Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Stock Market Coronavirus Deviation from Overall Outlook for 2020 - Video - 28th Feb 20
Stock Market SPX to Rise back to 3350 - 28th Feb 20
Stock Performance in the Rising Coronavirus Fever - 28th Feb 20
Stock Market SPY Breaks Below Fibonacci Bearish Trigger Level - 28th Feb 20
Will CoronaVirus Pandemic Trigger Stocks Bear Market 2020? - 28th Feb 20
Dow Long-term Trend Analysis - Coronavirus Triggering a Stocks Bear Market? - 27th Feb 20
Trump or Sanders? Both will pile up the Debt - 27th Feb 20
Oil Price Is Now More Volatile Than Bitcoin - 27th Feb 20
A Digital “Fedcoin” May Be Coming… And It Would Be Terrifying - 27th Feb 20
India's Nifty 50 Stocks: Does the Bad Jobs Outlook Spell Trouble for Stocks? - 27th Feb 20
How Crypto Currencies Are Helping Players Go Private - 27th Feb 20 -
Gold and Silver The Die Is Cast - 27th Feb 20
US Economy Permanently Addicted to Zero Interest Rates - 27th Feb 20
Has the Stock Market Waterfall Event Started Or A Buying Opportunity? - 27th Feb 20
Advantages of Enrolling in a Retirement Plan - 27th Feb 20 - LS
South Korea Coronavirus Outbreak Data Analysis Warning Rate of Infection is Exponential! - 26th Feb 20
Gold Price Long-term Trend Analysis Forecast 2020 - 26th Feb 20
Fake Markets Are on Collision Course with Reality - 26th Feb 20
Microsoft is Crushing the S&P 500, Secret Trait Of Stocks That Soar 1,000%+ - 26th Feb 20
Europe's Best Ski Resorts For The Ultimate Adventure - 26th Feb 20
Samsung Galaxy S20+ vs Galaxy S10+ Which One to Buy? - 26th Feb 20
Gold Is Taking on $1,700 amid Rising Coronavirus Fears - 26th Feb 20
Is This What Falling Through the Floor Looks Like in Stocks? - 26th Feb 20
Gold Minsky Moment Coming - 26th Feb 20
Why Every Student Should Study Economics - 26th Feb 20
Stock Market Correction Over? - 26th Feb 20
US Bond Market Yield Curve Patterns – What To Expect In 2020 - 25th Feb 20
Has Stock Market Waterfall Event Started Or A Buying Opportunity? - 25th Feb 20
Coronavirus IN Sheffield! Royal Hallamshire Hospital treating 2 infected Patients, UK - 25th Feb 20
Dow Short-term Trend Analysis - Coronavirus Trigger a Stocks Bear Market? - 24th Feb 20
Sustained Silver Rally Coming? - 24th Feb 20
Should Investors Worry about Repo Market and Buy Gold? - 24th Feb 20
Are FANG Technology Stocks Setting Up For A Market Crash? - 24th Feb 20
Gold Above $1,600 Amid FOMC Minutes and Coronavirus Impact - 24th Feb 20
CoronaVirus Pandemic Day 76 Trend Forecast Update - Infected 540k, Minus China 1715, Deaths 4920 - 23rd Feb 20 -
Ways to Find Startup Capital - 23rd Feb 20
Stock Market Deviation from Overall Outlook for 2020 - 22nd Feb 20
The Shanghai Composite and Coronavirus: A Revealing Perspective - 22nd Feb 20
Baltic Dry, Copper, Oil, Tech and China Continue Call for Stock Market Crash Soon - 22nd Feb 20
Gold Warning – This is Not a Buying Opportunity - 22nd Feb 20
Is The Technology Sector FANG Stocks Setting Up For A Market Crash? - 22nd Feb 20
Coronavirus China Infection Statistics Analysis, Probability Forecasts 1/2 Million Infected - 21st Feb 20
Is Crude Oil Firmly on the Upswing Now? - 20th Feb 20
What Can Stop the Stocks Bull – Or At Least, Make It Pause? - 20th Feb 20
Trump and Economic News That Drive Gold, Not Just Coronavirus - 20th Feb 20
Coronavirus COVID19 UK Infection Prevention, Boosting Immune Systems, Birmingham, Sheffield - 20th Feb 20
Silver’s Valuable Insights Into the Upcoming PMs Rally - 20th Feb 20
Coronavirus Coming Storm Act Now to Protect Yourselves and Family to Survive COVID-19 Pandemic - 19th Feb 20
Future Silver Prices Will Shock People, and They’ll Kick Themselves for Not Buying Under $20… - 19th Feb 20
What Alexis Kennedy Learned from Launching Cultist Simulator - 19th Feb 20
Stock Market Potential Short-term top - 18th Feb 20
Coronavirus Fourth Turning - No One Gets Out Of Here Alive! - 18th Feb 20
The Stocks Hit Worst From the Coronavirus - 18th Feb 20
Tips on Pest Control: How to Prevent Pests and Rodents - 18th Feb 20
Buying a Custom Built Gaming PC From Overclockers.co.uk - 1. Delivery and Unboxing - 17th Feb 20
BAIDU (BIDU) Illustrates Why You Should NOT Invest in Chinese Stocks - 17th Feb 20
Financial Markets News Report: February 17, 2020 - February 21, 2020 - 17th Feb 20
NVIDIA (NVDA) GPU King For AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 17th Feb 20
Stock Market Bubble - No One Gets Out Of Here Alive! - 17th Feb 20
British Pound GBP Trend Forecast 2020 - 16th Feb 20
SAMSUNG AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 16th Feb 20
Ignore the Polls, the Markets Have Already Told You Who Wins in 2020 - 16th Feb 20
UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic WARNING! Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham Outbreaks Probable - 16th Feb 20
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF IBB AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 15th Feb 20
Gold Stocks Still Stalled - 15th Feb 20
Is The Technology Stocks Sector Setting Up For A Crash? - 15th Feb 20
UK Calm Before Corona Virus Storm - Infections Forecast into End March 2020 - 15th Feb 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Coronavirus-bear-market-2020-analysis

Investing - What Is Worse Than Being at Risk?

InvestorEducation / Learning to Invest Apr 04, 2014 - 08:17 AM GMT

By: Don_Miller

InvestorEducation

You may have heard the old adage: “What is worse than being lost? Not knowing you are lost.” In that same vein: What is worse than being at risk? You guessed it! Not knowing you’re at risk.

For many investors, portfolio diversification is just that. They think they are protected, only to find out later just how at risk they were.


Diversification is the holy grail of portfolio safety. Many investors think they are diversified in every which way. They believe they are as protected as is reasonably possible. You may even count yourself among that group. If, however, you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, or if you are just getting started, I urge you to read on.

  • Did your portfolio take a huge hit in the 2008 downturn?
  • Was your portfolio streaking to new highs until the metals prices came down a couple years ago?
  • Do oil price fluctuations have a major impact on your portfolio?
  • When interest rates tanked in the fall of 2008, did a major portion of your bonds and CDs get called in?
  • Are you nervous before each meeting of the Federal Reserve, wondering how much your portfolio will fluctuate depending on what they say?
  • Has your portfolio grown but your buying power been reduced by inflation?
  • Do you still have a tax loss carry forward from a stock you sold more than three years ago?

There are certain lessons most of us learn the hard way—through trial and error. But that can be very expensive. Ask anyone who has a loss carry forward and they will tell you that the government is your business partner when you are winning. When you are losing, you are on your own.

The old saying rings true here: “When the student is ready to learn, the teacher shall appear.” Sad to say, for many investors that happens after they have taken a huge hit and are trying to figure out how to prevent another one.

Alas, there is an easier way. Anyone who has tried to build and manage a nest egg will agree it is a long and tedious learning experience. The key is to get educated without losing too much money in the meantime.

Avoid Catastrophic Losses

The goal of diversification is to avoid catastrophic losses. In the past, we’ve mentioned correlation and shared an index related to our portfolio addition. The scale ranges from +1 to -1. If two things move in lockstep, their correlation rates a +1. If the price of oil goes up, as a general rule the price of oil stocks will also rise.

If the two things move in the opposite direction (a correlation of -1), we can also predict the results. If interest rates rise, long-term bond prices will fall and generally so will the stocks of homebuilders.

At the same time, a correlation of zero means there is no determinable relationship. If the price of high-grade uranium goes up, more than likely it will not affect the market price of Coca-Cola stock. So, your goal should be to minimize the net correlation of your portfolio so no single event can negatively impact it catastrophically.

General Market Trends

An investor with mutual funds invested in Large Cap, Mid Cap, and Small Cap stocks may think he is well diversified with investments in over 1,000 different companies. Ask anyone who owned a stable of stock mutual funds when the market tumbled in 2008 and they will tell you they learned a lesson.

Mr. Market is not known to be totally rational and many have lost money due to “guilt by association.” When the overall stock or bond market starts to fall, even the best-managed businesses are not immune to some fallout. While the Federal Reserve has pumped trillions of dollars into the system, there is no guarantee the market will rebound as quickly as it has in the last five years. The market tanked during the Great Depression and it took 25 years to return to its previous high.

If you listen to champions of the Austrian business cycle theory, they will tell you the longer the artificial boom, the longer and more painful the eventual bust. Mr. Market can dish out some cruel punishment.

Diversification is indeed the holy grail, but there are some risks which diversification cannot mitigate entirely. No matter how hard you try to fortify your bunker, sooner or later we will learn of a bunker buster. There are times when minimizing the damage and avoiding the catastrophic loss is all anyone can do.

Sectors

Allocating too much of your portfolio to one sector can be dangerous. This is particularly true if a single event can happen that could give you little time to react. While no one predicted the events of September 11, people who held a lot of airline stocks took some tough losses. Guilt by association also applied here. After September 11, the stocks of the best-managed airlines, hotels, and theme parks took a downturn.

When the tech bubble and real estate bubble burst, the stock prices of the best-run companies dropped along with the rest of the sector, leaving investors to hope their prices would rebound quickly.

Geography

One of the major factors to consider when investing in mining and oil stocks is where they are located. It is impossible to move a gold mine or an oil well that has been drilled. Many governments are now imposing draconian taxes on these companies, which negatively impacts shareholders. In some cases, this can be a correlation of -1. If an aggressive government is affecting a particular oil company, other companies in different locations may have to pick up the slack and their stock may rise in anticipation of increased sales.

Many governments around the world have become very aggressive with environmental regulation, costing the industry billions of dollars to comply. If you want to invest in companies that burn or sell anything to do with fossil fuels, you would do well to understand the political climate where their production takes place.

Investors who prefer municipal bonds must make their own geographical rating on top of the ratings provided for the various services. States like Michigan and Illinois are headed for some rough times. I wouldn’t be lending any of them my money in the current environment no matter what the interest rate might be.

Currency Issues

Inflation is public enemy number one for seniors and savers. One of the advantages of currencies is they always trade in pairs. If one currency goes up, another goes down. If the majority of your portfolio is in one currency, you are well served to have investments in metals and other vehicles good for mitigating inflation.

Tim Price sums it up this way in an article posted on Sovereign Man:

“Why do we continue to keep the faith with gold (and silver)? We can encapsulate the argument in one statistic.

“Last year, the US Federal Reserve enjoyed its 100th anniversary. … By 2007, the Fed’s balance sheet had grown to $800 billion. Under its current QE program (which may or may not get tapered according to the Fed’s current intentions), the Fed is printing $1 trillion a year. To put it another way, the Fed is printing roughly 100 years’ worth of money every 12 months. (Now that’s inflation.)”

It is difficult to determine when the rest of the world will lose faith in the US dollar. Once one major country starts aggressively unloading our dollars, the direction and speed of the tide could turn quickly.

Interest-Rate Risk

The Federal Reserve plays a major role in determining interest rates. Basically they have instituted their version of price controls and artificially held interest rates down for over five years. Interest-rate movement affects many markets: housing, capital goods, and some aspects of the bond markets. While it also makes it easier for businesses to borrow money, they are not likely to make major capital expenditures when they are uncertain about the direction of the economy.

While holders of long-term, high-interest bonds had an unexpected gain when the government dropped rates, their run will eventually come to an end as rates rise. Duration is an excellent tool for evaluating changes in interest rates and their effect on bond resale prices and bond funds. (See our free special report Bond Basics, for more on duration.)

While interest rates have been rising, when you factor in duration there is significant risk, even with the higher interest offered for 10- to 30-year maturities. Again, having a diversified portfolio with much shorter-term bonds helps to mitigate some of the risk.

Risk Categories of Individual Investments

While investors have been looking for better yield, there has been a major shift toward lower-rated (junk) bonds. Many pundits have pointed out that their default rate is “not that bad.”

At the same time, the lure of highly speculative investments in mining, metals, and start-up companies with good write-ups can be very appealing. There is merit to having small positions in both lower-rated bonds and speculative stocks because they offer terrific potential for nice gains.

So What Can Income Investors Do?

There are a number of solid investments out there that offer good return, with a minimal amount of risk exposure and that won’t move because of an arbitrary statement by the Fed. It’s not always easy to find them, but there is hope for people wondering what to do now that all of the old adages about retirement investing are no longer true.

There are three important facets of a strong portfolio: income, opportunities and safety measures. Miller's Money Forever helps guide you through the better points of finance, and helps replace that income lost in our zero-interest-rate world—with minimal risk.

This is where the value of one of the best analyst teams in the world comes into focus. We focus on our subscribers’ income-investing needs, and I challenge our analysts to find safe, decent-yielding, fixed-income products that will not trade in tandem with the steroid-induced stock market—or alternatively, ones that will come back to life quickly if they do get knocked down with the market. They recently showed me seven different types of investments that met my criteria and still withstood our Five-Point Balancing Test.

My peers are of having holes blown in their retirement plans. While nuclear-bomb-shelter safe may be impossible, we still want a bulletproof plan.

This is what we’ve done at Money Forever: built a bulletproof, income-generating portfolio that will stand up to almost anything the market can throw at it.

It is time to evolve and learn about the vast market of income investments safe enough for even the most risk-wary retirees. Some investors may want to shoot for the moon, but we spent the bulk of our adult lives building our nest eggs; it’s time to let them work for us and enjoy retirement stress-free. Learn how to get in, now.

The article What Is Worse Than Being at Risk? was originally published at millersmoney.com.

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Casey Research Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules