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Though early, pros see bullish signs emerging

Sometimes the best way to anticipate a turn higher is to measure the degree of bearish sentiment in the market.

And according to a new survey from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, global fund managers are their most gloomy in two years, with money managers slashing risk in their portfolios.

Charles Bobrinskoy of Ariel Investments views the results as a stealth signal; one that says it's time to buy.

Read More Fund managers most bearish on growth, stocks for 2 years -survey

Bull sculpture market
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Bobrinskoy shares an outlook often articulated by Warren Buffett who says, "Be greedy when others are fearful." Bobrinskoy not only says "be greedy." He also says, "the big negative in the market emerged earlier in the year when money managers were overwhelmingly bullish."

That is, the excessive bullish sentiment was an early sign of a turn lower; conversely, he thinks the excessive bearish sentiment should be a sign of a turn higher.

In part, that's due to a belief that when there are a high number of skeptics in the market, there aren't a lot of additional investors who will step in a go short. Therefore, the selling abates and, in turn, buyers drive a new advance.

David Katz of Matrix Asset Advisors shares the outlook. "We think money managers in the BofA Merrill poll are too focused on negatives," he said. "We think the economy is OK and stocks are reasonably priced at 15.5 next year's earnings."

Katz went on to suggest fortune favors the brave; he's a strategic buyer as stocks slide lower. "You might look dumb now but in three months we think you'll look smart. We think the market is setting up for a strong November."