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However, until we get another reset in valuations (I’m calculating a 40% to 50% correction is justified ), I’ve moved largely to the sidelines. Beginning in July 2013, I began slowly reducing equity exposure and am now sitting firm at 40% with the balance in various forms of 5 yr cd’s and short duration bonds. This is down from over 60% when I ramped up to take advantage of the March 2009 lows.
Which all goes back to my point – since companies change in a lot of unpredictable ways, it makes more sense for passive income to just ride the market by investing in a Total Domestic Stock Market, Total Bond Market, and Total International index funds, with allocations that depend on your goals and time horizon. For income, withdraw 4% or less, depending on what research you believe, and you’ve got a pretty low risk strategy.
As interest rates have been going down over the past 30 years, bond prices have continued to go up. With the 10-year yield (risk free rate) at roughly 2.55%, and the Fed Funds rate at 1.5% (two more 0.25% hikes are expected in 2018), it’s hard to see interest rates declining much further. That said, long term interest rates can stay low for a long time. Just look at Japanese interest rates, which are negative (inflation is higher than nominal interest rate).
Needs and expenses never-end! Nobody has ever remained content with what they have and what they are. Everyone has a desire to get more and better of everything. However, in today’s age of inflation, just the monthly salary is hardly enough to meet the needs; spending on desires is just impossible. It has become important for the middle-class salaried group to have a secondary source of income, apart from their salary, which can be used to spend on desires. A low bank balance causes stress and tension for many and impacts their health as well. However, all these financial stresses can be eliminated by earning an extra amount or a second income, even if you have a full-time job.
Self-Employed Income: This is a big shot played by you, where every shot is decided and executed by you. Where the success of your work is determined and expressed by your belief and performances. Yes, there are some demerits of the same for suppose you are sick or want a vacation; still you have to run the show and cannot be completely unavailable for a long time from your establishment.
The key liability that remains, as human capital dwindles, should be funding one’s retirement income. Given the blended retirement pattern discussed in this column last March, we can expect that some retirees will start spending their financial capital and others will keep building it, at least for a while. Do you know how your investor clients plan to blend remaining human capital with their (hopefully growing) financial capital and social capital to meet their remaining (and, one hopes, limited to retirement income) liabilities?