Bear Market Q & A

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The bear market that started on June 13 has left the S&P 500 Index 23.5% below its January 3 high. After the initial positive reaction to the Federal Reserve’s first 0.75% rate hike since 1994 and tough talk on inflation, heightened fears of recession and that the Fed might “break something” sent stocks down for the 10th week out of 11 for only the second time in history (The first was in 1970). To help investors manage through this difficult period, we answer some of the top questions we’re getting about bear markets and list some things to watch to assess progress toward an eventual durable low.

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The Economy is Slowing But Not Shrinking

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Many pundits are issuing recession warnings and saying the economy is heading for a hard landing. Amid the cacophony of voices, we think the economy is slowing just like central bankers want but not shrinking. Further, we argue that a slowing economy is very different than a shrinking one.

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Is The 60/40 Portfolio Dead?

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This year has been tough for investors, not just because stocks have fallen but also because bonds have not helped mitigate those losses as they have historically done. Below we discuss the outlook for diversified portfolios of stocks and bonds to make the case that the 60/40 portfolio isn’t dead. It may have been wounded this year, and took another blow on Friday after the hotter-than-expected inflation data, but we believe the losses in stocks and bonds this year increase the chances of positive outcomes going forward. Long-term investors take note.

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Looking Through the Clouds

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At the risk of sounding cliché, making the case for stocks to stage a second half rally back to the prior highs requires investors to see through some heavy cloud cover. If you prefer another market cliché, it’s times like these when investors need a crystal ball. We fully acknowledge how tough it is to see the bull case for stocks right now, and a retest of recent lows is certainly possible, but this week we lay out the bull case for the second half of the year. It starts with inflation.

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