Cash is looking increasingly attractive in this market, particularly with the recent shocks to the economy. Not that short-term interest rates are high, but the Fed will resume its rate hikes in the not-too-distant future.
The broader stock market is not performing that well, but this is no surprise given all the economy has had to deal with this year. The S&P 500 has actually done quite well this year, while the Dow has languished. The NASDAQ had a terrible first half, but climbed back nicely during the summer and it is now trading near its January level. All in all, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some downside in the broad market averages in the very near term. October could become a great buying opportunity.
As an investor in this uncertain market, you want to keep your portfolio as trim as possible. Only hold onto your winning positions and maintain moving stop-loss limits to preserve your profits. You’ll want to cut your losing positions and build up some cash in a money market fund or interest bearing account.
If we do get some downside trading action, any additional cash will be very useful to have around. It is tough to do, but the goal really is to buy low and sell high. Of course, when buying low, it takes courage to take on positions when the price action in stocks is bad.
We have talked about a slew of successful companies in this column, and I have to say that many of them have done well on the stock market. Now, I find the choice of attractive stocks very limited. Many investment opportunities that belonged to our favorite investment themes have already gone up. There is not a whole lot of what we consider attractive investment opportunities jumping out at us at this particular point in time. Accordingly, building some cash reserves is the best strategy right now.