Should I Invest In Stocks? Consider These Three Issues Before you Decide!

Should I Invest in Stocks?

Do you feel like you missed your chance to participate in one of the largest bull markets in history and have the urge to invest stocks?   Be careful because greed can be a powerful emotion….

 

Consider these three MAJOR reasons you might want to play defense with your retirement savings and investments.

Should I Invest in Stocks? Don't Get Greedy.

1.) The Federal Reserve Just Stopped the Money Train

On October 29th 2014 Janet Yellen announced the end of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) program.  For those of you who don’t know- this means the Fed will stop purchasing bonds in the open market.

Awesome, but what does this mean to me? There’s no law or rule, but when the Federal Reserve stopped QE 1 and QE 2 the equity markets took it in the chin and left many investors confused like Iron Mike was after Buster Douglas delivered a barrage of punches KnockOut that ended his reign as champion.

Since QE is now in the books (at least temporarily) my clients and my personal investment allocations will strongly consider how markets performed when the previous QE programs ended before we invest in stocks.

2.) Rising Interest Rates will Stymie Corporate Profits

Will interest rates rise?  Look at the chart below of the 10 year note dating back beyond the 1970’s and even a novice investor can see where the long term trend will go.

http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=%5ETNX+Interactive#

Will Interest Rates Rise?
Will Interest Rates Rise?

Ok.  Interest rates will rise…who cares?

Corporations for one.  When corporations are making money employees- especially executive’s bank accounts are padded.  When employees are making more money like all of us, they get a bit excited, spend more money and then the businesses who they buy from are happy.

One of the factors that can make or break those corporate profits is the cost of debt.  The cost of debt is related to 10-year treasury.

Again, look at the 10 year treasury chart above (thanks yahoo finance) and give your best guess about where you think interest rates are headed.  You guessed it, interest rates WILL rise…. it’s a question of WHEN not IF they will rise.

Since bond values drop when interest rates rise, and there is a high chance that interest rates will rise, is it really a safe investment strategy to hold bonds? (Learn More About Bonds).

Now let’s pretend you are a company and you forecast the cost of a large project scheduled to begin 4 years from now.  Will you base the finance costs of that project on today’s rates?  Really?   If you said yes -what happens if the cost to finance that same project doubles?  Oh $it!

Cost of Debt and Preferred Stock

If rates rise soon, the cost for that project or the cost to refinance any existing debt will increase.  This will have a negative impact on those corporate profits and produce a negative impact across the country.

Note- A large amount of debt re-financing will take place from 2016-2019.

Rising interest rates is a risk to equity markets and is the 2nd reason to consider playing defense with your investments.

3.) The Equity Markets are up over 200% since March of 2009

Do you really have a smart investment? Should I sell my stocks? In addition to the two reasons above, it should be noted that the equity markets are up over 200% since their March of 2009 bottoms.

200% in 5 years!  200% in 5 years!  Should I say it again or are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Is it a smart investment strategy to hold stocks and bonds with both markets lurking near record levels?  Are the market’s really representative of what’s going on here in the United States and across the globe?  Should I invest in stocks at these levels?  There’s no right answer unless you’ve discovered the hindsight trading strategy that nails it evertime…but let’s look at the chart and see if we can at least decide if we should play offense or defense in our stocks.

Should I Invest In Stocks?
Pattern of S&P 500 Since 1990’s.

Is this sustainable?  Of course nobody can answer that question with a sure answer but if:

  • You are a young investor who believes in probabilities and long term technical trading or
  • You are a retiree
  • You are 10 years from Retirement
  • You want a smart investment
  • You want a safe investment

Do you really need to know much more?

What investment strategy says to stay in something that is up 200% since March of 2009 supported not by innovation and strong economics but rather by the printing of money?

At the very least play defense with your long equity positions!  Here’s a simple question: What would feel worse, losing 50% of your current portfolio value or missing out on the next 50% increase?  Think about it.  Would it feel worse to still have 1 million instead of 1.5 million or would it feel worse to have 500k instead of 1 million?

Ok, I’ve listed three MAJOR reasons you might want to play defense with your retirement savings and investments.  Do you want to make the same mistake as the tech bubble and recent financial crisis?  If so disregard this post.

If you want to learn a different way to protect against market disruptions subscribe to our blog/youtube channel or stay tuned next week to find out three ‘formations’ that will be a strong defense!

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This presentation is for informational purposes only and is not INVESTMENT, TAX, or LEGAL ADVICE. THE INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE MAY OR MAY NOT APPLY TO YOUR SPECIFIC SITUATION.  CONSULT WITH A FINANCIAL, LEGAL, OR TAX TEAM ABOUT YOUR SPECIFIC SITUATION.