Why One Analyst Thinks It’s Time To Sell The FAANGs

Posted On July 20, 2018 11:57 am

While the FAANG stocks remain a favorite group for both institutional and retail investors, having been responsible for all the market gains in the first half of 2018, a new round of warnings about their future performance has emerged in recent days.

On Wednesday, during CNBC’s Delivering Alpha conference, Oaktree’s Howard Marks doubled down on his January warning about the frothy market-leading sector explaining what he sees as the “red flashing lights” facing FAANGs:

… you see, when something has worked for six, eight, ten years, people do tend to consider it a perpetual motion machine and think it’ll go on forever; and people say, Well, is that what’s going to crack it? And the answer is, well, what’s going to change their mind? As long as they think that Amazon and ETFs are perpetual motion machines and they keep putting in capital, they won’t crack. So clearly, when they crack, that could be something that hurts the market a lot. What’s going to make them crack?

Marks’ latest warning follows several previous ones, most notably last summer when he cautioned that the addiction to FAANG gains is among a handful of investor vulnerabilities that could spell doom for the bull market. Back in November 2016, Jeff Gundlach also urged investors to avoid the group; since then FAANGs have dramatically outperformed the broader market much to the chagrin of David Einhorn whose “short basket” of mostly tech names has led to dramatic undeperformance for Greenlight Capital in 2018.

Still, all warnings have so far fallen by the wayside as inflows in the tech sector continue to run at a record pace, suggesting that bullish sentiment is so entrenched it would take a shock to shake investor confidence.

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 Related: A Guide to Contrarian Investing

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