Every year, top Wall Street analysts put their thinking caps on and try to forecast the upcoming year's market return. The result of their analysis usually comes in the form of "price targets" which indicate where major indexes such as the S&P 500 are likely to be at year end. While price targets have little value themselves, what is valuable to investors is having a framework in which to view future returns.
I was reading through some J.P. Morgan research over the weekend, and came across a number of key charts that I thought I would share with you today. But first, let's take another look at the stark contrast between U.S. and international stock performance that has developed this year.
While the U.S. economy and markets continue to chug along just fine, the rest of the world is having trouble keeping up. Like a bull market riding on narrow leadership, when only a handful of countries' stock markets are moving higher, it can be a sign of problems ahead.
The age-old idea of not having all your eggs in one basket is considered timeless wisdom, but could it be working against you? In truth, diversification is a double edged sword. The benefit that it provides comes at a mighty cost. When it comes to investing, most individuals aren't aware of the hidden price they pay for this so-called "free lunch."
If you've ever worked with a financial planner or investment advisor, there's a good chance you're using an investment strategy known as strategic asset allocation. While you may not know it by that name, you're probably familiar with how it works. What you may not be of aware of, however, are how recent changes in financial markets have made this approach to investing more dangerous than ever before.
If you've done your homework and are aware of the risks of owning bonds, then you might have heard the argument that you can eliminate interest rate risk by owning individual bonds and holding them to maturity. Let's explore whether or not there is any truth to this line of reasoning.