Imperfect Fed policy tools could derail investment decisions

Investors should avoid panicking about the imperfect Federal Reserve’s next announcement and stick to basic investment fundamentals, warns the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.

The warning from deVere Group’s Nigel Green comes as the U.S. central bank begins its critical two-day meeting, at which it is widely expected to raise interest rates by another 75 basis points.

“The Fed, once again, is driving stock markets, investor sentiment and decision-making.

“Last week markets were in tumult and now in a wait-and-see pattern as they look for direction,” he says.

“The Chair Jay Powell will not come out on Wednesday and sound hawkish. He will say he’s committed to bringing down inflation.

“This translates into raising interest rates higher and faster than they once anticipated to cool off the economy and slow down prices. This also means that businesses and households face higher costs.”

While some of this expectation will “already be priced-in” by the markets, it is also likely to generate uncertainty – which markets loathe – and this, of course, can create mass anxiety amongst investors. This is a concern, according to the deVere CEO.

“Of course, investors should avoid complacency, but similarly, they should avoid panicking and responding to market reaction that is being driven by imperfect Fed policy tools.”

There is a risk that oversized interest rate hikes would cause a recession and they may not be ineffective as the soaring prices are partly triggered by external issues, which the Fed’s hikes alone will not solve.

“Instead, whatever is announced by the Fed – which is guilty of grand scale inaction early on in tempering red-hot inflation – should be considered, but not given precedence over basic investment truisms.

“Investors should look to allocate cash to risk assets – thereby following the adage ‘to buy when others are fearful’ – while remaining well diversified by asset type as well as sector and geography.”

Nigel Green, a serial investor and entrepreneur, says that long-term investors will be using any volatility as an opportunity. History and recent data teach us that market turbulence usually creates major opportunities to build wealth for investors who top-up their portfolios with quality stocks at lower prices.

The deVere CEO concludes: “The Fed will be forced to respond to the stubbornly high inflation numbers. This will drive investor anxiety again and potentially bad investment decision-making.

“As an investor, your future self will thank you for cutting out the noise right now and focusing on time-honoured fundamentals including future trends, diversification, cash flow and profitability.”


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