Forward View
The World Really IS a Better Place
The last three years have provided us with one disaster after another. Covid. A flash depression. Inflation. Interest rate hikes. Bank insolvencies.

Is it really that bad? Or do we just hear about the bad news?

The media craves attention. And the best way to get that attention is by hitting our "panic button." At this point, the panic button is getting pretty worn out. Everybody is feeling it.

One website that is a great way of getting perspective on the world is They have a useful tool for upgrading your worldview, by comparing your perceptions with the actual data.

According to Gapminder, there are 10 Dramatic Instincts... ways we misinterpret the news by using emotional filters.
And there are 10 Rules of Thumb to control our Dramatic Instincts:
We've all heard of the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

These really are interesting times. We are making rapid progress on any number of levels.

Futurists look at trends and scan for "weak signals" -- early indicators of change that most people don't pay attention to.... and I'm seeing a lot of things worth getting excited about. (Click on links, below).

The headlines for politics and society can be dismal. Meanwhile, what's happening in science & technology is nothing short of amazing. Cancer vaccines? Nuclear fusion? AI-enhanced productivity? Bring it on.

Jim Lee, CFA, CMT, CFP
Founder, StratFI
Outlook for Stocks Improving
From what I can see, we are getting close to the end of higher interest rates from the Federal Reserve. This has pushed money out of stocks and into U.S. Treasury Bills, CDs, and high-yield money market funds.

It is likely that we'll see just one more 0.25% rate hike in June or July. I'm already seeing some quantitative easing (Fed Reserve buying securities on the open market) - this is bullish, too. Looking at the importance of the Fed Reserve vs. the Economy, the Fed seems to have greater influence for now.

My favorite market timing cycles flashed the "green light" in January and became even more bullish last week.

I'm a bit nervous about the U.S. debt ceiling discussions, like everyone else. We'll likely know if this gets resolved by June 5th. 

There are still things to worry about... commercial real estate and the lending markets. The economy could already be in a recession (albeit a very modest one).

Also, what makes this market different is a lack of breadth. Leadership is narrow. Most stocks are still down.

All gains for the S&P 500 index during the first six months of this year could be attributed to just 8 tech stocks. These include all the usual suspects (AAPL, META, TSLA, NVDA, etc.). At $1 trillion, Apple has a larger market capitalization than the entire Russell 2000 index of small/mid-cap stocks.

This means that a small shift away from dominant tech stocks to the small cap growth category could result in some explosive gains (similar to what we saw in January).

Best guess here... debt ceiling crisis gets resolved just before the deadline, the Fed stops rate hikes this summer, market leadership broadens with small-caps and blue-chips gaining momentum in 2nd half.

This is the most excited I've been about stocks in a while!
Disclosure: Information contained herein is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security or investment advice. Securities listed herein are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be considered a recommendation. The author may personally hold positions in securities mentioned.

Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved. Visit us at