Ben Bernanke was dressed in his Chris Cringle Sunday best for his encore FOMC appearance, and delivered the Christmas goods.
"The Grinch will not steal Christmas," Bernanke cried
To prevent such an unthinkable thing,
I will keep the fiscal stimulus flowing;
Although I may taper, our purchases are not done;
And interest rates will stay at zero for years to come!"
I hope you don't mind that I have taken more than a little poetic license with his words, but the message is clear. As he put it:
"Highly accommodative money monetary policy remains appropriate. This will remain the case until unemployment falls well below 6.5%"and inflation returns to 2%. The Fed balance sheet will continue to expand."
Is this creating yet another bubble? You betcha! That is all the Fed can do in this demographic downdraft where our population is aging, turning spenders into savers.
However, this will certainly help stocks in the short term. We are coming off one of the worst year for bonds in memory and only the third time in four decades that bonds have lost money. We think that trend will continue and investors should focus on equities, albeit cautiously. This does step up the risk level but given the environment, it appears warranted.
Don't let emotion get in the way of investing. The pros don't and that's why they do so well. You may feel like it time for the next shoe to drop on the economy, but remember one thing, the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. In difficult markets like this, it is ever so important to be the expert or hire one. I can honestly say that in my 29 years of managing money professionally, I have never seen a more difficult time.
As an investor who needs their money to properly work them in order to retire comfortably and on time, you cannot just sit in cash waiting for the next crash or even an entry point. Money in the bank is simply losing money safely. You can't throw caution to the wind either. Having the right plan is the most important thing of all. The key is to be properly invested so you are getting the very best returns necessary, but with the least risk possible.
Whether you have been on the sidelines waiting for a fall or playing this market all the way along, equities are the place to be. Growth investors comfortable with market risk need to be in growth stocks such as Apple (AAPL) which just signed a deal with China Mobile to allow iPhones to be sold in China. It doesn't get any bigger than that, as it opens up 750 million new potential customers. Google (GOOG) which is leading the technology war and has something up their sleeves with their secret new building in San Francisco. Selected social media companies like Twitter (TWTR), which has an expanding user base, unlike Facebook (FB) which seems to be waning. Or simply buy the market ETFs like spy and QQQ. avoid the metals like GLD. With the Fed on the path to less stimulus, gold will continue to get knocked around.