An opinion piece in CFA Institute posits that inflation will decline in 2022 and beyond, but poses the question of what could happen if inflation isn’t as transitory as many believe. What if supply-chain disruptions and energy shortages persist?
In the case of inflation, while many economists believe it’s transitory, most professional investors are predicting that it could grow worse in 2022. But, the article maintains, to believe that inflation and interest rates will start to swing upwards—reversing a decades-long trend—you also have to believe that stocks are deeply overvalued. Those investors are sounding the alarm: these high valuations are unsustainable and must come down. But for more than a decade, those investors have been wrong.
Instead of dismissing potential developments to go against deeply-held pre-conceived notions without any examination, the article advises looking at all possibilities and backing those potential outcomes with data. If you can show reasonable doubt about why an outcome won’t happen, then set that particular worry. But if you can’t do that, it’s best to look at why you might be wrong and what that could mean for your portfolio. With inflation, ask yourself: what if it doesn’t come down? How will I adjust?
However, the article concludes, you could also ask yourself the same question about U.S. valuations coming down. What if they don’t?