Among all the regular guests on The Daily Ticker (nee Tech Ticker), few have been as consistently bullish as James Altucher of Formula Capital. (See: "It's Paid to Be Bullish": James Altucher Demands Apology from Mish, Roubini)
Heading into Friday major averages were up 9 of 11 sessions and hovering near the highest levels since Spring 2008. So you might think Altucher would be ready to declare "victory" and turn cautious. Instead, he is upping the ante on his bullish call, predicting the Dow will hit 20,000 and the S&P will eclipse 2000 before the current rally runs its course.
"When I'm really going to be worried is by 2013-14 when we could be seeing bubble proportions," he says. "Right now, why would you back off on this economy when a $1 trillion is about to get flushed down?"
Noting monetary policy works with a lag, Altucher believes QE2 hasn't yet hit the economy, but it will in the coming months. "There's going to be dips and volatility but I think the economy's going to boom once the QE2 stimulus funds actually hit the economy," he says. "Absolutely I'm bullish on the economy and the stock market. "
Bullishness from Altucher is nothing new, as faithful viewers know. But today's call comes with a twist: Even while predicting huge gains ahead, he recommends 99% of investors avoid the stock market.
As discussed in the accompanying video and detailed on his blog, Altucher has a list of Reasons Not to Buy Stocks, which I'll summarize here:
It's really hard and very few people are successful at it. The very best investors in the world can only consistently produce 10% to 15% annual returns, so what hope is there for the rest of us?
The competition is ruthless, relentless and better connected (literally and figuratively) than the rest of us.
It's mostly a scam. In addition to insider trading and other outright frauds, "I would never ever trust any number that comes out on a 10Q, no matter how GAAP compliant it is," he writes. "Enron was GAAP compliant."
Ownership has its privileges. Citing legendary investors like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Altucher notes "the guys who make real stock market wealth never diversify and never sell" — and they also have 100s of millions of shares in the companies they run and/or founded. "Then there's the other 100 million people who own stocks."
For those "really determined" to ignore Altucher's advice and buy stocks, he recommends buying index funds or closed-end funds, or "wait for another 2008 and buy a large basket of stocks and really ride them -- and you have to really ride them through all the volatility."