In an era in which Wall Street financiers are worshipped, we're here to hold them and the financial press accountable for perpetuating the myth of false idols.
Less than six months ago, these financial icons were all extremely bearish, and they were all wrong.
A follow up article about their bad advice, which was published by Barron's on August 8, 2016, probably is not forthcoming.
In an article published August 8, 2016, in Barron's, the venerable weekly financial magazine owned by Dow Jones & Co., Randall W. Forsyth, who has written about investing for over three decades, in a column entitled, "The Billionaire Bears Club," at Barron's, documented the negative outlook on the stock market articulated by Wall Street's stars.
"Bill Gross says he doesn't like bonds or stocks," according to the article published in Barron's digital edition, adding "'Sell everything,' Jeffrey Gundlach advises. And Stanley Druckenmiller, George Soros, and Carl Icahn, all have declared themselves negative on stocks."
After 12 months of moving sideways from mid-2015 to mid-2016 - and frightening investors with double-digit plunges twice along the way - the Standard & Poor's 500 surged in the second half of 2016.
To their credit, Barron's noted Carl Icahn's misfortune in a January 10, 2017 article, entitled "Icahn's Hedge Fund Loses 20% In 2016," and its sister publication, The Wall Street Journal, on January 13, 2017, reported that George Soros lost $1 billion betting against the U.S. stock rally.
For Mr. Forsyth to write about the bad advice his column trumpeted last August would burn the biggest names on Wall Street, his best sources. It may never happen.
The echo chamber may be perpetuated, and readers of the nation's most venerated financial publications may never find out the real facts.
They may never figure out that Wall Street's idols could just have been lucky in the past or that most of them made their fortunes buying single companies that were undervalued - not calling world financial markets.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at all-time highs. It was the fifth straight week of gains for the Standard & Poor's 500 index.
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