What Have the Bond Markets Been Up To?

First of all, I hope this finds you well. We say that a lot, but it has such a deeper, intense meaning today, doesn’t it? In any case, I truly hope you and your families are safe.

As for our family, we’re doing just fine. I actually think our middle child, Lexi (6), is going to go back to school far ahead of where she was when they dismissed! She’s been cranking through the math workbooks that Mom got her.

I’ve got so many things I want to talk about that I think are important right now. Don’t worry, I’m only going to focus on one topic here, but it was a struggle to figure out what I wanted to address tonight.

Ultimately, I’ve decided to talk about the bond markets as the stocks markets have, understandably, been getting all the attention. Other topics you can expect in coming days and weeks are: precious metals and gold miners, big picture overview, coronavirus metrics you may not have seen yet, deflation vs. inflation, my market timing strategies’ performance results through this historic decline (preview: they have fared very well). Continue reading “What Have the Bond Markets Been Up To?”

They Say It’s A Bear Market but It’s Not Really…Yet

Lots of articles out today claiming we are now officially in a bear market, but that’s not really true…at least not yet.

Technically, a bear market is at least a 20% decline from a peak (using closing prices). I’m not a huge fan of that definition since it’s a bit arbitrary, however, it’s widely used so we’ll stick with it to be consistent with the rest of the industry and financial media.

Yes, today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed more than 20% lower than it’s all-time high closing price from 2/12/2020. However, the DJIA is only made up of 30 stocks. I have no idea why people are so intent on following the DJIA when it’s a tiny sliver of the U.S. stock universe let alone the global stock universe.

In any case, the S&P 500 still has not technically met the 20% threshold. Neither the global stock market (MSCI All Cap World Index) nor the broader U.S. stock market (Russell 3000) have met that threshold either although all are very close. So, for now, the bull market that began in U.S. stocks back on March 9, 2009 is still in tact.

There’s Always A Bull Market Somewhere

An old saying is “there is always a bull market somewhere.” This year is no exception.

For the year, through yesterday’s close, we’ve witnessed long-term, “boring” Treasury bonds gain almost 24% and gold make over 9% while the global stock market has lost over 13%! All this in just about two months!

Even when things aren’t going well in stocks, it seems there is usually an asset somewhere at least holding up if not delivering positive returns. Continue reading “There’s Always A Bull Market Somewhere”

2020 is the “Anti-1980”

2020 is the “Anti-1980” or as Seinfeld might say, the “Bizarro-1980.”

Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation enjoyed a wonderful investing era as they were hitting their career stride, and investing the bulk of their retirement savings, throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Contrast that to Millennials who may be hitting their stride now and starting to put decent money away. It’s really a stark contrast in the market environment between the two eras.

Below is a quick graphic comparing stock market valuations and total debt load within the U.S. economy between 1980 and 2020. The differences are obvious and significant. I’ll summarize below the graphic.


Continue reading “2020 is the “Anti-1980””