Jim Jubak has been writing about the financial markets since 1984. He’s been picking stocks online since 1997 and has run a mutual fund since 2010. Way back in 1984 Mr. Jubak worked at Venture magazine, covering technology, the venture capital industry, and the financial markets. In 1992, after rising to editor, he left the magazine to write In the Image of the Brain, a look at how engineers were building neural network computers based on the workings of the human brain and how neuroscientists were using what that machine hardware told them to dive deeper into the human wetware. Writing a book being the highly lucrative endeavor that it is, Mr. Jubak soon had to get a real job, and for the next five years, he worked as senior financial editor at Worth magazine. At the magazine, he spent his summer vacations building horrendously complicated spreadsheets to rank US mutual funds. And, while working as senior financial editor, Mr. Jubak wrote The Worth Guide to Computerized Investing, the...
Despite the avoidance of the fiscal cliff and the strong stock rally, MoneyShow's Jim Jubak still sees clouds on the horizon, suggesting things may change again in a few weeks.
All I've got to say is don't get used to the market being in any particular direction. We got past the US fiscal cliff crisis, but it's probably only like another month before this throws up its ugly head again.
So right now I would say to you, if you don't like the market weather, wait a couple weeks. It'll change, sort of like the weather in San Francisco. That means don't chase anything. If you miss something, the other adage-which also applies to San Francisco-is you miss the streetcar, don't worry; there'll be another one along relatively quickly. That goes for stocks, too.
If you think about it, basically I would guess somewhere around the State of the Union at the end of January or early February, we're going to see a return of posturing and worries about the debt ceiling and the US not paying its bills and all that stuff, which will again make the markets really, really nervous.
We might pretty much reverse everything that looks so rosy at the beginning of January. The dollar may become a safe haven despite the fact that the chaos is inside the US. People may decide well, I don't really want to belong to China anymore, despite the fact that the Chinese growth story is so much better than it is in the United States.
So basically, make sure you're being very, very careful of where you're buying. Make sure you're being very careful about what your selling points are. Do you want to hold through another episode like December? Remember how grim that all felt until the final days just before the end of the year when everybody decided that it was OK to rally because we were going to get some kind of deal.
You're looking at something like that, you're trying to decide what your strategy is, and I think what you've basically got is maybe two or three weeks before all these same questions that made December such a really miserable month to invest in return, and make January and February equally difficult.
Right now, everything looks great. But really, I see clouds on the horizon and then sun beyond that, and then clouds again, and maybe we'll get rain and sprinkles. But it's going to be changeable, as they say.