Press Release (ePRNews.com) - PERG, Austria - Aug 26, 2016 - The stock market’s intermediate-term prospects are brighter today than at almost any other point in the last five years.
That is the surprising conclusion of a new stock-market indicator that advisors at Alfred Lettner, the independent, family-owned financial advisory company in Austria, have found to have a better track record than nearly all of the many others they have studied.
Even more surprising: This new indicator is based on the prices of gold and platinum. That seems an unusual source for guidance about equities, since most people consider the precious metals to be largely uncorrelated with the stock market—if not negatively correlated. After all, that’s why gold and platinum are considered by so many to be a good investment for those looking to diversify their equity portfolios.
Yet, according to a study led by John Alexander, a Senior Investment Manager at Alfred Lettner, the ratio of gold’s price to platinum’s has been—at least over the 40-plus years since gold began freely trading in the U.S.—impressively correlated with the stock market’s subsequent performance, as measured by broad indexes like the Wilshire 5000. Furthermore, when he tested this ratio’s track record against numerous other indicators that prior research had found to have value, the ratio came out ahead of nearly all of them.
John Alexander said, “First and foremost, please note that I have been focusing on the ratio of gold to platinum, not the price of either metal individually. The ratio responds to changes in their relative performance, and the ratio will go up even when gold is declining—provided platinum falls even further.”
“This latter possibility often turns out to be the case during equity bear markets,” Alexander explained. “And that’s one big reason why the ratio has such a good track record: It calls for relatively high equity exposure levels at equity bear-market bottoms.”
Why does the ratio rise during stock bear markets and fall during bull markets? John Alexander explained that during economic good times, both gold and platinum react to more or less the same factors—jewelry and industrial demand—and, as a result, the ratio of the two metals’ prices will be relatively low.
Alexander continued, “During economic downturns, in contrast, gold’s decline is cushioned in ways that platinum’s is not—by investors who view gold (but not platinum) as a disaster hedge. Therefore, the ratio will tend to rise during economic bad times.”
In any case, notice from the gold-platinum ratio today, though lower than a couple of months ago, is higher than at most other points of the last five years. That’s why the ratio’s current message is as upbeat as it is.
David Perry, who assisted Mr. Alexander during the study, said “To be sure, a number of qualifications are in order. First, as John emphasized to me, no one should base their entire equity strategy on just one indicator, even one with as good a record as the gold-platinum ratio.”
“Secondly,” Perry added, “because the ratio’s greatest explanatory power comes at the one-year to two-year horizon, the ratio could end up being correct in its current relative bullishness even if the stock market undergoes a serious decline in coming months.”
Nevertheless, given the bearish message of other longer-term indicators, it’s comforting to know that at least one is singing a different tune.
Alfred Lettner, established in 2005 and with offices in Austria, Hong Kong and China caters to private and corporate clients all over the world. More information can be found at http://www.alfredlettner.com/ Source :