Fisher: Stocks Cheap, Focus on “Other Side of The Valley”

What will the turnaround look like? According to Kenneth Fisher, Forbes columnist and CEO of Fisher Investments, it won’t be a long, drawn-out process. In a speech given at the third annual NASDAQ MarketSite Conference in October, which is now available on Equities Magazine’s web site, Fisher says that historically the nature of bottoms is “V-like” meaning that whatever you lose at the end of a bear market you make up just as quickly after the market bottoms. For long-term investors, losing another 15 or 20 percent by staying invested during the final part of the bear market is immaterial, because they’ll make that up just as fast as they lose it. And, that final part of the bear market is usually small compared to the ensuing gains you get from the next bull market.

Fisher says that recently, investors have been, in a sense, walking downhill to a valley and looking at their feet, and each next step downward. What they are failing to see is that ahead of them a bit, there is a big rise that will take them out of the valley.

When adjusted for tax and interest rates, Fisher says stocks are cheaper than they’ve been in all but the oldest investors’ lifetimes. He shows how that is true by comparing the global earnings yield to the global bond rate.

Fisher also had some harsh words for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who he called “nonfeasant”, and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who he called “simply evil”. He said the current liquidity crisis could have been tamed by lowering bank reserve requirements and lowering the discount rate markedly compared to the federal funds rate.