The Curious Case of Harry Dent

By on July 13, 2011

The prognostications of Harry Dent (author of several successful books) have been chronicled here sporadically over the years.  After some initial success, Dent made some outlandish predictions that missed the mark by a wide margin.  Back in 2006 he claimed the Dow would be between 32,000 and 40,000 in the year 2010.  If that doesn’t hurt your credibility, not much will.

Now Dent is clinging to the notion that aging U. S. demographics will lead to economic doom causing the Dow to plunge below 4,000 in 2-3 years.  There is actually some validity to his argument regarding the economy when you think about it.  The U. S. faces a growing horde of retirees at just the time its budget has been blown to smithereens.

Fox Business News interviewed Dent recently which can be seen on YouTube.  Dent remains convinced and demonstrates earnest conviction in his opinion that the stock market is facing a collapse.  He also believes QE3 will be a reality before the end of the year.

Dent has an actively managed ETF (symbol DENT), the performance of which can fairly be characterized as miserable so far.  It appears that putting his opinions into actionable investment advice is a challenge, especially given that the Dent Tactical ETF has the highest expense ratio (1.5%) of any ETF.

This isn’t the first time Dent has made an attempt to put his ideas to work in the markets.  He had a very poorly performing fund back in the early 2000’s that garnered $400 million in assets.  That fund, the AIM Dent Demographic Trends, was mercifully merged out of existence.  This hasn’t prevented Dent from going to the well again.  However, investors must be catching on to his lack of success in managing money as DENT (the ETF) has only attracted $18 million in investor funds after nearly two years of operation.

3 Comments

  1. Amanda Faulk

    July 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Dent is not dumb man, unfortunately he staked his reputation on the “Baby Boomer spending Wave” theory and lacks the fortitude to modify his all or nothing stance.

    He’s theory about spending patterns is correct, it just isn’t directly correlated to the marketplace. Businesses adapt and are formed to cater to changing demographics.

    That is not to discount that we’re headed for a very rough patch during the next decade or two.

  2. Mike Hunt

    July 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    So true.

  3. Barron Maestro

    August 20, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Larry Swedroe has written a critical article regarding Dent here:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57598659/harry-dent-and-the-chamber-of-poor-returns/

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