Not many people like to talk about bear markets, especially not when the more emotive terms such as “Stock market crash” are used. It’s often looked upon as fear mongering, and sensationalism. Preparation is practical, though.
This post is not intended to be fear mongering. In fact I want to discuss ways we can look at the market and plan for different scenarios that can mean we have no reason to be afraid.
Even if the S&P500 was to trade at 1,000 (big drop from current price (Today is the 31st August 2019, price is 2,946), we can plan and act in such ways this is a non harmful event for us. Particularly those who have net worth’s to protect that has heavy stocks exposure.
This is not going to be one of these, “It’s the top RIGHT NOW … everyone panic!” sort of posts. Regardless of my views on this, I know this is a message that would not be well received. You do not know me, and too often people have cried wolf on this and been laughably incorrect. Instead what I will do is describe price moves in the indices that most people will have every reason to believe at this point can’t happen.
Hopefully, they do not happen. I am not gleefully fangirling for a market crash. I just think there is prudence in preparation. These events will not happen in the hours after I post this, so I’d ask you kindly suspend prejudices. There is nothing to be gained by bickering over opinions of whether this will happen or not. I just want to give my perspective on how a person should protect themselves after it happens, if it does.
I’ll cover some of the things I’d forecast will be points people will want to raise or questions likely to be asked. If you’d like to skip to the forecast and subsequent trade plan you can scroll down to the line break (unless you’re going to make a common comment, then please read the following section first).
Why Do I think My Opinion Matters?
Many of you may be smarter than I in many ways, but few of you will have spent as much time assessing charting patterns as I have. Indeed, many people will scoff at the very idea of “lines on a chart” being worth anything. I’m not here to have this debate, I fully agree your view point is rational and logical. If I’d not spent years watching price charts every day, I’d think the same.
I focus mostly on Forex markets. I know these well. There are many ways currencies look like they may move that are ways they should not move unless there is big problems in stocks. These are nagging warnings. The attitude to risk in the Forex markets is negative, and stock markets show dangerous patterns. I watch these topping sorts of patterns every day. I see them in intra-day crashes, intra-week crashes and intra-month crashes.
Most major moves fit into these patterns, and when the same patterns are applied to previous stock markets in the months before they crashed, the way the patterns form and then complete (in a crash) is the same. From my perspective, these are just intra-decade crashes. There is little technical difference on the charts – although it’s very different in the real world it affects.
This is why I am doing this in a “IF we see this … then this is likely”. I know at this point in the pattern, my methods predict something that will be highly unusual. If that thing happens, if we do not crash after that, we’d be breaking the trend of all market crashes in history (this is not likely, it does not seem the smart way to bet your net worth).
Technical Analysis is Tea Leaves!
You’re welcome to your opinion on this, and I do understand your point of view. I will not post examples to try and prove my perspective on it, since it will always be called “curve-fitting”. All I will say is nothing I have done in my years of trading has involved me persuading others what I do works. I do not sell training or anything of the like. I’ve spent many years using the things I’ve learned to bet my own money, and I’ve done well.
I will not debate on this subject, because it’s always a deadlock. You can not convince me I’ve not seen what I’ve seen, and I can not show you what I’ve seen, and do not expect you to believe it without proof.
Stop Fear Mongering!
I really would like to re-iterate, I do not want you to be afraid. I am going to describe something that might happen that will be scary if it does happen. If it does not, there is no problem. I do not wish you to be fearful before, during or after.
This is like “Stop, Drop and Roll”. None of us ever expect to be ablaze. If we are, this is good information. It will be better than running about waving arms and feeding the flames to engulf us. All I want to do here is to give you the “stop, drop and roll” of a market crash. To prevent you panicking and making bad decisions at bad areas. To allow you instead to go, “Fuck! Okay … well that’s not good. Now I have to …” if scary things do happen.
No One Can Time the Market!
People have predicted and traded every stock market crash in history. The fact that many people try this and get it wrong does not take away from the fact people get this right, then place the right trades and make millions. Not many people make understanding the ways a market moves their life’s work. If you do, you get a good feel for it’s mood at any given time.
[Fundamental Analysis ] Says That Won’t Happen!
I am not here to debate analysis viewpoints. Doing so has little use, it’s better to forecast, assess and then take the best actions. I’ll confess I am too ignorant on many of these topic to engage in debate. I wake up every day 5 days a week and decide where to bet my money. In doing this, I’ve found charts forecast and news reports. I can find no way of making money by being told what happened already, so I use the charts.
What I will say is for the warning move I will discuss to happen, something news related will have to change. Some catalyst event will have to happen. In 2008, it was Lehman. Make no mistake, the warnings were on the chart long before the bankruptcy was in the news.
Time in the Markets is Better than Timing the Markets
I am perfectly fine with this perspective, and not here to argue against it. If the market could drop 50% or more and you’d not be concerned because you think it will be back up in 10 years, this is none of my business.
I’m a day trader, so for me personally timing the markets is everything. Spending a lot of time in the market day trading often means you’ve made a mistake. I’m looking for ways to get foresight into what market moves may develop and understanding of what times and conditions I can enter into these moves to profit from the.
I want to stress I am not necessarily advocating the average person tries to time the markets. In the same way an electrician would not suggest you re-wire your own home. You also could not say to the electrician it’s better to leave the lights off than risk getting a shock. Different preparations and skills sets give different possibilities. I spent a lot of years and lost money through a lot of them starting out learning how to do this.
The things I will explain here will not allow a person to consistently time the market. If I may be excused a cheesy pun, this “crash course” will be dealing with only single event, and one single set of scenarios. What I want to put forward for you in this is price moves to watch for and then (really quite specific) levels of price that are likely to offer us the best prices to protect long stock portfolios, or take speculative short trades. Very thin area of assessment.
Forecast and Plan.
What if the S&P500 Went to 2,200 … Quickly?
It’s the weekend, and the last day of August in 2019. The S&P500 has closed 2922 after rallying through the week after some sharp drops from all time highs. We may see record highs again if this keeps up … but what if next week it opens and starts to fall? Or maybe rallies higher but can not make a new high and starts to fall.
What if it falls faster than it did in the last drop, and what if this time it does not stop? What if it gets to the lows of 2790, and goes from there quickly to 2700. These big levels act as resistance and the market can not trade higher than them. Instead it hits them, reverses and goes down more.
I think people would be nervous, but there’d be still the feeling of this being a normal, albeit tough, corrective move. There’s weekly lows of 2,333. Above here the market is still technically up-trending. What if we got there, and the market went through it like it was nothing? What if the coming weeks or months we seen candles bigger than any we’ve seen recently? What if we were hearing news reports of record falls, rather than record highs?
What if over the development of only weeks and some horrific trading days we went from today’s 2922 to break under the 2015 lows of 1,886?
I think people would be afraid!
Nothing I am saying is for the purposes of fear mongering, but I think this is possible. I’d like to say I think it’s “highly unlikely”, but I am thinking a lot about how to structure real bets on it and I like my odds. If this happens, it’s likely the market will go lower still. What you do during the following weeks and months may have a huge affect on your financial health by the start of 2021.
How Does This Scenario Look on a S&P500 Chart?
That looks like it’s not going to happen, right? I think that this looks like it’s not going to happen. We learn through our life experience, and my life experience has taught me when I ignore what I think about things like this and build well structured trade plans that would assume it will happen, money comes. For me, this makes sense to bet on at the moment, as unlikely as it looks. That’s getting a bit into “Calling the high”, though. \Which this is not about.
This is about what do you do if this happens? What if there is a day when they say on the news that the market just made it’s lowest point in the last five years … and economists and experts say it can go down more!
1 – Filter and assess your sources.
Before you act or even think about the information these sources have (pertaining to what trades to make or expect), check what they were saying now. If they’re not saying this could happen – don’t worry too much about what they say happens next. They have as much chance of being wrong.
2 – Do not panic.
This is a time to remain calm. Bad things have happened, and there will have been multiple days the market has dropped precipitously. Different economic factors explaining these moves may be threatening to get worse and the market may take more dangerous swings spiking under recent lows. This is the point at which most people will panic and make bad choices with their portfolio.
3 – Buy Around 1,800
This obviously sounds like something anyone would do right now, with price at 2,922; but with the conditions that’d have to be occurring for this of move to happen will make this highly counter intuitive at the time.
4 – Understand Something Changed, New Highs are Not Coming
From peak pessimism around 1,800 I expect the market to start to rally. Rallying strong. Making markets great again.
At this point, you should understand something has changed. The market is not meant to trade at that level in an up-trend. Frequently when these levels ‘break’, there is a strong counter move that is fierce. It’s also brief. We can buy here and offset some of the losses in the mini bounce (but be very cautious).
2,129 area is where the danger of a bear move comes back in. It might rally a bit above here into 2,333.
This is where the second mistake many people will make will be. Not buying the lows, but then starting to buy into this rally thinking it’s going to new highs.
Very Important: If price makes moves consistent with what I’ve described 2,220 – 2,300 are hedge areas.
If you take appropriate actions in these areas you can protect yourself from the chance of excessive loss if the market is to crash in 2020. You can also do this without taking on much risk. Granted if you hedge long portfolios there is some risk of losing a little, but your area of risk on these hedges is less than the area of risk on a long portfolio after this has happened.
When this has happened, historically it’s always led to a crash in the coming months/year. We’ll have done something the markets do not usually do. Big corrections may look similar, but when you deal with this all the time, you come to know there are specifics that should be noted. If the levels I’ve mentioned for a buy fill, the market is crashing. It’s no longer a question of if.
5 – Hold Hedges Until 1,100
If we crash, the low will probably be only a bit below this level. Anything more than this in a fall would be truly horrific (I know many people think this is horrific, but from a technical point of view this is really to be expected, and not unusual. It only happens after long periods of time, so it’s unexpected and uncommon. It not unusual in trend formation).
I am not a financial adviser, and can not tell you any trades you should be making to hedge portfolios or to take speculative positions. I’ve given these levels on the S&P500, and there are many things correlated to this you could use to protect portfolios. If this happens, I will be very much ‘In the trenches’. I’ll be trading in various markets every day and sharing some of my insights and trade plans, but I can’t tell you specifically what to do.
I am only sharing this with you to let you know there are strategies people have used in the past to predict crashes, and I’ve used these strategies a lot and become good with them. They now predict a market crash starting in 2019, developing through 2020, and the things I’ve explained in this post would be the next steps if the prediction is accurate.
If the next steps happen, the strategy would then forecast the S&P500 to go from 2,200 – 2,400 sort of range to 1,000.
I am asking no one to take this seriously at the moment, but I would suggest if the market makes moves similar to what I’ve described – you then consider there may be a lot of merit to what it further forecasts. Things could look very different from how they do this weekend in a few weekends time.