How do things look to you young investors these days?

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How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Browser » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:47 am

I'm retired and am living off my nestegg now. As I look back at my journey and see all the twists and turns it took, I have to say that (except for the being old part) I'm grateful I'm not starting out in these days of financial and economic troubles. Is that just because I'm old, or do things look sorta dismal to you young investors as well? I remember being fairly optimistic and not worrying too much about building a nestegg and retiring comfortably when I was starting out. How do things look to you younger investors these days?
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby StealthWealth » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:57 am

I see opportunities everywhere. Innovation is thriving and I can't imagine what the next 30 years will bring. I am very bullish on the future.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby fareastwarriors » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:10 pm

I'm 25. I been working for 2 years now. I'm actually glad I starting out during these "tough" times. I feel like if I started my working life when things are booming, I might not understand what it will mean to be financially prudent. I might think that stocks/houses/other assets only go one way, up. Or I might have unrealistic views of my salary or benefits and that despite having no skills/experience I might think I deserve to be paid millions of dollars or something like that.

I believe if I keep making financially smart decisions, then eventually I will get "there" and I will "make it." I have a job. am debt-free, have savings, and have a small but growing nest egg. I think there are many things which I cannot control but it is up to me to adapt and figure it out. I think I'm doing okay.

Tough situations are there to test my character and it will only make me stronger. I still think the future is bright.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby WHL » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:16 pm

Do I still count as young at 31? :)

While I've always been a saver, I didn't really start to know what I was doing until a year or two ago - had I been more in tune with my investments, I could have made significantly more money on the market downturn of 08/09.

Now that I have the money to invest, I have qualms about putting more into investments that are already so high. I'm still maxing my 401k, Roth, and i-bonds, but I don't feel comfortable dumping 20-30k a year into taxable accounts.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby momar » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:21 pm

I think young people are more worried about never recovering from graduating into the worst job market in 80 years. Wasted generation.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby grap0013 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:26 pm

I'm very bullish on equities for the future. Valuations look decent. Pessimism is all recency bias. I'd be more concerned if I was an older investor with low risk tolerance and is bond heavy.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Savvy » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:26 pm

fareastwarriors wrote:I'm 25. I been working for 2 years now. I'm actually glad I starting out during these "tough" times. I feel like if I started my working life when things are booming, I might not understand what it will mean to be financially prudent. I might think that stocks/houses/other assets only go one way, up. Or I might have unrealistic views of my salary or benefits and that despite having no skills/experience I might think I deserve to be paid millions of dollars or something like that.

I believe if I keep making financially smart decisions, then eventually I will get "there" and I will "make it." I have a job. am debt-free, have savings, and have a small but growing nest egg. I think there are many things which I cannot control but it is up to me to adapt and figure it out. I think I'm doing okay.

Tough situations are there to test my character and it will only make me stronger. I still think the future is bright.


+1. I'm 23.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Default User BR » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:33 pm

Browser wrote:I'm retired and am living off my nestegg now. As I look back at my journey and see all the twists and turns it took, I have to say that (except for the being old part) I'm grateful I'm not starting out in these days of financial and economic troubles.

That's pretty funny. I started out in the early 80s. Talk about fear and uncertainty! The thing is, I didn't have the sort of resources that young people have today (like this forum, for instance) so I made all kinds of wrong moves.


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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Kevin21 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:33 pm

fareastwarriors wrote:I'm 25. I been working for 2 years now. I'm actually glad I starting out during these "tough" times. I feel like if I started my working life when things are booming, I might not understand what it will mean to be financially prudent. I might think that stocks/houses/other assets only go one way, up. Or I might have unrealistic views of my salary or benefits and that despite having no skills/experience I might think I deserve to be paid millions of dollars or something like that.

I believe if I keep making financially smart decisions, then eventually I will get "there" and I will "make it." I have a job. am debt-free, have savings, and have a small but growing nest egg. I think there are many things which I cannot control but it is up to me to adapt and figure it out. I think I'm doing okay.

Tough situations are there to test my character and it will only make me stronger. I still think the future is bright.


I'm also 25 (soon to be 26) and I share this perspective. While we didn't have it as bad as the the Depression era folks, we were set up to have unrealistic expectations from our parents. The recession has taught has some important lessons.

momar wrote:I think young people are more worried about never recovering from graduating into the worst job market in 80 years. Wasted generation.


I've been in the workforce for 3.5 years, and have found it to be very frustrating. To get an entry level position in 2009 was extremely difficult, and once I did, there was increased competition from older generations also being squeezed. I think that this has set us back in the short term, but I think strengthens us long term.

I'm hopeful that our generation will make strides in changing the extreme rat race, live to work culture that we have, but doing so responsibly. We shall see.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby pennstater2005 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:42 pm

I started my first IRA in 2008. I was ignorant and completely unaware as to what was really happening to the stock market at that time. I just put my money in and went on with my life. I feel pretty much the same now as I did then even though I have started learning about what I am actually doing. I have a long enough investing horizon that I'm not concerned about too much right now. Maybe I should be? The profession that I am in is pretty sound even in the smaller region that I live in. I was able to get a job right out of college and actually had multiple offers. I consider myself very fortunate.
To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities. - Bruce Lee
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby goodoboy » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:03 pm

I am not worried one ounce about the stock market or the world politics.

I'm 34

I max out my 401k and starting this year will max ROTH IRA every year til I retire as long as I am working. And that's it. By next year will only have a mortage payment at 3.25% and no plans on ever getting another loan for the rest of my lifeWhatever happens going forward in the markets will just happen. Out of my control. I remain very bullish.

Like Lil Wayne says "I ain't got no worries".
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby bmelikia » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:15 pm

I'm 28 and started investing on a regular basis around August 2008 when the Dow was around 12,000.

I stayed with the market all the way down and got more excited the further down it went because I knew it meant I was able to pick up more shares. In fact, I picked up extra shifts at work when I was going to college so that I'd have the ability to purchase more shares. I used to tell my girlfriend (now my fiance) that one day when we were older we'd look back and wouldn't be able to believe that we were able to purchase shares of the mutual funds I had for so cheap. I just didn't know that would happen so soon --because looking back now I only wish I'd been able to put more money in during that time.

But I think that's the fun part of getting started in your 20's - - -there's certainly no guarantee, but I still have the same mentality. I think 20 or 30 years down the road I'll look back on my investing career and realize that even the share prices today were bargains. Could be wrong, but for now I'll just keep investing and hope for the best.

Good luck to all!
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby NYBoglehead » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:22 pm

While there are some definite headwinds, we have a tendency (helped by the media) to always believe that we live in the worst of times. I'm bullish on the future even though I have concerns about the present state of affairs.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Jeff7 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:59 pm

momar wrote:I think young people are more worried about never recovering from graduating into the worst job market in 80 years. Wasted generation.

As a junior-year and senior-year engineering student at college back around 2008, it was ever-so-discouraging when the employers at job fairs held in the Business&Engineering building on the college campus would almost all say, "We're not hiring engineers at this time. We are mainly looking to improve our sales force."
A steel pipe manufacturer said that they had only been working for 3 weeks of the year thus far - and it was April. Railroad engine companies weren't looking for new hires, as there was a diminished need to transport anything due to reduced production of goods elsewhere. Government organizations were facing budget cuts, so they weren't hiring.
So as an engineering student, I was at a job fair where nearly everyone there gave the uplifting introduction of "We're not hiring engineers." :(
Yeah, that was a little bit disconcerting, particularly as I was staring down the barrel of close to $30k in student loans, which carried a 6.8% interest rate. (All are paid off now.) I never did like the idea of lots of debt, or the cost of having that money.

I did end up with a job though. Within a month of being hired on as an intern, while still in my final semester, they announced a hiring freeze. However, my internship employment status (and competence:)) netted me a full-time job offer. The next year then saw a few rounds of layoffs, and a reduced workweek for those who remained.
Yes, a shaky start, to be sure. But finally, this past year yielded record revenue and profits. A good bit of profit sharing was handed out, and there were some nice pay raises as well.


Future: The stock market has started to look awfully "boom&bust" lately, but the overall trend still remains one of a slow and steady increase, with the occasional brief blips. It also doesn't look so bad if you look at it on a logarithmic scale. :)
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Dr. Market » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:25 pm

As a 25 year old planning to retire in 40 years, I am not worried about the long-term outcome of my investing plan but I think achieving real returns in the current environment will be more difficult than most Bogleheads anticipate. I think that the combination of current bond and stock prices are unsustainable in the long-term in real dollars and that something will give in the next 5 years or so.

Stocks are on the high end of valuations based on earnings and bond yields are only appealing for long duration issues. In order to justify current stock prices, the economy will either have to grow at an unusually high rate (generating real returns) or there will be high inflation (with unpredictable real returns). But, either of these cases are going to be bad for holders of long-term bonds.

[Economic policy comments removed by admin LadyGeek]

In terms of playing defensive for the next few years, I think TIPs are a partial solution if held to maturity in tax-advantaged accounts, but then you risk losing out if the world does return to strong growth. Further, some commodities or commodity stocks could be excellent plays today but are too risky to go "all in" on. For example, I think that uranium as well as phosphorus-based fertilizers could end up being superb long-term plays, but they are not suitable for the core of an investment portfolio. Also, I do consider gold to be a inflation hedge but I will not buy it until the price is much closer to its production cost.

Putting it all together, I think young investors should be investing at either a 50:50 or 60:40 ratio of stocks to bonds at current valuations. Personally, I believe no one should be at 90% stocks right now if they are not considering their investments to be speculative. I don't think fussing over % allocations of stocks into U.S./International/Emerging etc is going to change anything significantly. However, a young investor should think very carefully about the bonds he or she buys as these will vary more widely in their returns after 30-40 years than stocks. I think that young people should allocate their bonds among TIPs, short-term corporate bonds, and 30 year Treasury Bonds/STRIPS depending on their willingness to take risk. I believe all young investors will benefit by owning TIPs and that they should treat short-term corporate bonds essentially as a cash position for re-balancing that should keep up approximately with inflation. I personally like 30 year bonds and STRIPS as a counterbalance to stocks that upside potential but I would not recommend them to conservative young investors.

While we all need a stock/bond portfolio as part of our overall financial plan, I think the best returns young people are going to get right now are from investing in their own careers. Or, if able and suited, to start or buy their own business where they can get a much lower price per earnings than in the general market.

Take with grain of salt.

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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby steadyeddy » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:26 pm

I'm very optimistic about the world economy, though I think volatility is likely here to stay. It also seems to me that ZIRP has far more impact on retirees than 25 year olds investing for the long run.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby MoneyBagsRx » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:09 pm

I jumped into the workforce in 2010. I'm glad that I got in when I did. My gut tells me that I started investing in the last major chunk of the recovery (ie. a 15% return for 2012). I know that my accounts will compound beautifully over the next 40 years and prepare me for a comfortable retirement. I don't expect it to be all sunshine and roses the whole way (I'm a realist).

Success is for the risk takers.

Stay the course!
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby nirvines88 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:29 am

The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades 8-)
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Watty » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:37 am

All in all, at least for investing, it is likely a much better time to be starting out now than it was in the late 1990's when everthing was booming.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby EmergDoc » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:11 am

Low interest rates make it hard to do the right thing- pay down debt and save money. Other than that, it's nice to have a growing economy, low inflation, and steady work.

The death of pensions is a big deal, but I think I've got a plan in place to deal with that (essentially buy my own.) Many more of my peers will be solely on SS than your peers IMHO.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby grap0013 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:55 am

Dr. Market wrote:As a 25 year old planning to retire in 40 years, I am not worried about the long-term outcome of my investing plan but I think achieving real returns in the current environment will be more difficult than most Bogleheads anticipate. I think that the combination of current bond and stock prices are unsustainable in the long-term in real dollars and that something will give in the next 5 years or so.

I predict stocks will be much higher in 5 years and much much higher in 30 years. No one can predict an "event" in the next 5 years.

Stocks are on the high end of valuations based on earnings and bond yields are only appealing for long duration issues. In order to justify current stock prices, the economy will either have to grow at an unusually high rate (generating real returns) or there will be high inflation (with unpredictable real returns). But, either of these cases are going to be bad for holders of long-term bonds.

P/E ratios for US are around historical averages and Europe and Emerging market stocks are down right cheap. Bond yields however indicate their expected returns are going to be about 70% lower than in the past. The spread in expected returns between stocks and bonds is very large.

In terms of playing defensive for the next few years, I think TIPs are a partial solution if held to maturity in tax-advantaged accounts, but then you risk losing out if the world does return to strong growth. Further, some commodities or commodity stocks could be excellent plays today but are too risky to go "all in" on. For example, I think that uranium as well as phosphorus-based fertilizers could end up being superb long-term plays, but they are not suitable for the core of an investment portfolio. Also, I do consider gold to be a inflation hedge but I will not buy it until the price is much closer to its production cost.

Pure speculation.

Putting it all together, I think young investors should be investing at either a 50:50 or 60:40 ratio of stocks to bonds at current valuations. Personally, I believe no one should be at 90% stocks right now if they are not considering their investments to be speculative. I don't think fussing over % allocations of stocks into U.S./International/Emerging etc is going to change anything significantly.

Yes it does matter. International is much cheaper = much higher expected returns at the moment. Plus you want to reduce single country risk. High stock allocations are speculative? Uranium is not? 50:50 for a young investor is generally going to be way too conservative and smells of recency bias.

However, a young investor should think very carefully about the bonds he or she buys as these will vary more widely in their returns after 30-40 years than stocks. I think that young people should allocate their bonds among TIPs, short-term corporate bonds, and 30 year Treasury Bonds/STRIPS depending on their willingness to take risk. I believe all young investors will benefit by owning TIPs and that they should treat short-term corporate bonds essentially as a cash position for re-balancing that should keep up approximately with inflation. I personally like 30 year bonds and STRIPS as a counterbalance to stocks that upside potential but I would not recommend them to conservative young investors.

While we all need a stock/bond portfolio as part of our overall financial plan, I think the best returns young people are going to get right now are from investing in their own careers. Or, if able and suited, to start or buy their own business where they can get a much lower price per earnings than in the general market.

Take with grain of salt.

DM


Welcome to the forum! I pretty much disagree with just about everything you wrote. See above.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby kupo » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:10 am

momar wrote:I think young people are more worried about never recovering from graduating into the worst job market in 80 years. Wasted generation.

This compounded with the increasing debt burden of tuition and the lack of proper financial education... I can only thank the random walk that lead me to:

- entering the job market before 2008
- discovering this website
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Steel shine » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:13 am

Putting it all together, I think young investors should be investing at either a 50:50 or 60:40 ratio of stocks to bonds at current valuations. Personally, I believe no one should be at 90% stocks right now if they are not considering their investments to be speculative. I don't think fussing over % allocations of stocks into U.S./International/Emerging etc is going to change anything significantly. However, a young investor should think very carefully about the bonds he or she buys as these will vary more widely in their returns after 30-40 years than stocks. I think that young people should allocate their bonds among TIPs, short-term corporate bonds, and 30 year Treasury Bonds/STRIPS depending on their willingness to take risk. I believe all young investors will benefit by owning TIPs and that they should treat short-term corporate bonds essentially as a cash position for re-balancing that should keep up approximately with inflation. I personally like 30 year bonds and STRIPS as a counterbalance to stocks that upside potential but I would not recommend them to conservative young investors.


Interest rates are at all time lows. Bonds prices can literally only go down from here...why would you buy something right before it goes on sale as a young investor with presumably a long time horizon?
Bonds will vary more widely in their returns over 30-40 years than stocks? So their std deviation will be higher? That's a very interesting prediction considering there has never even been a 10 year period when the type of bonds you're talking about had std deviation higher than stocks.
You would not recommend 30 yr bonds for conservative investors? I guess that fits with your standard deviation theory, but again bonds traditionally make more sense for conservative investors than stocks, based on historical data.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby HomerJ » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:38 am

Browser wrote:I'm retired and am living off my nestegg now. As I look back at my journey and see all the twists and turns it took, I have to say that (except for the being old part) I'm grateful I'm not starting out in these days of financial and economic troubles. Is that just because I'm an Old Fart, or do things look sorta dismal to you young investors as well? I remember being fairly optimistic and not worrying too much about building a nestegg and retiring comfortably when I was starting out. How do things look to you younger investors these days?


Weird... When did you start out? The 70s? Those were times of economic troubles with inflation, and gas lines, and the Vietnman War, and a 50% stock market crash (1973-1974), and 16 years where the stock market seemed to go nowhere (1966, DOW was 1000, in 1982, DOW was still 1000)

I think you've just forgotten your early years...

This is a great time to be a young investor...

The young people who started investing in the 90s (like me) when the stock market was awesome weren't able to take much advantage of it, because they couldn't save very much...

The young people who started saving during tough times like the 70s did very very well.... Sure the market went nowhere for 16 years, but they had 16 years to buy equities at the DOW 1000 level... After 16 years of saving, they had some decent money saved.... And then over the next 18 years, it got multipled by TEN....

The young people who started in the 2000s are accumulating at a steady price... When the next bull market begins (2018?), they will have a nice nest-egg that might grow 5-10 times by 2035.

1913-1929 - Bull Market - 16 years
1929-1946 - Bear Market - 17 years
1946-1966 - Bull Market - 20 years
1966-1982 - Bear Market - 18 years
1982-2000 - Bull Market - 18 years
2000-20xx - Bear Market - 13 years so far

I think every generation gets a bull and a bear. Better to start with the bear and end with bull than the other way around.

I'm still very optimistic about the future. I see a billion people joining the middle-class over the next 20 years, and many of them are going to want to drink Coke. 3-D printing will change manufacturing. Maybe cheap energy will become available. Maybe bio-engineering will finally take off. Who knows what will happen next and what will spur the next big bull market... All I know is I plan to retire in 2025, so a big bull market starting in 2018 and lasting until 2035 sounds pretty good to me.

Let's hope the pattern holds (but in case it doesn't, I'm saving like mad and not counting on a huge 5x-10x return from the market by 2035).
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby MoonOrb » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:50 am

I'd love to think I'm young, but I'm 37. But I feel the same way now as I did when I first started investing in the 1990s--optimistic. I think every decade at least as far back as the 1970s has had some very weird stuff go on with the market and the economy, so I don't see any reason to panic or be upset.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby BBL » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:18 am

How do things look to you younger investors these days?


I'm not sure what you mean by younger but I'm younger than you, :D so...

I'm waiting for the next secular bull. Maybe it already started and maybe it won't start for 3/5/7/10 more years, who knows? I've got the patience of Job.

I think the usual suspect of recency has caused many younger potential investors to make bad decisions - like total equity avoidance. Not a very good call. I remember articles like this:

http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/02/pf/inve ... /index.htm

Recency in all of its glory. I remember reading articles like that and thinking: 'you'll see things differently some day'. Maybe not.

The younger investors around here are lucky to have happened upon this place and from what I see are setting themselves up quite nicely and will be very pleased with these decisions in the future.

I'm an optimist so I think the future is reasonably bright. I'm also rational so I know things can go very badly. I accept the results of the risks I take and that the future is unknowable. This has served me well. :beer
To win without risk is to triumph without glory. Pierre Corneille
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Dopey » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:56 am

I'm 26, and without getting too political, I don't see how I"ll be able to enjoy the same retirement that my parents will. It's not changing my Boglehead investment philosophy because I don't know what else one could do. Hopefully I'll be lucky enough to retire at 55 or so, but I wouldn't be surprised if I'm greeting your children at wal mart when I'm 70.

Basically, it looks like I'm one of the few pessimistic young investors on this board. I currently work for a Fortune 100 company that has posted 8+ quarters of record profits that just announced an indefinite pay freeze, a restriction on all business travel, and shaved 5% off the top of every department's budget. I just don't feel comfortable, but luckily I have lots of time for things to turn around.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Dr. Market » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:39 am

grap0013 wrote:
Dr. Market wrote:As a 25 year old planning to retire in 40 years, I am not worried about the long-term outcome of my investing plan but I think achieving real returns in the current environment will be more difficult than most Bogleheads anticipate. I think that the combination of current bond and stock prices are unsustainable in the long-term in real dollars and that something will give in the next 5 years or so.

I predict stocks will be much higher in 5 years and much much higher in 30 years. No one can predict an "event" in the next 5 years.

Stocks are on the high end of valuations based on earnings and bond yields are only appealing for long duration issues. In order to justify current stock prices, the economy will either have to grow at an unusually high rate (generating real returns) or there will be high inflation (with unpredictable real returns). But, either of these cases are going to be bad for holders of long-term bonds.

P/E ratios for US are around historical averages and Europe and Emerging market stocks are down right cheap. Bond yields however indicate their expected returns are going to be about 70% lower than in the past. The spread in expected returns between stocks and bonds is very large.

In terms of playing defensive for the next few years, I think TIPs are a partial solution if held to maturity in tax-advantaged accounts, but then you risk losing out if the world does return to strong growth. Further, some commodities or commodity stocks could be excellent plays today but are too risky to go "all in" on. For example, I think that uranium as well as phosphorus-based fertilizers could end up being superb long-term plays, but they are not suitable for the core of an investment portfolio. Also, I do consider gold to be a inflation hedge but I will not buy it until the price is much closer to its production cost.

Pure speculation.

Putting it all together, I think young investors should be investing at either a 50:50 or 60:40 ratio of stocks to bonds at current valuations. Personally, I believe no one should be at 90% stocks right now if they are not considering their investments to be speculative. I don't think fussing over % allocations of stocks into U.S./International/Emerging etc is going to change anything significantly.

Yes it does matter. International is much cheaper = much higher expected returns at the moment. Plus you want to reduce single country risk. High stock allocations are speculative? Uranium is not? 50:50 for a young investor is generally going to be way too conservative and smells of recency bias.

However, a young investor should think very carefully about the bonds he or she buys as these will vary more widely in their returns after 30-40 years than stocks. I think that young people should allocate their bonds among TIPs, short-term corporate bonds, and 30 year Treasury Bonds/STRIPS depending on their willingness to take risk. I believe all young investors will benefit by owning TIPs and that they should treat short-term corporate bonds essentially as a cash position for re-balancing that should keep up approximately with inflation. I personally like 30 year bonds and STRIPS as a counterbalance to stocks that upside potential but I would not recommend them to conservative young investors.

While we all need a stock/bond portfolio as part of our overall financial plan, I think the best returns young people are going to get right now are from investing in their own careers. Or, if able and suited, to start or buy their own business where they can get a much lower price per earnings than in the general market.

Take with grain of salt.

DM


Welcome to the forum! I pretty much disagree with just about everything you wrote. See above.


Yes, perhaps I shouldn't be making any predictions but the OP asked how things looked and that is just my own outlook.

Also, I am not trying to be defensive but I also disagree with much of what you say as well.

1) There have been many 5 year periods where the stock market hasn't had positive real returns. I know I am taking the losing side of the bet here but it is just an opinion and I am not advocating not holding stocks for this very reason.

2) If international developed or emerging market stocks are so obviously undervalued relative to U.S., you could use that information to become excessively wealthy regardless of where the overall stock market goes (assuming you believe markets are efficient in the long run). How is that any more speculative than my own small sector bets that I didn't encourage anyone else to make. Please take a look at what sectors or individual stocks are pulling down the P/E of the EM indices. There is going to be a healthy dose of low P/E emerging market banks. I have no strong feelings on the relative valuation of EM banks, but EM is a higher risk/reward place than developed markets. Buying stocks on margin has a higher expected return as well.

3) What is so wrong with 60:40 or 50:50? Both of these ratios are classic portfolio allocations and allow for meaningful re-balancing between stocks and bonds. This is why I think bond choice is more important than stock choice since there isn't much opportunity to re-balance among U.S., developed, and emerging stocks when all global indices are so closely correlated. To me, 90% stocks is a speculative/aggressive tilt that is favored due to recency bias.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby mattman22 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:55 pm

I'm 27 and I can't wait for the future. I turn off the 24/7 news and ignore financial hype. If I just stick to my investment plan, I know I'll be fine financially.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Karl » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:07 pm

HomerJ wrote:2000-20xx - Bear Market - 13 years so far


Where is this 13-year-long and counting bear market of which you speak? Stocks have been soaring since early 2009, so much so that we're sitting close to all time highs that are impressive enough that retail investors who have a propensity for jumping in at peaks are getting exited and jumping in.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby crowd79 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:19 pm

Very worried about our mounting debt, Euro crisis, you name it, but I am determined to pretend that none of this noise is happening and (god help us all) staying the course with my portfolio. Hopefully it's there in 30 years.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Juniormint » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:15 pm

Awesome. If for nothing else than I'm financially literate and feel/know I'm in control of my financial future. I found bogleheads when I was 22, I'm debt free, I'm investing and saving as much as I can, and I'm enjoying life. My parents didn't make wise financial choices while I was growing up and so from a young age, I just knew that I was not going to make the same mistakes they did. I've got nowhere to go but up.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Snowjob » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:22 am

Age: 30 years old
Long Term View: Mixed bag.

Employment: For the educated worker, things are looking up. While you old folks will stress the crap out of SS and Medicare etc, someone has to come in and take over for all the retiring baby boomers. For me however, I'm thinking of extreemly early pseudo-retirement so I'll miss this wave of earnings potential and will be at the mercy of the returns in the marketplace + my the fruits of my future endeavors which are 100% certain to be far less lucrative than even the modest work I'm doing now. Personal choice though so I guess I cant complain.

Investing: We have the benefit of resources, studies, recent stressful events all good things that can help prepare us psycologically and re-inforce that nothing is certain. This can only be a good thing. My personal belief though is that the US has hit its economic peak in 2000 (roughly) all things considered. And it will be a muddle forward from here on out. Certain subsets of the population will have good opportunities to be successful but the days of huge dynamic growth that propells our nation forward and all people in it, I think are a thing of the past. The same can be said about much of the rest of the developed world. The developing world however still has "progress" ahead of it that will bring an elevated standard of living in the coming years for some period of time.

Part of this is my lack of vision to see the next big thing. I just dont see the same sorts of leaps forward that we had over such a short period of time (last 100 years) that will propell similar economic growth. My grandfather grew up with a horse and buggy and now we have rediculus super technology. The world population has damn near exploded over the last 200 years (a duplication of that would be downright terrifying). From our own home-biased (USA) perspective, we fought 2 world wars and helped rebuild it twice while propelling our own industries forward w/ far less interuption. 50 and 100 years ago people were experimenting and inventing in their basements and coming up with all sorts of revolutionary products, furthering science and the successful companies that people created employed many people across the employment spectrum. Today revolutionary companies seem to mostly be tech companies that while far reaching an disruptive, tend to employ very few people relative to the old companies they displace., Machines are smarter, they work longer, can fix and service themselves. Today's home inventors are turning in less cool new products and more shamwows and salad masters. Great thinkers could once write about many disciplins because our combined knowlege base was at a much lower level, todays thinkers work must collaborate with far more people and use far more resources to further our accumulated knowelge in a field and usually must have lots of specific backround in that area. Yes there are pleny of exceptions, and yes I know lots of good comes of this, but I dont see all of this translating to the growth of the last 100 years as being an achieveable benchmark going forward. Environmental and demographic challanges (both higher (short term trend) or lesser resource consumption & higher absolute population numbers and lower (or higher if it changes) fertility rates) will prove interesting hurdels in the future. Also one final note, the total value of the publicly traded stocks in the US is not really that large. I'm not sure how that particuarly plays out but its food for thought. In short I'm a pessimist, yes investors will still make money but I see enough headwinds to tempor my expectations about how much. I'm thinking 50% of the pace of the last 100 years return is about right-- hey theres always buybacks and reinvested diviends right?
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby rayout » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:33 am

My outlook is extremely positive. I am actually incredibly grateful to be part of this "great recession". I graduated and started investing in 2008 - just in time for the big market crash! My lesson in ignoring Mad Kramer was quite cheap. At that time I did some research and was lucky enough to find this forum.

I am fortunate to have a decent paying job and was able to live with my parents for several years out of school. This set me up to purchase my own home which nets me positive cash flow (duplex with roommates). I have extremely low expenses and will be able to cover myself without any difficulty if I lose my job. I am confident that if I stay within my field the job market will only improve years down the line as many that were laid off or could not find jobs in the field after graduating changed career paths. My company (civil engineering) had tremendous difficulty in filling positions in my experience level which stands testimony to the experience "gap" that has formed. However I don't see the value in committing to the brutal hours and effort the principals of my company invest to keep the business doing well enough to support their expensive (though not extravagant) lifestyles. My current concerns are trying to figure out what I want to do with my future.

I am continuing to explore ways to develop myself and see what opportunities are out there for me. I've recently joined a local Toastmaster's International group and developed a great appreciation for public speaking so I could see myself journeying down that route to share what I've learned regarding low cost investing and also about the Paleo diet movement which helped transform my physical health and well-being. I would like to be able to mentor other geeks like me that were bullied in high school and let them know things get better. Now is a great time to be a nerd :)
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Mudpuppy » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:33 am

It all depends on your perspective. I have the fortune of having seen what it means to live from hand-to-mouth when I was growing up. So I don't expect much more than to be comfortably middle class in both my working and retirement years. The economy may be sluggish, but it is not a black hole that absorbs all saved money. I'll just keep to the plan of saving aside money each month in low-cost index funds. I may not have enough investment return to live a Downton Abbey lifestyle when I retire, but neither do I expect that I will end up waiting in line at the food bank.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Beantown85 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:05 am

Seems like a great time to be a young investor to me. Didn't lose much in the 08-09 downturn, been buying everything (real estate, equities) on the cheap since. If you are fortunate to have had a job the entire time, seems like great timing to me.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:16 am

Default User BR wrote:
Browser wrote:I'm retired and am living off my nestegg now. As I look back at my journey and see all the twists and turns it took, I have to say that (except for the being old part) I'm grateful I'm not starting out in these days of financial and economic troubles.

That's pretty funny. I started out in the early 80s. Talk about fear and uncertainty! The thing is, I didn't have the sort of resources that young people have today (like this forum, for instance) so I made all kinds of wrong moves.


Brian


You've been to a library before, right? Remember the catologing system with the decimal points? Not as user friendly as a pc, still you can't deny the information was not available. There has always been a business section and there have been other personal finance writers - Jane Bryant Quinn, Benjamin Graham (investing), David Dreman (contrarian investing), Sylvia Porter, Money Magazine. As higher er as they may have been in providing recommendations, they still offered useful advice.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:33 am

HomerJ wrote:[quoteThe young people who started in the 2000s are accumulating at a steady price... When the next bull market begins (2018?), they will have a nice nest-egg that might grow 5-10 times by 2035.

1913-1929 - Bull Market - 16 years
1929-1946 - Bear Market - 17 years
1946-1966 - Bull Market - 20 years
1966-1982 - Bear Market - 18 years
1982-2000 - Bull Market - 18 years
2000-20xx - Bear Market - 13 years so far

I think every generation gets a bull and a bear. Better to start with the bear and end with bull than the other way around.

I'm still very optimistic about the future. I see a billion people joining the middle-class over the next 20 years, and many of them are going to want to drink Coke. 3-D printing will change manufacturing. Maybe cheap energy will become available. Maybe bio-engineering will finally take off. Who knows what will happen next and what will spur the next big bull market... All I know is I plan to retire in 2025, so a big bull market starting in 2018 and lasting until 2035 sounds pretty good to me.

Let's hope the pattern holds (but in case it doesn't, I'm saving like mad and not counting on a huge 5x-10x return from the market by 2035).


I see improvement. In the 50's-70's, we had plenty of automobile related deaths, today you have airbags,computerized engine control and braking, side impact protection, increased gas mileage, reduced maintainance. In airplanes, we've moved from loud 4 engine energy hogs with analog dials and walkie talkie style communications to 2 engine fuel efficient computer guided, gps, advanced avionics, advanced braking systems,advanced training, ability to detect weather patterns including windshear avoidance technology. In oil- OMG! :shock: - in 1973 - we are running out of oil, oh really, last I looked we are awash in it (thank you fracking and horizontal drilling, SAGD, etc) and the glut continues in natural gas as well (I should have been a geologist - who knew). In healthcare - back in the day people would complain of a pain and be dead within a few months - the docs couldn't find anything, you had an operation the gas would literally make you sick when you woke up, you needed 7 days after surgery that included a 5 inch incision to remove your appendix in a hospital to check-out, life expectancy was less. Today, we have CAT scans, MRI, digital surgery, non-invasive surgergy, stents, mesh, advanced pacemakers, implantable defribrillators, genetics testing, medicines based on genetics, 2 day recovery periods where you are walking the very next day, IVF, increased life expectancy, advanced medicines (statins,blood thinners,topically applied medicine), advanced understanding of diet and exercise, more proactiveness. The list goes on and on..................I expect marked improvements by the time I'm ready to check out and you should too.........so stop your moping and get out there to make that difference. Invest in tomorrow. If we don't have a tomorrow, well at least we can say we tried. :beer
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby bigred77 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:39 am

The majority of people under 30 who reads this board and acts on its advice will be a multi-millionaires later in life.

Granted the money will have less purchasing power but I think thats reason enough to be optomistic.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby TSR » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:50 am

I'm 34 and cautiously optimistic. I agree with everyone that the current environment appears to be a good time to be early in the "contribution phase." My biggest fear is that, to channel Ginsberg, I've seen the best minds of my generation saddled with student-loan debt. Literally all of the smartest people I know are spending their time and energy devising ways to get out from under $100K+ of student loans -- not how to invest their money and minds in other things. Of course these are not mutually exclusive, and I'm not trying to make excuses for one's debt (or trying to make this a political discussion), but this really was not a thing that people spent all of their time and energy on thirty years ago. It's important to think of the consequences.

As a Boglehead, I'm not worried: I'm paying off my debt (whittled down to a "mere" $45K or so), maxing out my 401k, etc. But there are many, many people worse off than I am, and the price of education doesn't seem to be going down. I'm grateful for my expensive education, and it was a gamble that has paid off nicely for me. But it sucks that it has to be such a high-stakes gamble, and I worry that there will be a high cultural price for it.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Default User BR » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:56 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Default User BR wrote:That's pretty funny. I started out in the early 80s. Talk about fear and uncertainty! The thing is, I didn't have the sort of resources that young people have today (like this forum, for instance) so I made all kinds of wrong moves.

You've been to a library before, right? Remember the catologing system with the decimal points? Not as user friendly as a pc, still you can't deny the information was not available.

There's a great difference between the information being available somewhere to the highly motivated individual, versus available to all easily. As a young person, I didn't even know what I needed, let alone where to find it. As far as I was concerned, stocks were for rich people and not for little folk like me.


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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:14 pm

Default User BR wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Default User BR wrote:That's pretty funny. I started out in the early 80s. Talk about fear and uncertainty! The thing is, I didn't have the sort of resources that young people have today (like this forum, for instance) so I made all kinds of wrong moves.

You've been to a library before, right? Remember the catologing system with the decimal points? Not as user friendly as a pc, still you can't deny the information was not available.

There's a great difference between the information being available somewhere to the highly motivated individual, versus available to all easily. As a young person, I didn't even know what I needed, let alone where to find it. As far as I was concerned, stocks were for rich people and not for little folk like me.


Brian


I started out with one share of stock - I may have been little folk back then but times have changed. :wink:
One more reason why I always encourage folks to contribute what ever they can - "rome" was not built in a day and neither will their retirement,home,travel account, college savings or legacy. Small steps can lead to large gains - but you need time and patience.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby boknows » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:17 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Browser wrote:
The young people who started in the 2000s are accumulating at a steady price... When the next bull market begins (2018?), they will have a nice nest-egg that might grow 5-10 times by 2035.

1913-1929 - Bull Market - 16 years
1929-1946 - Bear Market - 17 years
1946-1966 - Bull Market - 20 years
1966-1982 - Bear Market - 18 years
1982-2000 - Bull Market - 18 years
2000-20xx - Bear Market - 13 years so far

I think every generation gets a bull and a bear. Better to start with the bear and end with bull than the other way around.


As a 31yr old who started their accumulation in 2004, I never even thought of the overall long-term bear/bull markets, but this gives me even more promise. My wife and I have steadily increased our "retirement" savings up to the current ~50% of gross income. Our "prime" accumulation years are probably the next 5 years, so it would be particularly nice to ER during the next bull market.

I'm optimistic about the future. Lots of scientific advancements make me smile, and as long as we continue to stay the course, I'm not too worried.
32 - Married - Aiming for FI/ER in early 40s.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby grap0013 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:39 pm

Dr. Market wrote:
Yes, perhaps I shouldn't be making any predictions but the OP asked how things looked and that is just my own outlook.

Also, I am not trying to be defensive but I also disagree with much of what you say as well.

1) There have been many 5 year periods where the stock market hasn't had positive real returns. I know I am taking the losing side of the bet here but it is just an opinion and I am not advocating not holding stocks for this very reason.

I bet you a virtual beer stocks beat bonds 2013-2017. Likely by a large margin.

2) If international developed or emerging market stocks are so obviously undervalued relative to U.S., you could use that information to become excessively wealthy regardless of where the overall stock market goes (assuming you believe markets are efficient in the long run). How is that any more speculative than my own small sector bets that I didn't encourage anyone else to make. Please take a look at what sectors or individual stocks are pulling down the P/E of the EM indices. There is going to be a healthy dose of low P/E emerging market banks. I have no strong feelings on the relative valuation of EM banks, but EM is a higher risk/reward place than developed markets. Buying stocks on margin has a higher expected return as well.

A very simplistic estimate for real returns is 1/PE. That gives you about 6% real for US and 8-10% for developed international/emerging markets. Obviously it depends on what part of the market you are looking it. Therefore, international expected returns are ~25-40% higher than US at the moment. You'd really have to ramp up international to make a significant impact on your overall returns. I didn't want to develop a shifting valuation strategy so I'm not doing anything about it.

3) What is so wrong with 60:40 or 50:50? Both of these ratios are classic portfolio allocations and allow for meaningful re-balancing between stocks and bonds. This is why I think bond choice is more important than stock choice since there isn't much opportunity to re-balance among U.S., developed, and emerging stocks when all global indices are so closely correlated. To me, 90% stocks is a speculative/aggressive tilt that is favored due to recency bias.


50:50 is conservative for young accumulators even by BG standards. Have you noticed the HUGE run bonds have had? Best predictor of returns is current yield. Look at the current yield on 30 year treasuries. Do you think they are going to come anywhere close to their historical return of 5.5%? It is unwise for a young, risk tolerant person to have such a large chunk of their portfolio getting zero or below zero real returns even with rebalancing bonus when stocks tank next. As previously stated, I think equities look like the much better value. Investing in large baskets of equities or high equity allocations are never speculation IMO. Individual stocks, gold, sector plays, etc.. would be considered speculative.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby mojave » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:49 pm

Dismall, hopeless and depressing.

I was taught early on about investing, savings, stocks, mutual funds, all that jazz. That was in the 90s when everyone had money, dad was getting $30k bonuses and having a few hundred dollars in a savings account actually gave enough interest to impress an 8 year old. Thankfully I went to a state college right before everythink went to krap and don't have much school debt. However since I started my career in 2007 I've seen layoffs, lost benefits, decreased paychecks, paltry intrest in ANY type of savings. Everything I've learned or expected means nothing today and I feel lost and confused. My parents divorced and had to file for bankruptcy and lost their house because they lost so much when the markets crashed. My husband's townhome went from being worth $230k to $90k. He believed that buying a home was a good investment.

My husband works two jobs and I'm starting up a side-gig myself, so between us we will have four jobs just to make ends meet, pay off debt and FINALLY start saving a lot more :mrgreen:

The good news is that it can only go up from here and I am learning to be super frugal and so is my husband. Otherwise I think he would be a spending machine if he was still making 6 figures (oh yeah and his pay has been cut 50%) and the economy was still good. It's really hard now but a lot of good is coming from it. Frankly, I wouldn't be here at Bogleheads if the economy were good - in the end I will end up with more money and much more in retirement and a much better education on finances and investments. My husband will too! Also we were able to buy a build-ready (meaning, electricity and what not is available) acre of land for $27k - originally listed for $160k. :happy
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby mojave » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:56 pm

kupo wrote:
momar wrote:I think young people are more worried about never recovering from graduating into the worst job market in 80 years. Wasted generation.

This compounded with the increasing debt burden of tuition and the lack of proper financial education... I can only thank the random walk that lead me to:

- entering the job market before 2008
- discovering this website


Same here! Got in in 2007 RIGHT before it became impossible.

Sibling graduated last year with an Engineering degree, no job (though he has one now) and 90k in debt.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Dr. Market » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:36 pm

grap0013 wrote:
Dr. Market wrote:
Yes, perhaps I shouldn't be making any predictions but the OP asked how things looked and that is just my own outlook.

Also, I am not trying to be defensive but I also disagree with much of what you say as well.

1) There have been many 5 year periods where the stock market hasn't had positive real returns. I know I am taking the losing side of the bet here but it is just an opinion and I am not advocating not holding stocks for this very reason.

I bet you a virtual beer stocks beat bonds 2013-2017. Likely by a large margin.

2) If international developed or emerging market stocks are so obviously undervalued relative to U.S., you could use that information to become excessively wealthy regardless of where the overall stock market goes (assuming you believe markets are efficient in the long run). How is that any more speculative than my own small sector bets that I didn't encourage anyone else to make. Please take a look at what sectors or individual stocks are pulling down the P/E of the EM indices. There is going to be a healthy dose of low P/E emerging market banks. I have no strong feelings on the relative valuation of EM banks, but EM is a higher risk/reward place than developed markets. Buying stocks on margin has a higher expected return as well.

A very simplistic estimate for real returns is 1/PE. That gives you about 6% real for US and 8-10% for developed international/emerging markets. Obviously it depends on what part of the market you are looking it. Therefore, international expected returns are ~25-40% higher than US at the moment. You'd really have to ramp up international to make a significant impact on your overall returns. I didn't want to develop a shifting valuation strategy so I'm not doing anything about it.

3) What is so wrong with 60:40 or 50:50? Both of these ratios are classic portfolio allocations and allow for meaningful re-balancing between stocks and bonds. This is why I think bond choice is more important than stock choice since there isn't much opportunity to re-balance among U.S., developed, and emerging stocks when all global indices are so closely correlated. To me, 90% stocks is a speculative/aggressive tilt that is favored due to recency bias.


50:50 is conservative for young accumulators even by BG standards. Have you noticed the HUGE run bonds have had? Best predictor of returns is current yield. Look at the current yield on 30 year treasuries. Do you think they are going to come anywhere close to their historical return of 5.5%? It is unwise for a young, risk tolerant person to have such a large chunk of their portfolio getting zero or below zero real returns even with rebalancing bonus when stocks tank next. As previously stated, I think equities look like the much better value. Investing in large baskets of equities or high equity allocations are never speculation IMO. Individual stocks, gold, sector plays, etc.. would be considered speculative.


Yes, 30 year treasury yields are low, but be careful using single year PE. Even if the market value of a treasury bought today goes down, you are still receiving a (near) risk-less return of 3.2% if bought today. The implied 6% return from a stock index investment based on this year's earnings is NOT guaranteed. Further, using an inflation-adjusted 10 year PE would imply closer to a 4.3% return. I don't place much of a premium on a risky 4.3% return over a risk-free 3.2% return.

While I think we can both agree these are simplistic measures, I think they do give evidence to my point that it will be difficult to get real returns with either stocks or bonds at current prices. That is why I think TIPs and short-term corporate bonds (where you get about 0 real interest) are good defensive plays for the average investor. The value of capital is just so low right now.

Also, a large basket of stocks can most certainly be speculative depending on the fair values of the underlying stocks. The expected returns from a stock are directly related to the price you pay. Averaging across many stocks does not change this fact.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby bigred77 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:48 pm

Dr. Market wrote:Yes, 30 year treasury yields are low, but be careful using single year PE. Even if the market value of a treasury bought today goes down, you are still receiving a (near) risk-less return of 3.2% if bought today. The implied 6% return from a stock index investment based on this year's earnings is NOT guaranteed. Further, using an inflation-adjusted 10 year PE would imply closer to a 4.3% return. I don't place much of a premium on a risky 4.3% return over a risk-free 3.2% return.
While I think we can both agree these are simplistic measures, I think they do give evidence to my point that it will be difficult to get real returns with either stocks or bonds at current prices. That is why I think TIPs and short-term corporate bonds (where you get about 0 real interest) are good defensive plays for the average investor. The value of capital is just so low right now.

Also, a large basket of stocks can most certainly be speculative depending on the fair values of the underlying stocks. The expected returns from a stock are directly related to the price you pay. Averaging across many stocks does not change this fact.


Your comparing a 4.3% real return with a 3.2% nominal return. Nominal to nominal would be around 7.5 to 3.2.

If your going over 30 years my opinion is your low on the equity risk premium (both our opinions are valid, who knows who will be right)
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Dr. Market » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:33 pm

bigred77 wrote:
Dr. Market wrote:Yes, 30 year treasury yields are low, but be careful using single year PE. Even if the market value of a treasury bought today goes down, you are still receiving a (near) risk-less return of 3.2% if bought today. The implied 6% return from a stock index investment based on this year's earnings is NOT guaranteed. Further, using an inflation-adjusted 10 year PE would imply closer to a 4.3% return. I don't place much of a premium on a risky 4.3% return over a risk-free 3.2% return.
While I think we can both agree these are simplistic measures, I think they do give evidence to my point that it will be difficult to get real returns with either stocks or bonds at current prices. That is why I think TIPs and short-term corporate bonds (where you get about 0 real interest) are good defensive plays for the average investor. The value of capital is just so low right now.

Also, a large basket of stocks can most certainly be speculative depending on the fair values of the underlying stocks. The expected returns from a stock are directly related to the price you pay. Averaging across many stocks does not change this fact.


Your comparing a 4.3% real return with a 3.2% nominal return. Nominal to nominal would be around 7.5 to 3.2.

If your going over 30 years my opinion is your low on the equity risk premium (both our opinions are valid, who knows who will be right)



Yes, you are right about the nominal return. I was a little hasty in my writing there. I want to make a few more points for clarity:

1) Even at the current low nominal rate of 30 year treasuries there is downside protection in the case of another deflationary crisis where stocks plummet.

2) I am not recommending that the total bond portion of a 50:50 bond:stock portfolio should be all 30 year treasuries, but rather be balanced with TIPs and other shorter duration bonds.

3) No one knows where rates will go in the future. My opinion (for what it is worth) is that if any market is efficient, it is the treasury bond market. I've seen a lot of Bogleheads make the claim that bond yields can only go up from these "low" rates and recommend avoiding long duration bonds. The risk here is that you have no idea how long you will receive negative real returns on short duration bonds.

To be fair, there is an opportunity cost to holding 30 year treasuries if interest rates rise or stocks spike in price. I just think 30 year treasuries should not be discounted entirely as a asset class. There are risks and benefits to holding any asset class.
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Re: How do things look to you young investors these days?

Postby Hub » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:25 pm

I still consider myself young at 32. I feel very fortunate for my interest in financial literacy which led me here. I feel very fortunate that I am able to live beneath my means and am married to a lady that is on board with the plan. I feel like we're currently in as good a position as possible with our current savings rates and investment choices. If the markets don't favor me over the next 30 years then they won't have favored anyone else either, and I will be one that at least saved diligently, even if the magic number never arrives.

Deep down I'm optimistic that between career progression and market gains I'll have enough sometime between the age of 50-60.
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