Jun 11

Think Bonds are the Best Long Term Investment?

A free Club EWI report reveals why bonds do not provide shelter from the storm
December 23, 2010

By Elliott Wave International

TREASURIES — the very name conveys a thing that is secure, protected, and will appreciate over time. Otherwise, it’d be called something like “TRASHeries” or “Mattress Stuffers.” Then, there’s the official seal of the US Department of Treasury: its image of a scale and a key symbolize “balance” and “trust.”

And, finally, there’s the mainstream economic experts who have it on good authority that long-term bonds increase in value during financial instability and uncertainty.

On this, the following news items from November-December 2010 reflect the enduring faith in fixed-income assets as the ultimate safe-havens:

  • “Bonds Tumble On Signs of Economic Recovery” (Reuters)
  • “US Treasury Prices Rise as traders positioned for negative headlines….” (Associated Press)
  • “Treasury’s rise as investors sought shelter in safe haven assets amid rising fears about sovereign debt woes in the eurozone. The slow motion train wreck is likely to play out over year end as each country plays musical chairs with solvency. The market’s concern here is ‘What is next?’ The 10-year Treasury yield will fall if the problems get worse from here.” (Wall Street Journal)

There’s just one problem with this notion: namely, bonds (of any denomination) do NOT have a built-in disaster premium. This is the myth-busting revelation of the latest, free report from Elliott Wave International. The resource titled “The Next Major Disaster Developing For Bond Holders” includes a thoughtful selection of various EWI publications that expose the very real vulnerability of bond markets to economic downturns.

The premier study on the subject comes from Chapter 15 of EWI President Robert Prechter’s book Conquer The Crash by way of this memorable excerpt:

“If there is one bit of conventional wisdom that we hear repeatedly with respect to investing, it is that long-term bonds are the best possible investment [in downturns]. This assertion is wrong. Any bond issued b a borrower who can’t pay goes to zero in a depression. Understand that in a [major contraction], no one knows its depth and almost everyone becomes afraid. That makes investors sell bonds of any issuers that they fear could default. Even when people trust the bonds they own, they are sometimes forced to sell them to raise cash to live on. For this reason, even the safest bonds can go down, at least temporarily, as AAA bonds did in 1931 and 1932.

The first chart (see below) shows what happened to bonds of various grades in the deflationary crash. And the second chart (see below) shows what happened to the Dow Jones 40-bond average, which lost 30% of its value in four years. Observe that the collapse of the early 1930s brought these bonds’ prices below — and their interest rates above — where they were in 1920 near the peak in the intense inflation of the ‘Teens.”


That’s just the tip of this myth-busting report. “The Next Major Disaster” uncovers flaws in other widely-accepted bond lore, including these two assumptions:
 

  • High -yield bonds rise during economic expansions
  • AND — municipal bonds provide a steady refuge in times of economic stress.

Read more about Robert Prechter’s warnings for holders of municipals and other bonds in his free report: The Next Major Disaster Developing for Bond Holders. Access your free 10-page report now.

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Jun 11

Sometimes a Dull Investment is a Great Investment

And sometimes it can backfire!
An important story for today’s bond investors.
December 9, 2010

By Elliott Wave International

I spent my childhood discussing the stock market at the dinner table. My dad was a stock broker, and he loved to “tell the story” of the stocks he recommended to customers — a story that included critical information about the industry, the products, earnings, and the outlook for the future. Most children might find it dull, but I was mesmerized.

As I got older and talked with friends about investing, I’d light up when the topic was stocks. Who in the world couldn’t get excited about analyzing companies to decide which ones could make you money! When the conversation turned to bonds, however, I would shut down. Bonds? How dull; how utterly boring. There’s no story to tell, no industry trends to follow. I saw bonds as an interest check every six months, then a return of principal when they mature. BORING.

Over the past few years, I’ve read article after article about investors getting out of the stock market in favor of bonds. I understood the reasons for getting out of the stock market, but the thought of moving into bonds baffled me. Interest rates were very low, and I knew that when the rates started going up, bond prices would go down; a simple inverse relationship. I started investing in the mid-80s, when rates were at the highest point of the past 50 years — who would buy bonds now, when yields are at the lowest levels in half a century? There’s no place for your principal to go but down, I thought.

So I went back and talked with my friends some more, to see if there was something I was missing with these “dull investments.”

Turned out, my friends had moved their money into bonds after they lost over 30% in stocks during 2008. They told me that bonds had gone up in value. I was astonished.

So I started looking into it. They were right! I thought bond yields could go no lower than they were two years ago, yet they did, In turn, that brought the prices — i.e., the principal on their investment — up!

I asked what kind of bonds they got into. “High-yield bond funds,” was the answer. What kind of bonds are these funds invested in? To this question I got blank stares. How long do you plan on staying in these funds? This got the reply I was afraid I’d hear: “Why would we get out when they are so much safer than stocks?” That’s when my new interest in these once boring investments turned to fear — for my friends.

First of all, the simple idea that a rise in interest rates would cause their principal to fall worried me. But my greater fear was that they did not even know what types of bonds they were invested in!

Elliott Wave International’s president Robert Prechter has followed this new investment trend closely in his monthly Elliott Wave Theorist. This quote is from the October 2010 issue:

A fifth consecutive major disaster is developing for investors. History shows that investors have been attracted like moths to a flame to four consecutive pyres: the NASDAQ in 2000, real estate in 2006, the blue chips in 2007 and commodities in 2008. Now they are flitting across the veranda to a mesmerizing blue flame: high yield bonds.

Bonds pay high yields when the issuers are in deep trouble and cannot otherwise attract investment capital. The public is chasing a large return on capital without considering return of it.

You can learn more about what Prechter’s market analysis says for bond investors now — free. We’ve recently released a 10-page report, “The Next Major Disaster Developing for Bond Holders” free to members of Club EWI.Discover why Prechter says that, “The public always does the wrong thing.” Follow this link to access this free online report right now.

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Jun 11

The Muni Bond Crisis

Posted in Bond Market, Economy

Elliott wave subscribers were prepared for municipal bonds troubles months in advance
November 24, 2010

By Elliott Wave International

This November, the whole world tuned in as the greater part of the U.S.A.’s 50 states turned red — and no, I don’t mean the political shift to a republican majority during the November 2 mid-term elections. I mean “in the red” — as in, financially fercockt, overdrawn, up to their eyeballs in debt.

Here are the latest stats: California, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey now suffer “Greek-like deficits,” alongside draconian budget cuts, job furloughs, suspensions of city services, and the growing “rent-a-cop” trend of firing city workers and then hiring outside contractors to fill those positions.

Next is the fact that the municipal bond market has been melting like a snow cone in the Sahara desert. According to recent data, 35 muni bond issues totaling $1.5 billion have defaulted since January 2010, three times the average annualized rate going back to 1983. Also, in the week ending November 19, investors withdrew a record $3.1 billion from mutual and exchange-traded funds specializing in municipal debt, triggering the largest one-day rise in yields since the panic of ’08.

In the words of a recent LA Times article “It’s a cold, cold world in the municipal bond market right now.”

And for those who never saw the muni bond crisis coming, it’s a lot colder.

Since at least 2008, the mainstream experts extolled munis for their “safe haven resistance to recession.” And while muni bond woes are only now making headlines, one of the few sources that foresaw the depth and degree of the crisis coming ahead of time was Elliott Wave International’s team of analysts. Here’s an excerpt from the April 2008 Elliott Wave Financial Forecast (EWFF):

“One of the most vulnerable sectors of the debt markets is the municipal bond market. Instead of being a source of state and local funding, many residents will become a cost. Default could hit at any moment after times get difficult… Yields on tax-exempt municipal bonds are above yields on US Treasuries for the first time in as long as anyone can remember, another sign of how limited the supply of quality bonds will become.”

EWI continued to warn subscribers ever since:

February 2009 EWFF: Special section “Out of the Frying Pan and into Munis” showed the continued rise in muni yields ABOVE Treasury yields and cautioned against the idea that tax-exempt debt was a “safe bet.”

September 2010 Elliott Wave Theorist: “The Next Disaster: The public has withdrawn some money from stock mutual funds… But most investors … are shunning treasuries for high-yield money market funds and bond funds, which hold less-than-pristine corporate and municipal debt.”

And now, in the just-published November 19 Elliott Wave Theorist, EWI president Robert Prechter captures the full extent of the unfolding muni crisis via the following chart:

Read more about Robert Prechter’s warnings for holders of municipals and other bonds in his free report: The Next Major Disaster Developing for Bond Holders. Access your free 10-page report now.

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Jun 11

Bond Market Disaster Looming

Posted in Bond Market, Economy

A must-read FREE report for investors in fixed-income markets like Treasury bonds, municipal bonds or high-yield bonds
November 4, 2010

By Elliott Wave International

Elliott wave analysis can warn you of trend changes when the rest of the investment public least expects a market reversal. With that in mind, we have created a new report for our free Club EWI members: “The Next Major Disaster Developing for Bond Holders.”

In this free report, you get some of the latest commentary on fixed-income markets adapted from various Elliott Wave International’s publications, including 2010 issues of Robert Prechter’s monthly Elliott Wave Theorist and its sister publication, The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast.

Enjoy this excerpt — and for details on how to read this important Club EWI report free, today, look below.


The Next Major Disaster Developing for Bond Holders
(excerpt)

The Elliott Wave Theorist — October 2010
(By Robert Prechter, EWI president)

…History shows that investors have been attracted like moths to a flame to four consecutive pyres: the NASDAQ in 2000, real estate in 2006, the blue chips in 2007 and commodities in 2008. Now they are flitting across the veranda to a mesmerizing blue flame: high yield bonds. Bonds pay high yields when the issuers are in deep trouble and cannot otherwise attract investment capital. The public is chasing a large return on capital without considering return of it. …

Annual Value of U.S. High-Yield Debt Issued

The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast — October 2010
(By Steve Hochberg and Pete Kendall)

The rise in optimism since early 2009 has allowed corporations to issue the lowest grade debt at a record rate, even more than in the middle of the incredible expanding debt bubble of the mid-2000s. The annual total of $189.9 billion to date is a record, and the entire fourth quarter still lies ahead.

This is a stunning testimony to just how desperate investors are for the returns they grew so accustomed to during the old bull market. The Moody’s BAA-to-Treasury spread (see chart in the free report — Ed.) has been widening since [April] and has made a series of lower highs in August and again in September. This behavior reveals an emerging preference for perceived safer debt even as junk bond issuance races higher. It is a critical non-confirmation…

Read the rest of this important report online now, free! Here’s what else you’ll learn:

  • How Investors Are Looking Past Red Flags in Muni Market
  • What You Should Know About Today’s “High-Grade” Bonds
  • The Answer To Bond Selection
  • MORE 
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