Monday, December 12, 2011

Still Neutral on Stocks

I continue to think that in general, stock prices are too high for significant new purchases, and they are too low for significant new sales.  

I recommend holding significant cash reserves and to set limit orders for both purchases and sales.  It is too easy to be swept up in the emotions of the day and to lose the discipline that I think is imperative in markets these days.  It no longer seems like a fair market for individual investors and their advisors, so disciplined buying and selling is critical in order to have a reasonable chance for success.  

Though high-quality stocks with attractive dividend yields have outperformed this year and are comparatively fully valued, given the volatility of markets and the still significant macro risks ahead, I'd build my portfolio core around such stocks.  With interest rates on savings and U.S. government debt in the 0-2% range, owning a portfolio of stocks of global industry leaders that offer dividend yields of 3.5%-5.5% is the way to go.  Such a portfolio will offer income growth that will likely keep up with inflation over time.

Steve Lehman

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