Records Are Made to Be Broken

  • Markets
  • Michael Gayed

Viewing the New York City skyline from afar last month, I noticed something strange. I could no longer name a number of the tallest buildings.

The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the World Trade Center were readily identifiable. But a new crop of skyscrapers had emerged from the shadows, seemingly overnight.

After doing some research, I learned that this was not just a figment of my imagination…

Within the next few years, a list of the tallest buildings in New York will look remarkably different. Of the top 20 tallest skyscrapers today, at least 13 will have been replaced. Explosive growth by any measure, that few would have predicted back in the financial crisis that hit New York so hard just a decade ago.

Note: data listed in the tables above is standard height, which excludes non-architectural antennas.

“Trees Don’t Grow to the Sky”

“Long in the Tooth”

Two common refrains heard many times in recent years.

But the stock market and economy marches on, threatening to break two historic records within the next 12 months.

The first: 9 straight years of gains in the S&P 500 Total Return Index. The epic run from 1991-1999 will be surpassed if stocks manage to finish higher in 2018 (currently up 5.8%).

The second: 10 years (120 months) of economic expansion. The 1991-2001 boom will move to 2nd place if the U.S. economy can grow for 4 more quarters.

If someone said ten years ago that the worst recession since the Great Depression would be followed by the longest bull market and economic expansion in the history of the U.S., they would have been laughed out of the room. None of this was expected or predictable. And yet, here we are.

That is is the nature of markets. Like the New York City skyline, they are forever changing, testing our accepted notions of what is normal and what is possible.

Given enough time, all records – inside and outside of markets – will be broken. While trees may not grow to the sky, betting against the inexorable rise in human progress is sure to be a losing one.


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When Mean Reversion Fails

There Is No Impossible in Markets

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Charlie Bilello is the Director of Research at Pension Partners, LLC, an investment advisor that manages mutual funds and separate accounts. He is the co-author of four award-winning research papers on market anomalies and investing. Charlie is responsible for strategy development, investment research and communicating the firm’s investment themes and portfolio positioning to clients. Prior to joining Pension Partners, he was the Managing Member of Momentum Global Advisors and previously held positions as a Credit, Equity and Hedge Fund Analyst at billion dollar alternative investment firms.

Charlie holds a J.D. and M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from Fordham University and a B.A. in Economics from Binghamton University. He is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) and also holds the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate.

In 2017, Charlie was named the StockTwits Person of the Year. He has been named by Business Insider and MarketWatch as one of the top people to follow on Twitter and his work has been featured in Barron’s, Bloomberg, and the Wall Street Journal.

You can follow Charlie on twitter here.


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The information herein was obtained from various sources. Pension Partners does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information provided by third parties. The information given is as of the date indicated and believed to be reliable. Pension Partners assumes no obligation to update this information, or to advise on further developments relating to it.

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