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All Hail Bubba

Second chances… who doesn’t like another opportunity?! In golf (or at least in the groups I play in), it always seems that Bubba is the best golfer of the group. This is fitting, given that Bubba Watson just won his second Masters on Sunday.

But no, I don’t play in groups with Bubba Watson. I am talking about the guy that hits the mulligan shot. When someone hits twice from the same spot (i.e., takes a mulligan), golfers tend to call that second golfer Bubba.

Bubba is able to learn from the mistakes made in the prior swing. He is also a bit looser, because we all know mulligans don’t count!

Bubba has less pressure, because in reality he likely can’t do much worse than the real golfer did (or he wouldn’t be taking a second swing).

The point of Bubba, though, is that it shows we tend to make the most of our second chances. Whether it’s because of our ability to learn from the prior actions mistakes or because we are looser, we tend to take advantage of those second chances.

Well, Emerging Markets received their equivalent of a Bubba recently. When the U.S. announced the possibility of a tapering (and then ultimate action of tapering) in bond buying back in May, emerging market investments got slammed.

From peak to trough, the FTSE emerging market equity index fell 17.25%. And this was over just 33 days. Over the next, about, six months the same index saw some better times, mixed in with more questionable times, but was able to squeak out a slight gain. Over the time period, the index was up 1.92%.

But recently, Bubba came into the picture. The main reason that emerging markets sold off was that many investors were worried that the tapering would impact flows of money into emerging market countries—which it did. The floods of money coming into the U.S. financial system from the Fed’s bond buying were finding its way to these emerging market countries. Now the flood gates were stopping and investors didn’t like this.

Emerging market countries were caught a bit off guard as well. They, of course, loved these flows and didn’t really take the time to prioritize what to do with the money. They didn’t take the opportunity to use these new funds to solidify their financial foundation. Rather, they were basically partying for the time they were receiving the funds. Then the party stopped, abruptly.

The emerging markets Bubba came in the form of the ECB. With recent comments that the ECB will look to implement some form of massive quantitative easing, emerging markets are getting a second chance.

Having another large central bank implement easing gives emerging markets another outlet for funds. Over the past couple of weeks, the FTSE emerging market index was up over 7%.

Bubba has arrived and now the question is whether these countries will make the most his arrival! Golfers sure do.

(All data used within The Capital Course was provided by Ned Davis Research)


 

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