Felix Zulauf Sees S&P Bottoming at 500 (Book Value), Bullish On Gold (Price/Book Ratio Chart)

Felix Zulauf, founder of hedge fund Zulauf Asset Management, was interviewed by McAlvany Weekly Commentary on July 6 and had interesting views on the market. Listen to the full 53 minute interview here or read the full transcript ("Felix Zulauf: Marching Full Speed into Calamity"). Zulauf thinks the S&P bottoms at book value, or about 500, during the secular bear market, and believes gold is the best hedge against an "inflationary depression" as central banks keep printing money to prop up the system. He also discusses the euro zone sovereign debt crisis and the possible end-game. During a Barron's roundtable discussion on 8/13/2011 (see below), Zulauf gave his short term views on the market (hat tip PragCap). I also put up a chart of the S&P 500 price/book ratio.

Quotes from the McAlvany interview:

"But even during the 1970s and early 1980s, the last major secular lows in the stock market, we were trading slightly below book value at maybe 90% of book value or something like that. I did expect the stock market to decline into a secular low to around a book value of slightly below that. Book value is roughly 500 or a little bit over 500, depending on how you define it.

"The next 2 or 3 years, I think authorities will do everything necessary to extend the recovery attempt in the economy, and from time to time, come up with stimulus, and that will limit the downside, and I said maybe the downside is around 1000 in the S&P, or between 1000 and 1100."

"I think we are in for some very frustrating years where we trade in a range, maybe between 1000 and 1500 or so on the S&P, and lots of traps and mine fields, and at the end of this period, I would say 1400-1600, we have a major disaster coming, and then they cannot support it, and the dam breaks, and then we get another washout."
(read the full transcript)

Zulauf was also featured in a Barron's roundtable discussion on August 13, 2011 and said:

"The next few weeks will be extremely volatile. I expect the market to go below the latest lows in September. The central bank will come in to provide liquidity, but timidly at first because the Fed was bashed for QE2. After the fall low, equities will recover part of what they lost into the turn of the year and then fall again. Economies around the world most likely will be in recession next year.

Once the S&P 500 falls to 1000 or below in the first half of 2012, the Fed will come in and try to support the system. Eventually the ECB [European Central Bank] will try to do the same thing in Europe. The damage in Europe will be greater, as Europe's financial system is even weaker than the U.S." -read full article

If interested here is a chart of the S&P 500 price/book ratio courtesy of Comstock Partners. I couldn't find historical data anywhere else on the internet. Maybe Standard and Poor's has data available. As of January 28, 2011, the S&P's price/book ratio stood at 2.2, which is at the 33.1 year norm. It hit 5 during the tech bubble, or price/book bubble. You can see that the S&P price/book ratio bottomed out below 1.0 in 1982.

Source: Comstock Partners (pdf)

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