Last week I updated the Warren Buffett yardstick, market cap-to-GNP. The only time it was ever higher than it is today was for a few months at the top of the dotcom mania.
However, when you look under the surface of the market-cap-weighted indexes at median valuations they are currently far more extreme than they were back then. As my friend John Hussman puts it, this is now “the most broadly overvalued moment in market history.”
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Another way to look at stock prices is in relation to monetary velocity and here, too, we see something totally unprecedented.
Finally, when you look at equity valuations relative to economic growth it quickly becomes clear that investor euphoria has entered uncharted territory.
Critics will say “valuations aren’t an effective timing tool.” I’m not saying they are. But if you believe that “the price you pay determines your rate of return” then at current prices you must believe we currently face some of the worst prospective returns in history.
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