It is as difficult to remain invested in a bull market as it is to leave a bear market. After all, investors are risk-averse. Taking into account the four most important categories for the assessment of the attractiveness of asset classes – valuation, liquidity, positioning, and growth – one would conclude that the most important driving factor for the markets builds on the last one.
Many investors focus on capital gains while disregarding the significance of dividends. And are wrong in doing so, from my point of view. The total return of a share is after all the sum of capital gains (i.e. rising prices) and dividend income. Income from dividends is of particular relevance for investors with a long-term investment horizon.
US interest rates are on the rise. It took the Federal Reserve Bank (“Fed”) twelve months, after the initial lift-off in December 2015, to make the second move, but for two reasons the odds of more frequent rate hikes over the next twelve months have increased. First, the Fed has turned more hawkish and second, inflation expectations have started ticking higher. Only recently, Chairwoman Yellen warned that “waiting too long to begin moving toward the neutral rate could risk a nasty surprise down the road–either too much inflation, financial instability, or both.”