The best thing an investor can do right now is to ignore all the market predictions being released for 2020. Every research department has to put out a prediction, and most of them are not worth the paper they are written on. So what does one do? Invest in dividend stocks. It is an important but preciously little known fact that the lowly dividend has historically accounted for 45% of all stock market returns. They are also tangible and predictable in a way stock prices are not, giving them a crucial place in a portfolio.
FINSUM: An additional stimulus for dividend stocks is that the aging population is hungry for them since bond yields are so anemic. Check out AT&T at 5.3%.
If your natural instinct is to worry about a looming recession, you are not alone. Logic dictates that with the economy and bull market having been rolling for so long, a downturn is inevitably around the corner. However, the chief economist at Deutsche Bank is making the exact opposite argument. Torsten Slok contends that the economic expansion will likely go on for “many more years”. His explanation: “The lack of willingness to spend on consumer durables and corporate capex is also the reason why this expansion has been so weak … And it is also the reason why this expansion could continue for many more years; we are simply less vulnerable to shocks in 2020 because there are few imbalances in the economy”.
FINSUM: We don’t dislike this view, but in our opinion the artificially low interest rates maintained by the Fed have much more to do with the length of this recovery (and its future prospects), than financial conservatism amongst businesses and consumers.
Calm and collected asset manager Vanguard has just made an eye-opening call about 2020. The firm’s chief economist and investment strategy chief, Joseph Davis, says there is a 50-50 chance of a correction in 2020. The market hasn’t seen a correction since December 2018, when it dropped to within a hair of a bear market. Davis says he usually sees about a 30% chance for a correction in any given year. Vanguard says that while investors were too pessimistic about recession chances this year, next year they’ll be too optimistic about re-inflation.
FINSUM: Seems a reasonable call, if rather safe.
Standard Life analyst Andrew Milligan made two great calls this time last year. He picked Microsoft and Equinix as two breakthrough stocks for 2019. They rose 55% and 64% respectively so far this year. Now he has his 2020 picks ready. Milligan says to take a look at Visa, Mastercard, and 5G companies like Marvell technology. He also still likes Microsoft, for what that is worth.
FINSUM: We like the call on 5G. The new tech has sort of been in the background of mainstream investing consciousness, but next year could be when it explodes to the forefront.
The Dow gets a lot of intention in the media, but in the investing world it is relatively rare to see Dow-tracking products compared to those linked to the S&P 500. This has led to a general perception of the Dow being old-fashioned and not particularly suitable for investment because of its odd weighting system. But not so fast (!), over the last five years the Dow has actually outperformed the S&P, and in the last ten it barely trails.
FINSUM: This is quite an interesting finding considering how the Dow is generally treated. If you want to play the Dow, check out the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust.