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Gary D. Halbert Forecasts and Trends

| Last Updated: June 5, 2012 | Posted in: Individual Gurus

Guru Accuracy Rating
This is below average. Current guru average is 47%

As suggested by a reader, we evaluate here the stock market forecasts from the monthly commentaries of Gary D. Halbert, available since January 2002. Because these commentaries stop with May 2007, we include also market-oriented editions of his weekly commentaries since June 2007. Gary Halbert is President and CEO of ProFutures, Inc., which has a “mission of matching client needs with suitable professional money managers.” His main tool for analyzing financial markets for much of the period reviewed was research/opinion from BCA Research, which he then described as “the most accurate source for major economic trends that I have read over the last 25 years.” However, he no longer cites their forecasts. The table below quotes forecast highlights from the cited source and shows the performance of the S&P 500 Index over various numbers of trading days after the publication date for each item. Grading takes into account more detailed market behavior when appropriate. Red plus (minus) signs to the right of specific forecasts indicate those graded right (wrong) based on subsequent market behavior, while red zeros denote any complex forecasts graded both right and wrong. We conclude that:

  • Gary Halbert strongly believes that investors need dispassionate professionals to manage their money via market timing. (“Most investors don’t know when to get out, or if they do, it’s often at the bottom.”)
  • For the period during which he frequently quotes BCA Research, he does so approvingly. We therefore assume that his view during that time is the same as that of BCA Research unless he explicitly indicates otherwise.
  • To evaluate Mr. Halbert’s forecasts, we focus on market behavior one to three months after commentaries, unless he specifies some other forecast horizon.
  • We skip commentaries in which we can find no stock market forecast.
  • Gary Halbert’s forecast sample is moderate, as is therefore confidence in the measurement of his accuracy.

See Guru Grades for a snapshot of the accuracy of various experts in predicting the U.S. stock market, including links to evaluations of the commentaries of other individual market pundits and gurus.

    S&P 500 Index  
Date Comments from:  Gary D. Halbert/BCA via ProFutures.com  21-Day Return 63-Day Return 126-Day Return 254-Day Return  
6/5/12 Now may be a great time for you to get into the market. …I suggest you consider taking advantage of this pullback. …I expect the market to bottom and turn higher even before June 25. …if you are on the sidelines or are underinvested, I suggest you seriously consider getting back in (or fully invested) over the next week or two at the latest.  6.4% 9.4% 9.5% 26.5% +
8/30/11 …the major trend remains down, in my opinion. -4.3% -1.7% 12.6% 16.0% +
3/29/11 While the stock and bond markets have delivered some impressive gains in the last couple of years, the downside risks are clearly increasing by the day. 3.1% -3.0% -11.9% 6.7% +
1/25/11 …market risks are still very high, and I believe they will remain high for the rest of this year and possibly longer.  A potentially large downward correction could happen at any time… 1.2% 3.4% 3.6% 1.9%
8/24/10 Since I have gone on record saying that I expect deflation to be our first challenge, you need to know that deflation is generally bad for tangible assets, commodities and stocks in general. 6.9% 14.1% 25.1% 10.2%
8/10/10 …the main thing to keep in mind is: 1) these historically low rates won’t last for long; and 2) when they do start back up, they will almost certainly rise dramatically. …that will be bad news for bonds and stocks. -1.5% 9.3% 17.7% 4.6%
3/30/10 …stock market returns…are not likely to remotely equal the returns we have seen over the last year. 2.9% -8.4% -2.7% 13.0% +
1/26/10 All of this does not bode well for a continued rise in the stock markets…we could see stocks come under pressure just ahead, or simply move into a broad trading range. 1.0% 11.0% 2.1% 19.0%
12/29/09 …do not expect a repeat in equities in 2010.  Most of my sources believe that US equity prices will be sideways to modestly higher by the end of 2010… -4.6% 4.2% -7.5% 11.7% +
11/10/09 All of my most trusted sources believe that the equity markets are overbought and very susceptible to a downside correction, or worse anytime now. 0.9% -2.3% 7.2% 9.7%
10/27/09 If the current troubling economic forecast doesn’t call for a defensive investment approach, I don’t know what does. 4.4% 3.2% 12.0% 11.3%
8/18/09 The stock market has felt like a mini-bubble since the March lows and especially in July.  Thus, I would not be surprised to see the downward correction…continue in the weeks ahead.  7.7% 10.5% 11.1% 8.3%
8/4/09 While it looks doubtful that stocks will retest their March lows, I would be hesitant to recommend that investors jump back in the market now… -1.1% 3.0% 9.7% 11.5%
5/26/09 …this recession will be with us all year.  …the rally in the stock markets will roll over to the downside soon. -1.0% 12.7% 20.3% 21.2%
5/5/09 While I am willing to consider the possibility that the March 9 low was the bottom of the market, I also believe that we are very likely to at least retest this low again in the future. 4.3% 10.9% 14.6% 22.9%
4/21/09 …I continue to recommend that you use this market rally to move to more defensive (alternative) portfolio strategies that have the potential to protect you from major market downturns.  6.3% 11.9% 28.0% 43.2%
3/31/09 …I fully expect the equity markets to at least retest the lows seen early this month when…the S&P 500 fell to 675. And there is no guarantee that those lows will hold. Therefore, if you are looking to exit failed buy-and-hold positions in stocks, and move to more defensive strategies, I would suggest doing so now. 9.4% 16.2% 33.2% 48.8%
3/17/09 If wishing could make it so, we’d definitely have an up market from here on out.  But for now, I remain unconvinced.  11.2% 18.7% 34.9% 49.1%
2/3/09 …this recession is clearly worse than even the naysayers predicted…it could last a few more months, or it could last well into 2010.  Whatever proves to be the case, it will not be good news for the stock markets… -18.6% 8.2% 19.6% 27.2% 0
9/16/08 Clearly, the trend is down in the equity markets… Investors hate uncertainties, and we are far from the point where the financial industry is out of trouble.  This argues that the bear market in stocks continues for at least a while longer.  -25.2% -27.5% -35.9% -12.0% +
6/17/08  …market volatility is likely to ratchet up to yet another higher level over the next year or longer. …we may be in for some rough times just ahead.  The…potential for negative consequences just gets higher.  -6.7% -11.7% -34.9% -31.8% +
5/13/08 …there is a good chance that stocks could continue to trend higher just ahead. …US equity markets may be in a broad trading range for the next year or longer.  Since the range I envision is very broad, stocks could still have considerable upside potential from current levels. …now may be a good time to dip a toe back into the murky waters of the stock market. -4.5% -7.0% -33.6% -37.1%
3/25/08 I am not so optimistic, however.  In light of the unusual problems we face this year…I am not convinced that the equity market downturn is over.  This market correction (or worse) could well last a bit longer. 2.0% -2.6% -7.2% -38.4% +
2/26/08 If I were a betting man, I would have to wager that stocks in 2008 will defy the historical odds and end the year lower, but I would not bet much. -4.0% -0.4% -6.5% -46.8% +
1/24/08 …the BCA editors…see a bear market in stocks this year…a decline of apprx. 20% in the major stock indexes this year…they expect stocks to bottom by mid-year. 1.5% 2.1% -5.2% -37.5% 0
1/8/08 …BCA projects that…US equity markets are likely to churn in a generally sideways pattern over the next several months until concerns about the credit markets subside.  Once that happens, they believe equity prices could have another strong upleg beginning late this year. -3.8% -1.8% -8.4% -36.0%
11/20/07 …the latest downward move in stocks is just a correction and not the beginning of a bear market.  …BCA continues to…recommend a fully-invested position in equities.  For those who are under-weight or are on the sidelines, I would view the latest decline as a buying opportunity.  1.4% -6.7% -3.4% -44.4%
11/6/07 BCA continues to be bullish on equities, although they believe market volatility is going to remain very high for the foreseeable future.  They also acknowledge that the US equity markets are overdue for a downward correction.  Still, they continue to recommend “above-average” holdings of equities. -0.9% -12.7% -8.1% -38.8%
9/11/07 …the [BCA] editors believe that the major indexes will be higher a year from now, but returns are likely to be disappointing due to the housing drag. …we may want to be thinking about a buying opportunity just ahead in stocks and related mutual funds… 6.2% 2.3% -10.3% -14.9%
8/14/07 The US equity markets will continue to move at least modestly higher over the next year, and that the current setback is merely the correction that has been long overdue… The broad market is likely to stay in a volatile bottoming process, and the next upleg in share prices should unfold by yearend… 4.0% 1.9% -5.4% -9.0%
7/31/07 …BCA made it clear that they continue to believe the equity bull market is not over.  …the severe sell-off in capital market stocks is overdone.  They recommend that clients stay fully invested. 0.6% 5.5% -6.4% -13.4% +
7/17/07 BCA remains bullish on US equities…  But like me, BCA agrees that the easy money in stocks has already been made, and that risk and volatility will continue to increase in the months ahead… -9.2% 0.8% -8.6% -18.6%
6/12/07 BCA continues to believe that the US equity markets are in a bull market that has further to run.  …BCA also believes that the US equity markets have become overheated on the upside this year, and that a downward correction is overdue…I would expect the S&P 500 to find good support in the 1450-1400 area… 3.7% -2.8% 0.8% -8.9% +
5/21/07 BCA remains bullish on stocks, although they expect US equity returns to be only in the single digits for the next couple of years or longer. -0.8% -5.2% -4.8% -8.6%
4/11/07 This correction from very overbought levels may continue for a few months, but a bear market is not the most likely scenario.  Periods of weakness should provide buying opportunities. 4.7% 5.0% 7.9% -7.7% +
3/12/07 BCA argues that the bull market is not over, and that US stocks not only will rebound from the large losses of late, but also will go on to deliver reasonably attractive returns for all of 2007.  …it will not surprise me if the US equity markets correct more on the downside in the next few weeks. …this should lead to a buying opportunity for those who are not fully invested.  2.3% 7.2% 3.3% -6.5% +
2/7/07 …the economic expansion and equity bull market should continue. -3.3% 4.3% 1.8% -7.6% +
1/19/07 …BCA believes that the bull market will continue in 2007.  Their most likely scenario is that stocks will have another year like 2006 in 2007, with decent gains on the upside, but with continued high volatility on the upside and downside. …BCA believes there is the potential for a huge influx of this global cash to the US this year, when it is clear we have avoided a recession, and thus there is the real possibility that this potential tidal wave of cash could drive US equity prices into yet another bubble on the upside. 2.0% 2.8% 8.6% -6.4%
12/7/06 [BCA editors] remain positive on stocks… 0.5% 0.0% 7.2% 5.6% +
11/9/06 BCA continues to believe that equity prices will trend somewhat higher over the next year or so but not without some potentially scary downward corrections along the way.  I will not be surprised if we see a downward correction in the equity markets in the next few weeks…we could see a potentially nasty sell-off in equities between now and the end of the year. …If I were a trader, I would be looking to take some money off the table at this point. 2.5% 4.0% 9.1% 6.7%
10/5/06 …It will also not surprise me if we see an intermediate downward correction in the equity markets any time now…sometime in the next month or so. …equity markets will continue to trend modestly higher over the next year or s, but given the slowdown in the economy, it will not be a smooth ride and there will likely be some scary downturns along the way.  If you are fully invested in equities, I would stay that way… 0.8% 4.2% 6.8% 15.5% 0
8/14/06 BCA concludes that US equities are likely to deliver attractive returns…over the next several years… BCA continues to recommend slightly above-average weightings of equities… 3.9% 8.7% 13.9% 14.0% +
7/6/06 The Bank Credit Analyst continues to believe…that stocks will do well in the second half of this year and at least the first half of 2007. 0.4% 4.7% 11.3% 19.2% +
6/7/06 BCA…editors view the latest sell-off as a buying opportunity… 0.7% 4.5% 12.2% 18.9% +
5/5/06 …strength could continue later this year, especially if it becomes clear that the Fed has stopped raising interest rates.  Thus, investors may want to remain fully invested in equities. …BCA continues to believe that stocks will move higher during the balance of the year, and they continue to recommend above-average holdings of stocks… -4.7% -3.4% 3.2% 13.6%
4/10/06 BCA remains positive in its view of the equity markets, and believes investors should have slightly above average holdings of stocks and/or equity mutual funds.  While not raging bulls, the editors believe stocks could get a significant boost later this year when the Fed stops raising interest rates. 2.0% -2.3% 4.1% 13.3% +
3/8/06 … as long as we are correct that the Fed will soon put a halt to rate increases, then the odds are good that equity prices will grind their way higher over the course of the year.  It probably will not be a great year for returns, but stocks should beat both bonds and cash, warranting a modestly overweight position. 2.4% -1.1% 2.7% 7.8% +
2/8/06 BCA expects stocks to remain in a broad trading range with a mildly higher bias. 1.3% 4.7% 0.5% 14.1% +
1/4/06 BCA suggests that US equities are likely to remain in a broad trading range with a mild upward bias in 2006. -0.7% 2.5% -0.2% 10.9% +
11/8/05 BCA is NOT predicting a new bear market in equities, but they do believe that stock prices in general will move somewhat lower over the next several  months.  As a result, BCA continues to recommend below-average positions in equities. 3.1% 3.9% 8.6% 13.3%
10/11/05 After being a stock bull for many years, I have turned much more cautious… the most likely scenario is that stocks break out of the 18-month trading range to the downside. …move to an under-weight position in your equity portfolio. 3.0% 8.8% 8.6% 15.3%
9/8/05  I recommend reducing positions in stocks and equity mutual funds now… There is a high probability that the broad markets will break out of the 18-month trading range to the downside.  The Bank Credit Analysteditors recommended reduce equity positions to “below average” weightings in their portfolios. ….the most likely scenario is a breakout below the trading range.  If so, there is likely to be follow-on selling that drives the market lower for a period of time. …take at least partial profits…consider taking all your profits [since 2/03] off the table… -2.9% 2.6% 3.3% 6.6% +
8/5/05 …stocks will move higher over the next year or longer.  If you are not fully invested in equities already, Icontinue to recommend adding to positions on weakness just ahead. 0.6% -1.0% 3.1% 3.2%
7/11/05 I continue to believe there is a good chance the Fed will end its rate hiking cycle in August…this should present another excellent buying opportunity in stocks later this summer. 1.0% -2.3% 5.4% 1.9%
6/3/05 …the next good buying opportunity in stocks and equity mutual funds will come this summer when we expect the Fed to end its rate hiking cycle.  I would anticipate that the equity markets will turn higher before the Fed lets it be known that it will stop raising rates.  That could come in July or early August. 0.7% 2.0% 4.5% 5.0%
5/16/05 … stock markets should bottom well before the August 9 FOMC meeting.  Stocks could have the potential for a meaningful recovery once the bottom is in. …If you are overweight in equities now…, you may want to reduce your exposure now that the trend has turned lower. 3.5% 5.6% 5.6% 8.2%
4/8/05 BCA believes that stocks will continue to move gradually lower as the Fed continues to raise rates, but they do not believe stocks are headed for a bear market. -0.2% 1.4% 1.3% 8.9%
2/1/05 …there is the real chance that another top is in the making.  A move to a more defensive position would seem advisable at this point. …readers who are overweighted in equities are advised to reduce holdings just ahead… 1.8% -2.3% 3.9% 6.3% +
1/7/05 BCA editors…believe US equities will move higher in 2005, but they expect returns to be in the single digits again, while volatility is likely to remain high.  …I still feel that stock prices have more potential on the upside – not huge, mind you, but worth participating in… 1.4% -0.4% 2.2% 9.1% +
12/2/04 …continue to look for the stock markets to trend at least modestly higher in the months ahead… 1.0% 1.7% 1.2% 6.0% +
11/4/04 BCA’s…editors continue to recommend “neutral” positions in equities…average holdings of stocks and mutual funds, not above or below average. …equity markets may well continue in a fairly broad trading range for the next several months if not longer… I agree.  I still believe there is a window of opportunity for stocks to surprise on the upside in the next several months… 2.5% 2.4% 0.9% 5.3% +
10/7/04 …look for the stock markets to break out of the recent trading range to the upside, perhaps after the election. 3.1% 4.7% 5.4% 5.0% +
9/8/04 …this is another good time to invest in stocks and mutual funds… 1.3% 6.6% 9.2% 11.2% +
8/10/04 BCA still believes that stocks have upside potential between now and the end of the year.  However, due to recent market action, the BCA editors lowered their recommendation on stocks from  “above-average”  to “average.” …their latest most likely scenario…have equity prices rising only about 5% over the next year. 3.6% 8.1% 11.4% 14.7%
7/12/04 …you should be fully invested in stocks now… This boom is likely to continue for another year at least… -3.2% 1.5% 6.6% 9.8% +
6/9/04 …you should be fully invested in stocks now…stocks will do well this summer. -1.5% -1.3% 4.0% 6.1%
5/6/04 …stocks will perform well for the balance of this year… 2.4% -3.0% 2.6% 4.7%
4/6/04 …BCA believes that the equity markets will recover, perhaps strongly, in the next few months and go into the election on a strong note. …The recent decline in equity prices may be the best opportunity we see this year.  No guarantees, of course, but now may be the time to get back in or add to positions.  -3.0% -2.6% -1.2% 2.9%
3/3/04 BCA continues to forecast higher equity prices this year.  …BCA does not expect a repeat of 2003’s lofty returns; however, they do not rule out another “overshoot” in equity prices this year.   Their best guess is that equity prices will top out in late 2004, and they continue to recommend fully invested positions in stocks for the time being. -1.6% -2.6% -4.1% 6.5%
2/11/04 BCA continues to forecast higher equity prices this year, but they do not expect the markets to match their gains in 2003.  …While 2004 may not be a repeat of last year, and will almost certainly be more volatile, we should not rule out the possibility that stocks will again surprise on the upside this year.   -3.2% -5.4% -7.1% 4.2%
1/9/04 The equity market should continue to advance in 2004, but probably not at the rates we saw last year. …We should therefore keep our money largely invested, rather than largely on the sidelines expecting the worst.  2.1% 1.6% -0.7% 5.9%
12/5/03 …we continue to recommend above-average weightings in equities. The gains during the coming year seem likely to fall short of those achieved in 2003… 6.1% 8.1% 7.4% 12.0% +
10/7/03 …we continue to recommend above-average positions in stocks… The stock market will not be at major risk until the Fed starts to drain liquidity, and that is at least six months away. 1.2% 8.1% 10.5% 8.2% +
9/8/03 Stocks continue to edge higher and this trend is likely to continue… 0.7% 3.7% 11.2% 8.9% +
7/8/03 …we could see stocks rally, generally speaking, for the next 6-12 months at least.  -4.0% 2.2% 11.3% 10.6% +
6/3/03 The cyclical prospects for equities are reasonably bright. Valuation excesses have been unwound, earnings are improving and the liquidity environment is very positive. We recommend slightly above-average weightings. 2.3% 3.8% 8.9% 15.5% +
5/6/03 BCA believes…we could see stocks rally, generally speaking, for the next 6-12 months.   They are not predicting a powerful bull market, but they expect the rally will be worth participating in. 6.0% 5.2% 12.4% 17.6% +
4/7/03 …the market will not make headway until the geopolitical picture improves…  Achieving decent returns will depend on successful market timing and good sector and stock selection. From a long-term perspective, …expect the U.S. equity market to be in a broad trading range.  5.6% 14.1% 17.0% 29.5%
3/10/03 …we will see an excellent buying opportunity in equities just as the war begins in Iraq.  …While I don’t expect a roaring bull market, I could see the major market indexes rising 20-30% in a post-war rebound… if the war goes well, …stock markets and the economy may surprise on the upside for the rest of the year. …it’s worth adding some money to your equity portfolio… 8.8% 22.3% 26.5% 37.1% +
2/10/03 …don’t expect stocks to fall below their October lows.  Should the US have some early success in the war, stocks should begin to trend higher… risky assets will outperform over the course of this year.  This means favoring stocks over bonds…on a 6-to12-month view… -3.8% 11.7% 16.9% 37.8% +
1/13/03 The cyclical picture for stocks has improved, but valuations and investor disillusionment make a major bull market unlikely. History suggests…a broad trading range that can last for many years. A neutral [average] equity weighting is recommended. -11.6% -6.3% 8.4% 22.2%
12/27/02 …BCA editors recommended moving from below average to average holdings of stocks and equity mutual funds in their early December issue.  …the editors suggest buying on weakness during the days and weeks ahead. …A new secular bull market in stocks is not about to begin.  More likely, the market will churn about within a broad trading range… -1.3% -1.4% 11.5% 27.0% +
11/6/02 …expect stocks to retest their October lows at which time we will know if the market has really turned around. …BCA maintains its “below average” recommendation on stocks, but they believe that equity risks will diminish… -1.2% -9.3% -0.4% 13.4% 0
10/8/02 Does this mean we should sell (and/or short) stocks…now?  I say no.  15.7% 15.6% 10.0% 30.0% +
9/11/02 The Bank Credit Analyst editors…expect corporate profits to slowly begin to improve and this…will lead to higher equity prices.  They feel there is a good chance that the July lows in the equity markets will hold.  They say they expect to recommend an “above average” position in equities soon… -11.6% -1.9% -11.6% 11.6%
8/18/02 Barring any serious negative surprises, the markets should bottom and begin to stabilize in the weeks just ahead. …begin to “dollar cost average” back into the markets in a diversified portfolio.  Begin to put a small part of your money back into the market every month.  -8.5% -4.9% -10.5% 5.5%
7/22/02 …invest with a mindset that the economy will get better rather than worse. 14.3% 7.2% 10.0% 19.7% +
6/10/02 BCA continues to believe stocks will trend higher in the second half of the year. …The stock markets have all the ingredients in place for a bull market… -10.7% -13.3% -12.0% -3.1%
5/9/02 The Bank Credit Analyst continues to believe stocks will be considerably higher by year-end. …you may want to consider the latest downturn in the equity markets as an opportunity to get reinvested.  -3.9% -18.3% -14.7% -12.2%
4/4/02 BCA believes we are in a “window” of opportunity in equities which will last from now until short rates climb above 5%.  …they are recommending “above average” holdings of stocks now.  …If you are still waiting to get back in the market, this may be as good a time as any. -4.7% -15.8% -24.7% -21.9%
3/9/02 [BCA believes] equity markets will continue to move higher but with continued high volatility. -3.2% -12.0% -23.5% -28.8%
2/9/02 …the backdrop is set for the equity markets to begin to trend noticeably higher.  Those looking to get back in should probably do so just ahead. 3.8% -5.1% -18.3% -26.5%
1/8/02 BCA expects stocks to trend higher in 2002 in a very volatile fashion…they do not rule out another mini-bubble. -6.9% -3.7% -17.9% -20.1%
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