) – 0.7% weighting
  24. Chevron Corporation (CVX) – 0.7% weighting
  25. PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) – 0.7% weighting

Personally, I think the top weighted companies on this list, which dominate the S&P 500 Index, and the Invesco QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ), have a chance to sell-off dramatically, if a true capital rotation takes hold from growth to value.

Given the current extended levels of growth versus value, there is a ripe opportunity for an epic price reversal.

Looking at the above, look how steep the price reversal was in 2000-2002, with the growth to value relationship reversing on a dime, and moving straight in the other direction.

Could the same thing happen today?

Yes, is my unequivocal answer, partly because the in-favor investment strategies and trades, think passive, ETF, and dividend growth fund flows, are even more popular today on a relative basis than they were in the late 1990’s, as almost every registered investment advisor in the U.S. has shifted to some form of passive indexing.

Wrapping up, coming from a value investment background, I have seen many of my peers ground to dust, and legendary value investors essentially take their ball and go home. Personally, I have more significant scars from this time frame than any other.

The collective price action and collective investor response is very reminiscent of Julian Robertson closing his Tiger Funds near the exact peak of the 1990-2000 bubble, an investment landscape that had seen Warren Buffett routinely criticized. Of course, this was followed by a massive reversion-to-the-mean trade from 2000-2002, and really 2000-2007, where value investing handily outperformed.

Building on this narrative, during 2000-2002, the S&P 500 Index lost roughly 50% from peak-to-trough, while many value stocks, including REITs, like Realty Income (O), which was loathed at the time, but loved today after roughly two decades of out-performance, surged higher, even with the broader market struggling mightily.

With that last thought in mind, consider what investments are loathed, and loved, today.

In closing, for the value investors that are left today, the odds seem insurmountable, however, the opportunities, particularly on a relative basis, are as big as they have ever been.

To get an idea of how I am positioning for this opportunity, since we are past there, in my opinion, I am offering a 20% discount to membership (I am extending this through February) to “The Contrarian” (past members can also direct message me for a special rate), the lowest price point since the founding members price, where we have a live documented history dating back to late 2015..

Additionally, I am offering a limited time 40% discount for the first 5 new members, repeating a successful promotion from earlier this month (I expect these slots, some of which I view as a stepping stone to “The Contrarian”, to fill up fast as they have done previously) to a host of research options, including a lower price point. To get this offer, go here, and enter coupon code “february 2020” without the quotes.

Reach out with any questions via direct message.

Via my research services, or another avenue, please do your due diligence, and take advantage of what I believe is a historic inflection point,

WTK

P.S. Resilience is perhaps the most important ingredient to be successful in life, and in the markets. Keep that in mind right now.

Disclosure: I am/we are long BAC, C, xom, and short AAPL via put options and spy in a long/short portfolio.

Additional disclosure: Every investor’s situation is different. Positions can change at any time without warning. Please do your own due diligence and consult with your financial advisor, if you have one, before making any investment decisions. The author is not acting in an investment adviser capacity. The author’s opinions expressed herein address only select aspects of potential investment in securities of the companies mentioned and cannot be a substitute for comprehensive investment analysis. The author recommends that potential and existing investors conduct thorough investment research of their own, including detailed review of the companies’ SEC filings. Any opinions or estimates constitute the author’s best judgment as of the date of publication, and are subject to change without notice.

How Low Can U.S. Interest Rates Go?

As coronavirus fears spread, potentially triggering the signal event that ends the seemingly never ending, passive fueled price insensitive and valuation insensitive buying binge, how low can U.S. long-term interest rates go?

U.S. longer-term interest rates seem to already be pricing in a worst case, low growth, low inflation environment forever scenario.

Said another way, maybe the market is not prepared for a different investment landscape developing.