Inflation

  • 20 Feb
    Here’s What You Need To Know About Inflation & Stocks

    Here’s What You Need To Know About Inflation & Stocks

    • There are three scenarios when it comes to stocks and inflation.
    • The only thing you can do is be prepared and avoid risky things.



    Introduction

    Last week’s key number to watch was inflation which surprised on the upside – higher inflation should lead to higher interest rates but the FED might let inflation run a bit in order not to hit the brakes too hard. However, the markets didn’t react, everybody was buying the dip as the salespeople—sorry big banks—came out with statements that it’s all fine. More →

  • 06 Feb
    This Is What Could Keep The Stock Market From Crashing

    This Is What Could Keep The Stock Market From Crashing

    • There are scenarios that could see stocks double from current levels, no matter how crazy those scenarios might look now.
    • I’ll explain what’s going on, why, and what can you do about it.
    • No one can know exactly what will happen, so the key is to be prepared for anything.



    Introduction

    After yesterday, many are expecting a stock market crash. And by looking at what happened in 2000 and 2009, it seems pretty logical that the market will crash as things are looking ridiculous. More →

  • 29 Jan
    At Davos, Dalio’s Message Tells You Everything You Need To Know

    At Davos, Dalio’s Message Tells You Everything You Need To Know

    • Dalio didn’t say that cash is trash or that it is stupid to hold cash.
    • I’ll explain in more detail what Dalio said.
    • Is the biggest risk nobody is seeing—with the exception of Dalio—political in nature?



    Introduction

    I love Davos because there is always a Bloomberg interview with beautiful mountain scenery and a freezing Ray Dalio.

    Perhaps because of the cold, Dalio always wants to keep the interview as short as possible and spits out all his thoughts on the economy, markets, etc. Some of it will be misinterpreted by the market, but the key message is always extremely important to hear. More →

  • 23 Jan
    Inflation Is A Lie – Here’s What You Need To Know

    Inflation Is A Lie – Here’s What You Need To Know

    • Inflation is different for each individual, and it’s probably higher than reported for the majority of us.
    • It isn’t in the interest of any government to have higher inflation as many payments would have to be adjusted, from pensions to salaries.
    • The key is that you have to invest by keeping the real and not the reported inflation in mind.



    Introduction

    What we’ve been looking at for the past 35 years is an environment with declining and low inflation. However, that’s because inflation is usually represented by only one number which is calculated in a distorted way and has to comprehend many various factors of which each impacts us differently. More →

    By Sven Carlin Inflation Investiv Daily
  • 16 Jan
    Higher Inflation Could Be A Game Changer

    Higher Inflation Could Be A Game Changer

    • Inflation has finally reached the FED’s target of 2%.
    • Employment and GDP levels indicate we are in the late part of the economic cycle.
    • Will the FED lose control over its monetary policy?



    Introduction

    Global economies are all finally doing very well, or at least just well. You can’t expect economic skeletons like Europe to do very well. Nevertheless, monetary policies across developed markets are still supportive.

    Supportive policies, from the ECB still buying bonds on the open market, to the BOJ buying ETFs, and the U.S. lowering taxes, indicate that all these economies would be very different without supportive policies. 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 →

  • 27 Dec
    Why You Need Gold Miners In Your Portfolio In 2018

    Why You Need Gold Miners In Your Portfolio In 2018

    I recently wrote about how gold is an essential part of a portfolio. However, today I want to dig deeper into what kind of gold investments could be the best fit your portfolio because it’s all about your personal preferences and every gold miner is different.

    Let’s start with the basis of gold in an all-weather strategy.



    Gold As Part Of An All-Weather Strategy

    There are two macroeconomic environments where gold as a hedge does well: when there is inflation, and especially when there is an economic slowdown and inflation. 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 →

  • 08 Dec
    A Random Walk Down Wall Street

    A Random Walk Down Wall Street

    • According to Burton Malkiel, both technical and fundamental analysis are futile.
    • You might agree or disagree, but there are extremely valuable investing gems in his book.
    • There is something more important than trying to beat the market.



    Introduction

    “Obsessing over stock charts puts holes in investors’ shoes and yachts in brokers’ docks.”

    One of the best books about stocks is Burton Malkiel’s A Random Walk Down Wall Street. It’s a book you should definitely read, if you haven’t already, as it gives a great representation of how Wall Street works over the long term and describes many stock market bubbles, stock valuations through time, the firm foundation theory and the castle in the air theory, and it dismantles technical analysis and fundamental analysis.

    Malkiel is strongly in favor of diversification, index funds, proper asset allocation, risk and long term investing, but the biggest value you can get from reading his book is the common sense related to personal investing and how the risk of investing is related to your personal financial situation and financial goals, not so much the stock market if you avoid doing stupid things.

    Let’s dig into some interesting concepts Malkiel shares and see how they apply to the current market environment.

    Is The Stock Market A Random Walk?

    The main point of the random walk theory is that short term stock price movements can’t be predicted by looking at past price movements as there is no correlation between what has happened in the past and what will happen in the future.

    The concept of a random walk is extremely difficult to grasp because it is in our human nature to attach a pattern and simplify the environment we operate in, a concept called statistical illusion. If we take a look at the S&P 500, we can definitely spot some trends and patterns.

    Figure 1: S&P 500 in the last 10 years. Source: Macro Trends.

    However, there aren’t any. The more historical data you use, the more you will see that there is no way of predicting what will happen next. Malkiel uses the following figure to show how a random walk can look.

    Figure 2: A pattern created by a coin toss. Source: Malkiel.



    The pattern of the S&P 500 isn’t much different than the pattern derived from a coin toss. So whenever you think you might be onto something, remember that a reversal is always around the corner and one short but strong bear market can erase gains that took a decade to build.

    After dismissing technical analysis, let’s see what Malkiel has to say about fundamental analysis.

    Malkiel and Cragg conducted a survey of Wall Street’s top analysts and found that they simply fail at accurately predicting earnings in every single industry both in the one-year and five-year periods. Other researchers like Sandretto and Milkrishnamurthi have reached similar conclusions.

    The book also includes a lengthy discussion about how trying to beat the market is futile. I could argue on that with value investing as it has proven profitable in the very long term. However, even value investing is on shaky grounds given the current accommodative monetary policies which are again a random walk as it was impossible to predict such a scenario 10 years ago. Malkiel argues that value investing did underperform in the 1990s and therefore it is again impossible to know whether past outperformance will replicate itself into the future. You may agree or disagree with Malkiel, but there is some extremely valuable information in his book.

    The Value Of Common Sense Shared By Malkiel

    I find the biggest value in Malkiel’s book is the common sense, which is extremely important in our investing life-cycle. I’ll share a few examples here. Let’s start with inflation.

    Most investors focus on the inflation rate measured by the consumer price index, but that rate has little meaning for an individual and you should think about how to protect your wealth from inflation even if it doesn’t seem important now when inflation is below 2%. The following figure will show how different items are differently impacted by inflation, so it all depends on what you want to buy in the future. If you want to retire on Hershey bars, you should worry.

    Figure 3: Inflation is different and, again, personal. Source: Malkiel.

    Another important factor is proper asset allocation which starts with proper diversification. Malkiel shows how important it is to be well diversified internationally and to rebalance accordingly through time. A portfolio of 20 well diversified international stocks (including U.S. stocks) leads to the same returns with lower risk.

    Figure 4: International diversification leads to lower risk. Source: Malkiel.



    The third Malkiel concept I want to touch on here is risk and age. A young person that has the best earning years ahead of them can afford to take higher risks as the increased future salaries can cover for eventual portfolio declines and even take advantage of lower prices and consequently higher dividend yields. A person close to or in retirement can’t take the risk of a lost stock market decade or any kind of potential portfolio decline.

    Conclusion

    Reading Malkiel’s book leads to an intriguing discussion with oneself, especially if you try to beat the market with a certain technique. However, I believe A Random Walk Down Wall Street is an essential read for anyone who owns any kind of investment vehicle.

    I might not totally agree with what Malkiel is saying, but I’m still young and can take a lot of risk as he would say. Nevertheless, where I agree with Malkiel is that investing is and always will be a personal issue.

    I would build on Malkiel’s work by saying that beating the market is irrelevant. What is relevant is that your investments, their risk and reward, are related to your personal financial life cycle goals. Malkiel’s book is an essential read for determining the relation between the risk reward of your investment strategies and your life goals.

    © 2017 Investiv

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