Inflation

  • 10 Jul
    The FED & ECB Meeting Minutes Explained

    The FED & ECB Meeting Minutes Explained

    • Financial markets are very dependent on Central Bank activity.
    • The FED is slowly tightening, but the activity is more a façade than actual tightening. Europe is still easing.
    • The fact is that things will eventually change. When? Nobody knows. The only thing a savvy investor can do is protect themselves and take advantage of everything.

    Introduction

    Many don’t see that the current market is highly influenced by Central Banks.

    In the past 8 years, Central Banks have been continually putting money into the system. The FED has recently stopped doing so, but the ECB is still buying bonds, even corporate bonds, while the Bank of Japan has bought almost everything they can buy. So, it’s clear that high current asset prices are a direct result of Central Bank actions as the fundamentals haven’t really improved as much as asset prices have increased.

    The long-term picture is relatively easy to understand, but I must say, I was surprised by the short-term correlations between Central Bank activity and stock prices. More →

  • 04 Jul
    Why Yesterday’s Retirement Investing Advice Won’t Work In Today’s Environment

    Why Yesterday’s Retirement Investing Advice Won’t Work In Today’s Environment

    • Common retirement investing advice worked ok in the past, but could have been much better.
    • Why would you sell stocks that you bought a long time ago, and that are still growing and paying dividend, to buy bonds that yield less than inflation?
    • Over the long term, little differences amount to a huge difference. Take responsibility for your retirement.

    Introduction

    The common advice on retirement investing is to be overweight stocks when you are far from retirement and then overweight bonds when you are closer to retirement. Some funds offer target date retirement funds that have such a portfolio allocation.

    Vanguard’s target retirement funds invest up to 90% in stocks when you are more than 25 years from retirement, and then lower that exposure to about 50% when you retire. 7 years into retirement, you have 70% of your portfolio in bonds. More →

  • 29 May
    Are You Ready? The FED Says More Tightening Ahead

    Are You Ready? The FED Says More Tightening Ahead

    • The FED’s meeting minutes clearly signal more tightening ahead.
    • Inflation has consistently been above 2% in 2017, so we can say “bye bye” to low interest rates.
    • There’s a rosy scenario for the economy and a negative one. In both, stocks are bound to fall.

    Introduction

    Inflation is an extremely important factor concerning anything related to investing. Over time, there’s a huge difference between real (inflation adjusted) and nominal returns. Therefore, we always have to keep an eye on inflation and invest accordingly to minimize the risk of seeing inflation eat up our returns, and to maximize our real returns. More →

  • 11 Apr
    The FED Is Feeding Journalists Stability While Also Confessing Its Cluelessness

    The FED Is Feeding Journalists Stability While Also Confessing Its Cluelessness

    • Reading the FED’s meeting minutes is necessary to grasp those trends that will shape investment returns but are not explicit or immediate.
    • The FED has started discussing running down its balance sheet if the economy stays on track.
    • However, the FED also just told us that they have no clue what will happen this year or in the next few years. Read this article and the FED’s minutes if you don’t believe it.

    Introduction

    Last week the FED released its meeting minutes. It’s always a good idea to take a look at the minutes as inside you can find interesting long term trends that aren’t yet recognized by the market but will eventually surface. More →

  • 29 Mar
    Are High Dividend Yields Worth It?

    Are High Dividend Yields Worth It?

    • High dividend yielders are worth it if you know what you’re doing, i.e. you know the sector in detail and understand the macro environment. However in most cases, high yielders are traps with a high risk of permanent capital loss.
    • Less risk can be obtained by investing in dividend aristocrats. Most are fairly priced or overpriced, but some still pay nice dividends. The complete list is provided.
    • As always, I would look abroad for yield. The dollar is currently strong which makes such investments cheap. A currency reversal will give you higher yields in the future.

    Introduction

    Dividend investors have really enjoyed the last three decades as interest rates have been declining. Lower interest rates make stocks that pay stable dividends more attractive while also enabling management to use more leverage to increase those dividends.

    You can read more about what to expect from the dividend world here. However, low interest rates also push the price of stable dividend yielders into the sky making new investments less attractive. More →

  • 23 Mar
    Do You Have A Static Or Dynamic View Of The Markets?

    Do You Have A Static Or Dynamic View Of The Markets?

    • A static view tells us stocks are cheap. A dynamic view tells us hell is about to break loose.
    • Vehicle loans have increased 57% since 2010. If interest rates increase, car sales and other credit related sales will falter and lead the economy into a recession.
    • However, as always, there are ways to make money in any environment. Today we’ll discuss an actionable idea and introduce you to a profitable long term investing philosophy.

    Introduction

    This market has lost all connections to economic reality.

    The FED’s rate hike lowered treasury yields instead of pushing them higher. This is at odds with history as since 1954, the correlation between the federal funds rate and the yield on 10-year treasuries has been nearly perfectly correlated with a correlation ratio of 0.91, 1 being perfectly correlated. More →

  • 22 Mar
    Here’s What You Need To Know If You’re Counting On Dividend Income

    Here’s What You Need To Know If You’re Counting On Dividend Income

    • I’ll analyze the dividend environment by describing the risk reward scenario for dividend income investors.
    • The ‘monthly dividend company’ will still remain so, but you’ll be able to buy it at a 30% off, or even cheaper.
    • Whatever you’re doing, just don’t chase yields as that is the fastest way to lose a lot of money in this market.

    Introduction

    What dividend investors don’t like is uncertainty, especially uncertainty related to their dividend income. Nevertheless, uncertainty is exactly the feeling many investors have in this environment, not because of the market as the indexes are constantly breaking records, but because there is a certain feeling in the air that things might soon change and nobody knows how the financial world will look afterward. More →

  • 20 Mar
    Is This The Beginning Of The End For The Era Of Financial Engineering?

    Is This The Beginning Of The End For The Era Of Financial Engineering?

    • Most developed world economies can’t continue to grow without financial engineering.
    • However, inflation forced tightening will eventually have a significant impact on credit.
    • This will only lead to more accommodation and toward an eventual crash, so be prepared.

    Introduction

    Each significant historical bear market has an initial trigger. Weak home and car sales killed the 2003 – 2007 bull market, while the realization that stock valuations had gone too far initiated the bear market in March 2000.

    But what will trigger the next bear market? Well, there’s a great possibility that it will be monetary tightening. Perhaps it won’t be the latest quarter percentage point rate increase, but it will probably be one of the next rate hikes. More →

  • 08 Mar
    Inflation Has Arrived – Here’s What That Could Mean For Markets

    Inflation Has Arrived – Here’s What That Could Mean For Markets

    • After 7 years of enjoying interest rates close to zero, the party is over.
    • There are several scenarios that can develop, but the long-term outcome is clear.
    • In the short term, higher interest rates should increase demand for the dollar and U.S. assets, so we could see a higher S&P 500 in combination with higher interest rates.

    Introduction

    For the past year I have been writing about how things are bound to change when inflation finally arrives. Well, inflation has arrived and it’s quickly going higher which means that we’ll have to start talking in nominal and real returns, the FED will be forced to take action no matter the economic environment, and it will have significant repercussions on the economy and markets.

    Usually when I’ve written about inflation, it was about something that will happen somewhere in the future. Now that inflation is finally here, I’ll discuss what will happen in the short term. More →

  • 06 Feb
    Sven Sees Recession On The Horizon

    Sven Sees Recession On The Horizon

    • An analysis of employment, interest rates, currency, and inflation suggests a recession is inevitable in the next few years.
    • The FED can’t change economic laws nor protect us from ourselves. On the contrary, the FED will lead us into a recession in order to prevent a future depression.

    Introduction

    The FED didn’t raise rates last Wednesday but they are still on track to raise rates two to three times in 2017. The FED’s goal is to “foster maximum employment and price stability” through economic activity expanding at a moderate pace and inflation rising to, and stabilizing at 2%.

    What we know is that inflation has been slowly rising and will reach 2% relatively soon. The labor market is strong and yields have been increasing in the expectation of higher interest rates.

    A concept that always eludes economists, consequently also members of the FED, is stability. By looking at a model, an economist is trained to think that the economy can be controlled. But history shows that a stable scenario is never the case. In today’s article, I’ll forecast what lies ahead of us by looking at how the last two economic cycles developed. More →