Low Inflation Consensus May Too Strong

The failure of central-bank models to forecast the slowdown in global inflation “leaves investors in the dark about the most important economic measure today and why it’s so low,” according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. Contradictory messages from the bond, equity and commodities markets is “adding to the confusion from central banks struggling with the breakdown of their inflation models,” the article says. The yield curve has been flattening such that 10-year bond yields are a paltry .77 percentage points higher than two-year bonds. While this is often a red flag, the low-growth environment, the article […]

Copper Better Hedge than Gold

While gold has been the popular inflation hedge over the past ten years, copper was a better bet according to a recent Bloomberg article. “While data show that broad community indexes provided the best bang for the buck during periods of rising costs in the U.S., the red metal stands out. According to the article, for every 1% annual increase in the consumer price index since 1992, copper rose by nearly 18% compared to 5.2% for gold (according to data compiled by Bloomberg). Copper, says Jodie Gunzberg of S&P Dow Jones Indices in a recent interview, is “more sensitive to […]

What “Trumpflation” Could Mean to Investors

The best scenario for investors is steady and low levels of inflation that ward off deflation but also discourage central banks from hiking rates too rapidly, says a Wall Street Journal article from last month. So far, the article asserts, “Trumpflation” has been embraced by deflation-fearing investors—but shareholders should be “keeping a watchful eye on consumer prices, as they often rise much faster than anticipated.” Richard Turnill, chief investment strategist at BlackRock Investment Institute, argues that although higher inflation supports corporate earnings (since increased wages are then spent by consumers), it can push down share valuations. Jason Trennert, chief investment […]

5 Commodity Picks for an Inflationary Environment

Along with its recent rate increase, the Fed has upgraded its growth and inflation forecasts—and this could bode well for commodity stocks, writes Validea CEO John Reese in in his article this week for Nasdaq. Reese cites a tighter labor market, stabilizing oil prices and slowing appreciation of the U.S. dollar as potential contributors to inflation, and cites AAII Journal data pointing to a strong outlook for commodity stocks: He identifies five commodity stocks worth a look: Ternium SA (TX), a producer of steel products and iron ore, is favored for its price-sales ratio, debt-equity ratio and cash flow-per-share (which […]

Inflation’s Effects on Asset Returns

The results of a study on asset performance during periods of both low and high inflation are presented in this month’s issue of AAII Journal by Craig Israelsen Ph.D and developer of the 7Twelve Portfolio The median level of inflation used was 3.29%, as it allowed researchers to divide the 46-year period between 1970 and 2015 in half: 23 years with below-median inflation and 23 years with above-median inflation. Findings showed that during the period of low inflation, large-cap U.S. stocks returned 10.5% (inflation-adjusted) while the same class gained only 4.4% during a high-inflation period. The performance of all seven asset classes […]