Rising Odds of a Trump Recession
Attention investors rooting for the Dow Jones to top 20,000: Economists have started to put nearly 50-50 odds on a recession in the next four years. Sorry for the lump of coal in your stocking.
The Bankrate Economic Indicator, a quarterly survey of economists, put the probability of a recession over the next four years at 47%. That’s more than double the 22.5 percent forecast experts gave when asked last quarter about the odds of a recession in the next 12 to 18 months.
We’ve said that it’s still too early to tell if the Trump administration proposals to cut corporate taxes, further deregulate business and spend on infrastructure will be effective in spurring growth, particularly as these policies wouldn’t be felt in the economy any sooner than 2018.
Further, many market analysts have said that current bull market is long in the tooth – the current expansion is reaching the third longest in post WWII history.
And if the current bull market were to continue until the next election, it would be the longest in the postwar period, something many economists are skeptical of with interest rates rising.
Investors should also take note that at least one big pension fund doesn’t seem to exhibiting bullishness. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as CalPERS, which manages $300.3 billion, recently lowered its forecast annualized return from 7.5% to 7% over the next three years.
“We’re in a low-growth (investment) environment, and it’s expected to remain that way the next five to 10 years,” CalPERS board member Henry Jones told the Sacramento Bee. In fact, CalPERS adviser Wilshire Consulting has predicted the fund will likely earn just 6.2% a year over the next decade.
But now is also a good opportunity to find undervalued fixed-income opportunities such as in utilities, healthcare and telecom. There are plenty of them to choose from, while the rest of the world shops for growth investments with wild abandon. I’m adding more on a regular basis to the Personal Finance Income Portfolio.
In fact, as market prices reach ever skyward, investors should take to heart the old saying by famed stock investor John Templeton: “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.”