‘Easy money is behind us, the hard money is now,’ Stifel’s chief strategist warns

"Market conditions are traders' dream" says Stifel top strategist

Stock pickers may have a clear edge over passive investors.

According to Stifel’s Barry Bannister, the market is on a road to nowhere for almost the next decade.

related investing news

This tech company is the 'best possible beneficiary' of A.I., says fund manager


“Easy money is behind us, the hard money is now,” the firm’s chief equity strategist told CNBC’s “Fast Money” this week.

Bannister has seen this flat-range trading climate before.

“They tend to be slightly more inflationary,” he said “They tend to feature a weaker dollar. They tend to have a compression of P/E ratios. The price earnings multiple comes down.”

Bannister believes the S&P 500 will be trading at 2021 levels in 2031. On 2021’s final trading day, it was 4,766.18. On Tuesday, the S&P closed at 4,071.

“When you look at it, the price earnings multiple from December 2021 is going to come down by about half,” he said “The earnings should just about more than double, so you’ll end up with a flat market.”

Bannister’s market playbook favors value over growth — including overweighting small caps.

But it’s a strategy “Fast Money” trader Dan Nathan questions during a sluggish market.

“I do not think you want to be overweight small caps right here,” said RiskReversal Advisors principal Dan Nathan. “It really feels like it wants to crack here.”

The Russell 2000, an index of small cap stocks, is up about 42% over the past three years and off less than one percent so far this year.