In an environment where markets look expensive and are sending conflicting signals, keeping a store of cash might not be a bad idea. This according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.
According to the article, lower bond yields and swollen equity markets are “sending conflicting signals; the former reflecting the lackluster picture for inflation; the latter hopes for growth.” Further, it says, the high level of global central-bank liquidity is “past its peak” with the Fed raising rates and the European Central Bank moving away from loose monetary policy.
“In this environment,” the article states, “faced with unappetizing initial valuations, not investing might be a valid strategy.”
For a long period of time, says WSJ, central banks have endeavored to make cash an unappealing bet. However, it notes, “the more expensive financial assets like bonds and equities look, the less relatively expensive cash looks.” The article adds that building cash doesn’t necessarily signal fears of recession, but rather could be viewed as a strategic decision to “lock in profits” and maintain flexibility.