Buy bonds until market correction

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mixinvest
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Buy bonds until market correction

Post by mixinvest » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:43 am

I know we should not try to time the market... this might be just me, but the US stock market seems quite overpriced at the moment...

If you had some money to invest in stock but don't think that now is a good moment to do so... would you invest it in bonds until there is a market correction and then buy cheaper stock?

Thanks

AlohaJoe
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by AlohaJoe » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:58 am

No, I wouldn't.

The Wizard
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by The Wizard » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:03 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:58 am
No, I wouldn't.
Ok, but all or nothing probably isn't the right approach.
If I came into an extra $10,000 this week, I'd likely put $6000 into stock funds and $4000 into bond-equivalent funds...
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by UpperNwGuy » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:23 am

The Wizard wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:03 am
If I came into an extra $10,000 this week, I'd likely put $6000 into stock funds and $4000 into bond-equivalent funds...
+1

TwstdSista
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by TwstdSista » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:28 am

Nope. I have $11000 to invest over the next 3 months (2017 Roths) -- all going into FSTVX (Total Stock Market).

Then $5000 for my i401k -- FFNOX (15% bonds).

Then our 2018 Roths -- also FSTVX.

If there's any left after that, maybe what The Wizard said.

red5
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by red5 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:43 am

People have been calling the market overpriced for many years now. People have been calling for a correction. It's gonna happen. It could be this month or this year. But it may not. Invest according to your plan.

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cfs
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by cfs » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:49 am

Quite overpriced? It was overpriced 15000 Dow points ago and equities were supposed to return 3 to 4 percent. Your money, your portfolio, your decision. Good luck and thanks for reading / cfs
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AlohaJoe
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by AlohaJoe » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:11 am

The Wizard wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:03 am
AlohaJoe wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:58 am
No, I wouldn't.
Ok, but all or nothing probably isn't the right approach.
If I came into an extra $10,000 this week, I'd likely put $6000 into stock funds and $4000 into bond-equivalent funds...
Okay, here's a less glib reply.

I wouldn't put it into 100% bonds or even 60/40 unless that was my desired asset allocation according to my IPS. (Now, it is likely that, given the run-up in equities buying 100% bonds actually would move you closer to your desired asset allocation unless you'd rebalanced recently.....)

If my IPS didn't call for that...well, no IPS is going to be perfect and cover every case & situation. But I'd also be very, very careful about making knee jerk changes to my IPS. There are a lot of things you need to think through.
  • What's with all the barmy talk about "feelings"? What, am I some kind of high school kid that invests based on feelings? I feel like unhedged British textiles today!
  • What exact things are making me feel that the market is high? Is it news articles? P/E? CAPE10? Earnings? What did I read today that made me want to post this on Bogleheads suddenly?
  • Why didn't I think it was high a year ago?
  • How good have I been over the past 20-30 years with my "feelings" about the market? Have I been right most of the time? Or am I consistently scared years too early? Did I even keep track of my previous forecasts?
  • Do I spend a lot of time reading the news? Maybe I should get a hobby instead? Or spend more time with my family? (c.f. Shiller's research showing that news stories about tornados make people think a stock market crash is more likely, even though they clearly have nothing to do with one another. All of us are just hard wired to be dumb & crazy in ways that we can't really control. So reading the news is generally a terrible, horrible, no good idea.)
  • Why do I think I'm any better at forecasting than all the people who are massively wrong every year? What makes this specific time special?
  • What exact metrics will I use to sell out? Because I'm committing to those numbers for now & ever. In 10 years from now if the markets get frothy again, I'll have updated my IPS to say "until P/E is above 25, I will never adjust my equity holdings".
  • What exactly is my trigger for buying back in? Is it a 20% drawdown? Is it P/E going below 20?
  • Do I buy back all at once? Or dollar cost average over 6 months? Or what?
  • Is there a time limit on this strategy? What if there's no market correction for the next two years?
  • If I really believe that valuations are this important, why am I talking about buying bonds instead of buying International Equities or EM?
Then I'd update my IPS to have step-by-step answers to all those things....and do nothing for three months. I'd put it in a drawer. I'd do more research. I'd read all those studies about how most bubbles go up for way longer than anyone ever expects. I'd think more about the above questions. I'd come up with even more questions. There's no rush. The market almost certainly isn't going to collapse in the next 90 days. And, if it does, I'd consider it my penalty for not having thought through all these kinds of questions before. If, 90 days, later I still think it is a good plan....then I'd update my IPS. I'd also include notes in the IPS about why I'm changing things. That way, in 4 or 5 years when I have "feelings" again, I can remember how dumb I was last time and how much money my feelings cost me.

MiddleOfTheRoad
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by MiddleOfTheRoad » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:11 am

AlohaJoe,
Wow. That is epic!
Thanks

tyrnup13
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by tyrnup13 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:51 am

AlohaJoe said it perfectly. I've had similar discussions with friends, but he states it so eloquently! This is worthy of framing and hanging on the wall!

aristotelian
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by aristotelian » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:06 am

Not that I advocate market timing, but another possibility, instead of increasing bond allocation, keep your same allocation but extend the duration of a portion. Consider tilting toward 7-10 year Treasuries and LT Treasuries. Again, I am not advocating this.

I would ask OP: What bond allocation did you choose in your IPS? At the time, you thought that allocation was sufficient. What was your thinking when you determined that your bond allocation was sufficient?
Last edited by aristotelian on Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

The Wizard
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by The Wizard » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:09 am

MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:11 am
AlohaJoe,
Wow. That is epic!
Thanks
Epic, yes, but way too many questions to be considered.
Some folks will encounter Analysis Paralysis with this.
Better, I think, is to have an all-weather AA that you simply live with, no questions with new money.

Now what I said applies to new money on the order of thousands of dollars.
The handful of people who get Life Changing Windfalls of a few hundred thousand dollars or more might need to ponder things differently, especially if the windfall means they will be transitioning from Accumulation mode to Retirement mode...
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B. Wellington
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by B. Wellington » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:20 am

The Wizard wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:03 am
AlohaJoe wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:58 am
No, I wouldn't.
Ok, but all or nothing probably isn't the right approach.
If I came into an extra $10,000 this week, I'd likely put $6000 into stock funds and $4000 into bond-equivalent funds...
^^^Yep...Just put new cash into our (balanced) Roth accounts for the year. My timing is probably terrible, but when is a "better" time? I confess, I have no clue. A good reminder is that this money probably won't even be touched in 10-15 YEARS... :beer

AlohaJoe
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by AlohaJoe » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:25 am

The Wizard wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:09 am
MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:11 am
AlohaJoe,
Wow. That is epic!
Thanks
Epic, yes, but way too many questions to be considered.
Some folks will encounter Analysis Paralysis with this.
Better, I think, is to have an all-weather AA that you simply live with, no questions with new money.
Yes, that was my point.

wolf359
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by wolf359 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:31 am

mixinvest wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:43 am
I know we should not try to time the market... this might be just me, but the US stock market seems quite overpriced at the moment...

If you had some money to invest in stock but don't think that now is a good moment to do so... would you invest it in bonds until there is a market correction and then buy cheaper stock?

Thanks
Well, sort of.

I am always investing on an automated plan. It's a good moment to invest because I'm in accumulation mode. As for what I'm investing in, the bull market has thrown my asset allocation out of whack. Not enough to trigger rebalancing, but it's getting closer. Therefore, I'm only contributing to bonds because:

1) relative to my overall assets, my contributions don't really move the bar.
2) I don't want to buy stocks when I'm probably going to exchange them for bonds anyways.

boyntonstu
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by boyntonstu » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:33 am

MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:11 am
AlohaJoe,
Wow. That is epic!
Thanks
There is strong evidence that the Fed will increase the interest rate this year.

How will that affect bond prices?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/busi ... rates.html

remomnyc
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by remomnyc » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:48 am

I would invest according to your IPS unless there has been a change in life circumstances that causes you to revise your IPS (e.g., you inherited a windfall, you lost your job, you hit your #, etc). For any new funds that would go into fixed income, I would consider CDs given that the Fed has signaled it will raise rates 3 or 4 times this year.

Ron Scott
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by Ron Scott » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:08 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:11 am
What's with all the barmy talk about "feelings"? What, am I some kind of high school kid that invests based on feelings?
I'm glad somebody brought this up.

In my opinion many who opine on investment strategy act like armchair psychologists when they advice others--particularly with regard to developing an Asset Allocation. We're supposed to imagine how we'd feel if stocks dropped 30%, if we'd have panic attacks, or lose sleep at night. Now really.

To this point, there are 3 considerations to be made in allocating assets between classes:

1. How much balanced risk do you really need to take, to live comfortably. If you have $25 million and spend $400,000 a year you don't need a lot of exposure...

2. Can you exert enough self-control to refrain from selling equities in a down market? It's OK to feel bad when you experience a paper loss but that's not the point.

3. Would your allocation force you to sell equities in a down market to live? If you're 80-20 and the place crashes, you're selling stocks at a low.

It would be better IMO to put more energy into helping people get a grip on themselves re: #2 than advising them to accept their irrational beliefs and setting their whole investment philosophy based on a lack of self control.
Retirement is a game best played by those prepared for more volatility in the future than has been seen in the past. The solution is not to predict investment losses but to prepare for them.

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knpstr
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by knpstr » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:20 am

Warren Buffett has said publicly that the newly passed tax reform:
Buffett said tax reform will have a big impact on Berkshire's owners, telling CNBC's Quick that shareholders effectively have seen their ownership of the company's profits rise by over 20% as corporate rates have fallen from 35% to 21%.
That is just the effect from tax cuts, nothing about potential business growth from deregulation. I am not 100% certain we are in grossly overvalued territory.

Beyond that, I admit I'm not smart enough to be able to time the market and will keep buying stocks every week (which is following my plan as usual). I merely included that quote to show at least some justification for the market right now.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

Bacchus01
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:22 am

Between HSA, 401k, 529, Roth and def comp plan, we have or will put about $75K in the market in the first few months of the year. All have or will go into some equity fund.

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Toons
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by Toons » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:53 am

"don't think that now is a good moment to do so"

If you are thinking at bare minimum 10 years or less then,
no it is not a good time to invest in the equity markets
Time Not Timing.
:happy
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panhead
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by panhead » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:56 am

wolf359 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:31 am
Well, sort of.

I am always investing on an automated plan. It's a good moment to invest because I'm in accumulation mode. As for what I'm investing in, the bull market has thrown my asset allocation out of whack. Not enough to trigger rebalancing, but it's getting closer. Therefore, I'm only contributing to bonds because:

1) relative to my overall assets, my contributions don't really move the bar.
2) I don't want to buy stocks when I'm probably going to exchange them for bonds anyways.
Kind of this....
I follow my IPS as to my asset allocation. Since stocks keep going up all my new money has had to go into bonds to try to chase that allocation. I'm ever so slightly falling behind, but not enough to trigger rebalancing (5/25).
Don't know if that helps with your decision, but having a plan and knowing why you have that plan can help keep emotion out of these kinds of questions, and hopefully let us stick to a plan when the inevitable happens.....

LuckBeALady
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by LuckBeALady » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:18 am

I had 40k to invest last July. I did not think it was a good time, had all the "feelings" that the market was high and maybe I should wait...

I read the usual recommendations on this board to stay the course, invest according to IPS, held my breath and dumped it in all at once to Vanguard funds at 60% stocks, 40% bonds. It was hard, it took some courage, but I knew it was money I wouldn't need for 10 years or more so I bit the bullet.

I'm glad I didn't wait. I don't know how I would feel if it were worth 20k right now, but I have been listening to the wisdom of the many wonderful contributors to this board for quite a few years and it has worked out well for me.

JimmyD
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by JimmyD » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:20 am

panhead wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:56 am
wolf359 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:31 am
Well, sort of.

I am always investing on an automated plan. It's a good moment to invest because I'm in accumulation mode. As for what I'm investing in, the bull market has thrown my asset allocation out of whack. Not enough to trigger rebalancing, but it's getting closer. Therefore, I'm only contributing to bonds because:

1) relative to my overall assets, my contributions don't really move the bar.
2) I don't want to buy stocks when I'm probably going to exchange them for bonds anyways.
Kind of this....
I follow my IPS as to my asset allocation. Since stocks keep going up all my new money has had to go into bonds to try to chase that allocation. I'm ever so slightly falling behind, but not enough to trigger rebalancing (5/25).
Don't know if that helps with your decision, but having a plan and knowing why you have that plan can help keep emotion out of these kinds of questions, and hopefully let us stick to a plan when the inevitable happens.....
+1. I've also had to throw all new investable funds at bonds as well. I don't necessarily "like" doing that based on all the discussion of falling bond prices, but I did the same a couple years back with international equities and was handsomely rewarded. Sames goes for REITs before that.

Moral of the story, as others have suggested, find your ideal asset allocation that'll let you sleep at night, regardless of market circumstance and then...wait for it...don't deviate based on feelings, hunches, pundits, etc.

H-Town
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by H-Town » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:29 am

mixinvest wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:43 am
I know we should not try to time the market... this might be just me, but the US stock market seems quite overpriced at the moment...

If you had some money to invest in stock but don't think that now is a good moment to do so... would you invest it in bonds until there is a market correction and then buy cheaper stock?

Thanks
This is why we're our own enemies when it comes to investing. It might sound right but at the same time, it's wrong according to your IPS and AA.

I don't need any of the money I invested for 30-40 years or more. It might be at the top right now and crash in any moment, but it will rise up and then some when I need the money 30-40 years later. Your situation might be different if you need the money sooner.

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nisiprius
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by nisiprius » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:32 am

mixinvest wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:43 am
I know we should not try to time the market... this might be just me, but the US stock market seems quite overpriced at the moment...

If you had some money to invest in stock but don't think that now is a good moment to do so... would you invest it in bonds until there is a market correction and then buy cheaper stock?

Thanks
You said "I know we should not try to time the market." That's your answer.

The reason why "don't try to time the market" and "stay the course" are kind of emphasized as rules is that they are hard to follow. It is difficult to resist the urge to try to time the market, and this is made worse by the "noise" of a fair number of gurus telling you that you can and should time the market...
Image

The reason is obvious. If only you could time the market you would do better--not just a little better but fabulously better--than by staying the course. Indeed, it would mean that you, and only a few other people, could get the return of the stock market without having to take the risk. If you think about it that way--"everyone else has to take the risk in order to get the 'equity risk premium,' but I, wonderful me, I can get the risk premium without taking the risk"--doesn't it sound a little too good to be true?

Lots of people think the U.S. stock market seems "overpriced." But why does it seem that way to you? It's probably a hunch, a gut feeling, based on your perception of price movements and your gauge of "the mood" by reading newspaper stories. I don't want to be critical, but since you didn't mention any numbers, I am guessing it is just your feeling. The problem is that most of us don't keep track of our hunches, our feelings, our premonitions and we kid ourselves by only remember the times we were right.

To state the obvious, at any given time the market contains both optimists and pessimists, and the prices you see are a balance. At any instant of time you can find credible authorities explaining carefully, with numbers, why the market is overpriced and other why it is underpriced. The market would not be rising unless there were a lot of investors willing to pay more for stocks today than the prices they were priced at a month ago. Don't be too quick to say "yes, but those are the stupid people." Doubtless some are, but some aren't. The market is still dominated by big institutional investors who are intelligent, qualified, and have access to better information than you or I have. That doesn't mean they're right; it doesn't even mean they might not be stupid. But don't just assume that your feeling of dread must be right, and they must be wrong, just because it's your feeling.

You may not be able to do much about your feelings, but you can avoid basing investing actions on them.

An interesting parallel: in 2009, we got one of the first postings saying Interest rates can only go up, why go intermediate in bonds?
I see the total bond fund and intermediate treasuries recommended a lot on here. I know people don't like to market time but interest rates are currently zero and whether rates rise in 2010 or 2011 or 2015, eventually they will rise and intermediate term bonds will get hit.

So isn't it wise to go short in this environment where rates can only go up?
In short, "I know people don't like to market time, but..."

People have been making similar postings continuously ever since then, continuously. If I'd shifted from Vanguard Total Bond to Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index in 2009, my total return would be on the orange curve instead of the blue curve. During that time there have been several cases of (relatively) big bond fluctuations--but overall I am very glad I just stayed the course.

Here's the big point. To get any real benefit from timing the market, you have to know the time pretty precisely, and you have to be right. "Sooner or later a crash is coming and it may be terrific" doesn't cut it. Unless you know the crash is about to happen now, you are best off just staying the course. Otherwise, you may well forego more earnings while you are waiting for the crash than the crash itself would deprive you of.

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Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

panhead
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by panhead » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:45 am

JimmyD wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:20 am
+1. I've also had to throw all new investable funds at bonds as well. I don't necessarily "like" doing that based on all the discussion of falling bond prices, but I did the same a couple years back with international equities and was handsomely rewarded. Sames goes for REITs before that.

Moral of the story, as others have suggested, find your ideal asset allocation that'll let you sleep at night, regardless of market circumstance and then...wait for it...don't deviate based on feelings, hunches, pundits, etc.
Heh Heh, sounds like you and I have a similar portfolio. I was also rewarded by international and am currently fighting the REIT battle. I'll keep fighting it. I like my AA and my asset mix. OP, I guess that's the key, but many will never know how comfortable they are until the next serious drop, which is right around the corner, because it's always right around the corner!

Pharm91
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by Pharm91 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:19 am

panhead wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:45 am
JimmyD wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:20 am
+1. I've also had to throw all new investable funds at bonds as well. I don't necessarily "like" doing that based on all the discussion of falling bond prices, but I did the same a couple years back with international equities and was handsomely rewarded. Sames goes for REITs before that.

Moral of the story, as others have suggested, find your ideal asset allocation that'll let you sleep at night, regardless of market circumstance and then...wait for it...don't deviate based on feelings, hunches, pundits, etc.
Heh Heh, sounds like you and I have a similar portfolio. I was also rewarded by international and am currently fighting the REIT battle. I'll keep fighting it. I like my AA and my asset mix. OP, I guess that's the key, but many will never know how comfortable they are until the next serious drop, which is right around the corner, because it's always right around the corner!
Im in the same boat as you guys. Road the Trump election. S&P 500 exceeded 30 on the CAPE, then I really cut back and went heavy into VEU. Reits this year have been a bummer. I still do think thats going to be a place to put money in early 2018. European and Japanese debt is troubling. However, we do need to realize many of these countries are not at prices of ten years ago (30 years for japan). So ultimately I will keep piling money into VEU and possibly VNQ if the pullback breaks to the 25.50 range. We'd be approaching a current dividend yield of 4.3% at that price.

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bertilak
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Re: Buy bonds until market correction

Post by bertilak » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:51 am

Don't you mean until the next correction ends? How will you know when that is?

There is an expression, "Don't try to catch a falling knife." In other words, wait for it to hit the floor then pick it up. The trouble is, with Mr. Market the floor is invisible because the future is invisible.

Also, all the stuff that AlohaJoe said!
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet

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