After a very rough start to 2016, we’re suddenly above where we started the year. But to me, that swift gain feels more like a question than answer: Can we climb much higher from here? The conditions on the global economic road make me think that driving more aggressively upon it runs the risk of hydroplaning, where careening rather than controlling one’s speed increases the risk of a spin out or crash. Hence I remain more comfortable with my portfolios’ lower-risk, lower-gear approach. I don’t care if it takes me a bit longer to get where I want to go. I care that I get there, safe and sound. Read more
This week’s slate of mainly housing-related data reflected well upon one cornerstone of our growing economy. New home sales hit an 8-year high. New mortgage foreclosure filings hit a 10-year low. Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL)—a leading builder of luxury homes in the U.S.—beat on both revenue and profit echoing the positive housing-related facts that I noted last week when we saw both Home Depot and Lowe’s beat estimates and raise guidance. I continue to view housing as a key job creator and bellwether gauge of consumer confidence and spending, as well as the financial services industry's lending health. So far, so good. In fact, it’s so good that I think it further tips the Fed towards raising rates when they convene mid-June. Read more
After climbing April’s wall of worry, May’s markets have climbed a bit higher still. There’s a lot of voiced concern and heated opinions about the inevitability of taking a turn for the worse. I don’t see that in the data that grounds my views—and I don’t see it reflected in FSI’s quantitative assessment and sector positioning. I’m not one to throw 20-plus years of proven investment discipline out the window based on somebody else’s fears of what they can only know for certain in hindsight. Instead of hindsight, FSI is focused on what current price behavior is telling us about all that the marketplace knows. While it’s moved to seek more opportunities and fewer bunkers, it remains defensively positioned overall and will get more or less defensive depending on what the numbers, not the pundits, say. Read more
Jim Lowell is Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning independent newsletters Fidelity Investor and Fidelity Sector Investor. Through his newsletters, Jim advises individual investors seeking superior performance from their Fidelity investments. He has also written several books on investing, Investing from Scratch (revised edition, Penguin, 2006) and What Every Fidelity Investor Needs to Know (Wiley, 2007) among them. Read more
|Growth & Income||0.8%||8.4%|
|Annuity Growth & Income||-1.5%||5.4%|
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