In the first three months of 2018, volatility rose and correlations between stocks and bonds shifted. In other words, last quarter looked a lot more like the average conditions investors have experienced over the last 150 years than the very low volatility and strongly negative stock/bond correlations of more recent memory. The change, albeit only over a short period, should have investors evaluating whether the “easy” environment that we’ve seen through this bull market will continue. If it does, the returns we “deserve” to earn as investors should be low. If not, we can hope for a bumpier but more profitable future in the long run. Which path will the future take? My money is on the latter. As Hyman Minsky put it, “Stability breeds instability.”
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