May Market Commentary: The Fed Owned It, But Can They Control It?

April Recap and May Outlook

COVID concerns took a definitive backseat as mask mandates on flights ended, and the concerns about the economy turned to how bad things will get. The concerns over the disruption of the ongoing war in Ukraine, 40+ year record inflation, and the resulting amping up of the Fed’s intentions on rate increases moved distinctly into the foreground. Let’s look at some headlines:

  • The IMF released projections for the impact of the war in Ukraine. Global growth will likely slow from an estimated 6.1% in 2021 to 3.6% in 2022 and 2023. This is 0.8 and 0.2 percentage points lower for 2022 and 2023 than projected in January.

  • The war isn’t just impacting growth. The IMF also reported that war-induced commodity price increases and broadening price pressures have led to 2022 inflation projections of 5.7% in advanced economies and 8.7% in emerging market and developing economies—1.8 and 2.8 percentage points higher than projected last January.

  • In remarks at a panel discussion at the IMF on April 21st, Chairman Powell reiterated that it is appropriate “to be moving a little more quickly” on rate hikes. That translated into guidance on the first 50-bps rate increase in 22 years.

  • Economists began talking about “stagflation.” Stagflation is high inflation, high unemployment, and slow or negative real economic growth. Stagflation fears rise out of the potential for the Fed to overshoot and tip the economy into recession. Another way to think of stagflation is a circular firing squad. In stagflation, the moves the central bank makes to rescue the economy push it further into recession.

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GMB Ep #127 – Should You Adjust Your Bond Holdings Since Interest Rates Are Rising?

 

If you’ve been paying attention to the financial markets lately, you’ve probably noticed that interest rates have been increasing, resulting in a decrease in bond prices. Other recent developments, such as Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition and the decreased performance of popular growth stocks, have a lot of people questioning if it is time to adjust their portfolios. In today’s episode, Grant reviews the relationship between interest rates and bonds, how investors should react to increasing interest rates, and some of the stock price behaviors related to acquisitions.

 

 

Show Notes

[03:30] Market Updates – Grant recaps some of the interesting developments in the financial markets.

[05:26] Growth Stocks – In recent months, some of the popular growth stocks, such as Netflix and Amazon, have not been performing very well. Grant shares his thoughts on the implications of this trend.

[07:18] Bonds and Interest Rates – Grant dives into how the value of bonds fluctuates based on the interest rates and some of the methods used to evaluate bonds.

[13:31] Responding to Interest Rates – How investors should respond to increasing interest rates and why this is not a good reason to sell your bonds.

[20:25] Bond Funds – How bond funds work, differences between stock funds and bond funds, and how to evaluate bond funds.

[27:14] 60/40 Portfolios – Grant shares his thoughts on whether 60/40 portfolios are a good asset class to invest in.

[29:46] Twitter Share Prices – Grant discusses Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, and what this means for investors.

 

Resources

GMB Ep #78: Investing Myths Debunked #1: Rising Rates Will Crush Your Bond Portfolio

Recently, we’ve seen quite a few myths and misconceptions about investing circulating in popular media and amongst investors. Today’s episode is the first of several episodes we plan to publish with the focus of debunking these myths. Throughout today’s episode, Grant debunks the misconception of negative effects on bond portfolios caused by increasing interest rates on bonds. Stay tuned until the end of the episode, where Grant shares his take on how to get the best outcomes from bond portfolios. 

 

 

Show Notes

[01:58] Understanding Bonds – Grant reviews how bonds work and how they’re different from stocks. 

[07:30] Interest on Bonds – The structure of interest for bonds and how the concept of duration comes into play. 

[10:35] Fluctuation of Prices – Grant shares his thoughts on why fluctuation of bond prices does not have a significant effect on long-term investors. 

[13:18] Interest Rates – Grant reviews how increasing interest rates affect long-term portfolios, using an example of a worst-case scenario. 

[18:39] Path to Success – Grant shares his thoughts on why consistently applied strategy and long-term focus are the keys to the best outcomes for bond portfolios. 

[20:33] Unlikely Outcomes – Why it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see a huge rise in interest rates in the next five to ten years based on how our current monetary system is structured. 

 

Resources

What is the Worst Case Scenario for Bonds?Cullen Roche:
pragcap.com/what-is-the-worst-case-scenario-for-bonds 

Bond Duration:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bond_duration 

Don’t Ditch Those Bonds
aarp.org/money/investing/info-09-2013/dont-ditch-those-bonds.html 

Episode 69: Interest Rates Are Rising....Does That Mean You Should Adjust Your Bond Allocation?

Episode #69: Interest Rates Are Rising….Does That Mean You Should Adjust Your Bond Allocation?

The Federal Reserve recently announced that they are going to maintain very low short-term interest rates for bonds over the next couple of years. On the other hand, long-term interest rates seem to be rising in recent weeks. We dedicated this week’s episode to reviewing how a savvy investor may respond to these developments. Throughout the episode, we discuss how bonds work, the risks associated with bonds, interest rates, why bonds are a crucial element of a healthy portfolio, and more. Stay tuned until the end of the episode, where Grant talks about why having non-US-denominated bonds could be beneficial to you.Continue reading