NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I was pretty satisfied with the election results. I know many in the market weren't and I am sympathetic to that. But when it gets in the way of making money, I lose patience with grieving.
That's what is happening right now. A lot of traders apparently bought into the political spin of their party leaders, assuming bad motives on the part of the other side, and the result is clear in the latest American Association of Individual Investors sentiment index -- a sharp fall into bearish territory since November 6. One trader put this on a chart and posted it to Twitter.
Investors are suddenly more bearish than at any time this year. They're more bearish than they were in May, when USA Today said no one wanted stocks anymore, as Barry Ritholz wrote at the time,. Even more bearish than June, when AmericanManufacturing.org was collecting "oh noes" about China.Or, as CNBC put it all last week: Fiscal cliff! Fiscal cliff! Fiscal cliff! Well, fiscal cliff schmiscal cliff. First, let's get two things straight. Mitt Romney is not a fascist, and Barack Obama is not a Kenyan Muslim Socialist. Their differences are minor compared with what they agree on. If you're buying or selling assets based on a caricature, based on politics, you're losing money in any market.
Here's the truth. The American economy is in pretty good shape, compared to the rest of the world. You can throw darts at a board, or you can buy the New York Stock Exchange (SPY) or Nasdaq (QQQ) ETFs and come back five years from now with more money than you started with. Consumers are less debt-ridden than at any time since 2003, as The FiscalTimes writes. We have a natural gas glut we can't export, MoneyNews writes, meaning energy inputs cost less here. And when that glut ends, we make more money. The dimensions of a sustainable recovery are also coming into focus. We are approaching energy abundance, not just oil and gas abundance but abundance in technologies that produce alternatives to oil and gas, and use that energy more efficiently.
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