Whilst the death knell for the US Dollar has been sounded often in recent years, it weakness has still not alarmed investors...yet!
The dollar has declined 15% against a raft of six major currencies from the highs set in March and is down more than 37% from a peak in 2001. Analysts are of the opinion that another sharp drop in the dollar ““ or a spike in volatility due to bad news ““ could heighten foreigners concerns about US stocks, and that could create a confidence crisis that spurs calls for re-examining the currency regime.
The Tipping Point is strongly believed to be a move to $1.60 by the euro, the dollar’s record against the single currency. “If we breach $1.60, I think that’s too far, too fast and could cause concern about a dollar demise“, said BNY Mellon’s senior currency strategist in New York.
The $1.60 is considered to be the maximum exchange rate in which central banks will tolerate weakness in the dollar. Beyond that, we can expect some form of intervention, verbal or otherwise, to support the US currency. For now, a weak dollar is viewed as desirable for boosting exports for the ailing US economy, even though the Administration stresses its preference for a strong dollar.
But the weak dollar, along with the China’s management of its own currency, has other nations, particularly in Europe, concerned. Volatility indicators suggest that the swiftness of the US currency’s fall, coupled with the dollars current level, is raising fears of further dollar weakness, leading to a more tumultuous trading environment.
Which leads one to ask, “Is this the best time to buy stocks??“ The answer is resounding “Yes!“
A raft of Market experts and Financial advisors are buoyant about investing now because a range of familiar quoted companies’ stock prices are still trading at attractive levels. Many believe that a combination sell-off’s and consolidations have created some of the best buying opportunities for many months.
Analysts suggest that the window is wide open to buy growth stocks, ahead of the inevitable economic turnaround, at enticingly bargain prices.
Even during the market’s more tumultuous times and difficult days, buy-out news and other short term forces can send individual stocks up by 10%, 25% and even above 50%.
In fact, one or our exciting success stories involved the stock, Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (sticker symbol HGSI). Our recommendation to our clients was to buy when the stock was bobbling around the $3/$3.30 mark and HOLD.
As the result of an announcement, the stock went from $3.32 (July 17th) to $13.84 (July 21st)! It slowly climbed to $18.69 by mid-Oct. and then surged to $28 in early November. Some of our risk adverse clients took an early profit in late July, many others rode the wave $17 or $18, a few stalwarts stays on board until the $25 mark.
Naturally, the trick is not only to find these stocks and but also to seize the opportunity when it is offered. We are always willing to make stock recommendations and offer advice on timing, however, we do feel that it is important for our clients to do their own research too.
As 2009 winds to a close, we can bid good riddance to a decade in Wall Street that will be remembered for two burst financial bubbles and a rogue’s gallery scoundrels who rewarded themselves well and delivered by little.
Wall Street experts and company chiefs behaved in an appallingly arrogant manner for much of the era ““ their bad attitude towards investors and the sanctity of the markets leading, inevitably, to their fall.
There is no doubt that more than a few of them knew exactly what they were doing to us. With this profitless dotcom, their fraudulent shell companies (Enron and WorldCom!), the over-inflated salaries... not to mention the “Ëœgeniuses’ who engineered the credit crunch by repackaging dubious home-loans as mortgage-backed securities... and the men who ran the banks that were “Ëœtoo big to’ to fail and met the crisis with a “What, me worry?!“ attitude.
None of us need to ponder deeply before coming up with our own Wall Street “Ëœhorror’ story.
The decade kicked off at the most boisterous phase of the tech bubble, with the NASDAQ reaching a dizzy peak of 5,132. A decade later, it still languishes some 3,000 points below its peak. The Dow Jones and S&P’s 500 Index are “Ëœonly’ down 10% to 20% for the decade.
If there’s a silver lining to this Wall Street debacle, it’s the decade that the decade offered a lesson in how brutal the American markets can be!
In this post-Madoff, post-Lehman brothers environment, more and more investors are looking to Europe ““ and the European markets ““ which have traditionally provided solid investor protection.
As this demand for transparency, a higher regulatory standard and strict rules on liquidity and risk management soars, the European market, buoyed by the strength of the Euro, promises to be THE market for a long time to come.
The demands on company’s directors are greater than in other jurisdictions. The regulator wants to see full background checks, and by law, directors must be able to demonstrate good supervision and governance through a wide range of reporting.
“Investors from as far a field as Singapore and Hong Kong are being attracted to Europe in their quest for liquidity and transparent oversight“ said a Guernsey-based asset manager, “in fact, it is probable that that many offshore investors will move onshore to Europe over the next five years.“
Strathclyde Associates is a full service brokerage firm with many years experience in providing a wide array of services globally to a vast group of clients that include private individuals, financial institutions, governments and corporations.
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