Interest Rates

  • 16 Sep
    Want To Retire Comfortably? Do You Have $2,000,000?

    Want To Retire Comfortably? Do You Have $2,000,000?

    • The low yields we have now increase the amount necessary for a comfy retirement nest egg.
    • $500,000 is only estimated to last for a 13 year retirement. Most retirees will completely miss the mark.
    • Avoid risky assets no matter how tempting might the yield be.

    Introduction

    Last week we discussed the true cost of low interest rates with particular attention paid to pension funding. Many defined pension plans are underfunded, and it’s a situation that has to be dealt with now despite it being against human nature to think about a problem that will only arise in the distant future.

    On top of the problems in defined pension funds, low interest rates have a detrimental effect on general pensions and your retirement. More →

  • 07 Sep
    The High Costs Of Low Interest Rates

    The High Costs Of Low Interest Rates

    • The $3.4 trillion public retirement system funding deficit we have currently will only continue to get bigger when expected returns are lowered from science fiction levels of 7% to realistic levels of 3% to 4%.
    • Insurance companies and banks are also at risk as their business models are in jeopardy.
    • Low interest rates are good in a crisis situation, but harmful in the long run. However, politicians have hesitated globally to make changes.

    Introduction

    The fact that interest rates are low is not news. While many are discussing whether the FED will raise rates or not, few analyze what the long term costs of such an artificial environment will be.

    The environment is artificial because if it weren’t for the low rates, or negative rates in many parts of the world, there would be no lending as you don’t lend below a certain interest rate. In any case, this will have severe consequences on the economy, liquidity, inflation, banks, insurance companies, and retirement funds, and could create bubbles that will take years to deleverage. More →

  • 31 Aug
    Where To Look For Hope In Yellen’s Latest Speech

    Where To Look For Hope In Yellen’s Latest Speech

    • The FED is predicting long-term average interest rates of around 3%, not the 7% that used to be the case.
    • Even small increases in interest rates will have a huge effect on yielding assets’ values.
    • Even Yellen it telling us that productivity is the main factor for growth, so add it to your portfolio.

    Introduction

    There are two main drivers of what can be done to improve the economy. One is new inventions and structural reforms that increase productivity, while the other is monetary policy. As the former takes time to get results, we mostly talk about the latter. We can assume that increased knowledge and structural reforms take care of themselves. Companies are always investing in new technologies, and governments, no matter what kind, slowly push for social and political improvements. The results can only be seen if we look at it in the long term. The quality of our lives is much better now than it was 20 years ago and 20 years from now will be even better. More →

  • 24 Aug
    Carl Icahn Is Right, But When Will The Market Learn?

    Carl Icahn Is Right, But When Will The Market Learn?

    • Carl Icahn has been warning us how dangerous low interest rates are as they create bubbles.
    • The most important bubble is the earnings bubble.
    • Repatriation and inversions are two crucial issues for the U.S.

    Introduction

    We are continuing with our series of articles on successful fund managers. You can read more about Ray Dalio here, George Soros here and Peter Lynch here. Looking at what these successful managers are doing gives us a better understanding of the market, its potential and its inherent risks.

    In today’s article we are going to look at Carl Icahn’s investing style and look at his current positions through his latest SEC filing. More →

  • 23 Aug
    Are You An Investing Optimist? Check Your Portfolio

    Are You An Investing Optimist? Check Your Portfolio

    • Investors are very optimistic in bull markets and allocate much of their portfolio to stocks, increasing their risk.
    • Analysts and economists expect more spending which will consequently push GDP and inflation up, but low rates push people to save more for their retirement.
    • If the GDP and earnings don’t grow as expected, we could see a bear market in 2017.

    Introduction

    Stock markets keep going up while fundamentals keep going down and the economic situation isn’t that great either. The S&P 500 is dancing around new highs despite corporate earnings for Q2 falling by 3.6%, and the economy only growing by 1.2% on an annualized basis. Economic growth for the whole of 2016 is only at 1%. More →

  • 22 Aug
    The Important Insights From The FOMC Minutes No One Is Talking About

    The Important Insights From The FOMC Minutes No One Is Talking About

    • The FED’s “protect the market at all costs” attitude minimizes the risk of a severe bear market but increases the risk for an inflationary environment.
    • Trade deficits and low productivity are not good signs for the long-term, no matter the positive data from the labor market.
    • Until the focus shifts from central banks to real structural reforms, sluggish GDP growth could easily turn into a recession.

    Introduction

    There are more important insights that can be gained by going through the FOMC minutes than by just reading the news about an eventual interest rate increase. An interest rate increase of 0.5% won’t change much. It will give the news something to talk about for two weeks and from then onwards it will be business as usual. Structural risks and what the FED is ready to do or not do in the case of turmoil is what will determine our investing returns. More →

  • 19 Aug
    The U.S. Dollar: Should You Stick To It Or Diversify Now?

    The U.S. Dollar: Should You Stick To It Or Diversify Now?

    • The dollar has been positively correlated with stocks for the last 4 years which is unusual.
    • Potential FED interest rate increases don’t make international diversification a great idea right now.
    • Any sign of a U.S. recession should be a good time to think about international diversification with emerging markets.

    Introduction

    On big news sites like Bloomberg you often come across headlines related to the movement of the U.S. dollar. The headline below is a good example. More →

  • 02 Aug
    Euphoria & Denial Point to the Last Days of the Bull Market

    Euphoria & Denial Point to the Last Days of the Bull Market

    • Risks are cumulating and getting bigger.
    • U.S. GDP growth is slower than expected, earnings and oil prices continue to decline.
    • Japan is unable to grow while BREXIT risks are still unfolding.

    Introduction

    It is difficult to find good news lately. The last really good news was the June jobs report when 287,000 jobs were added. Since then, most of the news seems dismal, however, it has yet to have a negative impact on financial markets. It’s as though investors are just hoping for something good to happen in the future. As hopes are an immaterial human feeling, they should not be the base for investment decisions. More →

  • 21 Jul
    Higher Interest Rates Aren’t A Given, But Investors Should Prepare Anyway. Find Out Why.

    Higher Interest Rates Aren’t A Given, But Investors Should Prepare Anyway. Find Out Why.

    • Rates cannot go lower but higher rates would destroy wealth and lead to a recession.
    • The FED is in a difficult position and rhetoric shifts can be expected.

    Introduction

    It is every central banker’s target, the elusive 2% rate of inflation. We cannot know when, but should expect that it will be achieved and prepare accordingly. Since rising interest rates help to keep inflation in check, once the target is reached, as strange as it sounds, rates should also rise to compensate. This article is going to analyze what is happening, what will probably happen, and how it will affect investments. More →

  • 13 Jul
    Negative Yielding Debt: A Party for Investors or Pure Stupidity?

    Negative Yielding Debt: A Party for Investors or Pure Stupidity?

    • Almost 30% of global sovereign debt comes with a negative yield.
    • The situation is much worse in Japan and Europe than it is in the U.S.
    • Investors should enjoy the asset inflation party while it lasts but also be prepared for the worst.

    Introduction

    Negative yielding debt seemed impossible and illogical for a long time, but it suddenly became a reality a few years ago and now we are seeing it slowly become the new normal.

    This isn’t just strange, it’s dangerous as risk averse investors—like pension funds and insurance companies—are forced to invest in assets that have traditionally been considered safe but that have now become risky, and their returns minimal. Those low returns will result in lower pensions and lower savings which will create new troubles in the future. More →

1 7 8 9 10 11