Malkiel Warns of Expensive Market and Lower Future Returns

Burton G. Malkiel, CIO of Weathfront and author of the best selling investment book, “A Random Walk Down Wall Street”, offers advice for investing in an expensive market in the Wall Street Journal. He says: “U.S. securities markets are highly priced at the start of 2016, and future returns will most likely be lower than in the past. But the timeless lessons – keep invested, don’t try to time the market, and diversify broadly – remain the best guide for investors.” He reminds investors that “money set aside for fixed future expenses (like the college tuition bill) needs to be put into perfectly safe, fixed-dollar investments” and states that “for longer-term retirement savings, the key to reducing risks is to diversify broadly.” To do this, he suggests “U.S. investors need to overcome their home-country bias,” noting that the CAPE ratio of several foreign markets is below historical averages (unlike in the U.S.), and also points to fixed-income securities and real estate investment. Likewise, he urges diversification of bond portfolios, reminding investors to “resist the temptation to sell all their bonds to avoid price declines as interest rates rise.” He says that “investors who set modest goals and follow timeless lessons will do fine and be able to sleep well at night knowing their risk is contained.”