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Thread: An unexpected surprise

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    An unexpected surprise

    How about some unexpected good news.

    I'm just shocked at what the stock market is doing. After the first big sell off, I was convinced there was more doom and gloom on the way. Boy it's obvious I don't know crap about the market. The virus is still here and now we added world wide social unrest. But the market is having large gains. How there is that much consumer confidence I don't know. Crazy world. But I'll take good news where I can get it.

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    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    They were interviewing a guy from the FT this morning and he had a pretty good take. Market levels reflect the situation now, but market movements are a prediction for the situation in about 12 months time. So investors are working on the assumption that we'll have things in hand by then (herd immunity, a vaccine etc.), the lockdowns will have lifted and the economy will be recovering. Right now they can pick up stocks dirt cheap and later they'll be able to sell them for... less dirt cheap.

    They're not betting that things will be good in a years time, they're just betting that they won't be as awful as they now.
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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    There may also be the issue that there isn't a better option, currently. Where are you going to stash money? The safest place has long been US debt (bonds, treasury bills, etc.), but that has a yield that is down around half a percent, and may be negative in real terms, depending on what inflation is doing. You can also go for municipal debt or corporate debt, both of which will generally yield more, but only because there's more risk. It's not yielding all that much, either.

    So, if you feel that the market WILL recover, and you have a bunch of cash treading water, or losing money, in bond funds, then there is a strong incentive to get into stocks to amp up the returns. Also, if you are watching it rise, and are on the sideline, then there's an even greater incentive to buy when it's up, so that you can sell when it craters, again, which it might. Not quite sure why that is, but I have two friends who basically got out on the way down, and therefore managed to lock in their losses by getting back in as it gets back up there. I didn't ask them about details, such as whether they got out at the start of the descent....but who does that?

    Meanwhile, I ignored it, and probably have regained all my losses plus a bit for what I bought at the bottom. The economy isn't rebounding as fast as the market, so this still seems nuts to me. It may just be that people want better returns than safe places offer, and they feel optimistic for the future. I share the optimism, in the long run (a year out).
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    I'm just frozen. Is there going to be a large second wave, second closure. At this point in my life I don't have that 10 year window to recover if something goes bad. Sold a house and the money is just sitting in a money market. About ready to just stick it in a 1yr CD, Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield CD pay's 1.35%. That's the highest no risk investment I can find. Probably wont cover the cost of living.

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    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    If you've got spare cash, now is a great time for a punt. But you'd be crazy to bet money that you actually need right now.
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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Yeah, I agree with that.

    Several years back, when savings account interest went down the tubes (I forget exactly when, but it was well before the 08 crash), I went looking for a place to park money that would gain a bit of interest with very little risk. What I settled on was Vanguard. They have a range of savings options based on risk. Initially, I went with a money market account. That's super safe, but gains darn near nothing. I still have that, but I don't have all that much in there, as the next step up was a bond index fund. That's also very secure, but I'm gaining above 3%, still, which means that it isn't just US bonds. The next step up from that is a fund with 20% stocks and 80% bonds. I am now split fairly evenly between the bond and mixed funds. There are other options with higher yield than those, but they do so with increasing amounts of stocks, so you get more and more exposure to the market.

    Naturally, I watched the performance of this account with some interest as the market collapsed. As folks piled into bonds, yields dropped, but values rose. Then, for reasons that nobody quite explained, yields rose a bit and values dropped. It's a little hard to figure out exactly what my losses were, since I was contributing during the time, but it looks like it was perhaps 3%, and by May, I was back in the black, and pretty handily at that. That certainly made me feel more comfortable. My retirement 401K got clobbered, but my savings has done pretty well. The year-to-date performance on the bond fund is up around 5%, though the stock/bond mix has a year-to-date performance of -0.07%. That's not so bad. The bonds are making up for the stock loss, and now the stock loss is evaporating.

    So, if you are looking for another option, you might look into Vanguard. The founder of Vanguard, who died last year, was known for focusing on low-cost investment for everybody. There are good and bad points. For example, if I take money out of those funds (other than the money market account, which is essentially a bank account), then they freeze for three months (no deposits or withdrawals), which pushes you to think about withdrawals. It's not a bank account, but it's a good intermediate-term vessel.
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Yikes, 1,500 point down by 1:00pm. It might make a comeback later today but this is what keeps me on the sidelines (at least from investing more). It takes more courage than what I got to be bullish now a days.

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    This is a total surprise to me. Naturally, I'm still just riding this bull, but I haven't heard anything that would cause the market to go into rout mode, today. Heck, economic indicators were being adjusted upwards earlier, so what's up with this?
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Like the title of this post says.

    I couldn't figure any reason the market went from 19,000 to 27,000, with the virus and the economy in a complete tailspin. Though your right, there is no other place to put your money.

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Yeah, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It may be what I said, it may be that the people deciding are isolating on their private yachts and just figured that opening things up meant full steam ahead. Hard to say what the crazy market is doing, or why. Today makes no sense at all, as far as I can tell.
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    Frenzied Member jdc2000's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Maybe somebody tweeted something?

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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    I use UFF (French company) for my saving. Like you I have seen them raise quickly. This is their explanation at the end of May : link

    It is mosty European oriented but I think some of the ideas apply worldwide.
    Last edited by Delaney; Jun 11th, 2020 at 03:01 PM.
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    I know where Im putting my money, paying off bills and growing my business lol. Still working all this time and also running my business on the side. Sales are great and my customers have money like theres no tomorrow making large purchases like Im having a clearance going out of business sale or something. Sure its all the extra stimulus money they get but Im not complaining. Im glad and appreciative that I have been working and the business is profitable during the pandemic. So that was my unexpected surprise.
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Well I couldn't have been more wrong. Market has made a complete recovery. But the virus is still booming, @ 45,000 new cases a day and @ 1,000 deaths a day. All kinds of businesses still closed and all time high unemployment. We are far from having any type of control of the situation.

    The funny thing is the higher the market goes, the higher my fear of investing grows. Think I'm gonna have to break down and find some very low risk type of bond fund to invest in. Can't have a major portion of my assets sitting in a money market. Right now I'd take 3% and be happy.

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Yeah, I agree.

    While I was hiking a few weeks back, I happened to be resting in some shade while a financial guy was telling his friend that this is crazy. The stock market is values above the GDP, or something like that. The point is that some random financial guys are getting nervous, as well.

    Personally, I feel that what's driving the market (with the exception of tech and a few other stocks) is the fact that the interest rates are so low that bonds have very low returns. Ultra-safe treasury bonds may have a negative real interest rate, since the actual interest rate may be below inflation (though not much, since inflation is also very low). So, if you have a big amount of money you need to park somewhere, and you want some return, then where are you going to go? Some bond funds can get you 2.5%, perhaps even 3%, but you have to get into increasingly risky bonds, like sovereign debt in risky countries, junk bonds, and so on, to get much. The market looks good in comparison.

    Seems like a bubble, though.
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    In the last several weeks I've read articles from economists and people in the financial investments industry, all of them felt the market was to high and was built on quicksand. But here we are at new highs.

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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Yikes

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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    In the last several weeks I've read articles from economists and people in the financial investments industry, all of them felt the market was to high and was built on quicksand. But here we are at new highs.
    Could be a larger pile of quicksand.

    I doubt it though, it feels sustained. I'm Damned if I can explain it. I would have expected confidence to be at an all time low at this point.
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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    I still feel that the best explanation is: There's a very large pool of money chasing some kind of return better than US Treasuries. Of all the options, stocks are the best, so they're piling in.

    The basic idea is that if you have a pile of cash, you can keep it as cash (lousy), put it in bonds (lousy), place it all on black two in Vegas (lousy, but would be entertaining), or buy stocks. So, stocks keep going up because there's nowhere else for that pool of money to go.

    Technically, what this would also mean is that a jump in the fed interest rate would cause the market to collapse as that pool of money shifted to bonds. Since interest rates aren't going to rise anytime soon, we'll just never know.
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    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    The basic idea is that if you have a pile of cash, you can keep it as cash (lousy), put it in bonds (lousy), place it all on black two in Vegas (lousy, but would be entertaining), or buy stocks. So, stocks keep going up because there's nowhere else for that pool of money to go.
    But at times of low confidence people typically choose Cash (or Savings). The stock market is a bet on everybody else feeling optimistic and that feels like a long bet right now. You could be right but it's surprising.
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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    After looking at the market this morning, I've kind of come to the conclusion that it has gone insane. No matter what the economy is doing, the market just keeps right on marching upwards. Makes me plenty nervous, but I can ride out a drop, at the moment.
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    But at times of low confidence people typically choose Cash (or Savings). The stock market is a bet on everybody else feeling optimistic and that feels like a long bet right now. You could be right but it's surprising.
    My guess is, like SH has said, there's just no money in cash or fixed income investments. Before you could 2% or more in a money market. I remember getting over 7% in 1yr CD's. I invest through Fidelity and the money market account is paying (they say) @ .45 but there is a yearly fee or @ .45, so basically nothing. Their 1yr CD's are @ .15%. I've seen .95% advertised on the internet but I'm sure there are some strict rules. With inflation, your losing money.

    After looking at the market this morning, I've kind of come to the conclusion that it has gone insane. No matter what the economy is doing, the market just keeps right on marching upwards. Makes me plenty nervous, but I can ride out a drop, at the moment.
    Seems crazy to me. My approach was investing monthly so the highs and lows weren't to worrying. Buy I stopped since retiring. But I sold a property and got a large lump sum and I can't make myself invest that much money at this time. I have money in a fairly conservative mixed asset fund but when the market drop 30%, I only lost @ 13% but would hate to lose 13% of this new money. I sure have turned into a coward with old age.

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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    How about some unexpected good news.

    I'm just shocked at what the stock market is doing. After the first big sell off, I was convinced there was more doom and gloom on the way. Boy it's obvious I don't know crap about the market. The virus is still here and now we added world wide social unrest. But the market is having large gains. How there is that much consumer confidence I don't know. Crazy world. But I'll take good news where I can get it.
    Well the market isn't necessarily an indicator of the economy; which is pretty much in he tank. I recently read where some of the top tech stocks are what is keeping the market so high.
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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    That's what most financial advisors would recommend, anyways: As you get older, shift investment strategy away from stocks towards safer bonds. Of course, that kind of assumes that bonds give you some reasonable yield, which they don't, currently.

    My riskier rainy day fund, which is supposed to be not very risky at all, is about 80% bonds, 20% stocks. I lost very little in the downturn, and have made it all back and then some, since then. The small amount of stocks improves the overall return, while the larger amount of bonds makes for a safer overall position.

    I also have a bank account that gives me 5%....on the first $1,000. It's just there to encourage people to keep at least that much in the account, which I do. For that return? Sure, I'll keep a thousand there. Beyond that, the return is dismal, but that first thousand is great.
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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    Well the market isn't necessarily an indicator of the economy; which is pretty much in he tank. I recently read where some of the top tech stocks are what is keeping the market so high.
    It's not JUST the tech stocks, as some sectors are doing GREAT (Wal-Mart, Amazon, other delivery based retail, etc.). Still, the economy is in the tank and climbing out very slowly, if at all, yet the market is roaring. Increasingly, the market is for the wealthy, while the rest of the economy is for everyone else.
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Increasingly, the market is for the wealthy, while the rest of the economy is for everyone else.
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding this quote. But to me it seems the market is increasingly for everyone, because there is just no other place where you can get a return that at least keeps up with the cost of living.

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    I believe that the figure in the US is that less than half the population has ANY money in the markets, in which case the markets don't do a thing for them...directly, and maybe not all that much indirectly, either. The people who benefit from a rising market are the people who have a significant amount of money invested there. For that, you need investments, and they need to be significant. Neither of those apply to a large percentage of the US population, and an even larger percentage of the global population.

    If you don't have wealth to park, who cares whether or not you get a return on it?
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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    And then there's today.

    I've been on a conference call all morning. What happened?
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    I believe that the figure in the US is that less than half the population has ANY money in the markets
    I've seen those type of stats and also less than half have any retirement savings. But I got to wonder how they come up with those numbers. I mean @ 50% of the population is under 40. I know I have a small sample pool and it's middle to lower income but a large percent of those over 40 are in the market. It may be through a 401K but that's in the market. I mean, my son only makes $20 hr. but has a 401K, so he is in the market. Sure the rich have the most money in the market but I'd guess are more Middle/Low income people in the market than rich, just because there are lot more middle/low income people.

    I've always said that I wish I had been born rich instead of so damn good looking!!!


    Edit:

    I was curious about the numbers you hear, I think this sheds some light. The second graph is more detailed.

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/266807/...wns-stock.aspx

    I found it interesting the percentage goes down after 65, I guess I'm not the only coward or maybe medical bills have eaten up all their saving.
    Last edited by wes4dbt; Sep 3rd, 2020 at 09:15 PM.

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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    If the market doesn't bounce back today it might be a nervous weekend for some people. when did we decide it was a good idea to put our money into something we have absolutely no control over. lol It doesn't make sense but seems to usually work.

    Just saw they reported 1.4million new jobs and unemployment drop to 8.4%. Isn't this good news???
    Last edited by wes4dbt; Sep 4th, 2020 at 02:00 PM.

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Tech stocks started plummeting. They have a LONG way to go to be negative for the year, though. The NASDAQ is way up for the year, though the DOW is roughly even.
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Thought I'd revive this thread instead of starting a new one.

    I've been totally confused by the market. It continues to hit new highs during this whole pandemic. At my age I'm not a risk taker anymore so I got way to much of my investments just sitting in a money market making nothing and losing value do to inflation. I keep thinking the market is going to be hit by a 10 -15% adjustment any day. But I've been totally wrong. So I decided to put the money in a 5yr CD, till I looked and they're only paying .05%. That was shocking and maybe explains why the market continues to go up. I can't find any fixed income that even pays 2%. It almost forces you to invest in the market or lose money by inflation.

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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    I'm in a similar boat and have come to similar conclusions.

    I still have a bit in the casino (401K) but have been sequestering cash for years. You are right, there are few safe places to stash the cash. Not much better than a mattress anyway. Most of mine is getting 0.1% right now, aside from a chunk in a 3-year CD @ 2.7% APY.

    I suspect this is mainly due to policy, which is aimed at increasing consumption by net borrowers ("growth" as defined today) while pushing net savers toward the same spiral into the abyss.

    I've been most surprised to see how effective the system has been at keeping gold and silver so depressed. Those could be breaking out now, but then the buying opportunity may be behind us already. I'm not a player there myself.

  34. #34
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    The "more safe" alternative to stocks has always been bonds. I get around 2.5 to 3% on the bond fund that I use as my rainy day fund (less liquid than a money market fund in exchange for somewhat more gain and only slightly greater risk). Of course, if interest rates soar, my bonds will devalue, but they may ride upwards to some extent, as they will still yield SOMETHING, which will go into the higher yield bonds. I'd have to stay put for a long time for that to totally work out in theory, and it probably wouldn't work out in practice.
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    I was thinking of going to a bond index fund but then I started reading all kind of forecast that interest rates are expected to rise so it's a bad time to buy bonds. I realize everyone is just guessing but it does shake your confidence. Maybe I should just go bet everything on red and spin the wheel.

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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    Of course, if interest rates soar, my bonds will devalue, but they may ride upwards to some extent, as they will still yield SOMETHING, which will go into the higher yield bonds. I'd have to stay put for a long time for that to totally work out in theory, and it probably wouldn't work out in practice.
    I've been doing a little research and I'm confused on this topic. Bonds are called a Fixed Income investment but it sounds like the interest rate changes. How is that a fixed income? Can they go negative?

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: An unexpected surprise

    They won't go negative, but I've never been so confident in saying fixed income, either. I believe what they are getting at is that the return on bonds rarely changes all that much. My rainy day fund is mostly in bonds, and has been there for a couple decades. During that time, the return has remained pretty steady. Never great, but steady. Back in the 80s, it might have been both steady AND good, now it's just steady.
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