My last entry on January 30th, 2018, suggested that US stock markets were potentially overvalued. Apparently others agreed with that assessment, because early in February, in the face of rising interest rates, American stock markets dropped (almost) 10%. At that point I was guessing…a perfect word for it…that the financial markets would continue to decline to more reasonable levels. However, I chose to do no trading because I wasn’t confident.
Good choice. This week, U.S. stock markets strongly reversed, producing one of the best weeks in years. I suppose that had I been courageous we could have bought the dip, but I was too conservative for that.
Meanwhile international markets fell more, and have recovered less.
With the prospect of rising interest rates in mind, I perceive that the possibility of a downturn more wrenching than what we have experienced is still quite possible. Where we were before somewhat vulnerable, we are now substantially more vulnerable. My guess is that this week’s recovery is driven by FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out, not from any rational expectation.
Meanwhile I’m watching the bond market, and interest rates finally seem to be stirring, moving up. That’s a real, genuine game changer, potentially negatively, for many reasons.
Bottom line: for the time being, I’m maintaining our current asset allocations. But I’m targeting potential bargains, and I’m watching the horizon. Something profound may be happening. Frankly probably not, because most warnings don’t actually materialize into anything real. But what if…? Read more here.