"If we thought of the equity premium as a fear premium," Rob Arnott says, "a lot of the so-called anomalies that we’ve talked about would not be anomalies at all."
The economic backdrop figures prominently in the chatter among investment strategists of late as they debate the sustainability of the “decoupling” of the US economy from sluggishness in the rest of the world. Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategists have called the decoupling trade — long US stocks and the dollar — “the most crowded trade in the world.” As US stocks hover near all-time highs, those with a contrarian bent may be receptive to the latest missive from Joe Calhoun. In "Is It Time to Zig?" he suggests investors might want to look outside of the United States for opportunities.
Up until last week’s wild ride for stocks, volatility had been largely absent from the market, but the cumulative effect of ongoing geopolitical chaos, spreading Ebola anxiety, and uninspiring economic data, combined with the rumored unwinding of some leveraged positions by hedge funds, at least temporarily jolted global equity markets. Complacency was quickly replaced with panic and we got a reminder of what happens when everyone heads for the exit at the same time.
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