This is a safe space.
You can admit it here. The markets are confusing us all lately. It seems like nothing can stop the unbridled optimism we're witnessing in the face of objective chaos and almost theatrical uncertainty.
News that would usually halt a rally dead in its tracks seems to only fuel it. Political scandals that are textbook examples of how to keep bulls are only spurring them to be more bullish. Deeply flawed tech IPOs come to market with the rare side serving of healthy Silicon Valley cynicism and the stock goes through the roof immediately.
You don't get it do you? And you're afraid to say it lest your colleagues and clients doubt your mastery of the universe? Well, live in fear no more, friend. Simply follow the lead of Raymond James chief investment strategist Jeff Saut, and be free!
Jeffrey Saut has been around the market for a long time but says he's never seen anything like what's happening now.
As a result, the chief investment strategist at Raymond James is heading for the sidelines, choosing not to participate in something that is, at least for the time being, eluding his grasp.
"Folks, I have been in this business for over 46 years, and observing markets with my father for 54 years, and I have never experienced anything like what is currently happening," Saut told clients in a note Thursday morning.
Jeff Saut is a brave hero, and we sing his song of glory. It's not easy for a grown man running a huge investment operation to admit that he is too flummoxed to function, but Jeff Saut can do it. He sees no logic and without logic he cannot stand to guess about anything.
Saut pointed out that his models called the immediate post-election rally, but also pointed to "a downside window of vulnerability" in February that never materialized. The S&P 500 gained 3.7 percent in February and is up 6.8 percent for the year.
As a result, this week he sold 15 of what he described as "short-term tactical positions" and is sitting things out until further notice.
Saut said the positions he's holding remain 80 percent long on the market, reflecting his feelings that the current unpredictability will pass.
And in case his clients and the world wanted total clarity on how confused Jeff Saut is right now...
"In the short term, we do not understand what is going on," Saut wrote. "Consequently, when we do not understand the current market environment, we tend not to play."
We are all Jeff Saut. Jeff Saut is all of us.