(This is an excerpt from recent blogs for Decision Point subscribers.)
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The chart below shows interesting aspects of different components of *Rydex funds. First, we can see that the Money Market Fund assets are dropping to levels frequently associated with price tops. This means that sideline cash is getting low.
Next, the Bull Assets have failed to expand during the last two month market rally, showing a lack of enthusiasm on the part of bulls.
Total Bear Assets have fallen to levels not seen since the 1998 market top, showing that the bears are unusually timid.
Finally, and most interesting, is that total assets in Rydex Funds have been dropping precipitously for about six months, in spite of a lively market rally. This could mean that investors are losing interest in Rydex funds and are moving their money elsewhere. I tend to believe a broader interpretation — that average investors are losing interest in the stock market because of two bear markets, a real estate crash, and the ongoing debt crisis.
Along those lines, I read some interesting statistics in a CNBC.com article about real estate. One-third of homeowners own their homes outright (no mortgage). Another one-third are underwater with their mortgages. The final one-third, obviously, have equity or are at least breakeven on their mortgages.
If we think of these groups of homeowners as potential stock investors, the group who has no mortgage are very conservative and unlikely to take on the risks of the stock market. The underwater group doesn’t have any money. And the final group may or may not have any money they want to risk. I admit that this view is strongly biased toward the negative, but it is the other side of the argument made by the bulls that there is lots of money sitting on the sidelines, waiting to pile into the market and drive prices much higher. Just a thought.
But I digress.
The analysis of the Rydex charts above lead me to believe that a significant price top will arrive within a week, maybe two.
*Rydex was bought by Guggenheim Investments a year or two ago, and a lot of the old Rydex funds have been renamed appropriately. Some have not. For the purposes of the Rydex Ratio calculations, we have contnued to follow the original Rydex funds, even if their names have been changed.