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My takeaways from tonight’s @CFAHouston  forecast dinner with folks from @InvescoUS  @PIMCO  and @RBAdvisors  - buy gold, TIPs and China (even buy on coronavirus dips). Avoid tech and watch out for credit collapse in highly levered private corporate debt that is not investment grade.

US investment-grade bond yields are the lowest since 2013, at 2.73%. I'm struck by the rapidly improving financing environment for companies of all types right now, as central banks say they remain on hold for the time being after last year's additional easing. (1/2)

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Two records of note for the corporate bond market in 2019, via BAML: - BBB-rated bonds now account for a record 50% of investment-grade credit. - Just 0.3% of the IG market -- a record low -- got downgraded to high-yield.

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2020 Returns... Bitcoin: +22% Nasdaq 100 $QQQ: +5.1% S&P 500 $SPY: +3.1% EM $EEM: +3.0% Gold $GLD: +2.6% REITs $VNQ: +2.1% Small Caps $IWM: +2.1% EAFE $EFA: +1.4% US Dollar $UUP: +1.4% Investment Grade $LQD: +0.8% High Yield $HYG: +0.5% US Bonds $AGG: +0.6% Oil $USO: -3.8%

Einhorn: "We have short positions in indices that track U.S. corporate investment grade and high-yield credit"

Hedgie David Einhorn is long gold and short both investment-grade and junk bonds, arguing in investor letter that "the economy appears to be decelerating"; we are late in cycle; corporate debt has "exploded"; and rating agencies have been "complacent."

We expect limited rating actions in 2020 for U.S. Health Insurers. Almost all of those we rate are rated investment grade ('BBB-' or higher). But could the resolution of legal challenges rock the boat?

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Investment-grade wine has historically moved in tandem with gold, but the trade war has sent gold soaring whilst the threat of further US tariffs is depressing wine prices. @StephenWilmot 

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There is value to be found in the lower end of the investment grade spectrum (A and BBB) yet it requires experienced active asset management.

After last week’s record inflow, US Investment-grade bond funds keep getting heavy inflows, with $6.6 billion of deposits in the past week. That’s the third-biggest inflow on record, bringing January’s influx thus far to about $15 billion: Refinitiv Lipper data via @TheTerminal 

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2019 Total Returns... Bitcoin: +90% Nasdaq 100 $QQQ: +39% Oil $USO: +33% S&P 500 $SPY: +31% REITs $VNQ: +29% Small Caps $IWM: +25% EAFE $EFA: +22% EM $EEM: +18% Gold $GLD: +18% Investment Grade $LQD: +17% High Yield $HYG: +14% US Bonds $AGG: +8% US Dollar $UUP: +4% Cash $BIL: +2%

2019 Returns... Bitcoin: +90% Nasdaq 100 $QQQ: +38% S&P 500 $SPY: +31% Oil $USO: +31% REITs $VNQ: +27% Small Caps $IWM: +26% EAFE $EFA: +22% EM $EEM: +18% Investment Grade $LQD: +17% Gold $GLD: +15% High Yield $HYG: +14% US Bonds $AGG: +8% US Dollar $UUP: +5% Cash $BIL: +2%

2019 Returns... Bitcoin: +91% Nasdaq 100 $QQQ: +40% Oil $USO: +34% S&P 500 $SPY: +32% REITs $VNQ: +28% Small Caps $IWM: +26% EAFE $EFA: +22% EM $EEM: +19% Investment Grade $LQD: +18% Gold $GLD: +17% High Yield $HYG: +14% US Bonds $AGG: +9% US Dollar $UUP: +5% Cash $BIL: +2%

2019 Returns... Bitcoin: +96% Nasdaq 100 $QQQ: +34% S&P 500 $SPY: +28% REITs $VNQ: +28% Oil $USO: +28% Small Caps $IWM: +23% EAFE $EFA: +19% Investment Grade $LQD: +17% Gold $GLD: +14% High Yield $HYG: +12% EM $EEM: +11% US Bonds $AGG: +8% US Dollar $UUP: +5% Cash $BIL: +2%

2019 Returns... Bitcoin $BTC: +96% Oil $USO: +36% MLPs $AMLP: +18% REITs $VNQ: +17% Nasdaq 100 $QQQ: +16% Small Caps $IWM: +14% S&P 500 $SPY: +13% EAFE $EFA: +9% Commodities $DBC: +9% High Yield $HYG: +7% Investment Grade $LQD: +7% EM $EEM: +4% Bonds $AGG: +3% Gold $GLD: +1%

2019 Returns... Bitcoin: +195% 🔥🔥🚀 Oil $USO: +24% Nasdaq 100 $QQQ: +22% REITs $VNQ: +22% S&P 500 $SPY: +19% Small Caps $IWM: +16% EAFE $EFA: +14% Investment Grade $LQD: +11% EM $EEM: +10% High Yield $HYG: +10% Gold $GLD: +9% Commodities $DBC: +8% Bonds $AGG: +6% Cash $BIL: +1%

2019 Returns... Bitcoin $BTC: +39% Oil $USO: +38% Nasdaq 100 $QQQ: +22% S&P 500 $SPY: +17% Small Caps $IWM: +17% MLPs $AMLP: +16% REITs $VNQ: +15% EM $EEM: +14% EAFE $EFA: +13% Commodities $DBC: +12% High Yield $HYG: +8% Investment Grade $LQD: +6% Bonds $AGG: +2% Gold $GLD: -1%

2019 Returns... Bitcoin $BTC: +52% Oil $USO: +33% Nasdaq 100 $QQQ: +24% Small Caps $IWM: +20% REITs $VNQ: +18% S&P 500 $SPY: +18% MLPs $AMLP: +16% EAFE $EFA: +14% EM $EEM: +13% Commodities $DBC: +10% High Yield $HYG: +9% Investment Grade $LQD: +7% Bonds $AGG: +3% Gold $GLD: -0.5%

Congratulations to India for the #Moody  's credit rating upgrade. India now firmly investment grade.

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