A Word from Jeff – Investments Fashions Shifting

Ah, the fickle investor! As recently reported by the Wall Street Journal, one of this bull market’s darlings – “hot dividend stocks” – have fallen out of favor, with utilities posting the longest losing streak in over 15 years, and since the big bear market following the dot-com meltdown. Both utilities and real estate income stocks have recently fared poorly, at least in part related to the prospect of Fed interest rate increases in the near term. Much of this is also related to investors bidding income stocks – worldwide but particularly US stocks – up beyond reasonable valuation levels, as Camarda has been warning about for a long time now. Utilities, for instance, have recently been trading at a PE of over 21 – 21 times profits, whopping high and even higher that the bloated S&P 500’s 19.8 P/E. As a countermeasure to such risky frothiness, Camarda believes that investments in particularly income stocks should be made on a “value” basis, where the investment manager seeks to buy stocks that are trading below their intrinsic values, representing bargains with value cushions that can help weather downdrafts. Camarda applies this philosophy in its stock portfolios, and broadly in its AIMS™ portfolios. While we remain somewhat fearful of a near term correction, we don’t feel a bear market is imminent, and that any drop should signal a buying opportunity to those who have cash which can be left alone to grow for the long term. It was somewhat comforting to recently see Barron’s (10-15) post its “Big Money” poll expecting US stocks to rise some 9% by the end of 2017, and especially comforting that the same Barron’s issue noted that value investing – a Camarda hallmark – is “back in vogue this year,” and this hopefully bodes well for Camarda portfolios’ robust performance.

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