Has The Plunge Begun?

It was one of the key early warning events that took place ahead of previous major bull market peaks. And despite the continued resilience of stock prices and proclamations of new all-time highs on some of the benchmark indices as recently as Thursday, we have seen some notable splashes on this front in recent weeks. It is the flattening of the yield curve toward inversion. And it is worthwhile to consider the following: has the long-anticipated plunge in the yield curve finally begun?

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Time To Talk About A Revolution

Talk about taxes has shifted into high gear. The daily financial headlines are filled with play-by-play updates on how the development of prospective legislation on U.S. “tax reform” is evolving both in the House and the Senate. And the media airwaves have no shortage of debate about the nuances of the debate as it unfolds on a daily basis. But completely missing from the ongoing discussion is a much bigger issue. Instead of talking about tax cuts, it’s time to begin talking about a revolution in fiscal policy unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes.

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The Scariest Investments In Today’s Market

It has been a Spooktacular year for capital markets in 2017. Stocks are higher across size, style, sector and geography. Bonds are higher across sector, quality, maturity, and geography. Gold and silver are higher. Copper is higher. Unless you’ve been short, it’s been a good year for capital markets. But just as day, yin, and good is eventually counterbalanced by night, yang, and bad, it is important to keep in mind that higher will eventually be met with lower for many of these categories at some point. And on this Halloween amid one of the greatest bull markets in history across so many categories, it is worthwhile to consider some of the scariest investments in today’s market for the year ahead.

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Stocks: Smooth Sailing

U.S. stocks are enjoying smooth sailing from corporate earnings as we head into the last two months of 2017. Results for the most recently completed third quarter so far have been strong despite some notable cross currents. And the outlook for the next few quarters is also holding up well. All of this is supportive of further stock market gains in the coming months despite increasingly premium valuations. But challenges remain including an increasingly high bar for corporations to clear going forward.

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Stock Investors Seeking Aristocratic Immunity

Investors may be interested in aristocratic immunity. With the U.S. stock market trading at historically high prices and valuations in what is currently the second longest bull market on record, some investors may be considering strategies to both continue to participate in further stock market upside while at the same time securing protection against the inevitable onset of the next bear market. Is owning stocks that have a long-term historical track record of annual dividend increases an effective strategy for achieving this goal?

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