Our bond allocation reflects the level of uncertainty that still exists in the world. Treasuries are still a safe haven. Inflation is non-existent and I actually think we’ll see deflation before long. I also think there is a less-than-zero percent chance that the Fed will begin tightening its monetary policy any time soon. On the stock side, we’re in a slow growth era at best, no doubt about it. The inventory cycle has run its course and the federal stimulus has run out. We’re not getting any help from employment, consumer spending or housing, which are the three drivers of economic growth. In fact, we’ll see a 20% decline in housing most likely before this is all over, which puts us back in line with the long-term trends. There is a strong, but not overwhelming possibility of a double dip. Earnings will disappoint for this year and next, and in fact they’re already being cranked down. In this type of environment, it doesn’t take much to tip it into negative territory, although a shock will be needed to push it over the line. That could easily come from another failure of a major institution in Europe.
Click here to view the Asset Allocation page from the October 2010 issue of Investment Advisor.