Most investors are jittery thanks to the stock market’s recent troubles. But Jason Zweig says long-term investors should be happy about the declines — and hope for more.
“Investors should welcome the falling prices that make assets cheaper,” Zweig writes Intelligent Investor column for The Wall Street Journal. “Instead, the markets resemble an immense school of fish, shifting from feeding frenzy to reversal in a single silvery flash. Lately, with so many people trading under the influence of cheap money, the customary buy-high/sell-low behavior of the crowd has bordered on the absurd.”
Zweig notes how money “gushed” into high-yield bond funds earlier this year, for example, even while the yields on those bonds were hitting record lows. Then in late May, when fears about the Federal Reserve tapering its bond-buying program hit, investors yanked huge sums from those funds.
With European and emerging market stocks getting hit particularly hard by the recent declines, those areas are now full of opportunity, Zweig says. International stocks “look like a steal,” he writes. Brian Singer, whose William Blair Macro Allocation Fund is in the top 1% of funds in its class over the past year, according to Morningstar, told Zweig that “almost every single investor tells me the same thing. The only place they’re seeing any opportunity is in the U.S. If it’s the global consensus, you can be pretty sure it’s priced in”. He thinks European and emerging market stocks have gotten very attractive amid the recent declines. He estimates future returns of as much as 14.5% annually over the next eight years for European stocks and 11% for emerging markets.