Friday, July 15, 2016

Long-Term Government Bonds Seen as "Safest" Investment

Although the global economy's struggles have made success more difficult for investors this year, many are trying new, riskier methods to multiply their money. Some, however, have decided to take the safe route, since very few investment opportunities remain with high payouts. So, the majority of "safe" investors have been going after utilities and bonds, which have the most stable profits, albeit slow ones. Tom Petruno, in his L.A. Times article, discusses some of the options that investors have been left in an economy with ever-dropping interest rates.

Options like utility stocks provide at least some semblance of "certainty," which has investors paying higher prices than they would expect to earn back in the short-term. All appearances seem to point to many investors playing the long game, more willing to take less profit than risk losing money. Additionally, because many investors have been focusing more on high-yield bonds as a safe haven for their money, government-backed bonds have been suffering. In about half a year, the US Treasury note yield has dropped from 2.27% to 1.37%.

Even in Japan and several countries in Europe, government bonds, which are known for being safer than most investments, have taken a hit. The market is so shaky in those countries that yields on bonds are somewhat negative, which means a bond owner is losing money on their investment. Because of this phenomenon, Japanese and European investors are looking to US bonds. While the American bonds only have a rate of 1.5%, it's better than losing money, so investors are rushing in.

According to economists, owning bonds is a representation of an investor's belief that the economy is improving. By holding onto one's bonds, an investor can be suffering through low-yield years in order to benefit greatly in the long run. Long-term bonds are described as an "insurance policy," no benefits for years, but great to have at the end of the road. Stocks have begun recovering again, and while stocks may hit all-time highs in the coming months, some companies fear that profits will still take a while to get back to normal levels.

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