The Stock Market’s Future Ain’t What It Used to Be
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,656,430 (+0.65%)       Melbourne $994,677 (+0.27%)       Brisbane $978,777 (+0.15%)       Adelaide $878,311 (-0.89%)       Perth $857,374 (-0.27%)       Hobart $742,122 (-0.64%)       Darwin $666,990 (-0.54%)       Canberra $987,062 (-0.84%)       National $1,052,287 (+0.12%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $750,216 (+0.60%)       Melbourne $492,069 (-0.93%)       Brisbane $539,184 (+0.19%)       Adelaide $444,416 (-2.21%)       Perth $457,888 (+0.17%)       Hobart $527,154 (-0.12%)       Darwin $344,216 (+0.22%)       Canberra $504,424 (-0.33%)       National $530,515 (-0.07%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,120 (-121)       Melbourne 15,095 (-40)       Brisbane 7,990 (0)       Adelaide 2,438 (+11)       Perth 6,327 (-40)       Hobart 1,294 (-21)       Darwin 238 (+1)       Canberra 1,020 (+13)       National 44,522 (-197)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,780 (+4)       Melbourne 8,222 (-18)       Brisbane 1,619 (+1)       Adelaide 396 (-4)       Perth 1,599 (+9)       Hobart 213 (+10)       Darwin 400 (-6)       Canberra 1,003 (-24)       National 22,232 (-28)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $820 (+$20)       Melbourne $610 (+$10)       Brisbane $640 (+$3)       Adelaide $610 (+$10)       Perth $670 ($0)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $700 ($0)       Canberra $680 (-$10)       National $669 (+$5)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $775 (+$15)       Melbourne $550 ($0)       Brisbane $630 (-$20)       Adelaide $500 (+$5)       Perth $628 (+$8)       Hobart $450 ($0)       Darwin $500 (-$15)       Canberra $570 ($0)       National $591 (+$)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,426 (-22)       Melbourne 5,783 (+92)       Brisbane 4,042 (+149)       Adelaide 1,399 (+12)       Perth 2,345 (+25)       Hobart 383 (-2)       Darwin 94 (-10)       Canberra 595 (-9)       National 20,067 (+235)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,835 (+301)       Melbourne 4,537 (+107)       Brisbane 2,209 (+57)       Adelaide 391 (-8)       Perth 741 (-7)       Hobart 137 (+5)       Darwin 152 (-14)       Canberra 612 (+17)       National 17,614 (+458)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.57% (↑)      Melbourne 3.19% (↑)      Brisbane 3.40% (↑)      Adelaide 3.61% (↑)      Perth 4.06% (↑)      Hobart 3.85% (↑)      Darwin 5.46% (↑)        Canberra 3.58% (↓)     National 3.30% (↑)             UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 5.37% (↑)      Melbourne 5.81% (↑)        Brisbane 6.08% (↓)     Adelaide 5.85% (↑)      Perth 7.13% (↑)      Hobart 4.44% (↑)        Darwin 7.55% (↓)     Canberra 5.88% (↑)      National 5.80% (↑)             HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.8% (↑)      Melbourne 0.7% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.0% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.1% (↑)      Brisbane 1.0% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 0.5% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.7% (↑)      Canberra 1.4% (↑)      National 1.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 30.3 (↓)       Melbourne 31.5 (↓)       Brisbane 31.7 (↓)       Adelaide 25.7 (↓)       Perth 35.4 (↓)     Hobart 33.7 (↑)      Darwin 36.2 (↑)        Canberra 32.0 (↓)     National 32.1 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 31.3 (↓)       Melbourne 31.9 (↓)       Brisbane 32.1 (↓)       Adelaide 24.8 (↓)       Perth 38.7 (↓)       Hobart 37.6 (↓)     Darwin 46.5 (↑)        Canberra 39.2 (↓)     National 35.3 (↑)            
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The Stock Market’s Future Ain’t What It Used to Be

In recent years, investors often were rewarded for taking reckless risks, but in unforgiving markets, it’s harder to recover from mistakes.

By Jason Zweig
Thu, Apr 21, 2022 1:31pmGrey Clock 3 min

With U.S. stocks off more than 7% and the bond market down almost 9% so far this year, many investors seem to feel they have to take more risk to catch up.

In fact, you should take less. In unforgiving markets, it’s harder to recover from mistakes. Over the past decade or more, stocks, bonds, real estate and cryptocurrencies—just about every asset—boomed. You often got rewarded for reckless risks and, even if you got punished, rising markets helped you recover quickly from your blunders. That won’t last forever.

A global survey of nearly 300 professional investors by BofA Global Research found in March that the percentage of fund managers with greater than average exposure to U.S. stocks climbed 27 percentage points from February. That happened even as many of them say their holdings of cash have edged up.

And fund managers’ trigger fingers are itching even worse than usual, with 42% reporting that their investment horizon is three months or less, up from 26% the previous month.

Individual investors don’t seem to be pulling in their horns, either.

“Alternatives” such as private equity, private debt, hedge funds and nontraded real estate have become so fashionable that investors are forsaking flexibility and low fees in order to buy them.

One of the most popular ways to invest in alternatives is through unlisted closed-end funds, portfolios of alternative assets that are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission but don’t trade on an exchange.

Investors generally can’t get their money out daily, as they can at traditional mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. Instead, they can sell only at predetermined times, often four times a year, sometimes only twice—or even whenever the fund manager happens to permit it.

Holding on for years could help the managers produce gains; in the meantime, it enables them to harvest fat fees. Management expenses often exceed 1.5% annually. Such funds managed a total of $93.7 billion at the end of 2021, up from $54 billion in 2018, according to Patrick Newcomb, a director at Fuse Research Network in Needham, Mass.

The glory days for approaches like these are probably over, says Antti Ilmanen, an investment strategist at AQR Capital Management in Greenwich, Conn. He’s the author of a new book, “Investing Amid Low Expected Returns.”

Mr. Ilmanen’s volume isn’t beach reading; it’s full of subtleties and complexities. But its message is stark and simple. With many assets still near all-time highs, future returns will likely be lower, says Mr. Ilmanen—across the board, for traded and untraded investments alike.

Yes, I know: That’s what many market commentators have been saying for years. And the markets kept going up anyway. Isn’t this just more negativism?

Nope. High recent returns make you feel rich, naturally leading you to extrapolate further gains. But you’re just borrowing them from the future. The more highly valued your holdings are, the lower their return is likely to be down the road.

To see why, let’s pretend you own a hypothetical bond. To keep things as simple as possible, imagine a plain $1,000 bond paying 3% a year for 10 years.

If you buy it for $1,000, this bond’s $30 annual interest would earn you a 3% yield. If, however, you pay $1,200 for a bond with the same terms, your $30 interest yields you 2.5%.

The higher the price you pay, the lower your return on the bond; there’s no way around it.

Unlike with a bond, a stock’s future income stream can grow. If it doesn’t meet expectations, though, the same general principle applies—without any assurance of getting your original investment back in the end.

To make general judgments of how expensive stocks are, Mr. Ilmanen uses a modified version of a measure developed by Yale University economist Robert Shiller. Mr. Ilmanen’s math indicates that U.S. stocks could return less than 3% annually, after inflation, over the next five years or more—among its lowest estimates ever. Although you can’t use such data to tell exactly when stocks are overpriced, says Mr. Ilmanen, “the message is that the prospect of low expected returns should be taken seriously.”

What can investors do? A few suggestions are obvious.

Save more, spend less (especially on investment-management fees).

Avoid chasing illiquid assets—some of which, like private equity, are no longer definitively cheap relative to publicly traded stocks, Mr. Ilmanen’s research suggests.

Look outside the U.S., where stocks are considerably cheaper.

Above all, don’t take bigger gambles to try catching up. Riskier holdings, such as untraded equity and bonds, have looked safe during the bull markets of the last decade. But they could deliver “bad returns in bad times” that aren’t as fleeting as early 2020, says Mr. Ilmanen.

“If we get rising yields [as interest rates go up], more valuations will be challenged,” he says. “If you take less risk now, not more, you will be able to swing at the fat pitches when they come.”

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: April 15, 2022



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Global economic growth is becoming more broad based, with surveys indicating that business activity in both the U.S. and the eurozone gained momentum in May.

The eurozone economy contracted in the second half of 2023 following a surge in energy and food prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent rise in interest rates intended to tame that inflation.

By contrast, the U.S. economy expanded strongly over the same period, opening up an unusually wide growth gap with the eurozone. That gap narrowed as the eurozone returned to growth in the first three months of the year, while the U.S. slowed.

However, surveys released Thursday point to a fresh acceleration in the U.S., even as growth in the eurozone strengthened. That bodes well for a global economy that relied heavily on the U.S. for its dynamism in 2023.

The S&P Global Flash U.S. Composite PMI —which gauges activity in the manufacturing and services sectors—rose to 54.4 in May from 51.3 in April, marking a 25-month high and the first time since the beginning of the year that the index hasn’t slowed. A level over 50 indicates expansion in private-sector activity.

“The data put the U.S. economy back on course for another solid gross domestic product gain in the second quarter,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Eurozone business activity in turn increased for the third straight month in May, and at the fastest pace in a year, the surveys suggest. The currency area’s joint composite PMI rose to 52.3 from 51.7.

The uptick was led by powerhouse economy Germany, where continued strength in services and improvement in industry drove activity to its highest level in a year. That helped the manufacturing sector in the bloc as a whole grow closer to recovery, reaching a 15-month peak.

By contrast, surveys of purchasing managers pointed to a slowdown in the U.K. economy following a stronger-than-expected start to the year that saw it outpace the U.S. The survey was released a day after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a surprise election for early July, banking on signs of an improved economic outlook to turn around a large deficit in the opinion polls.

Similar surveys pointed to a further acceleration in India’s rapidly-expanding economy, and to a rebound in Japan, where the economy contracted in the first three months of the year. In Australia, the surveys pointed to a slight slowdown in growth during May.

Businesses reported that they were raising their prices at the slowest pace since November, which should reassure the European Central Bank. However, the eurozone continued to add jobs in May, suggesting that wages might not cool as rapidly as the ECB had hoped.

The ECB released figures Thursday that showed wages negotiated by labor unions in the eurozone were 4.7% higher in the first quarter than a year earlier, a faster increase than the 4.5% recorded in the final three months of 2023

The ECB has signalled it will lower its key interest rate in early June, while the Fed is waiting for evidence that a slowdown in inflation will resume after setbacks this year.

Nevertheless, eurozone businesses and households shouldn’t bank on successive cuts to borrowing costs, ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos said. “There is a huge degree of uncertainty,” he said. “We have made no decisions on the number of interest rate cuts or on their size,” he said in an interview published Thursday. “We will see how economic data evolve.”

Continued resilience in the eurozone economy would likely make the ECB more cautious about lowering borrowing costs after its first move, economist Franziska Palmas at Capital Economics wrote in a note. “If the economy continues to hold up well, cuts further ahead may be slower than we had anticipated,” she said.

– Edward Frankl contributed to this story.

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