Wednesday, January 13, 2010

$2 trillion a month adds up

The market capitalization of the world's equity markets has risen 85% over the past 10 months. That works out to just over $2 trillion per month. It's still 22% shy of the all-time high, but from the looks of things, we'll get there, which means another $14 trillion of value is waiting to be captured.

Meanwhile there are many trillions of dollars sitting in money market funds around the world, owned by investors—mainly institutional—who would prefer to earn essentially nothing on their money in order to keep it safe. To prefer a safe zero interest rate to the market's potential to continue growing is to be incredibly concerned about the future. It has also been a terribly expensive proposition in the past 10 months, since anyone sitting on cash has underperformed the market by a significant amount.

The longer this goes on, the harder it is to invest that cash. I'm hearing a familiar refrain these days from the managers of large institutional funds that have significant cash holdings: "We're waiting for the next big correction to get invested." Ah, OK, good luck.

1 comment:

Benjamin Cole said...

There is a global glut of capital.
If you want to be a "passive" investor, you will find lots of competition.
Good for the global economy, good for overall market caps.
But tough to invest profitably. Lots of capital chasing every "good" sotuation.