Thursday, June 08, 2006

So, You Think You've Had a Bad Day

It is worth noting that when Impressionist paintings are "ringing the bell" at auction, and you overhear your nine year-old wanting to be a "hedge fund manager", that it may be time to consider that we are near to an intermediate-term top. Such was the case with Tokyo at year-end - something that's been alluded to in this forum in unwaveringly but none-too-subtle form.

Today, the 8th of June, Japanese fund managers might be forgiven feeling a little glum. After what was a bad start to the week, they saw yet another four percent hived off of their average portfolio values in what was the third biggest volume day of the calendar year. This was more notable since it was the largest volume day on the negative side of zero. This places the popular price-weighted benchmark, the Nikkei 225 at -9.17% YTD, and the the broader TOPIX first-section down 10.1% YTD. But if you bump into Tokyo bourse investors today, and they seem particularly [black and] blue, I will tell you why: The average investable stock, which is to say, the index of quarterly-rebalanced, equally-weighted security prices is down more than 17.4% since December 31, 2005, (and more -18% YTD for the annually-rebalanced variety!)!!

So while your American friends may be feeling poorly because the S&P500 has given up most of its gains (+0.45% YTD), and your European colleagues, too, are feeling regret at having shed their double-digit profits to less than a percent YTD, I would ask you to be especially kind to your Japan-centric acquaintences, and perhaps buy them a very, very, dry Martini and lend them an understanding ear to offset the very real financial, performance, and emotional distress they may be encountering.

No comments: