In late 2018, the bad economic news just keeps rolling in. At a time when consumer confidence is absolutely soaring, the underlying economic numbers are clearly telling us that enormous problems are right around the corner. Of course this is usually what happens just before a major economic downturn. Most people in the general population feel like the party can go on for quite a while longer, but meanwhile the warning signs just keep becoming more and more obvious. I have been hearing from people that truly believe that the economy is “strong”, but if the U.S. economy really was in good shape would new vehicle sales be “collapsing”?… Read More
The need to minimize the cost of distance has caused businesses and individuals to cluster around urban areas. This trend began during the Industrial Revolution 250 years ago, when millions of people moved to cities to work in factories. As Karen notes “Cities are dense urban hubs that minimize the cost of moving raw materials, labor and finished goods.”
Velocity can also tell us about the long-term direction of bond yields. As velocity is a main determinate of nominal GDP, and yields track nominal GDP, Lacy believes that the secular low for interest rates are not in hand: “In my view, we will not see the secular low in interest rates until the velocity of money reaches its secular trough, and that is not something that’s going to happen soon.”
A major difference between the current bear market and the long bear market of the 1970s is the economic environment. During the 1970s, the growth rate of productivity fell by nearly half, while inflation reached double-digits. These factors contributed significantly to the poor performance of the stock market during that period. However, during the current bear market, productivity has held up well, while inflation is not seen to be a significant threat in the near future. In hindsight, it is clear that the sharp decline in the stock market over the past two years was driven in large measure by excessive optimism in the value of high technology to the economy, at least in the near term. This zeal likely contributed to a period of overinvestment by businesses, particularly in the computer and telecommunications sectors, which suffered substantially in the last recession and have been slow to recover. However, the long-run benefits of technological innovation to the economy should be a positive factor for corporate equities, particularly if inflation remains low. If this proves to be true, households should begin to weight stocks more heavily in their asset holdings, making it unlikely that we will see a replay of the protracted bear market of the 1970s.
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, municipal advisors gained an increasingly important role in overseeing financial and legal circumstances surrounding the issuance of bonds. The municipal advisor serves as a fiduciary for the municipal issue, taking care of all of the assets and finances involved in the issuance process. Legally, the advisor is obligated to represent the interests of the issuer and serve as a source of financial advice. This entails offering advice on structuring, selling, and promoting bonds, as well as serving as the central liaison between other members of the financial team, especially the underwriters and credit rating agency. Although municipal financial advisory services have existed for many years, municipal advisors have played a key role in the bond issuance process since the Securities and Exchange Commission enacted the Municipal Advisor rule in 2014, which prohibits certain communications between issuers and broker-dealers unless one of four exceptions is met, one being that the issuer has retained an Independent Registered Municipal Advisor ("IRMA").
This study tends to support the general notion that now is the time for investors to be asking questions about the viability of the long term trend. It also supports the analysis that the bull market started in the 2011 time frame. It shows us consistently that it is the trend from 2011 that traders need to keep a watchful eye upon as well as the 50 week EMA. From a trading point of view, it's quite helpful to have some clear criteria for recognizing the end of a trend. In that light, while there is likely to be a rally in the primary indices, when that comes it is likely that some key sectors will not participate or will participate marginally. The same underperforming sectors are likely to break down first, giving advanced warning that the general market will be soon to follow.
[After the crash] stocks continued to fall, until by the summer of 1932, the Dow Jones reached a floor of 41.88, nearly 90% off its 1929 peak. By this date, the country’s national income had shrunk by 60% and one third of the non-agricultural workforce was unemployed. President Herbert Hoover, who came to office in early 1929 promising that “the end of poverty was in sight,” faced an uphill task in the forthcoming election. America needed a scapegoat.
Variables may include; immigration reform that further “grows” our economy through assimilation of ever more people who can make each piece of the pie ever more expensive and buy up the overabundance of housing; and tax and policy structures that are favorable to population growth by making children less costly and even financially rewarding, increasing costs of pregnancy prevention, etc.
The pattern of boom and bust has continued in the post- war years. Inevitably the bears have been blamed during every major downturn…Japanese authorities complain[ed] that mysterious foreign interests were responsible for the decline in their stock market, following the great boom of the bubble economy. (In 1998, the Japanese imposed restrictions on short-selling in an attempt to shore up their market).
As Niall pointed out: “Things are becoming quite disorderly for the liberal order.” Before we go on, I want to make a critical point. Whether you support military intervention, or not, isn’t the issue here. The issue is that without the US playing the role of guarantor, we are likely to see a rise in conflicts. That is going to affect financial markets and your portfolio.
By staying out of this overvalued market, the only thing we can get is sore while the believers get rich. As it’s impossible to time the market, getting out now can be costly for a while, but is the smartest thing to do in the long run. Getting out of the S&P 500 will be extremely rewarding when the $2 billion daily inflows into Vanguard reverse and become outflows. With nobody buying, the drop will be huge.
Ten-year Treasury yields jumped 13 bps this week to 2.48%, the high going back to March. German bund yields rose 12 bps to 0.42%. U.S. equities have been reveling in tax reform exuberance. Bonds not so much. With unemployment at an almost 17-year low 4.1%, bond investors have so far retained incredible faith in global central bankers and the disinflation thesis.
"The first thing to do is check the current risk of the portfolio," Alexander G. Koury of Values Quest Inc. told TheStreet in July. "This will help the investor determine what would be the worst-case scenario if the market were to move into a bear market. That means an investor will know how much they're willing to lose of their portfolio, and they can determine whether or not that is comfortable for them."
Well Danny – let me tell you something. There are many, many other people out there who are intelligent and REFUSE TO BE TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS. Real estate is WAY overpriced in many areas, so if you say that we basically “need to pay at least 97% of the asking price,” I say you are the epitome of an UN-professional. You do not have the best interests of you buyers at heart. You only have your own selfish interests in mind.
The post-millennials have arrived. As the oldest millennials turn 37, demographers have designated a new generation for those born after 1996, Generation Z. The oldest members of this cohort just graduated from college and had their first (legal) alcoholic beverages. As they wind their way through college, post-millennials will change higher education, just as previous generations did.
“If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” is the perfect way to describe the current market. Investors are all playing the same game and reinforcing the passive investing trend by constantly plowing more money into passively managed funds. The management fee of the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: IVV) is just 0.04% which is extremely low and positive for investors. However the low fees, mindless investment strategies, and extremely high valuations will lead to a catastrophe when the same mindless buying reverts to panicked, mindless selling.
I recently ran across a terrific chart in Grant’s Interest Rate Observer that got me thinking about Hyman Minsky and The Financial Instability Hypothesis. After remaining relatively unknown during the course of his lifetime, Minsky really came to fame in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis as his hypothesis helped to explain what left most economists baffled: the fundamental cause of the crisis. Clearly, though, he has been forgotten just as quickly because, considering where we stand today, it’s obvious the economists with the greatest power to prevent another crisis have still not adopted his insights into their frameworks. Read More
Broadly speaking, Credit Suisse is overweight on cyclical stocks, as they tend to outperform when bond yields rise. The performance of European bank stocks is also highly - and positively - correlated to rising bond yields. Sectors that have high operational leverage (higher fixed costs than variable ones) and low levels of debt also perform well when bond yields rise. American utilities, telecom and beverage stocks look unattractive on that measure, while technology stocks appear poised for success.