It was nearly two years ago… September 2015. Stocks had just finished their first 10%-plus correction in years. But I was bullish. I was preparing to give a speech at the Stansberry Alliance conference. It was titled "Welcome to the Melt Up." I was worried as I got up on stage. I didn't know how the crowd would react. I was about to give a speech that was against what everyone in the room believed. They were all bearish – the speakers, the attendees, you name it. The stock market had fallen in August, and then again in September. These stock market declines had driven investors to an extreme in fear. "Welcome to the Melt Up" was the opposite of what they wanted to hear. But it turned out to be exactly right… Stocks have soared over the last two years… They've hit new high after new high. Hindsight makes those gains seem obvious now. But calling for the "Melt Up" was a massively contrarian opinion in late 2015. I was confident because I'd seen a Melt Up before… The most recent major example was the top of the 1990s bull market. The Nasdaq Composite Index soared more than 86% in 1999 alone. Now that was a clear Melt-Up period. Importantly, these huge Melt-Up gains typically begin after a time of extreme fear. In late 1998, stocks had fallen dramatically in the wake of the Asian Financial Crisis, and we hit a fear extreme. Then, stocks surprised everyone and soared higher – the Nasdaq rose 200% in 18 months. Take a look… That's what a Melt Up looks like… a massive, blow-off top at the end of a bull market. The important thing to remember is that Melt Ups usually begin after a period of extreme fear. And that's exactly what we had in late 2015 and early 2016… Stocks fell in autumn 2015 and at the beginning of 2016. In both cases, the short-term downside was 10%-plus. And those were the first 10%-plus declines in stocks since 2011. Investors had gotten used to consistent gains and easy money. But these declines showed a crack in the armor, and that caused a major spike in fear. One simple way to size up fear in the markets is through the Volatility Index (the "VIX") – often referred to as the market's "fear gauge." The VIX spiked during both of these falls. Generally, a VIX reading above 20 shows fear in the market. And in autumn 2015, the VIX rose above 40 – a level not seen since 2011. The VIX nearly hit 30 again in early 2016. Take a look… This set the stage for what has happened since. It set the stage for the Melt Up… We were late in the bull market… And stocks fell slightly, causing a major fear extreme. The S&P 500 is up around 37% since its 2016 bottom. That's the Melt Up in action. But I don't believe it's over yet. Tomorrow, I'll show you why… and which parts of the U.S. market could soar the most as the Melt Up concludes. Good investing, Steve P.S. I believe the Melt Up is one of the most important investment themes in the world today. So tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Eastern, I'm hosting an emergency briefing with my friend and colleague Porter Stansberry. We'll walk you through the details of a new development in my thesis… And I'll share one of my favorite investment opportunities right now. Click here to reserve your spot.
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