Stocks are looking at another struggle, apart from techs, on Wednesday after some downbeat data. That’s as we wait for the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting of the year and progress on an ever-elusive stimulus deal.
A model portfolio for the next two to five years is what’s on offer from our call of the day from former Merrill Lynch executive Harley Bassman. He created and traded a variety of derivative and structured products during 26 years at Merrill Lynch, and is best known for inventing the MOVE index, which measures treasury volatility. He now writes the Convexity Maven newsletter.
He bases his advice on the Fed’s “near-promise to hold their overnight rate at effectively zero until at least 2023.” To that, Bassman says: “The Fed wants us to borrow, so that is exactly what I will do,” but says he prefers leverage (borrowed capital) risk, rather over credit risk.
For starters, he likes a couple of option plays on the S&P 500 SPX,
Another investment move? Refinance your mortgage. “If a $300,000 mortgage at 3.83% is refinanced to 2.50%, the monthly payments would decline from $1,403 to $1,185,” he says, adding that rising inflation in the coming years means it’s better to lock that in sooner than later.
Bassman also likes mortgage real-estate investment trusts, which own mortgages exposed to residential and commercial property, but not hotels or apartments. The key is they use borrowed money instead of engaging in credit risk. For the same reasons, he’s keen on municipal bond closed-end funds, though those only run by well-known managers and that avoid credit risk from lesser states or agencies.
His favorite is long-dated interest rate options, though, which are used to make bets on the direction of interest rates. Those can’t be traded by individual investors, for now, though.
“Millennial spending supercharged by a COVID fiscal package may finally ignite inflation, but it is not clear when. This option allows one to benefit from the MMT boost to markets with an escape parachute for protection,” says Bassman. MMT, or Modern Monetary Theory, states that governments can borrow as needed and pay for it using new money.
Check out the whole thing here.
Stock futures YM00,
Ahead of the outcome of the Fed’s policy meeting, retail sales fell 1.1% in November as COVID-19 weighed on restaurants again. The Markit manufacturing and services purchasing managers indexes, and a home builders’ index are also due.
Congressional leaders held stimulus-package talks late into the night on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the group agreed not to leave Washington for the holidays without that deal or a spending agreement that will avoid a government shutdown.
Shares of mobile-focused e-commerce platform Wish WISH,
Billionaire MacKenzie Scott has given away $4.1 billion to 384 organizations in the last four months, urging others to do the same to ease the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic’s “wrecking ball.”
Many people are cheering actor Tom Cruise for reportedly ripping into “Mission Impossible 7” crew members for not following the COVID-19 rules.
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