Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Has No Idea Why Stocks Are Climbing

Take a look at the chart below.

stock market

Source: Bloomberg

The orange line is the South Korean market, the blue is the US S&P 500, and the red is Japan’s Nikkei 225.

Since January this year, all three have climbed steadily. Does this seem strange to you? Think about current events that should have affected all three markets.

Escalating tensions between the US and North Korea should be impacting markets. We’re talking about a potential war, with nuclear missiles flying everywhere. And yet, in all three nations, investors have ignored the threats, continuing to push markets higher.

Even the ASX, while it hasn’t gone up, hasn’t dipped over fears of a potential war.

stock market

Source: Bloomberg

Recent Nobel prize-winning economist Richard H Thaler is shocked to see stocks, particularly in the US, climb to such levels.

We seem to be living in the riskiest moment of our lives, and yet the stock market seems to be napping,’ Thaler said.

Thaler made a career from studying irrational and temptation-driven actions. For his contributions to behavioural economics, Thaler was awarded a Nobel prize just last week.

I don’t know about you, but I’m nervous, and it seems like when investors are nervous, they’re prone to being spooked,’ Thaler said. Even the unlikelihood of lower corporate taxes in the US isn’t making investors pull their foot off the pedal.

Nothing seems to spook the market,’ and if the gains are based on tax-reform expectations, ‘…surely investors should have lost confidence that that was going to happen.

So where is this confidence coming from? Thaler, and many others, have no idea.

Despite that, the recent buying activity cannot continue forever. And when something drastic does happen — for example, if a war were to break out between the US and North Korea — markets would duly respond.

That’s why you need to prepare today. To make sure your capital is protected when the next market shock arrives. Click here to find out more.


Härje Ronngard,

Junior Analyst, Markets & Money

Harje Ronngard is a Junior Analyst at Markets and Money. With an academic background in finance and investments, Harje knows how simple, yet difficult investing can be. He has worked with a range of assets classes, from futures to equities. But he’s found his niche in equity valuation. It’s not good enough to be right on average when it comes to investing. The market is volatile and it only takes one bad day to ruin your portfolio. You don’t want to end up like the six foot man that drowned in the river that was five foot deep on average. It’s why Harje is constantly reminding investors of their downside risk here at Markets and Money. He does so by simply asking just two questions.  What is it worth? And how much does it cost? These two questions alone open up a world of investment opportunities which Harje shares with Markets and Money readers. Right now Harje is focused on managing research and investments over at the Legacy Portfolio. An investment publication designed to significantly grow investor’s wealth over time with deeply undervalued businesses. Harje also contributes his insights in Total Income, headed by income specialist Matt Hibbard. Harje loves cash-rich businesses, so he feels right at home amongst Matt’s high yielding income plays.

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