Where does someone stash one's investment funds these days? The choices are becoming very meager for the ordinary investor. Consider the following:
Income Stocks: The prospect of increased interest rates being pushed by the Federal Reserve Bank for this Fall has cast a pall over most income stocks ... particularly utilities. However, seeing that interest rate increases are likely to be small and stretched out, this might suggest that the weakness in these income stocks just might be overdone.
Growth Stocks: Growth stocks have been hot of late as money has been leaving income stocks ... that is until the latest slips by Apple and Microsoft. The stratospheric price-earnings ratios of many of these tech and bio-science companies offer considerable risk for the casual investor.
Government Bonds: Theoretically U.S. Government bonds are a safe investment ... however to earn 2.3% per year on you money for ten years is a pretty meager return ... particularly if one may not get a full return of one's capital if one has the sell this investment before its maturity date.
Municipal Bonds: Federal and often state and local tax free, these securities might be interesting under a Democrat presidential win ... since taxes are likely to go up. However, this may be more than offset by the dangers associated with increasing municipal bankruptcies.
Corporate Bonds: High-yield corporate bonds have been suffering the same fate as high-yield equities ... however, the time may be right for certain convertible debt securities ... but do your research!
Fine Art and Antiques: I believe that the only people who make money in these markets are well-connected dealers.
Gold (and Other Commodities): Gold and most other commodities are now at or near their five-year lows. The excuse given is the strength of the dollar. However I believe other forces are also at work ... including possible hedge fund manipulations of these markets ... and, as they say, you can't eat gold.
Developing Nations: A few years ago developing nations' markets were the place to be. Now, Russia and Brazil ... and more recently China have greatly disappointed.
Savings Accounts: Paying usually well less than 1%, savings accounts should only be used for ready liquidity ... certainly not for income.
Real Estate: The median price of homes in the United States just hit an all-time high ... primarily due to lack of inventory ... and such prices, insiders say, are not sustainable ... particularly if mortgage rates climb back to more normal levels.
Your Mattress: Gets kinda lumpy.
So, in conclusion, there are not a lot of viable choices ... and I am as befuddled as the next investor ...