That all changed in 2008.
In a world of unprecedented government economic intervention, unlimited central banker QE, and the steady erosion of GAAP accounting standards and any pretense of enforcing our existing financial market regulatory laws, every financial asset class has been manipulated to the point where successful investing has required completely different approaches.
Fundamental analysis has become a relic of the past. For a while, cyclical analysis was effective. At times, traditional trend analysis has also been useful. In all cases, you would have had to suspend mathematical logic to make money in the markets over the past seven years.
While the only markets still currently trending higher are the major market indices, the foundation they rest on is more shaky than at any time in my lifetime. The problems that created the last financial crisis (systemic debt and leverage combined with currency debasement) are larger now than they were in 2008. If it even matters anymore, the fundamental underpinnings are also worse than 2008.
The last time there was a divergence this large of stock price vs U.S macroeconomic date was in 2008. How much larger will it get?
Why is the market still rising while forward earnings projections are increasingly negative?
Nothing to see here. Stocks should rise as the U.S. GDP collapses, right? I guess it's the darn weather again.
The Big Boys have been steadily unloading positions into stock market strength. What side of that trade do you want to be on?
And finally the ultimate indicator. When your banana guy starts trading stocks, you know the end of the trend is near.
Who knows, maybe the principals of finance and math have been permanently altered by governments and central banks. Maybe this time things really are different (just like they were in 2000 and 2007). Not that advanced finance degrees and certifications were ever worth anything, but maybe all those hours spent studying and taking exams was wasted. Maybe the irrational levitation of some markets and repression of other markets can continue indefinitely.
If you haven't started lightening up your exposure to stocks, you may want to consider doing so.