Interest Rates

  • 15 Jan
    The “Sleep Well At Night” Investing Strategy

    The “Sleep Well At Night” Investing Strategy

    • Investing is personal and should be more about sleeping well at night than returns.
    • I hope you sleep well at night because you are well prepared for what might happen and not because you don’t know the risks.
    • Unfortunately, sleeping well will always come at a short term cost but I think it’s well worth it.



    Introduction

    Two and a half years ago, I took out a mortgage with a fixed interest rate (3.55%) even though my friend from the Dutch National Bank was telling me to take the lower variable interest rate (2.5%) because the probability that interest rates would rise was very small and I could always change the variable rate to a fixed rate if necessary. More →

  • 10 Jan
    Why The Current Financial Environment Is Crazy

    Why The Current Financial Environment Is Crazy

    • It has never before been so easy to get money. The consequence is bubbles.
    • Some bubbles are innocuous and even funny, other bubbles are extremely dangerous.
    • The most important thing is to know how to behave in this environment, and we’ll discuss that today.



    Introduction

    Financial bubbles are always repeating. Sometimes they are small, just like the meal delivery businesses (like Blue Apron) craze of the last two years. Sometimes they are a bit bigger, like cryptocurrencies have been lately. Sometimes they are huge, just like the current stock or debt markets. More →

  • 28 Dec
    Swimming Naked?

    Swimming Naked?

    • The rising tide has really lifted all boats, but it’s extremely important to dive deeper and see who is swimming naked.
    • This will allow you to protect yourself from extreme downside and to potentially also earn something with some cheap hedges.
    • There are companies with no organic growth that have price to earnings ratios of 500…



    Introduction

    It will soon be nine years that we have been enjoying a rising economic tide. Economic policies around the world are still accommodative, and corporations really don’t have difficulties in finding financing.

    However, if you have been through economic kindergarten, you know that the only thing sure in economics is cyclicality. Therefore, it’s important to see who will be swimming naked when the tide shifts, how to be protected from such a possibility, and perhaps even how to take advantage of it. More →

  • 21 Dec
    Here’s How To Hedge For 2018

    Here’s How To Hedge For 2018

    • Everything looks good with the FED raising rates, but a look under the hood says otherwise.
    • There is a possibility that we won’t see three interest rate hikes in 2018.
    • When things look so good that they can’t get any better, it’s time to leave the party.



    Introduction

    On Monday, we discussed what the main global risks are. Today I want to dig deeper into how to start thinking about portfolio positioning around these risks.

    The FED has started with its tightening policy which creates two investing opportunities. One depends on if the FED manages to increase rates three times in 2018 as planned, inflation rises to 2%, and the economy keeps growing at current rates while unemployment remains low. In such a scenario, everything that has worked well in the last 8 years will work well in 2018. More →

  • 19 Dec
    Will The FED Protect Your Wealth?

    Will The FED Protect Your Wealth?

    • The wealth gap is growing. Invest like the rich.
    • The FED will be forced to protect stocks and real estate prices as they are the key to current economic growth.



    Introduction

    The Boston Consulting Group interviews 250 investors annually who have a combined wealth of $500 billion. The results usually aren’t shocking except for this year. 65% of those investors think the market is overvalued. More →

  • 18 Dec
    There Are Big Global Risks Out There – Here’s How To Invest For Them

    There Are Big Global Risks Out There – Here’s How To Invest For Them

    If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my research on financial markets, it’s that you always have to expect the unexpected. Nothing is linear, everything works in cycles and what monetary policy makers say is usually wrong.

    Last week when the FED raised interest rates, Janet Yellen said: “We’re in a synchronized expansion. This is the first time in many years we’ve seen this.”



    That might be true, but the fact is that every economy today is a global economy and the global economy isn’t synchronized. At some point, it will crack somewhere as it always does. The important thing for us is to be prepared for something like that and to see how to best position our portfolios for the consequences that a financial shock might create. More →

  • 27 Nov
    This Is Why International Diversification Is So Important

    This Is Why International Diversification Is So Important

    • The 30% international revenue exposure the S&P 500 offers isn’t enough.
    • It’s possible to add significant returns and lower your risk when investing internationally.
    • A look at economic health and fundamentals will show where it’s best to invest now.



    Introduction

    An often overlooked part of investing and portfolio strategies are currencies.

    The easiest way to look at it is to say that it all evens out over time and that the only thing important is to be diversified. By owning the S&P 500 or companies that have global revenues, we could say that a portfolio is well diversified. More →

  • 21 Nov
    Worried About The Current Financial Environment? Here’s What You Need To Know

    Worried About The Current Financial Environment? Here’s What You Need To Know

    • Today, we’ll discuss the sustainability of developed financial systems as they are now.
    • We’ll also take a look at the much talked about Chinese slowdown.
    • I’ll finish with a take on gold and what could happen.



    Introduction

    In today’s article, I’ll discuss the financial environment we are living in.

    It’s very important to see the fundamental trends and forces surrounding what looks like a stable and strong financial system. The fundamental forces are crucial because in the long term, those forces eventually prevail and have a huge impact on all financial assets. More →

  • 17 Nov
    Here’s How To Be A Successful Real Estate Investor

    Here’s How To Be A Successful Real Estate Investor

    • To break the myths surrounding investment properties, I’ve done a simple financial overview of an investment in real estate.
    • There’s a big difference between real estate investing and speculating that many don’t get.
    • I find direct real estate investments an essential part of a well-diversified personal portfolio.



    Introduction

    I know interest rates are expected to go up which should lower real estate prices, but to start things today, I want to first distinguish between two very important things when investing in real estate. Do you want to be a speculator or a real estate investor?

    The difference between the two is that a speculator is primarily concerned with whether their investment, or rather speculation, will increase in price in the next year or two or so. More →

  • 13 Nov
    Inflation Points To A Recession On The Horizon – Here’s What You Need To Know

    Inflation Points To A Recession On The Horizon – Here’s What You Need To Know

    • Everybody expected high inflation after 2009, but it didn’t happen. There are specific reasons for that.
    • However, higher food and energy prices are pushing inflation higher. The low unemployment rate should help too.
    • Today, I’ll discuss how to best position yourself for an inflationary environment.



    Introduction

    There is one little bell always ringing in my mind: inflation, inflation, inflation.

    From all my analysis, inflation is something that could really shock the financial world. In today’s article, I’ll first show the current inflation levels for the most important economies, and then will dig deeper into what can happen in the next few years and how could that affect your portfolio. More →

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