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Ken Fisher Answers Questions on the European Economy, Bonds and if 2024 is the year for Small Cap Stocks – Jan 2024
In this episode, Fisher Investments’ founder, Executive Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer answers more common listener questions about finance and investing. Ken discusses his economic outlook on the European economy, whether bonds are the asset class of the hour and offers a case for a potential small cap run in 2024. Lastly, Ken also provides some book recommendations on market history.
Want to dig deeper?
In this episode, Ken examines whether bonds are the asset class of the hour. To find out more about how bonds have clawed back much of their decline from 2022, read “The Bond Bounce.” You’ll also learn how bonds play an important role in helping investors with blended portfolios reach their long-term goals.
For additional insight on market leadership and the potential for change, read Ken’s New York Post article “Why 2024 will be good—and possibly great—for investors.” Ken shares his 2024 forecast, and details why—and when—we may see a shift towards value stock leadership.
And for more investment related book recommendations from Ken Fisher: Ken devoted an entire chapter to this topic in his 2015 book "Ken Fisher | Author | Beat the Crowd” and also linked a reading list to our website. Recommended Reading.
Have questions about capital markets, investing or personal finance? Email us at email@example.com and we may use them in an upcoming episode.
Hello and welcome to the Fisher Investments Market Insights podcast, where we discuss our firm's latest thinking on global capital markets and current events.
I’m Naj Srinivas, senior vice president of corporate communications here at the firm. Today, we’ll hear from founder, Executive Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Fisher Investments, Ken Fisher.
In this episode of Market Insights, Ken answers some common listener questions to help them better understand the world of finance and investing.
Before we dive in, I'd like to ask you to rate and recommend our podcast wherever you listen to it. In just a few minutes, you can help make this valuable information available to even more people. Thanks so much for your help, in advance.
With that, let's dig in with this month’s Ken Fisher mailbag. Enjoy.
So every month we get these questions that come in and I always try to answer them real fast. I'm never very good at being fast at anything. When I was born, I took way longer I was told than I was supposed to, been doing it ever since.
What is your view on the economic outlook of Eastern European countries? Good question. Let me make it real fast. You tell me what Western European countries will do, and I'll tell you that'll pull along Eastern European countries and I believe as we move into what I've written about as returning to a sneaky form of normalcy, 2024 is a year of accelerating economy, not to super high levels, but accelerating. That pulls Western Europe along which with it parallels Eastern European countries.
Everyone loves bonds. Is this the asset class of the hour? Will they outperform equities in 2024 after the longest crash ever? I don't think so, but I could be wrong. Things happen. I think this is a year where there's not a lot of reason for bonds to have a big move in any direction. To get bond rates to go up a lot, meaning prices to go down a lot, requires, I think, a resurgence of inflation. I don't see that in the cards. On the other hand, if you assumed the rates of inflation that the Fed desires, 2% rates into the future, it's not unreasonable to see sub 4%, 10-year bond rates because there should be a real return on the bond. That doesn't give you a big downward move as some expect. The reason to love bonds is if you think long rates are going to collapse and I just don't see a basis for that.
So you were nice enough to reply six months ago or so and said you would not own small caps at the time and you were 100% correct. Curious as to your outlook for 2024 for the small caps. So I'm going to give you that, but I have a certain amount of non-specificity about it in this way. I think there's a time in 2024 where the small caps kick in, but I'm not quite sure exactly when it is. I think as the year begins, we continue to have a world led by the biggest and the growthy. But as we move into a world where people begin to recognize, which they have not, that we're into a relative form of normalcy with GDP accelerating not to gangbuster levels, but with real persistent growth and improving growth, there's a time in 2024 where that does kick in to propel the small caps.
Exactly, when is that? I don't yet know. And I suggest that you watch my monthly videos and when I figure it out, I'll say so. Until then, I don't have an ability to put a precision on it. I wish I did. But I think we will see a transition to small caps. I think it's too early yet. I don't exactly know when. It'll link to a reacceleration of the economy and the perception of that.
Any book recommendations about market history? You know, I'm just going to be overly stupid about this. When I was young, I read so many stock market books, and I think that was really good for me. And whether you're young or not, if you haven't done that, I encourage you to read as many stock market books as you get your hands on. And the best way to do that, in my opinion, is to go to a physical library and go into the stacks and go thumb through them and go look for market history books. There are none of them that are particularly bad. Even the bad ones are worth reading, because if you read a whole bunch of them, you'll begin to figure out which are the bad ones.
But I encourage you particularly, and again I think the best ones are the old ones that stand the test of time. You don't need some exposé on the last 20 years of market history. But the Robert Sobel books are all really good. Every single one of them. If I were you, I’d read them all. The fact of the matter is, though, I would just go through and look for any and all of them and not be too particular.
It's not like there's five that are standouts. I don't believe that exists. I mean, I've written some on stock market history and I don't believe mine are particularly standouts. They’re worth reading, like with all the others. I just get my hands if I were you on 30 of them, and if you read 30 of them, you’re going to get most all the juice out of the orange.
Thank you very much for listening to the answers to these questions. They come in once a month and I look forward to being able to answer more of them next month.
Thank you and have a great 2024.
[Run Time 7:28 with outro.]
That was Ken Fisher answering listener questions as part of his monthly mailbag. Thanks to Ken for sharing his insights with us.
If you want to learn more about the topics discussed today, you can visit the episode page of our website, Fisher Investments.com. You'll find a link to that in the show description. While you’re on our website, you can also subscribe to our weekly digest, which rounds up our latest commentary and delivers it right to your inbox every week. And if you have questions about investing or capital markets that we can cover in a future episode of Market Insights, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'd love to hear from you, and we'll answer as many questions as we can in a future episode.
Until then, I'm Naj Srinivas. Thanks for tuning in.
Investing in securities involves the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. The content of this podcast represents the opinions and viewpoints of Fisher Investments, and should not be regarded as personal investment advice. No assurances are made we will continue to hold these views, which may change at any time based on new information, analysis or reconsideration. Copyright Fisher Investments, 2023.
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