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Home>UPDATE: Your 5-point investing guide for this aging bull market

UPDATE: Your 5-point investing guide for this aging bull market

UPDATE: Your 5-point investing guide for this aging bull market

09/19/2017

By Michael Brush, MarketWatch

Sell the dollar and buy small-cap stocks, writes Michael Brush

The current bull market, pushing nine years, is getting up there in age; the longest one ever lasted 10 years, in the 1990s.

This doesn't mean you should move to the sidelines. Most bull markets die because excesses build up that then unravel and take out the economy (think tech or credit bubble). Or inflation overheats and the Fed raises interest rates too much -- another economy killer. Neither of those conditions lie on the horizon.

However, bull markets take on new personalities in their old age, so it's important to position correctly for what's about to come.

Here's the key. With unemployment near 4% and wages moving higher, inflation will be in an uptrend. We saw the beginnings of this earlier this month when we learned that August consumer prices rose 1.9% compared to the year before, the biggest increase in seven months (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/higher-rents-gas-boost-inflation-in-august-cpi-shows-2017-09-14). In the background, metals prices are on fire. The price of copper has risen 37% in the past year to trade recently at $2.95 a pound.

All of this points to more inflation, and more Fed rate hikes. Typical bull-market old-age stuff. To adjust, you should take five steps to tweak your portfolio, says James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group, who expects wage and consumer price inflation of 3%-4% at the bull market ages.

As a big-picture guy, Paulsen doesn't mess with stocks. For suggestions, I rounded up some money managers and drew from my own research for my stock letter Brush Up on Stocks (http://www.uponstocks.com).

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