Over the past 15 or so years, Bob Brinker has gotten a lot of mileage out of talking about secular vs cyclical market trends. In the past, he wrote extensively about them in Marketimer and discussed them on Moneytalk.
By his own words, the current secular bear market must have ended -- without a whisper from Brinker, except to say that they never mattered anyway. That seems almost comical, but it sure filled a lot of pages in his newsletter. This is how he defines the end of a secular bear market:
Brinker told a Moneytalk caller in February, 2007:
“……..But what we do know is within secular trends there are no cases where a secular trend has gone beyond the previous peak by more than, by more than 10%. It's never happened, so I think it's fair to say that until that happens, the secular trend is intact.".Now the secular trend that began in year 2000 when the S&P was up in the 1500s, awww, that remains intact. The S&P 500 Index - and this is measured by the Index itself - has not gone above the prior high of 1527 close. In fact, in remains in the mid-1400s at this point. In order for it to move beyond an existing secular trend, such as the one we've had the past seven years, you would have to exceed it, I would think, by at least 10%.......”(That definition was posted on my original Bob Brinker Blog.)
Brinker totally messed up his secular bear calls. He declared that the one that began in 2000 had ended in 2006 -- he did that retroactively in 2007. Then he had to admit in 2009 that it had not ended after all.
June, 2007, Marketimer, Bob Brinker said:
"In our view, the valuation based secular bear market that was established following the March, 2000 closing high for the S&P 500 index (1527.46) and following the January, 2000 closing high for the DJIA (11723), reached its conclusion on June 13, 2006 at the bottom of the mid-term off-presidential election year correction."In May, 2009, just months after the market had dropped 55%+, Brinker changed his mind and said that the secular bear megatrend hadn't ended after all.
May, 2009 Marketimer, Bob Brinker said:
"Although it appeared to us that the secular bear megatrend that began in year-2000 had reached its conclusion, there is no question that the secular bear megatrend remains intact...."The final time that Brinker wrote about the secular bear market was in the December 2012, Marketimer, Brinker wrote:
"We would not be surprised to see the current secular bear megatrend reach its conclusion within the 2014 to 2020 time frame. This would suggest that we will experience at least one more cyclical bear market within the ongoing secular megatrend that began in Year 2000.....In our view, the absolute low for the current secular bear megatrend occurred during the U.S banking crisis on March 9, 2009."It was also in December 2012 that Brinker seemed to subtly give himself an out regarding secular bear calls:
December 2012, Marketimer, Bob Brinker said:
"While we take note of the secular market trend within the context of analyzing market history, all Marketimer asset allocation and model portfolio decisions are based solely on the market signals generated by our stock market timing model. The Marketimer stock market discipline focuses entirely on cyclical price trends."So much for secular bears -- who needs them anyway? :) Now he only mentions the ongoing cyclical bull market:
April, 2013, Marketimer, Bob Brinker said:
"Given the fact that this cyclical bull market is now in its fifth year, we remain vigilant with regard to our stock market indicators."May, 2014, Marketimer, Bob Brinker said:
"While it is true that the mid-term off-presidential year history of the market suggests that a correction is likely this year, it is also true that the Marketimer stock market market timing model continues to suggest that the underlying cyclical bull market fundamentals remain intact. "So what is Brinker's definition of a cyclical BEAR market? I don't know....