Reader is upset about warning on stock market bubble

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Dear John: Aren’t you overdue for a stock market bubble update?

Any advice for those you scared out of their shares 8,000 Dow points ago?

I remind you that I am an independent advisor — no commissions or trading incentives here. When you insulted me (the last time) by assuming I must be an ethics-challenged broker, [as opposed to] a long-term investor of the sort who does not attempt to time the marts, I realized you simply were uninformed — not intentionally misinforming your readers.

And, no, a market correction will not vindicate your bubble fear mongering. E.B.

Dear E.B. I hope you get insulted again.

Yes, it’s October. And, yes, the market is acting funky again. And, yes, the stock market bubble is vulnerable.

You and your kind seem disturbed when someone like me — and a lot of others, including some very well-known Wall Street gurus — tell people to be cautious because stock prices have gotten way ahead of themselves when compared with corporate profits.

Look up the current per-share price of the S&P 500 compared with earnings per share, and you’ll know what I mean. It’s a bubble.

And it may pop, or it may not. But what’s the harm in people knowing the truth!

I’m curious as to why a little caution is so threatening to someone like you. And I should put your name and your company’s name in here so your clients can be forewarned that you are trying so hard to stifle an opposing view.

Look, I’ve probably been watching the market for as long as you have. And every time the market has collapsed there have been myopic investment advisers like you telling people that everything will always be all right if they just sit tight. And usually these people harass me right before the collapse — just like you are now doing.

What you forget is that the stock market has had very long periods of trouble in the past. So sitting tight isn’t always a wise move. For instance, the market peaked in 1966 and didn’t recover until 1983.

How many people today could wait 17 years to recover their investments?

And the market didn’t fully recover from the 1929 crash until 1953.

Ah, you are going to say, things are different now. And you are right. The bull market you are gloating about was fueled by unprecedented action by the Federal Reserve, which pushed interest rates down to historically low levels for an unprecedented amount of time and forced people to buy stock.

And for several years now the Fed has been undoing its handiwork. If you don’t think that scenario warrants caution, I feel sorry for your clients. The market could go down with equal force as it went up.

Again, I’m just saying that regular investors — your clients — should be aware of how things can turn when extraordinary circumstances like we’ve seen change. I’m not necessarily predicting a crash.

Dear John: Why has the city let the streets become flooded with derelict autos with no plates or “for sale” signs on them? They are taking up precious parking spaces. J.L.

Dear J.L. I suspect these cars are being abandoned because they are 1) stolen and dumped, 2) no longer wanted by owners who are too cheap to get rid of them the proper way, or 3) have owners who have died without anyone knowing where to find the cars.

I asked the mayor’s office about this and was told that you should call your local precinct about the cars. By running the VIN (vehicle identification number), the cops should be able to locate the last owner.

And by the way, I think your gripe is legitimate. But unless people like you do something to correct issues like this the city can’t address them.

So, good work.

And by the way, if you ever see a Ferrari or Lamborghini abandoned, I claim it. We’ll just say I forgot where it was parked.

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