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Updating Three "Buy" Calls by the "Reluctant Bull"

Not long after Shah Gilani came to work here at Money Map Press, he shared a bit of wisdom that I've never forgotten.

"You know, Bill, retail investors seem to have this erroneous mindset that you make money in bull markets and lose money in bear markets," Shah said. "The reality is that you can make money in any kind of market - up or down. You go long in bull markets and go short in bear markets. And the reality is that there's always - and I mean always - some place in the market that will allow you to make money."

In one of Shah's most recent appearances on Fox Business' "Varney & Co.," co-host Charles Payne dubbed him "The reluctant bull." The moniker fits. Shah is very up-front in saying that the performance of the underlying economy doesn't justify the returns we're seeing out of U.S. stocks.

But he's just as quick to explain that some ancillary catalysts - namely, the QE initiatives of the U.S. central bank - have been more than enough to overcome the weakness in the American economy. And until this balance shifts, Shah will remain bullish ... reluctantly.

Retail investors don't see it that way. According to the latest Thomson Reuters Lipper data, investors pulled $5.1 billion out of stock funds last week.

Thanks to worries that include Syria, an end to the U.S. Federal Reserve printing program, and mixed signals about the U.S. and other world economies, investors have been heading for the sidelines - and the perceived safety of cash, that Thomson Reuters report stated. Last week, in fact, marked the third straight of net withdrawals from U.S. stocks.

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