I declare September frugality month. If I’ve learned anything from my 20+ years working, it’s that September and October are generally dicey months for people’s fortunes. 9/11 wasn’t good, neither was last September 15th when Lehman declared bankruptcy. Since 1928, studies show that September is by far the worst month in the calendar year for performance at minus 0.7%. Sentiment turns on a dime, and when markets rally 50%+ into the months of September and October, our risks are greater than our rewards.
I don’t see the Dow Jones breaking 9,700, nor do I see the S&P breaking 1,040. This is it, we’re here and it’s time for a pull back. At 129X P/E this year for the S&P, earnings are going to have to roar back for valuations to get down to prior peak levels of 40-45X. It’s always dicey when the markets rally ahead of earnings. Now firms must execute, and rely on the consumer to leverage up again to drive corporate profits. Good luck to that!
Even if the markets continue to rally and we aren’t fully invested, we still win because the labor market tightens, wages go up, and job security increases. That said, I plan to spend money on nothing except for food and shelter this September. No clothes, no new gizmos, no unnecessary strolls to the mall. September is austerity month, and I’m going to bank all disposable income away! Who’s with me?
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Updated on 12/1/2014. Let the bull market continue. Just don’t forget to rebalance.