Displaying items by tag: stocks
Yields have almost never been lower. In some cases, they are at all-time lows. This has made income-oriented investments a real challenge. So how can investors get great yields right now? Well the first thing to bear in mind right now is that to get really juicy yields, one is going to have to take some risk. With that understood, take a look at mortgage REITs. Mortgage REITs took a huge hit when the pandemic began for fear of declining credit quality in the underlying mortgages. To-date they have only recovered somewhat. However, two of the biggest—Annaly (NLY) and AGNC Investment (AGNC)—are sporting yields of 13.5% and 10.6% respectively.
FINSUM: Mortgage REITs have obvious risks right now given ongoing unemployment, but with prices low and yields high, they look like they have a place in the portfolio.
There are just under 100 days left until the election and there is a lot on the line for markets. The economic approaches of the Trump administration and the potential incoming Democrats could not be more different, which means there are huge implications for stocks. Here is the good news—over the last 40 years, markets have historically risen leading up to the election, and volatility has usually decreased. Now the big possible twist is the COVID pandemic, a major factor that has not occurred during an election cycle. The most comparable election cycle seems to be 1968, when the US was going through similar levels of social unrest. The S&P 500 gained more than 3% in the run up to that election.
FINSUM: As we see it, the two big risks are COVID (and its economic consequences), and a leftward move by Biden. The Fed will certainly soften the blow of the former, while the latter remains.
Ever on the search of new ways to think about the markets and innovative methods to predict them, we found new research from UBS which identifies a good new predictive indicator for single stock performance. That indicator is pay revolts. UBS ran an exhaustive study of 1,700 known pay revolts (when shareholders vote against executive compensation packages), and found that such companies were much more likely to suffer share price underperformance following the event. The average one-year underperformance after a pay revolt was 15%.
FINSUM: This is great info in its own right, but what makes it very timely is that Netflix lost a pay vote last year, as did Ameriprise and Xerox.
It might seem a bit counterintuitive right now, but that may be exactly why it is a good bet. REITs have been beaten up pretty badly, and on the surface they seem likely to stay that way. Offices, retail, and other parts of the commercial real estate world look to remain weak, but Citi’s private bank thinks there is value in the sector. As to their role in a portfolio, Citi says REITs “are a way to play the U.S. economic recovery and global economic recovery without being too concentrated in the Microsofts of the world, and to add to portfolio yield on top of that while we wait for that recovery”. REITs are yielding about 7% on average and the market has been so beat up that they look underpriced relative to the value of their underlying assets.
FINSUM: The key here is either broad long-term exposure, or shorter tactical exposure to sectors that don’t look likely to be hurt (e.g. industrials, which benefit from growth in ecommerce).
No matter how good you may feel about stock indexes being back near all-time highs, one fact cannot be ignored: the market seems to be heavily overweight on the five largest tech stocks— Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon (the new acronym, named by Goldman is FAAMG). These stocks have been powering the market, but the whole situation feels like past peaks where their outperformance could not go on forever. Concentration in the S&P 500 is now at its highest in decades, with those five names accounting for 22% of the total capitalization, up from just 16% a year ago. According to Barron’s “Simple arithmetic limits the continued outperformance of the biggest names, the Goldman team observes, because many portfolio managers have 5% limits on holdings of any given stock. The strategists’ analysis shows that the average large-cap mutual fund already has a 5% position in Microsoft and about 4% positions in the other big four names.”.
FINSUM: It seems these stocks are reaching their institutional allocation limits, which mans retail needs to power them higher. The whole situation feels ripe for a correction.