Sunday, November 23, 2008

Substantial Risk still in the market?

I note that for most of my life, the average P/E of stocks was far far lower than it has been in the past ten years.

Now, I do not know the exact numbers, so I will throw some approximate stuff out there. The specificity is not the issue, the general trend is.

I believe that the average Price to Earnings ratio from 1930 to 1990 was in the seven to eight range. Somewhere (exactly where is not important) in the 1990's the P/E ratio started to rise. By the end of the Ninties, stock prices had risen and pushed the P/E ratio into the teens. By 2001 P/E's had jumped to astronomical highs in tech stocks and outrageous levels elsewhere. I worked in the phone industry as a data communications manager for what is now AT&T. The P/E ratio for that stock (then SBC) was 30 as opposed to the normal 8 or 9.

With the reality of the escalation of stock P/Es behind us, it is now likely that the average P/E on stocks could return to the traditional average of seven to eight?

If so, the market could fall another forty to fifty percent. I do not know about buying back in when that is the risk.

What say you? Government Bonds are far safer when one realizes what the risk of buying into a falling/correcting stock market is. Is the correction that is occuring a fall to tradition in stock valuation absent this recent ten or so year exhuberance ?????????

About Me

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Born Chicago. Lived: Palos Heights Chicago, Illinois; American Samoa; Mexico; Escondido and San Diego, California; and then I finally graduated from High School. Subsequently, 12 years in the Navy took me all over the world.