There are those who sweat over every decision, worrying about how it will affect their lives and investments. Then there is the school of thought that we should focus on the big decisions. I am of the latter school.
85% of investment returns are a result of asset class allocations and only 15% come from actually picking investment within the asset class. Getting the big picture right is critical. In this week's Outside the Box we look at a very well written essay about the biggest of all question in front of us today. Do we face deflation or inflation?
This week in a Special Outside the Box good friend George Friedman of Stratfor, in an unconventional piece, addresses the conundrum that equates low interest rates with market illiquidity, postulating on what may be the underlying cause of such an event. George seems to specialize in Outside the Box thinking, and this piece is no exception.
Stratfor continues to provide insightful and pertinent research on economic and geopolitical events and their respective ramifications. Stratfor continues to generously provide significant savings to readers of Outside the Box, for further information please click here. For those like me who seek objective analysis of world affairs, Stratfor is a daily necessity.
This week's letter is once again from two of my favorite economists, Van Hoisington and Dr. Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management Company in Austin, Texas. They specialize in management of fixed income portfolios for large institutional clients by setting long-term investment strategies based on economic analysis. They have been one of the most successful of bond managers in the country. (I have no affiliation with them.) I eagerly read all of their writing and analysis, and find it to be some of the most thought-provoking anywhere.
Their second quarter 2005 Quarterly Review and Outlook looks at the secular forces that are keeping inflation and long term interest down and why that might continue for an extended period of time. They argue that interest rates only look high from a 1945-1990 reference point and that in fact they may now be closer to the long term historical average and that is why I picked it for this week's "Outside the Box."
This week we will turn once again to a group headquartered in Hong Kong with offices in Stockholm and New York called GaveKal Research Limited. We pull together three one page commentaries from last week that focused on the carry trade.
They make the point is that over the last ten years the carry trade has moved from the Yen to the US Dollar and is now moving to the Euro. This is a short concise piece that gets right to the point and brings a lot of ideas. Most economists are still forecasting a weak dollar, but GaveKal presents a scenario that could lead short-term to a strong dollar and even weaker Euro. This is an outside of consensus view, which is why this was picked for Outside the Box.