What I’d Do With a Pile of Cash

So what are you going to do right now? Are you going to load up on stocks in this market? I don’t think so.

For me, if I had a pile of cash in my portfolio, I’d keep it in a money market fund for the time being. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great companies out there in which to invest, companies that I write about all the time in this column. I just think that investment risk is currently rising, and it is doing so across the equity spectrum.

From micro-cap companies to blue-chip companies, risk is going up. I’m not really a bear; in fact, I’m quite bullish on the companies that I write about. Frankly, it’s just a gut feeling. If I was taking some profits, I’d keep the returns in cash, at least until we get a solid look at third quarter earnings.

Everyone on the Street is a little nervous right now. Very few portfolio managers or investment analysts have a defined view of the stock market’s prospects over the near term.

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The commodity price cycle is still in full swing, and short-term interest rates are going to keep going up. This is a new environment for many young investment professionals and investors

The most important influence on the stock market over the near term will actually be the Federal Reserve. It is now warning about inflation, and a strong earnings season may add some fuel to the fire. This is why I wouldn’t mind building up some cash right now. At the very least, it will help you sleep at night.