Interest Rates

  • 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 →

  • 11 Jul
    Watch Out: The FOMC’s Current Stance Could Impact Your Portfolio in the Long Term

    Watch Out: The FOMC’s Current Stance Could Impact Your Portfolio in the Long Term

    • Bonds are becoming riskier as yields are falling.
    • Inflation is at 1.2% and very likely to get higher as full employment is approached.
    • The FOMC predicts stability which could create a great environment for traders.

    Introduction

    On July 6 the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) June meeting minutes were released. As they give clear insight into how the controllers of our monetary policy think, it is very important to analyze the minutes in order to better position one’s portfolio and also execute short- and medium-term trades. The FOMC gave a clear indication of their expectations in relation to future GDP growth, unemployment, inflation and its federal funds rate. All of the mentioned indicators will have different effects on various investments. More →

  • 24 Jun
    How to Prepare Your Portfolio For The Next Recession or Stock Market Crash

    How to Prepare Your Portfolio For The Next Recession or Stock Market Crash

    • The risks of a slowdown are higher than the upside.
    • Fundamental trends are negative in advanced economies while emerging markets show higher growth rates and are cheaper.
    • It is important to create a diversified portfolio with uncorrelated assets.

    Introduction

    In an environment where it seems maximum potential for the U.S. economy has been reached, the St. Louis FED chief, James Bullard, has said in his most recent report that he favors only one interest rate increase through 2018, which would at best keep things stable. His view is further supported by the fact that the unemployment rate is sitting at below 5%, and the Personal Consumption Expenditures PCE inflation—measured by the Dallas FED—is at 1.84%, both of which signal that the economy has reached its maximum potential. More →

  • 23 Jun
    Will There Be A Long Term Impact To The Fed’s Shift In Rhetoric?

    Will There Be A Long Term Impact To The Fed’s Shift In Rhetoric?

    • A positive outlook seems more political than realistic as the FED is out of maneuvering power.
    • Keeping interest rates unchanged is the best and the only thing the FED can currently do.
    • Low interest rates will weaken the dollar, boost exports and increase corporate earnings in the upcoming earnings season.

    Introduction

    In FED’s Chairwoman Yellen semiannual policy report, the rhetoric has significantly changed since the last report in February. In short, the full employment target is almost reached but the inflation rate is still below the targeted 2% and the expectations for the reaching of that target have been changed from short term to medium term. Further, the latest job reports show a slowdown in jobs increases which creates a bit of a scare. The FED estimates the slowdown to be transitory. More →

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