Fisher on Babson's Market Cycles

Referencing the work of famed business theorist Roger Babson, Kenneth Fisher says cyclical forces indicate we’re in a time when investors should be buying stocks.

In his latest Forbes column, Fisher says that Babson’s extensive research found that the market could be in one of four cyclical conditions: overexpansion; decline following overexpansion; steep recession; or improvement following steep recession. “He knew that phenomena risky in one phase — like money creation, rising interest rates, or an increase in initial public offerings- – can reduce risk in another phase,” Fisher explains, adding that “Babson believed that overexpansion and initial declines in economies were the riskiest phases for investors.”

Babson, Fisher writes, “would have you throw caution to the wind late in a recession and continue buying aggressively during the improvement phase. However, when business expansion starts getting excessive, it’s the first time to be cautious. Most investors get this backward.” Fisher says we’re currently in the improvement phase, and far from euporia. “So now is the time to focus on finding good stocks and making money rather than avoiding risk,” he says, offering five stock picks. Among them: GPS giant Garmin Ltd.