Bank Of America Warns: “Too Few Bears Out There”, “Investors Not Prepared” For Selloff

Bank Of America Warns: “Too Few Bears Out There”, “Investors Not Prepared” For Selloff

Tyler Durden on 02/04/2014 08:24 -0500

There is one main reason why complacency is bad: selloffs. Because as Bank of America explains, in an environment in which there are “too few bears“, and where investors are “not prepared for a downside correction”, when you do finally get a sell off for whatever reason, with nobody hedged and otherwise prepared for such an outcome, the only logical continuation is piling on until one gets selling exhaustion. And in a world in which hedge fund leverage is about 500%, by the time exhaustion comes, there will be very few left standing.

From Bank of America:

Sentiment an equity market risk: II % Bears dropped to 14.1% = too few bears

Even with the increased volatility since mid-January, there are still too few bears out there based on Investors Intelligence (II) % Bears. The most recent survey reading as of January 24 was 15.3% vs. 15.1% the prior week. This is complacent and contrarian bearish from a sentiment standpoint. With II % Bulls moving down to 53.1% from 57.6%, the bulls did reign in their horns, but not enough to move II % Correction to a contrarian bullish level that would suggest that too many investors are looking for a correction. As of December 20, 2013, Investors Intelligence (II) % Bears extended deep into contrarian bearish territory below the 20% level hitting a 14.1% – the lowest level for II % Bears since March 1987. II % Bulls moved up to 61.6% as of December 27, 2013 – the highest level since October 2007. Sentiment is an equity market risk and confirms the complacent readings for the 5-day put/call ratios .

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Put-call ratios are complacent & contrarian bearish

Both the 5-day and 25-day CBOE Total put/call ratios are overbought and contrarian bearish. The 5-day total put/call ratio reached the lowest level since early 2010 while the 25-day total put/call reached the lowest level since early late 2004. These put/call ratios are at levels thatsuggest investors are not prepared for a downside correction. In terms of market sentiment, this is contrarian bearish.

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About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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