Market Commentary 12/31/18

Don't Bite on the Double Move

Those of us in the Philly area are, once again, enjoying the improbable run of the Eagles to the playoffs. After a mediocre season they managed to sneak in on the last day despite numerous injuries on both the offense and defense. The impact of these injuries is most pronounced on defense where most of the defensive secondary positions are former backup players. In these critical playoff games many commentators are concerned about the tendency of these replacement players to “bite on the double move” on pass plays. This happens when a defensive player over-reacts early in the play and gives up a long pass behind him, often at a critical point in the game..

Investors should be wary of the risk of “double moves” in the markets, as well.  We have hit a critical juncture where a confluence of events could easily contribute to classic investing mistakes.  After a ten year bull market run fueled by massive amounts of liquidity injections by the Fed, artificially low interest rates, and accelerating economic growth, we are hitting an inflection point.  The risk is magnified by the actions of central bankers around the globe that pursued similar policies at the urging of former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke.


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