CONSENSUS ROUNDUP January-February 2016

As most of you who have stumbled upon my website know, I used to post a blog called Investment Consensus Watch where I would highlight observations where a consensus viewpoint was being entrenched in the stock market and overall economy. I used to group my observations/blog posts as Positive and Negative.  I don’t know  if anyone used it, but I found great value in grouping these observations because it gave me a dashboard into whether the Consensus was exuberant or pessimistic.  Starting this year I decided to stop making these posts under this umbrella, mainly because there were other things I wanted to share with you that I thought were important. However, I couldn’t quit cold turkey so I decided to continue to compile observations of Consensus and to at least try an post every few months some quick hits and links to some consensus thinking that is prevalent.  So for my first iteration this year, here are some random musings of Consensus over the first couple of months of 2016:

Negative Consensus Posts

Skyfall - January 12 2016

‘Sell everything’ global banking giant tells investors and brace for ‘cataclysmic year’

In January the Smart Money People at RBS went all Chicken Little and pounded the table on selling stocks.

Smart MoneyConsensus

Forecasts of 2016 by Tiger21 – The High Net Worth club of Canada.

The Uber wealthy of Canada’s business community chimed in on what they are seeing on the horizon

Cash Consensus –Jan 26 2016

Canadians hiding more money under mattresses

With economic uncertainty hanging over the country, Canadians appear to be in a hoarding mood and parking money in cash. Usually when this level of fear and negativity set in, it could signal a time to start dipping the toes.

It’s not just a Canadian thing….

Investors are sitting on the most cash since 2011, least overweight stocks since 2012

Magazine Cover Consensus –February 8 2016

Magazine covers are great for identifying peaks and troughs. Barrons magazine cover in February pounds the table for $20 oil. When I see these type of headlines, I’m compelled to take the other side of this trade.

Investor Consensus – February 15 2016

Canadian Investors are becoming a skittish bunch. Manulife Financial says that Canadian investors have lost confidence in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and balanced mutual funds over the past six months.

It also suggests that housing is seen as a less attractive investment, while confidence in fixed income investments has stayed about the same.

Individual investor optimism lowest since 1993.

According to the American Association of Individual Investors latest survey, less than 30 percent of its members (retail investors) are optimistic about stocks. Bummer.

Positive Consensus Posts

Feb 9 2016 – More Americans Quitting Jobs than any other time in last 9 years

The one positive moment of Consensus the past few months is that Americans are finally building up the confidence and courage to seek greener pastures.  You don’t quit a job unless you’ve got something lined up. More quits indicates more jobs are to be had and more likely better paying jobs.

So overall from my perch, I would say 2016 has gotten to a very bleak start. From an investing perspective it has definitely woken me up and made me pay more attention to looking at opening or building on current positions.

Any other consensus sightings? Let me know and we’ll add them to the list!