Something I felt was important during the conference was to assess the mood of the investor attendees. I thought I would conduct random interviews asking a range of questions. Instead, The MoneyShow compiled very useful sentiment indicators. The sample consisted of 895 responses. The following are the survey results (see accompanying slide show).
- Slide #1 - How will S&P 500 perform the remainder of the year?
The majority of responses were bullishly oriented
- Slide #2 - What will price of gold be at the end of the year?
Despite gold not making a high since 2011 and the recent fall, responses had a slightly bullish tone
- Slide #3 - How will you reinvest cash?
Given the response to the S&P 500 question, it is not surprising that cash reserves were most likely to find their way to stocks.
- Slide #4 - What is your inflation bias?
The bias was relatively low as might be expected.
- Slide #5 - Where will unemployment be at year's end?
The majority actually see an improvement in the unemployment picture.
Understanding that these are surveys and not actionable responses, I found the general optimism quite in line with expectations. The stock market is near its highs despite recent turbulence, bonds are still near all-time highs despite a recent increase in rates, and the unemployment picture, albeit deceptive given the methodology used, has shown improvement. The bullish optimism, however, obscures what lies beneath the surface. Contravening the bullishness is what I found in the IMX presentation and warnings given by Jim Rogers. I have noticed fissures in various markets and have noted them in my column. Such general optimism is often a harbinger of a trend change.