American author Jodi Picoult once wrote that anxiety is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.
In the over forty years since I started in this business I’ve often been referred to as a bull market optimist; someone who thinks equity markets are always wonderful. But it’s actually not true. Markets are cyclical; they move up, they retrench and then they move up again.
Those referred to as “gurus” are the worst of the lot when it comes to predictions. John Mauldin has over a million followers despite saying eight years ago “If you expect a major bull market to develop in this climate you are not paying attention and need your heid examined” (I added the last four words, but you get the drift).
Despite the US stock market’s historically bullish nature, the fundamental shift towards social media journalism has led to the conclusion that “pessimism pays” – and the importance of those well-tracked and “cookied” eyeballs inevitably equals advertising revenue.