Yves Lamoureux' Observations On Negative Risk Premium And Return Assumptions
Solid analysis on long-term investor sentiment by frequent Zero Hedge guest Yves Lamoureux, who believes the peak in stocks has been reached and the only sensible investment category is bonds. With earlier disclosures by Albert Edwards of ongoing balance sheet deflation despite the Fed's liquidity pump, this view would seem quite sensible.
Full Yves Lamoureux presentation can be found here.
Negative risk premium and return assumptions.
Yves Lamoureux – Blackmont Capital
I had used to believe that stocks delivered superior returns compared to bonds.
I looked at the following graph and realized that long term Canadian bonds had delivered twice the returns of Canadian stocks since 1987. It is particularly relevant since the Canadian market had been on a tear the last few years because of commodities.
Most market participants today still expect a positive risk premium for stocks even if extrapolating from recent past events results in confounding this expectation.
I expect bonds to deliver better or equal real returns with fewer risks than stocks going forward. Negative risk premium is the new normal and new behavioral shifts strongly underpin that case.
I had originally offered my case to buy the long bonds near the bottom of this cycle on the 19th June. http://yelnick.typepad.com/yelnick/2009/06/yves-on-the-greenshootfed-sacred-fed-bull-died-fat-and-happy.html
You create a spread of 4% or better between the Fed fund and the long bonds and in turn that becomes a trading buy signal. We had such a signal and ran with it.
We continued to run with this message digging further and came up with the primary dealers’ net treasury weekly positions graph in relations to bonds. What we found was most unusual. After averaging a net short position of -60 billions on average over many years, the primary dealers had suddenly turned bullish with net long treasury positions. http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-observations-unusual-bond-deal-behavior
In this next graph, I use TLT as a proxy for long term bonds and TIP as the proxy to represent the Treasury inflation protected bonds. The recent recovery points to TLT showing greater strength and the clear conclusion is one of deflation reasserting itself or the lack of inflation thereof.
In a negative risk premium world you would expect to have bonds outperform stocks for total return and the yellow line here (below) where bonds are compared to the S&P500 is definitely up.
From both charts long bonds are definitely turning up or have put in a good base from which to launch upward.
In reference to behavior, it’s become clear that investors attitude are changing and the new normal is not to invest one’s savings in stocks rather that money is flowing to bonds. Recent data points to exactly this type of behavior and perhaps getting trounced once is enough for a certain legion of investors but not all. As we had seen in 2000 in every drop of stocks, we are slowly loosing participants to join in this exuberant party. Investors who miss out this time are also assured of not feeling any party hangover.
Blackmont Capital Inc.
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