Displaying items by tag: stocks
Last year, portfolios that were allocated to 60% stocks and 40% bonds were hammered, as both the stock and bond markets sustained heavy losses. The portfolio has generally yielded steady gains with lower volatility since the two asset classes typically move in opposite directions. However, the strategy backfired last year after the Fed’s tightening policy sent stocks tumbling from record highs and drove Treasuries to the worst losses since the early ‘70s. This made advisors and investors question the viability of the 60/40 model. But the bond market’s selloff last year pushed yields so high that analysts at BlackRock, AQR Capital Management, and DoubleLine expect fixed-income securities to breathe new life into 60/40 portfolios. This year, both stocks and bonds have gained, propelling the 60/40 portfolio to the best start to a year since 1987. Their view is supported by the expectations that the Fed is nearing the end of its tightening policy as inflation comes down. If this view turns out to be correct, it reduces the risk of bond prices falling again and allows them to once again serve as a hedge against a potential drop in equities stemming from a recession. In a note to clients, Doug Longo, head of fixed-income strategists at Dimensional Fund Advisors, wrote “Expected returns in fixed income are the highest we’ve seen in years.”
Finsum:Based on the view that the Fed is nearing the end of its tightening cycle, analysts expect fixed-income securities to once again serve as a hedge against stocks in the 60/40 portfolio.
According to new survey data from SoFi, more than a third (37%) of investors said they made impulsive investment decisions due to heightened volatility in the market last year, with younger investors significantly more likely to do so. Out of the 1,000 investors surveyed by SoFi, 29% said they bought a lot of investments, 17% said they sold a lot of investments, and 55% did not buy or sell. While impulsive trading during heightened market volatility is normal, it’s exactly what financial experts say not to do as it can hurt your portfolio over the long run. Instead, investors should stick to their investment plan and stay the course. Joel Mittelman, president of Mittelman Wealth Management, previously told Money.com that “Ironically, during a period of extreme volatility is exactly when you need the discipline and structure of some investment plan. Unfortunately, that's often when people throw the plan in the garbage." Investors are often unsuccessful at predicting the market, so staying invested is typically the best way to optimize returns over the long term. Plus, when you stick to your plan, you won’t miss out on the eventual recovery.
Finsum: A recent survey by SoFi found that 37% of investors made impulsive decisions due to the heightened market volatility last year, the exact opposite experts recommend.
In a year when almost every S&P 500 sector was in the red, the energy sector surged 64.56%, according to S&P data. While the portfolios of energy investors looked great, energy bills for the home were another story. High energy prices took a bite out of the household budgets for many. However, a reversal seems to be in play this month. The energy sector is now under pressure as natural-gas prices have fallen more than 60% from their 52-week high due to a warmer-than-expected winter. While energy prices falling is good for household budgets, it’s bad news for energy stock investors. Matt Portillo, head of research at Tudor, Pickering, Holt, told Barron’s that “The warmer-than-expected winter pulled forward the expected decline in natural gas price. Stocks could fall an additional 20% to 30% until they find a bottom.” Wall Street analysts expect more volatility in natural-gas prices in the months ahead, but patient investors can look forward to better valuations for energy stocks in the second half of the year. Paul Diamond, an analyst at Citigroup, wrote in a note Tuesday that “We expect the coming volatility to present a better entry point than is currently available and expect recent volatility to persist through the winter, at which point eyes will turn to the build for next winter.”
Finsum:With natural gas prices falling due to a warmer-than-expected winter, energy stock prices have taken a hit, which could lead to more attractive valuations in the second half of the year.
After a brutal year in the markets, you wouldn’t blame investors for being cautious in 2023. However, Fundstrat’s Tom Lee believes that history favors a 20% stock-market return in 2023. According to Fundstrat, “Historical data shows there is a high chance that the U.S. stock market may record a return of 20% or more this year after the three major indexes closed 2022 with their worst annual losses since 2008.” Lee basis this on the fact that in the 19 instances of negative S&P 500 returns since 1950, over half of those years were followed by the index gaining more than 20%. He and his team believe that three possible catalysts would enable stocks to produce 20% gains this year. The first catalyst is lower inflation. They expect lower inflation to set the stage for the Fed to stop raising rates and eventually start to lower them. Fundstrat also believes that wage gains will slow and volatility will fall. According to Fundstrat, equity and bond market volatility is likely to fall sharply in 2023 in response to a drop in inflation and a less hawkish Fed. Lee and his team wrote in a note that “Our analysis shows this drop in VIX is a huge influential factor in equity gains, which would further support over 20% gains in stocks.”
Finsum:Due to historical data, lower inflation, slowing wage gains, and falling volatility, Fundstrat’s Tom Less believes that the market will gain 20% or more this year.
Much has been talked about regarding the failure of the 60/40 portfolio last year, but Vanguard analysts recently suggested that investors shouldn’t abandon a balanced portfolio strategy. Roger Aliaga-Diaz, portfolio construction head for Vanguard, and his team said in a recent note that “A balanced portfolio still offers the best chance of success.” Aliaga-Diaz noted that while the negative correlation between stocks and bonds broke down last year, “longer term, however, the data support balanced portfolios.” The firm noted that “The policy response to higher and more persistent inflation and the subsequent repricing of risk in global capital markets has led to a dramatic shift in our time-varying asset allocation (TVAA) outlook.” The TVAA looks to harvest the risk premiums for which the Vanguard thinks there is modest return predictability. Based on the firm’s current outlook, Vanguard’s optimal TVAA portfolio “calls for a 50/50 stock and bond split, and favors bonds and emerging markets.” Specifically, Vanguard’s TVAA allocation suggests 30% U.S. stocks, 20% international (divided equally between developed and emerging markets), 22% international bonds, and 27% U.S. fixed income (mostly in U.S. intermediate credit bonds). The firm noted that the interest rate tightening cycle in 2022 raised its expected bond return forecasts by more than the equity sell-off raised expected equity returns.
Finsum:While the 60/40 portfolio failed last year, Vanguard believes a balanced portfolio still offers the best chance of long-term success and recommends a 50/50 stock and bond split.