Take Advantage of Shift From Bonds to Stocks

For several years, investors have anticipated a “great rotation” from bonds into equities, and for several years, they were dead wrong. In fact, even as equities were quietly rising for the past years, both domestic and international money has continued to surge into bonds. At long last, that is beginning to reverse, which demands a reconsideration of strategies that seemingly have worked so well and so easily for so long. As long as bond prices were rising, pouring money into assets that had a certain return looked like a slam dunk. No longer.

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The Virtues of This Boring U.S. Stock Market

So here we are, more than halfway through the year, and although there has been no dearth of daily news, it’s been remarkably static for many investments, particularly U.S. equities. Some sectors — energy and commodities above all — have been spectacularly weak as the global economy continues to adjust to massive supply and demand shifts, especially lower demand from China. A few sectors, notably technology, have done quite well, with several technology indexes up close to 10% year-to-date. But in aggregate, U.S equities have had one of their least volatile and least interesting six month periods in a very long while.

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What Should Investors Expect in 2015?

‘Tis the season for looks back and looks forward. The financial world will be replete with such missives in the weeks to come, and that is actually all for the best. Given the fluid nature of money and planning and investing, regular assessments of what worked and what didn’t, how the year played out versus expectations, and what might lie just ahead, are vital. While it is true that forecasts about the future usually say more about present sentiment, thinking ahead does provide a framework for assessing likely risks and potential opportunities.

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Easy Money Is Back

Since the financial meltdown, it's become conventional wisdom that prior to the crisis, the world was awash in too much easy money—and that now it doesn't have enough. It's a tidy thesis, widely accepted. It's also wrong. What's remarkable about our post-crisis reality isn't that we're not capital-starved; on the contrary, we're still swimming in excess liquidity. During those months of panic, all that cash didn't evaporate. A lot of it just got stashed on the sidelines. Now the global pool is growing again, and the next market bubbles are already popping up.

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