Let's deal with the heart of the matter, though. That is, it may still be early in the migration from stupid, hardly safe low-yielding instruments to risk-adjusted assets that give you a pretty strong return, provided you collect the dividends. How many professionals have you heard come on air, or be in cyber or actual print, saying, "Come on in, this one's the real deal"? How many professionals have professed love for stocks and begged people to invest in them? Sure, permabull Warren Buffett has, although he's backed off of late. But he loved stocks in October of 2008, so let's stipulate that he's not a timer -- something that he would be more than insistent about.
No, during this period, most managers to whom I have listened have had one foot out the taper door. They have lived in fear of what the Fed will do regarding the quantitative-easing program. They have bemoaned that the earnings aren't real because of the lack of revenue growth. They have been so frightened of Washington that they have been tepid about stocks, to say the least. They have tremendous faith in our president to do the wrong thing for the stock markets, and they have forever fretted about a European or a Chinese collapse. They have been agnostic bulls at best, and if they now switch and gain conviction, that would have me worried.
Ultimately I think that there will be squalls, of course. We had one just last week about the economy being too strong, only to have it be resolved in a positive fashion in Friday's session. Just think that last week we had another end-of-the-world scare that that took our breath -- and our money -- away.
But the idea that, once again, because "retail" is stirring -- when alas, these folks have been leaving in droves for years and years -- things are "bad" for stocks? Well, by that measure this factor just joins the litany of everything else that we have heard has been bad for stocks as the market has seemed to endlessly climb a wall of worry.So let's put it like this: As a bull, I could read these stories and have said, "That's it. I have been a bull since March of 2009 and I want out. This is it. I am done." I do see plenty of areas I want to avoid, because they seem expensive. But to pull out now because individual investors are "back," even as they are barely in town? Let's just say, find me something else good to do with my money and I am there. If not, feed me some more negatives. I need them to convince me to put my money in a CD yielding 0.82%, the current rate in a five-year piece of paper -- something that, in the end, seems pretty frothy to me.
Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, was long FB. Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:51 a.m. EST on Real Money on Nov. 11.
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