Why the next 10 years could be good for stocks

Now may not seem like the best time to be buying stocks. But according to one veteran professional, the market is currently presenting one of the great buying opportunities of a lifetime.

"The stock market is presenting you with one of the great buying opportunities of your lifetime perhaps the greatest. Stop trying to pick the bottom."

That's what 41-year market veteran Steve Leuthold, of the Leuthold Group, just told his clients. "The most difficult decision is not what to buy," he says. "Just buy!"

Leuthold is one of our favorites, primarily because he doesn't follow the crowd... even when it's to the detriment of his own business.

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For example, for much of the last decade, he's been bearish on stocks. Clients don't line up to give you money when you're bearish. But Steve launched the Leuthold Grizzly Fund in June 2000, near the top of the stock market bubble. The Grizzly Fund is up nearly 80% this year.

He was right to be bearish this decade. As he told his clients, stocks lost as much over the last 10 years as they did from 1929 to 1939, which was "the worst 10-year performance in US stock market history."

That's not the only big, contrarian call Leuthold has been right on...

Back in 1980, when inflation and interest rates were running in the mid-teens, Leuthold went against the crowd. He predicted interest rates and inflation would fall to 5% and 3%, respectively. He was so confident in his idea in 1980, he literally wrote the book on it:

The Myths of Inflation and Investing

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. And he was right.

Leuthold is now extremely bullish: "With your personal funds, this will prove to be a great time to buy an index fund (Lord, forgive me), locking it up for ten years."

Why 10 years? Here's what Leuthold discovered: Every time the stock market has been down for a 10-year period (like over the last 10 years), stocks followed that loss with at least a triple-digit percentage increase over the next 10 years.

The market has already priced in the next Great Depression. If that doesn't arrive (and we don't expect it to), stocks will soar.

In short, this is not a time to get out of stocks. This is a time to buy. According to Leuthold, it doesn't matter what you buy. As he suggested, you could hardly go wrong with an index fund.

But if you're looking for a specific stock idea, how about shares of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway?

On November 20, the stock traded below its most-recently stated book value. By my numbers, the last time it did this was back in 1984. The stock nearly doubled a year later.

It's fallen close to book value a few other times: in August 1982, when it doubled in a year. Then again during the 1987 crash... and it soared over 50% a year later. Finally, in March 2000, when the stock jumped by over 50% by the end of that year.

Last month, I told readers of True Wealth to watch for an uptrend before buying Berkshire. Well, the stock hit our "buy" price a few weeks ago... And it's up 13% already.

You don't need to get the timing exactly right. Leuthold says it's time to buy for the next decade...

This article was written by Dr. Steve Sjuggerud for the free daily investment newsletter DailyWealth