It’s Time To Get Greedy In The Energy Sector

by jessefelder

It feels like yesterday but it was over four years ago that I wrote, “It’s Time To Get Greedy In The Gold Market.” Gold was under $1,100 an ounce at the time and, for a number of reasons, it felt like there was the proverbial “blood in the streets” that marks a great time to buy.

As I wrote at the time, “It’s very easy to say, ‘be greedy when others are fearful,’ but it’s another thing entirely to actually do it.” And it was not easy to be a buyer of gold while it was so deeply out of favor but it has paid off since. The gold price recently hit $1,550 and the gold miners ETF (GDX) has doubled.

Looking at the energy sector today, I’m reminded in so many ways of this opportunity in gold. This looks to be the third losing year in a row for energy stocks, a pretty rare feat for any sector or asset class. And it comes after the back-to-back losing years of 2014 and 2015 (only 2016 kept it from being a six-year streak!). Gold had nearly gone four straight years of losses when it bottomed in 2015.

And, according to my friend, Meb Faber, it’s just this sort of persistently painful performance that typically sets up a terrific rebound.

The relative performance of energy has been so painful that it now makes up the smallest share of the S&P 500 in over two decades.

Investors have clearly become very fearful of this sector, consistently pulling tons of money out of the sector.

But there are signs of hope. Typically, inversion of the yield curve, as we saw over the summer, is a good sign for the relative performance of the energy sector.

And as my friend, Eric Cinnamond, points out, energy stocks have also become really cheap.

So cheap, in fact, that they now offer their highest yields in history which, as my friend Louis-Vincent Gave points out, should help to put a floor under the shares.

Finally, the smartest of the smart money appears to be circling the sector as they smell a rare opportunity.

To paraphrase what I wrote about gold four years ago, I’m fairly certain that energy stocks are now the most hated group in the markets. For that very reason, they are likely the most attractive opportunity an investor can find today.