Last Thursday I had the pleasure of visiting Reuters TV in Times Square to talk markets with anchor Fred Katayama.
As we near a close to 2016, it is time to look forward to 2017. We have done this in 2014, 2015, and 2016 so it is becoming a tradition to see which strategists did well and which missed the mark. What do the experts think will happen in 2017 and should we even care?
Perhaps you are familiar with Philip Telock's landmark UC Berkeley study that looked at 82,000 predictions over 25 years by 300 leading economists. It turned out that their so called expert views were no better than random guesses, and worse, the more famous, the less accurate the prediction.
Last year, the strategists predicted a bull market for 2016 and they almost hit the number right on the mark. Their average forecast was for a 7.2% gain in the S&P 500 to 2215. They should get a round of applause as the S&P finished at 2239. Well done. Deutsche Bank's David Bianco gets the highest grade with a forecast of 2250, only missing by 11 points. Barclays' Jonathan Glionna should also be given a trophy as he was within 2% for the past couple of years. Let's look at the numbers.
Earlier this month, I was invited to make an appearance on CNBC's "The Closing Bell" to discuss the topic "Is this the end of a stock picker's market?" I enjoyed the lively debate with Ross Gerber and Evan Newmark. In case you missed it, click the video link below. Since one can only say so much in a 4 minute segment, I'd like to share some additional thoughts with our loyal Runnymede readers.
Many articles have been written about the shift from active to passive investing. The thesis is simple. The majority of active mutual fund managers underperform their index and also charge a higher fee. This is a double whammy for an investor's bottom line. Therefore, the solution seems simple: move your money into low cost index funds and that should lead to higher returns over the long term. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. Let's take a look at the potential pitfalls of passive investing.
The Runnymede blog has become one of the most visited sites for annuity reviews with over 100k views. Since 2013, I’ve been writing independent annuity reviews to help buyers like you understand the complexities of annuities and truly understand what the products can deliver. Today I’m going to talk about the 3 biggest fixed index annuity myths.
While many economists have been (incorrectly) predicting a September rate hike from the Fed, Runnymede has been saying that the Fed won't hike rates since the beginning of the year and with recession on the horizon believe that there may be no rate hike in 2016 either.
With growth slowing around the world and inflation at zero, the Fed is unlikely to move rates off the zero level. In any case, the most surprising news from the September FOMC meeting is that one member predicted negative rates in 2015 and 2016! Yes you read that correctly. While the majority of the Fed is still predicting (poorly) a rate hike in 2015, there is one member that wants to go to negative rates. In Europe, the Swiss, Swedish and Danish central banks already have negative rates to stave off the risk of deflation.
World stock markets have been increasingly volatile this summer. Returns for market indices have turned negative and the S&P 500 suffered its first 10% correction since 2012. Because of this, I have received several message in my inbox that ponder what do in this environment. A couple of the titles were "What you should do in volatile and uncertain markets" and "When market conditions become volatile, how will you react?" The two main strategies that they suggest are 1) stay the course and 2) a diversified portfolio is the best way to be positioned. While this seems sensible in a bull market cycle, these two strategies do not work in a bear market cycle. Therefore, the most important question is not what to do in a volatile market, but is this a bear market?
“Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.”
– Warren Buffett
We've all heard the old idiom, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." For more than five decades, portfolio diversification has been considered a basic building block of any investment portfolio -- with the critical function of reducing risk and dampening volatility. There is a trend toward what may be deemed over-diversification. Should you own a stock in your portfolio to dampen volatility or because of positive underlying fundamentals of a company?
Last year in February, I wrote a blog post entitled "A lesson from Warren Buffett on buying fear." The S&P 500 was down 5% from its high and the negative headlines focused on slowing global growth and worries about the Fed tapering. If you had bought on that day, you would be up over 20% on your investment!
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