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Five Reasons The End Of The Bull Market Isn’t Near (BMO Capital Markets)
Warnings that the current bull market is near its end are back in the headlines, but Brian Belski at BMO Capital Markets doesn’t think this is the case. Belski points to five reasons the bull market isn’t near its end.
1. The length of the bull market — Some point out that few bull markets extend to five years “but cycles of this length are not unprecedented with 3 of the last 10 bull markets reaching this milestone.”
2. Valuation and earnings — “Current price multiples are only slightly above historical norms and are below levels witnessed at prior peaks; earnings growth has staged an impressive rebound in recent months, while longer-term projections continue to improve.”
3. Corporate guidance — “Negative profit outlooks have spooked some investors, but dividend actions suggest that corporate management remains confident with their longer-term outlooks.”
4. Market internals — “While defensive sectors are leading market performance lately, there is still very broad participation across the market judging by the number of stocks still outperforming.”
5. Fund flow activity — The recent flow into equity funds has caused some concern but investors pulled so much out during the financial crisis that “when you consider a longer-term fund flow measurement period (three years), current levels are still strongly negative.”
Six Common IRA Mistakes That Investors Need To Avoid (Morningstar)
Christine Benz at Morningstar is out with six individual retirement account (IRA) mistakes that people need to avoid.
1. Waiting till the last minute — ” Over time, missing out on the benefit of tax-advantaged compounding–even if it’s only 15 months’ worth at a time–can add up to some serious money, according to Vanguard’s research.”
2. Thinking they need to pick between Roth and traditional — “savvy investors often end up with a blend of Traditional IRA and Roth accounts, both by happenstance and by design.”
3. Making a nondeductible IRA contribution for the long run — “The trouble is, the nondeductible Traditional IRA has never been a particularly useful vehicle, even for high-income savers. Instead, its main utility is as a conduit, for those who can’t make a direct Roth contribution and intend to convert their Traditional IRAs to Roth.”
4. Assuming that you can open a Traditional nondeductible IRA and convert it to a Roth tax free — If you have other IRA assets that haven’t been taxes yet, “the taxes due on the conversion will be based on the ratio of already-been-taxed IRA assets to those that have never been taxed (pretax contributions, including Traditional 401(k) rollover money, and investment earnings). If the former number is much smaller than the latter, your conversion will be mostly taxable.”
5. Being paralysed by all the rules and analysis — If you end up with the wrong type of IRA, a “hatch called re-characterization” helps people move to a Roth or traditional IRA.
6. Not contributing once you get older — People benefit more from compounding when they start to invest early but that doesn’t mean they should stop contributing once they get older. “You may have 20 years or more of tax-advantaged compounding left. And if you’re investing in a Roth IRA, you won’t need to take distributions from your account unless you need the money (that is, there are no required minimum distributions), so your money could continue to compound even after you’re retired.”
GMO’s Jeremy Grantham told Barron’s that he thinks U.S. stocks are 65% overpriced. He added that if they went up another 30% we’d have a true bubble “at which point stocks would be close to twice their fair value. Similarly, in 2000, stocks were more than double their fair value. So they are quite capable of doing that.”
“But my point is that with the professionals getting reinforced by the Fed going back to 1994, it will be very surprising if they don’t keep on playing this game until the market at least hits a classic bubble definition. Bubbles don’t usually stop until sensible investors, value investors, and prudent investors have been hung out to dry and kicked around the block. That hasn’t happened yet, so that tells you there is probably quite a bit left in this rally.”
International bonds account for over 30% of global investible assets, but U.S. investors have little exposure to them. “While investors in international bonds are exposed to the risk of interest rate movements, the political landscape, and the economies of many different markets, …the primary factors driving international bond prices are relatively uncorrelated to the same U.S. factors, which implies a diversification benefit,” write Christopher Philips, Joseph Davis, Andrew Patterson, and Charles Thomas at Vanguard.
Investors would however be exposed to currency volatility and this could negate any diversification benefits that international bonds offer. That being said, if the currency risk is hedged, “an allocation to international bonds can lead to lower average portfolio volatility over time.” The authors think most investors should consider adding hedged foreign bonds to their portfolios.
Wirehouses Are Sweetening Succession Deals (Investment News)
Advisors over sixty manage almost $US2.3 trillion in assets and many will be retiring soon. But facing competition from registered investment advisors (RIA) and the broker-dealer space, warehouses are “sweetening” their succession deals, reports Mason Braswell at Investment News. “Payouts at the wirehouses have been steadily increasing and this year reach as much as 250% of an adviser’s book of business, depending on length of service, size of the book and other firm metrics,” reports Braswell.
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