For example, some UK Government bonds hit 300 year highs in 2012, and German and US bonds have been bid for so strongly that the effective interest return to buyers is under 2% p.a. Purchasers buying over the last year or so risk finding they’ve bought at a peak. And those holding bonds now must ask whether they still present a good position.
In the past conventional wisdom has held that shares are ‘risky’ and bonds are ‘safe’. Current thinking challenges that profoundly.
A couple of years on from the GFC and what was apparently a safe haven for money is, on a grand scale, losing many bond holders around the world as prices unwind. As the US enters the ‘tapering off’ phase to its stimulus package, the great sponge that is the US Federal Reserve Bank, that has been buying up US$85b of fixed interest securities a month, will no longer be in the market. It will no longer soak up One Trillion US Dollars of fixed interest a year and, without that to prop up bond prices, it doesn’t take a genius to see what the effect on already sky-high bond prices could be.
Perhaps in this environment, share markets don’t look quite so bad. In fact a number of highly regarded fund managers are saying that, for a while, they see cash and shares as the place to be.
Safety in shares, you ask? It's a funny old world, sometimes. Conventional wisdom has its place, but common sense has to override it when massive government interventions shifts the goal posts so far that it becomes a game changer.
The above note is not personalised for any individual or entity. It does not take into account your particular financial situation or goals (or any one or more of them). If you act on information contained in this note the outcomes may not be what you expected nor suit your particular circumstances. Neither David Burt, Alliott NZ Ltd, Alliott Financial Management (NZ) Ltd nor Global Portfolios Ltd will be responsible for any loss or non-payment as a result of actions taken upon information or recommendations provided in this note. Readers should seek investment/tax advice prior to action in relation to any of the matters discussed above.