Just How Narrow is This Market? Two Visualizations

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Just How Narrow is This Market? Two Visualizations

Most stocks are down since the global equity markets peaked on 5/21/2015 (this goes without saying) and most stocks are down a lot. This puts a premium on solid active management and stock picking. But the sheer numbers are striking.

Of the 2885 companies in our GKCI All Country World Index, fully 2383 (or 83%) of them are down since the 5/21/2015 high, leaving only 502 (or 17%) of  stocks up since that date. A stock-pickers market if we ever saw one! The first chart below illustrates this blunt point.

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Gates Capital Management Reduces Risk After Rare Down Year [Exclusive]

Gates Capital Management's ECF Value Funds have a fantastic track record. The funds (full-name Excess Cash Flow Value Funds), which invest in an event-driven equity and credit strategy, have produced a 12.6% annualised return over the past 26 years. The funds added 7.7% overall in the second half of 2022, outperforming the 3.4% return for Read More

As we dig into the details, however, we see just how hard it’s been to stay above water since the May 21, 2015 peak in the global equity markets. Below we show a histogram of the distribution of stock returns since the 5/21 high. Mostly what you see is red (negative returns) and within that group you see an incredible amount of dark red between the bars that read -18% through -54%. That is to say, most stocks that are down are down between 18-54%! In other words, there are landmines everywhere, and index tracking active mutual funds and ETFs have hit them all. 

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