Back in early March, I wrote a piece for the local newspaper called, “Fortitude in the Face of Crisis” (renamed, “There’s money to be made during even the worst of times”, by The Bulletin). The article described why I had become so bullish on the stock market at the time. Needless to say, I was harshly criticized by the bear crowd for “abandoning the dark side.”
Those who agreed with my bearishness at the height of the real estate bubble and during the early stages of the financial crisis obviously found it difficult to change their perspectives along with the changing valuations. Inertia is a powerful force even outside of the world of physics.
What was the cost of their persistent bearishness? Missing the biggest rally in 70 years.
Barry Ritholtz wrote an interesting piece today, titled “Beware of Naive Contrarianism”, that goes a long way towards explaining the inertia that entrapped the bears last Spring. It brings to mind all the kids that think they’re being rebellious by dressing like punks. The trend becomes so popular (witness the success of Hot Topic, a nearly billion-dollar retailer focused on the market) that the true rebel becomes the kid who shuns it altogether.
I’ve been that kid my whole life.