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SOURCE RVW Investing LLC
Why the Bull Market Stampede Continues
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The big story of 2014-and beyond-may well prove to be the very same big story as 2013. Research Analysts at RVW Investing LLC, a Los Angeles-based wealth management firm, point to what they call the American Manufacturing Renaissance as one of the key reasons to be bullish going forward. "Made in the USA"-a term that was written off just five years ago-has come back slowly but steadily. Investors have followed suit by revaluing American industrial companies, and driving a surge in profitability and valuations of petroleum and U.S. manufacturing companies. This run-up promises in turn to accelerate the nation's recovery from the global financial crisis. "There are several reasons for the great bull market of 2013 and why it shows every sign of continuing this year and beyond," says Selwyn Gerber, chief strategist and founder of RVW. "But the most frequently overlooked of these reasons is the remarkable renaissance of American manufacturing."
Due to a combination of structural advantages and timely macroeconomic developments, the U.S. has recovered faster and now is growing faster than other developed countries. For perspective, consider that the U.S. counts for roughly 5% of the world's population, but its Gross Domestic Product represents roughly 22% of the world's GDP. Add to that the fact that the U.S. stock market represents nearly half of the world's stock market value.
RVW analysts report that the three key drivers of this current growth are low energy costs, a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, as well as a growing and well-educated population:
The historical worry that America's voracious energy demands pose economic risks that limit growth has never been less true. Thanks largely to fracking technology, U.S. domestic production of natural gas and oil has been ramping up (not down). In fact, in the next few years, the U.S. is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil producer. As a result, U.S. energy costs are often a fraction of its competitors, allowing the U.S. to become the lowest cost producer for many products.
A CULTURE OF INNOVATION:
Major U.S. companies remain the most recognizable and desirable brands in the world. The top nine most valuable global brands (according to BRANDZ, the world's largest brand equity database) are U.S.-based companies. Apple and Google dominate their fields and are respected technology leaders, while people around the world drink Coca Cola and eat at McDonald's.
A WELL-EDUCATED POPULATION:
While many countries' populations are contracting, the United States is still relatively young and growing, largely thanks to immigration. The world's top students continue to flock to America's universities, and people from around the world seek to come to the U.S. because they see an opportunity to improve the lives of their families. From 1901-2012, a remarkable 350 of 853 Nobel prizes went to individuals residing in the United States.
Even the optimists, though, cannot ignore the fact that the global financial crisis left many scars. Many U.S. investors have taken a cautionary stance and are still underweight in U.S. stocks. A recent poll found that 59% say things are going badly in the economy (less than a quarter said conditions are improving). Even though U.S. stock markets have more than fully recovered from the crisis, RVW analysts believe U.S. stocks are going much higher, and that the great American recovery is continuing to gain speed and momentum.
TAURUS REIGNS SUPREME - WITH SPEED BUMPS ALONG THE WAY
Recovery from the global crisis is certainly not complete. Corporate earnings are strong and growing, but jobs remain scarce. For the moment, the country is stuck in a two-speed economy with consumers struggling while Corporate America booms.
Most technical indicators point to growth. De-leveraging held back spending in recent years, but debt is expected to be less of a drag going forward. U.S. housing is rebounding from the collapse, which has improved homeowners' balance sheets.
While many had feared the U.S. Federal Reserve's "taper" of quantitative easing, that has turned out to only cause a minor blip because inflation and interest rates are low and are likely to stay low. As of November 2013, annual U.S. consumer price inflation was just 1%. The U.S. dollar remains the world's reserve currency (the Euro, once thought to be a challenger to the title, is currently little threat), and foreign investors still favor the U.S. for their investments.
Many believe this recovery is healthier because it is being led by the industrial sector rather than by consumer spending. Organizations tried to stay lean during the crisis, so the average age of fixed assets used in manufacturing necessarily rose. Therefore, upgrading is needed and increased investment and capital spending on manufacturing equipment should provide additional growth. Many recent projections from the captains of industry accordingly call for increases in revenues, profits, employment, and spending in coming years.
To really appreciate the untapped potential of the American economy, it's crucial to understand that the world is currently experiencing the third great Industrial Revolution. The first revolution (roughly 1750-1830) included James Watt's steam engine advances, plus farming and textile improvements. The second revolution (roughly 1870-1900) included Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb, the adoption of electricity, the internal combustion engine, and running water. Our current third revolution began roughly in the 1970s with Intel's microprocessors and advances in silicon. This revolution (including advances in computers, the internet, mobile phones, and social networks) is impacting the costs and efficiency of businesses of all sizes.
RVW analysts point to legendary investor Warren Buffett, who argued recently that the U.S. isn't an economic powerhouse because Americans are smarter or work harder. Rather, the key to U.S. economic success is its democracy and capitalist economy. Buffett noted, "We have a system that unleashes potential, and it's just starting."
Mr. Gerber concludes that the fundamentals are in place for last year's manufacturing renaissance to continue to thrive through 2014. He adds that, even though inevitably there will be some dips, "Investors who still think it's 2008 do so at their own financial peril."
www.RVWinvesting.com phone: +1-310-945-4000
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