Stocks may claw upward for now, but the next quarter could be a different story. And while the threat of financial-stock collapses is fading, this brutal recession has far to go.

That’s the headline of legendary short hedge-fund manager Bill Fleckenstein’s recent column at MSN money. Although he recently closed his short fund and covered most of his shorts, Fleckenstein is still in bear-mode. The current rally can be attributed to what he calls “the market’s misplaced optimism”.

Damn smart guy. Wish I had followed his lead and covered some of my shorts a bit lower. But I still think we’re headed much lower in the long run, so it’s reassuring to see that Mr. Fleckstein thinks the same. His insight demonstrates how important it is to be aware of the impact of government interventions and mutual fund

The most exciting part of his announcement is this:

My efforts in 2009 will be directed toward setting up an investment vehicle to be managed by Fred Hickey and me. It won’t be a hedge fund and will hopefully be available to everyone.

I’ll be first in line if he opens up a fund available to small-timers like myself. Check out his site here (subscription required, but it’s very reasonable at $120/year). His MSN Money articles can be found here.