According to some measures, 2019 was the best year for the global stock market in a decade, and the best for the US bond market since 2004.
Then, with the signing of an initial trade agreement between the United States and China in mid-January, the demonstrations acquired new energy.
When markets grow relentlessly in this way, investment seems easy. But it really is not.
On the contrary, markets often fall, and sometimes collapse. Protecting your earned money with so much effort can be much more difficult than accumulating it.
The question, as always after the magnificent earnings, is: how much longer will this spectacular rally last and what can I do to protect my earnings? If you were not lucky enough to participate in the recent demonstrations, you will also want to know if it is still a good time to participate.
We cannot answer these questions with absolute certainty. In fact, as John Schwartz writes in a satirical essay, it seems that lately the law of gravity has been repealed and bad news has become a recipe for attractive returns.
Even if you don’t buy your capricious theories, you’ll find plenty of solid analysis and useful suggestions on how to deal with uncertain markets in our quarterly investment report.
In an analysis of fixed income markets, Carla Fried says that the big party in the bond market is probably over. She says not to buy bonds with the expectation of replicating the stellar gains of 2019, but to buy them for their ability to provide stable income and coverage against a possible stock market crash.
Few funds managed to produce better earnings in the fourth quarter than the three profiled by Tim Gray placed successful bets on small businesses in Japan and a retailer in Canada, as well as investments in home fitness in the United States and the love of millenary generations for pets.
For a concise summary of the steamy performance of the markets in the last year, and of the factors that weigh on stocks, bonds and the global economy now, you can consult Summary of Conrad de Aenlle. He says that investors have become increasingly optimistic, although the underlying conditions have not improved so much, so it may make sense to moderate their enthusiasm.
For other perspectives, there is much more in our report.