Thursday, December 1, 2016

Is The Economy Changing? What To Buy Now

Since Donald Trump won the presidential election roughly a month ago, the reaction on Wall Street has been, in a word, enthusiastic.

The investing class is betting that Trump will have a positive impact on corporate bottom lines and all indications are that he will try to slash US corporation tax rates and repatriate corporate money from abroad to pump back into the US economy.

But, it's not at all that simple. Stocks are at record highs already, so, if you're invested in a 401k or other plan at work, sit tight. If you're one of the three dozen or so active individual investors out there still standing after years of mauling and manipulation, you have to notice that p/e ratios are at pretty high atmospheric levels.

Stocks are great if you have the patience and appetite for the ups and downs of active markets, but buying at these levels would seem a bit on the foolhardy side. There's likely to be a pullback if the business cycle still has any tethers to reality. Besides, the FOMC is going to raise interest rates, making bonds, gold and silver and other fixed investments appear more palatable.

Who knows? Banks might actually be offering 4-5% interest on savings in a few years, though it's a dubious call. A return to normalcy in markets and credit would cause the national debt to skyrocket immediately, as in "overnight," and that's not something a president Trump (or any other president for that matter) wants on his historical resume.

So, what's a bargain? As usual, the central banks and their cronies (yes, despite the Donald, there's still plenty of crony capitalism to go around. One is not going to destroy Rome in a day or even one term.) put the kibosh on the precious metals just after the election and they don't seem to be relenting at this point.

The world has changed, but it's probably too early to tell what effects those changes are going to have on businesses or investing or sectors or bonds or anything. Give it a little time, but bear in mind that the FOMC is meeting on the 13th and 14th of December and the odds are very, very good that they're going to hike the federal funds rate another 25 besis points or 0.25%, bringing the effective rate to 0.50-0.75.

Now, there's nothing special about those rates except that they're still historically low. The world is still recovering from the devastation from the crimes of 2008 that were never reconciled. It's unclear whether the Trump administration is going to get tougher on Wall Street shenanigans or allow them free reign, but either way, there's still a price ot be paid for recklessness. The trick is to know when the piper shows up and nobody is that good.

Until then, silver still looks like the bargain of the century, though leaning towards outright purchases of solar panels and the associated technology is still a viable plan.

At the bottom of it all, Americans should be investing in their own businesses. Run from home or a storefront or on a shoestring, we may be entering a time of unfettered capitalism from the ground up.

Go for it.

Closing Prices for Thursday, 12/01/16:
DOW: 19,191.93, +68.35 (0.36%)
NASDAQ: 5,251.11, -72.57 (-1.36%)
S&P 500: 2,191.08, -7.73 (-0.35%)
NYSE Composite: 10,821.85, -16.61 (-0.15%)

No comments: