Each year that passes contains some wisdom for investors, but along with that wisdom can be some folly. 2013 was a year that bestowed an abundance of each on investors. The top 10 lessons of 2013 for investors need to be put into two categories: those that investors can take to heart as sound wisdom for the year to come, and those they should try to forget as they prepare for 2014….
In 2014, portfolios are likely to enjoy more independence from policymakers than in 2013, when the markets and media seemed to obsess over policymakers’ actions both here and abroad. This could be seen throughout 2013, during the government shutdown and debt ceiling debacle, the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) mixed messages on tapering its aggressive bond-buying program, the bank bailout and elections in Europe, and the unprecedented government stimulus referred to as “Abenomics” in Japan, among many other examples…..
Sentiment can be an important tool in measuring risk in the stock market. When investors get too bullish, it can be seen as a cautionary flag that the market may be due for a fall or a bubble is nearing its peak.
Fortunately, investors are not currently displaying signs of optimism that have historically marked a peak for stocks. When we look at sentiment, we focus most of our attention on the actions taken by market participants, rather than how they respond to surveys. A few key measures include: quiet mergers & acquisitions (M&A) activity, the lack of a surge in initial public offerings (IPOs), and only a very recent uptick in inflows into funds that invest in U.S. stocks…