Up to this point of 2012, the year has been very good for investors in stock markets across the globe. All over the planet, indexes are up anywhere between 10-25% for the year, which speaks for itself, especially when compared to money market rates or Treasury bond yields of 2-3% for the 10 and 30 year durations. Certainly, return is stock specific and if a company reports poor top line growth or misses an earnings per share estimate, chances are it will get punished. Still, I think one reason markets have performed so well in 2012 is first, buyers get more for their money with equities. Dividend yields are typically higher than any treasury bond yield, and corporate bond prices are still very expensive. Why take the risk of a company defaulting on its debt obligations when you can participate in the profits at a cheaper price? Second, as an article later in the post explains, savers are being penalized for saving their money. With that the case, people vote with their pocketbooks and look for a better deal. In this situation, they have turned to the equity markets, though in a still rather modest manner. Look out though, if bond yields start to rise as money will come pouring out of the bond market. It has not happened yet, but it certainly could over the next 12-36 months.
Super Tuesday approaches and Mr. Romney is trying to put the nails in the coffin sooner rather than later. I am sure he will lose a few states on Tuesday, but if he wins Ohio and more than 5 on Tuesday, it would not be surprising to see other Republican leaders start to call for the other candidates to step aside. As a Republican, some of the things fellow members of the party say and do just astound me with their stupidity. For example, why would Rush Limbaugh say what he said about the Georgetown student? What is there to be gained from that? Also, what Christ Christy said about Warren Buffett's tax ideas? Every person is entitled to his opinion about tax policy. If you are a politician, don't you want to attract as broad a constituency as possible to garner support for your ideas? The object is to have people join the party, not piss them off so bad they are repulsed by you. Not hard to understand why the approval rate for Congress is now approaching 10%, an all time record low.
Nice article on where the future of Mobile Phones are in China- techcrunch.com/2012/03/03/china-next-mob.../
Yelp goes public- hurray- not many impressed- online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240529702...?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection
Good discussion about the lack of benefits for savers and interest rate policy- www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/business/low-...;ref=business
As always, on any company mentioned here, past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk of losses on invested capital. One should research any investment and make sure it is suitable with your objectives, risk tolerance, risk profile liquidity considerations, tax situation, and anything else pertinent to your financial situation. Also, the CFA credential in no way implies investment returns will be superior for any charterholder.
(If you are interested in seeing the latest Seeking Alpha articles about specific stock picks from Yale Bock and Y H & C Investments, click the following links)
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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.