Happy New Year! For me I am glad to see 2015 go. I had a heart injury, a house fire and have been early on several stock picks. Such is life. I survived, nobody got hurt in the fire, I’m back in my house and early doesn’t usually mean wrong if you are patient.
This is very important reading in my opinion, so please get a beverage and hunker down for a half hour. At least one topic I’m going to cover could spawn a book, but I will keep it as short as possible.
Before I get started with what to pay attention to in 2015, I would just like to say Happy New Year and take a look back at 2014.
In my January 2014 letter I stated that “While I am not convinced we have any major asset bubbles that are easy to identify, there are massive risks to global economics, some of which that are hidden in plain sight that concern me greatly.” Those risks have only grown over the past year.
2013 proved to be a profitable year for investors. The S&P 500 rose 29% and set new record highs. Global balanced indexes, more representative of most people’s portfolios also did very well returning about 20% despite a tough year in China which lost 9%.
The high return of the stock market had an expected effect on people. Many investors started to chase returns and look to be more aggressive after years of being risk averse. The result was that 2013 saw the most money from retail investors flow into stocks since 2000. I discussed this in a November article on MarketWatch titled “How Bad Will New Investors Get Hit.”
The problem with this of course is that the stock market has more than doubled since 2009 and the economy has not done nearly as well. In becoming more aggressive now, investors are betting that the economy will improve enough to justify a continued rise in stocks.
Interestingly, I find very few people who actually believe the economy is improving in a substantial way.
I am among those who believe that economics are not keeping up with stock market returns. One needs only look at the fact that the Federal Reserve has printed far more money than the economy has grown the past few years to understand that growth is largely illusionary.
Bluemound Asset Management, LLC is a fee-only Wisconsin Registered Investment Advisor
Kirk Spano works with clients throughout Wisconsin, as well as, accepts clients nationally.
All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, contains no guarantees of any kind and is not an offer of case specific advice. Opinions subject to change.