Friday, October 17, 2008

Barry Ritholz Has Become the Most Bullish Guy In the Room

This is just plain odd, and surreal, and possibly a true buy signal into these wacky markets. For those of you who don't know, Ritholz is the CEO of FusionIQ and one of the primary posters on The Big Picture blog. He's been right, from a completely different perspective, right along with Roubini on a lot of this mess. Now he says:

1) For most of the past 2 years, I have invariably been the most bearish guy in the room. This has been true whether I was at a meeting or conference, on TV, in print, or simply out having dinner. The lone exception were anytime Nouriel Roubini was also present. Then I would be the 2nd most bearish person in the room.

Lately, I am the most bullish guy in the room -- and I have to tell you, that is just plum weird to me. This week, there were 4 separate occasions when I was in meetings, on TV, at a lunch, at a private dinner. Its very odd.

He is advising his clients to allocate up to 10% of their cash positions into nibbling in at equities. Even with a long recession likely to be ahead, it is possible and historically analogous that there may be a lot of sideways trading from here (as opposed to continued decline) before the sun is seen again. In short, a buying opportunity for those with the money.

I want to make clear that I am not advocating this position, as it is also possible that we'll see continued decline, but it is noteworthy that there are serious voices coming out of the bear mindset and into one of cautious buying.


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