Remember back to early January when RBS analyst Andrew Roberts reckoned 2016 would be a shocker for the global economy and markets and he recommended investors “sell everything”.
Regular readers might recall that the absurdity of the claim made me offer a bet that he would be wrong. The bet was outlined here: https://thekouk.com/blog/sell-everything-my-challenge-to-andrew-roberts-of-rbs.html
Close to three months have passed since the “sell everything” forecast was made and win, lose or draw, I undertook to provide a monthly update on how the forecast and my offer of a bet is looking.
Unfortunately for Mr Roberts, the news is not good. Humiliating is one way to describe the success of the call. Stocks are higher, commodity prices are higher, the Aussie dollar is higher. Of the 11 categories I offered in the bet, the scorecard reads:
The Kouk 9
Recall that to win, Roberts only has to get six out of 11.
In addition to the tally of wins versus losses, the orders of magnitude of market changes are interesting. A simple average of the 11 items is up a spectacular 10.6% in three months. This is about 20 times the rate of global inflation.
The only two indicators where Roberts is ahead are US house prices which are down 0.1% and the Nikkei which is down 2.6%. Three items are up over 20% and five of the 11 are up over 7%.
Level at time Latest Difference %
US stocks S&P500 1925.0 2060.0 7.013
Brazil stocks Ibovespa 39500.0 50055.0 26.772
China stocks Shenzhen 1850.0 1912.0 3.351
Japan stocks Nikkei 17200.0 16758.0 -2.570
US house prices Case-Shiller 182.83 182.56 -0.148
UK 20 city house prices Hometrack 228800 234900 2.666
Sydney house prices Corelogic 915.00 932.91 1.957
Iron ore US$ tonne 40.50 53.75 32.716
Oil WTI US$ tonne 31.50 38.34 21.714
Copper US$ tonne 4325 4843 11.977
AUD/USD 0.7000 0.7650 9.286
Simple average 10.426
I hope you didn’t follow Roberts’ advice.
Of course, there are still 9 months to go and Roberts may get lucky. Indeed, given the rally in most markets, my prudent self would be locking in profits by buying everything and even looking for a pull-back in some markets. But that is for another hour or day.
I hope the media gives Mr Roberts the page 1 coverage he deserves in the days and weeks ahead.