Charles Sizemore was interviewed in a recent article by Reuters’ Lou Carlozo:
Amid a burst housing bubble, worldwide jitters over government debt and the high-profile recklessness of some financial movers and shakers, markets in the U.S. and abroad have taken a beating…
Risk today, in almost any form, is seen as the enemy by a growing number of investors.
“It’s totally understandable, even if it’s not logical,” says Charles Sizemore, principal of Sizemore Capital Management in Dallas, Texas and editor of the Sizemore Investment Letter.
He cites a landmark 1979 study by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, who found that people dislike losses 2.5 times more than they like comparable gains.
This may explain why many investors dwell more on the bad times than good — and why every MF Global brings a boatload of bad memories back to life.
“Generals always fight the last war, and investors invest for the last market — and 2008 was devastating, maybe the worst since the Great Depression,” Sizemore says. Investors “who rode it out can’t bear to go there again. They’re timid to do anything…”
Remember when former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan coined “irrational exuberance”? ‘Twas 1996, and tech stocks were through the roof — and, simultaneously, perched on a precarious bubble.
Fast forward to 2011, where browbeaten markets could use even a pauper’s ration of that exuberance. Emotions still dominate, but of a darker variety.
Call it the age of “irrational anxiety.”
To read the article in its entirely see “When will our risk aversion wear off?“