Monday, September 28, 2020

GMO's Expected Investment Returns for the Next 7 Years


This graph shows expected returns for various asset classes for the next 7 years from the renowned GMO investment house. These "returns" are calculated based on current valuations of these assets.

The projected returns are dismal. Thanks to near zero interest rates, the Federal Reserve is forcing investors to flee the bond markets and into stocks which pay higher dividends.  The bond markets are much larger than the equity markets, so a relatively small migration of money out of the bond market and into stocks is having a large impact on stock prices (ie., MUCH higher).  They are driving most asset valuations to historic extremes.

As long as world Central Banks try to hold interest rates at zero or negative, this effect may stay in effect. HOWEVER, there is a risk that the financial systems in both China and the EU will outright fail. If it happens, it would have the effect of a world-wide contagion. 

Extremes of speculation is already occurring in equity markets as the market is going straight up with only a few down days. The "junkiest" stocks (the one's that I hold short) are going up the most!  It's become really absurd. Inexperienced and unsophisticated retail investors are extremely excited by stocks these days. They don't know that stocks spend years and even decades being the most despised asset class. I'm old enough to remember when stocks were so discredited that you'd be laughed at for suggesting to buy them!!  Of course, that's when interest rates were 5 or 7%, so you could get 4 or 5% from perfectly safe money market funds.  Oh, those were the days.

Maybe the way to play this is to get into some commodity producer stocks, high quality equity funds and maintain a trailing stop-loss on each position.  Even this approach is risky because markets can open 2 or 3% down from the overnight session, trip your limits and sell your positions only to rally during the regular session.  Ugh.

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