Financial markets may have rules of their own, but even there it has to be that the value of financial products can only rise if the real value of the assets beneath them are also rising. In an economy in which the actual quantum of productive assets has deteriorated, nothing can make the real value of financial assets increase. Why is this a puzzle to anyone?
The idea behind asset allocation is simple: when one market struggles, it’s OK because an investor can jump into another that is thriving. Not so in 2015.
In fact, if you judge the past year by which U.S. investment class generated the largest return, a case can be made it was the worst for asset-allocating bulls in almost 80 years, according to data compiled by Bianco Research LLC and Bloomberg. With three days left, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has gained 2.2 percent with dividends, cash is up less, while bonds and commodities are showing losses.
If green energy is your idea of economic growth, to take just one example, the world of finance is going to be a very disappointing experience. It fits in perfectly with this: Debt distress level at highest since recession.