by Gary Alexander

March 8, 2022

I admit that in my predictions for 2022, I never expected Putin to invade Ukraine, since I thought he was a Russian chess master who would learn from history and operate in his own long-term best interest, perhaps by forcing a pro-Russian vote in Eastern Ukraine, but not by staging a violent invasion like the 10-year Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, a failure he must have noticed as a young Soviet KGB agent.

What’s the likely outcome now? The daily news is jarring, so I find it useful to look back for perspective. Over the decades, I have devoured several books covering Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and the later equivalents in Hitler’s invasion of Russia, then Russia’s 10-year (1979-89) occupation of Afghanistan – plus our own 20-year quagmire in that same unforgiving land. For those who want a deeper dive, I highly recommend Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace for a fictional foray into 1812 Russia, or Stalingrad by Vasily Grossman about that 1942 siege, well told in a superb new translation by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler.

War and Peace, Stalingrad, Leningrad Book Images

Today’s defenders in Ukraine (and Afghanistan) have the same grim determination the Russian people had in their 3-winter, 900-day defense of Leningrad (1941-44) and their 2-winter, 500-day stand in the rubble of Stalingrad (1942-44). It may take two years, but Putin will not only lose Ukraine to stalwart Ukrainian defenders, by guerilla warfare if necessary, but he will likely be tried for war crimes.

In World War II, “The Red Army’s determination not to retreat a step farther arose spontaneously among the rank-and-file soldiers at the same time as Stalin issued his draconian ‘Not One Step Back’ Order of 28 July 1942” (according to Robert Chandler in his introduction to Stalingrad). And now the courage of Ukrainians under the death-defying leadership of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has revived that spirit.

A century of Russian history can be split into three generational benchmarks – each on today’s date:

  • On March 8, 1917, the Russian Revolution began when peasants clamored for bread and took to the streets in Petrograd (the Russian capital, now known as St. Petersburg). Supported by 90,000 strikers, these protests led to an overthrow of the Czarist regime and a relatively liberal democracy led by Alexander Kerensky – but only for a few months, before the Bolshevik revolution in October.
  • On March 8, 1950, the Soviet Union confirmed what we already knew – they had the atomic bomb, thanks to German physicist Klaus Fuchs, who worked on the Manhattan Project then gave our nuclear secrets to the Soviets. In January 1950, Fuchs confessed he was a spy. On March 1, a British court sentenced him to 14 years, of which he served nine, after which he fled to East Germany as a hero.
  • On March 8, 1983, President Ronald Reagan (via speechwriter Tony Snow) first used the phrase “Evil Empire” in reference to the Soviet Union. It was a term he borrowed from the popular Star War series (begun in 1977). The President’s aides and career State Department diplomats urged him not to use such an inflammatory term, but Russian dissidents silently cheered on the Gipper’s gumption.
  • On March 4, 2012, Vladimir Putin “won” the Russian Presidential election with 63.6% of the vote, despite widespread accusations of vote-rigging, so he has now been President 10 years. Like China’s Xi Jinping, who assumed office later in 2012, Putin and Xi are now effectively “dictators for life” in two “former Communist nations” that are pretending to be democratic (Russia) and capitalist (China).

Dictators Images

Today’s news is sobering – all news seems serious, in the moment – but what worried us the most 10 years ago, in March 2012? Was it Putin’s or Xi Jinping’s “elections” – or Obama re-election? Not really.

I went back to March 2012 editions of Marketmail, and found big concerns that now seem trivial, since what concerned us in the past often looks trivial in the rear-view mirror. (Maybe that’s true today, too?)

In the Marketmail of March 26, 2012, I wrote of Wall Street’s biggest worries: (1) Our shrinking domestic oil supplies and (2) a fear of China slowing down. We also worried about (3) a Greek debt crisis. Two years later, I wrote, “The first problem was quickly solved by the fracking revolution, while China only ‘slowed down’ to 7.6% GDP growth; and when was the last time you worried about Greece?

The world was also worried about stocks in 2012? Here’s my headline in Marketmail 10 years ago:

Happy 3rd Birthday, Bull Market!  Will You Survive to Reach 4?
by Gary Alexander, in Marketmail, March 15, 2012

My article from the Ides of March in 2012 began like this:

“NASDAQ topped 3,000 for the first time since late 2000. The Dow topped 13,000, reaching a four-year high. Neither index stands at an all-time high, but March 13, 2012, marks the first day in history that the Dow surpassed 13,000 on the same day NASDAQ topped 3,000. We’re also flirting with a third round number, as the S&P 500 approaches 1,400 for the first time since June 2008, before the roof fell in.”

Next, I quoted two leading Dow Jones publications that said now is “The Worst Time to Buy Stocks.

“On Monday, March 12, two venerable Dow Jones publications – The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s – printed terrifying articles about the current danger: ‘Why Stocks are Riskier than You Think’ in The Wall Street Journal, and ‘The Worst of Times to Buy Stocks?’ by Randall W. Forsyth in Barron’s, profiling the bearish market research of Dr. John P. Hussman (of Hussman Funds) and Walter J. Zimmerman, Jr.”

“The Journal article favored inflation-protected bonds as a less risky play for retirees, while Barron’s cited Hussman’s five criteria for an ‘Awful Time to Invest.’ (1) The S&P 500 is more than 8% above its 52-week exponential moving average; (2) the S&P 500 is 50% above its four-year low; (3) the S&P’s trailing 10-year P/E is over 18; (4) the 10-year Treasury yield is higher than it was six months ago; and (5) the Investor’s Intelligence advisory sentiment survey shows more than 47% bulls and fewer than 25% bears. These five conditions came together before the terrible bear markets of 1973-4, 1987, 2000-2, and 2007-9. Today’s market matches nearly all criteria, except the last one: On March 13, the poll’s bullish ratio slipped from 47.9 to 43.6, while the bearish ratio remained at 26.6, narrowly outside the 47/25 trap.”

My response to these articles, as usual, was highly skeptical:

“With great respect for these market mavens, this list of five indicators seems like a game of trivial pursuit. With a bank of computers and infinite possibilities for statistical regression, it is possible to put together a long list of retrofitted warning lights (think of Super Bowls or skirt hemline indicators in past decades). These five points over-rate short-term swings while ignoring long-term trends. For instance, the S&P 500 may have risen recently, but that’s only because it was down so sharply last summer. Also, 10-year bonds yield slightly more than six months ago but they are still near historic lows. Also: A 10-year historical P/E ratio is irrelevant if it is currently low. And investor sentiment polls can change sharply from day to day. In my view, we need to look more closely at historical contexts and current conditions than a bank of metrics in a vacuum.…Since 2000, we have seen three huge market-wide collapses in 2000, 2002, and 2008-9. Will we really see a fourth ‘storm of the century’ in a 13-year span?”

In place of these five warnings, I offered “Five Triggers for A Good Time to Buy Stocks,” along with a raft of supporting facts for each (omitted here, for space considerations).

  1. Strategists are cautious
  2. Investors are scared (or unconvinced).
  3. Corporations are buying back shares.
  4. Global earnings growth is turning around.
  5. The S&P 500 P/E ratio remains below 15.

My bottom line on March 15, 2012, was this: “Even at a 15 P/E and $119.34 in 2013 earnings, we could see a surge to 1,800 on the S&P 500” in 2013. My closing two words in March 2012 were: “All aboard!”

Here’s what happened next

Three-Year 63%+ Growth in the S&P 500, 2012-2014
Year S&P 500 at Year end Annual Growth
2011 (baseline) 1,257.60 N/A (base year)
2012 1,426.19 +13.41%
2013 1,848.36 +29.60%
2014 2,058.90 +11.39%
3-Year-Gains (2012 to 2014) +63.72%

Standard and Poor's 500 Index Record Run Chart

Graphs are for illustrative and discussion purposes only. Please read important disclosures at the end of this commentary.

Just when Pundits said it was the “Worst Time to Buy Stocks” (March 2012), the S&P 500 doubled in five years

We got 1,800 S&P in 2013, on schedule. Today’s news is serious once again, but I still say: All aboard!

All content above represents the opinion of Gary Alexander of Navellier & Associates, Inc.

Please see important disclosures below.

Also In This Issue

Global Mail by Ivan Martchev
The Eurozone is Going into a Recession

Sector Spotlight by Jason Bodner
When the News Constantly Changes, Go Back to the Data

View Full Archive
Read Past Issues Here

About The Author

Gary Alexander

Gary Alexander has been Senior Writer at Navellier since 2009.  He edits Navellier’s weekly Marketmail and writes a weekly Growth Mail column, in which he uses market history to support the case for growth stocks.  For the previous 20 years before joining Navellier, he was Senior Executive Editor at InvestorPlace Media (formerly Phillips Publishing), where he worked with several leading investment analysts, including Louis Navellier (since 1997), helping launch Louis Navellier’s Blue Chip Growth and Global Growth newsletters.

Prior to that, Gary edited Wealth Magazine and Gold Newsletter and wrote various investment research reports for Jefferson Financial in New Orleans in the 1980s.  He began his financial newsletter career with KCI Communications in 1980, where he served as consulting editor for Personal Finance newsletter while serving as general manager of KCI’s Alexandria House book division.  Before that, he covered the economics beat for news magazines. All content of “Growth Mail” represents the opinion of Gary Alexander

Important Disclosures:

Although information in these reports has been obtained from and is based upon sources that Navellier believes to be reliable, Navellier does not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute Navellier’s judgment as of the date the report was created and are subject to change without notice. These reports are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security. Any decision to purchase securities mentioned in these reports must take into account existing public information on such securities or any registered prospectus.To the extent permitted by law, neither Navellier & Associates, Inc., nor any of its affiliates, agents, or service providers assumes any liability or responsibility nor owes any duty of care for any consequences of any person acting or refraining to act in reliance on the information contained in this communication or for any decision based on it.

Past performance is no indication of future results. Investment in securities involves significant risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. It should not be assumed that any securities recommendations made by Navellier. in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of securities made in this report. Dividend payments are not guaranteed. The amount of a dividend payment, if any, can vary over time and issuers may reduce dividends paid on securities in the event of a recession or adverse event affecting a specific industry or issuer.

None of the stock information, data, and company information presented herein constitutes a recommendation by Navellier or a solicitation to buy or sell any securities. Any specific securities identified and described do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients. The holdings identified do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients and the reader should not assume that investments in the securities identified and discussed were or will be profitable.

Information presented is general information that does not take into account your individual circumstances, financial situation, or needs, nor does it present a personalized recommendation to you. Individual stocks presented may not be suitable for every investor. Investment in securities involves significant risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. Investment in fixed income securities has the potential for the investment return and principal value of an investment to fluctuate so that an investor’s holdings, when redeemed, may be worth less than their original cost.

One cannot invest directly in an index. Index is unmanaged and index performance does not reflect deduction of fees, expenses, or taxes. Presentation of Index data does not reflect a belief by Navellier that any stock index constitutes an investment alternative to any Navellier equity strategy or is necessarily comparable to such strategies. Among the most important differences between the Indices and Navellier strategies are that the Navellier equity strategies may (1) incur material management fees, (2) concentrate its investments in relatively few stocks, industries, or sectors, (3) have significantly greater trading activity and related costs, and (4) be significantly more or less volatile than the Indices.

ETF Risk: We may invest in exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) and some of our investment strategies are generally fully invested in ETFs. Like traditional mutual funds, ETFs charge asset-based fees, but they generally do not charge initial sales charges or redemption fees and investors typically pay only customary brokerage fees to buy and sell ETF shares. The fees and costs charged by ETFs held in client accounts will not be deducted from the compensation the client pays Navellier. ETF prices can fluctuate up or down, and a client account could lose money investing in an ETF if the prices of the securities owned by the ETF go down. ETFs are subject to additional risks:

  • ETF shares may trade above or below their net asset value;
  • An active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained;
  • The value of an ETF may be more volatile than the underlying portfolio of securities the ETF is designed to track;
  • The cost of owning shares of the ETF may exceed those a client would incur by directly investing in the underlying securities; and
  • Trading of an ETF’s shares may be halted if the listing exchange’s officials deem it appropriate, the shares are delisted from the exchange, or the activation of market-wide “circuit breakers” (which are tied to large decreases in stock prices) halts stock trading generally.

Grader Disclosures: Investment in equity strategies involves substantial risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. The sample portfolio and any accompanying charts are for informational purposes only and are not to be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument and should not be relied upon as the sole factor in an investment making decision. As a matter of normal and important disclosures to you, as a potential investor, please consider the following: The performance presented is not based on any actual securities trading, portfolio, or accounts, and the reported performance of the A, B, C, D, and F portfolios (collectively the “model portfolios”) should be considered mere “paper” or pro forma performance results based on Navellier’s research.

Investors evaluating any of Navellier & Associates, Inc.’s, (or its affiliates’) Investment Products must not use any information presented here, including the performance figures of the model portfolios, in their evaluation of any Navellier Investment Products. Navellier Investment Products include the firm’s mutual funds and managed accounts. The model portfolios, charts, and other information presented do not represent actual funded trades and are not actual funded portfolios. There are material differences between Navellier Investment Products’ portfolios and the model portfolios, research, and performance figures presented here. The model portfolios and the research results (1) may contain stocks or ETFs that are illiquid and difficult to trade; (2) may contain stock or ETF holdings materially different from actual funded Navellier Investment Product portfolios; (3) include the reinvestment of all dividends and other earnings, estimated trading costs, commissions, or management fees; and, (4) may not reflect prices obtained in an actual funded Navellier Investment Product portfolio. For these and other reasons, the reported performances of model portfolios do not reflect the performance results of Navellier’s actually funded and traded Investment Products. In most cases, Navellier’s Investment Products have materially lower performance results than the performances of the model portfolios presented.

This report contains statements that are, or may be considered to be, forward-looking statements. All statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs or expectations, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by such forward-looking terminology as “expect,” “estimate,” “plan,” “intend,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “continue,” “project,” or similar statements or variations of such terms. Our forward-looking statements are based on a series of expectations, assumptions, and projections, are not guarantees of future results or performance, and involve substantial risks and uncertainty as described in Form ADV Part 2A of our filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is available at or by requesting a copy by emailing All of our forward-looking statements are as of the date of this report only. We can give no assurance that such expectations or forward-looking statements will prove to be correct. Actual results may differ materially. You are urged to carefully consider all such factors.

FEDERAL TAX ADVICE DISCLAIMER: As required by U.S. Treasury Regulations, you are informed that, to the extent this presentation includes any federal tax advice, the presentation is not written by Navellier to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties. Navellier does not advise on any income tax requirements or issues. Use of any information presented by Navellier is for general information only and does not represent tax advice either express or implied. You are encouraged to seek professional tax advice for income tax questions and assistance.

IMPORTANT NEWSLETTER DISCLOSURE:The hypothetical performance results for investment newsletters that are authored or edited by Louis Navellier, including Louis Navellier’s Growth Investor, Louis Navellier’s Breakthrough Stocks, Louis Navellier’s Accelerated Profits, and Louis Navellier’s Platinum Club, are not based on any actual securities trading, portfolio, or accounts, and the newsletters’ reported hypothetical performances should be considered mere “paper” or proforma hypothetical performance results and are not actual performance of real world trades.  Navellier & Associates, Inc. does not have any relation to or affiliation with the owner of these newsletters. There are material differences between Navellier Investment Products’ portfolios and the InvestorPlace Media, LLC newsletter portfolios authored by Louis Navellier. The InvestorPlace Media, LLC newsletters contain hypothetical performance that do not include transaction costs, advisory fees, or other fees a client might incur if actual investments and trades were being made by an investor. As a result, newsletter performance should not be used to evaluate Navellier Investment services which are separate and different from the newsletters. The owner of the newsletters is InvestorPlace Media, LLC and any questions concerning the newsletters, including any newsletter advertising or hypothetical Newsletter performance claims, (which are calculated solely by Investor Place Media and not Navellier) should be referred to InvestorPlace Media, LLC at (800) 718-8289.

Please note that Navellier & Associates and the Navellier Private Client Group are managed completely independent of the newsletters owned and published by InvestorPlace Media, LLC and written and edited by Louis Navellier, and investment performance of the newsletters should in no way be considered indicative of potential future investment performance for any Navellier & Associates separately managed account portfolio. Potential investors should consult with their financial advisor before investing in any Navellier Investment Product.

Navellier claims compliance with Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS). To receive a complete list and descriptions of Navellier’s composites and/or a presentation that adheres to the GIPS standards, please contact Navellier or click here. It should not be assumed that any securities recommendations made by Navellier & Associates, Inc. in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of securities made in this report.

FactSet Disclosure: Navellier does not independently calculate the statistical information included in the attached report. The calculation and the information are provided by FactSet, a company not related to Navellier. Although information contained in the report has been obtained from FactSet and is based on sources Navellier believes to be reliable, Navellier does not guarantee its accuracy, and it may be incomplete or condensed. The report and the related FactSet sourced information are provided on an “as is” basis. The user assumes the entire risk of any use made of this information. Investors should consider the report as only a single factor in making their investment decision. The report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security. FactSet sourced information is the exclusive property of FactSet. Without prior written permission of FactSet, this information may not be reproduced, disseminated or used to create any financial products. All indices are unmanaged and performance of the indices include reinvestment of dividends and interest income, unless otherwise noted, are not illustrative of any particular investment and an investment cannot be made in any index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.