Now what? Investors can be forgiven if they’re at a loss, after seeing the stock market decimated in 2008, followed by this year’s partial comeback. Was 2008 a fluke? Was this year?

In other words: Now what?

To get some answers, Daisy Maxey, a reporter with Dow Jones Newswires the sat down with six financial advisers to talk about what they’re recommending for next year. They talked about their general philosophies and their specific recommendations, about traps to avoid and opportunities to go after.

Here are edited excerpts of that discussion.

DAISY MAXEY: Can each of you start by saying what you expect for the next year?

MICHAEL JOYCE: I think that there is probably a wider range of potential outcomes for the economy and the markets than perhaps we’ve seen in a long, long time. And we need to be prepared for all different scenarios.

In the economic and financial downturn, there was a lot of criticism that there was lack of imagination on what could go wrong. We need to guard against a lack of imagination on not only what could go wrong, but also what could go right in this environment.

So not having a silver bullet, we are focusing on staying diversified across a broad level of asset classes, both those which have done well and haven’t done so well, and to focus on quality. What has done best since March have been, in general, the lowest-quality types of investments. And certainly in the U.S. equities markets, companies that have good balance sheets, pay strong dividends and have the ability to increase their dividends over time have really been laggards in the market.

THOMAS ORECCHIO: With a lot of new products coming on the market, we’re exploring those products and the innovative financial engineering that’s occurring for ways to protect the downside of the portfolio and improve diversification.

We all know that uncorrelated assets are the Holy Grail; they are hard to find, especially in an environment like last year, but they do exist. And I think we need to do a better job as an investment and planning community to seek out those types of investments for our clients.

RICHARD L. BELLMER: I think the thing that’s interesting is that we’ve had a lot of discussions as it relates to markets and how clients feel about risk. So there have been some changes as far as the allocation is concerned.

WILLIAM T. BALDWIN: The easy pickings in the bond market are now over; we’ve gone back to short maturities and very high-quality or muni portfolios. And the allocations that we’re working on with our clients are very often much more conservative than they had been in the past. We want clients to be able to weather storms. They are not capable of doing so if they think they’re going to lose all of their money. So we’re seeing 60-40 and 50-50 allocations with 60% perhaps being the equity for middle-aged individuals, whereas before it may have been a 70-30 or 80-20.

Individuals are happy with the lower risk. They are happier with that than they are unhappy about losing potential upside of an all-stock portfolio.

DIAHANN W. LASSUS: At some point next year, the Fed is going to have to start raising interest rates. And when they do, we have concerns around bonds. So we’re beginning to move some of the dollars out of bonds and to focus more on short-term bonds versus the longer term, intermediate term — especially in the corporate arena.

We’re also looking at commodities from the perspective of as interest rates rise, the dollar probably is going to strengthen somewhat from where it is now and that’s going to have an impact on commodities.

The other thing that we’re continuing to look at is, where do you park cash? It’s a big challenge because with the money markets, you have to pay them to take your money almost. CDs are very low, but are certainly still an alternative. Short-term bond funds like some of the Ginnie Mae funds are an alternative.

ROBERT WACKER: We are overweight international stocks versus U.S. stocks. In both areas we like the quality stocks, the good balance sheets, steady revenue stocks. Those have been the ones that have lagged behind all of this year, and will likely do better in a less optimistic scenario.

We are concerned about bonds in general because of the potential for rising interest rates. So we’re looking for ways to ameliorate that, whether it be floating-rate funds, shorter durations, TIPs [Treasury inflation-protected securities].

We have a strategic allocation to [real-estate investment trusts]. We think they may do reasonably well. That has nothing to do with commercial real estate, which will not do reasonably well. But they are not coupled. REITs generally go down before the commercial real estate does and rebound before commercial real estate rebounds.

And, probably most of all, we are doing more hedging.

MS. MAXEY: Diahann, you mentioned trying to get people to get their money out of cash. Can you talk about areas you’re recommending specifically?

MS. LASSUS: We like international and emerging markets. In terms of bonds, we’re moving to international bonds outside of the U.S. and a global bond fund where you have a little bit of hedge against the falling dollar.

TIPs are another place. I call it buying insurance because we don’t expect inflation anytime soon, but it’s a cheap insurance policy right now. And we think, over time, that they will in fact pay. We believe we have seen the run-up of the high-risk assets this year.

Next year, the quality, the large-cap international, the U.S. large cap, the dividend-paying companies, the companies with strong balance sheets and cash flow are the ones that will do well. We don’t think the small-cap will do as well in 2010.

MR. JOYCE: There are still some needles in the haystack that you can find in very short-term bonds that get extremely high yields. We bought some investment-grade bonds that are due on April 15, 2010, and we got a 6% yield to maturity on those bonds. The week before that, we bought a non-investment-grade bond, but one that I think is a lot higher quality than many investment-grade bonds; that’s Ford Motor Credit bonds.

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The Participants

William T. Baldwin, President and co-founder of Pillar Financial Advisors in Waltham, Mass.

Richard L. Bellmer, President of Deerfield Financial Advisors Inc. in Indianapolis.

Michael Joyce, Founder and president of Joyce Payne Partners in Richmond, Va.

Diahann W. Lassus, President and co-founder of Lassus Wherley & Associates in New Providence, N.J.

Thomas Orecchio, President and principal of Modera Wealth Management in Westwood, N.J.

Robert Wacker, President and chief investment officer of R.E. Wacker Associates Inc. in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

现在该怎么办?在2008年股市暴跌、今年部分回升之后,投资者如蒙受了损失还算情有可原。2008年是意外的倒霉吗?那今年呢?

换句话说,现在该怎么办?

为了获得一些答案,道琼斯通讯社(Dow Jones Newswires)记者麦克西(Daisy Maxey)与六位理财顾问坐下来,探讨了他们对明年理财的建议。他们谈了自己的基本看法以及具体的建议,谈了应该避开的陷阱和应该追逐的机遇。

以下是讨论节录:

麦克西:你们每个人能先说说自己对明年的预期吗?

乔伊斯(MICHAEL JOYCE):我认为,经济和市场可能遭受的潜在后果范围或许超过我们很久以来所看到的范围。我们需要为各种不同的情况做好准备。

Brian Stauffer
在经济和金融低迷期间,很多人批评说,人们对可能出现的问题缺乏想像。我们不仅要防范对可能错误的操作估计不足,还要防范在这种环境下对可能正确的操作估计不足。

所以在没有良方的情况下,我们要专注于在广泛的资产类别中保持投资的多样化,不仅是表现良好的投资,还包括表现不尽如人意的投资,要专注于质量。总的来说,3月份以来表现最好的是质量级别最低的投资。显然在美国股市,拥有良好资产负债状况、支付高额股息、有能力逐步增加派息的企业的确成了市场上的落伍者。

奥奇欧(THOMAS ORECCHIO):随着市场上推出了很多新产品,我们开始探索这些产品以及创新性的金融设计,以便弥补投资组合的不利方面,提高投资多样性。

我们都知道,非相关的资产是可遇而不可求的;这类资产很难找到,特别是在像去年那样的环境下,不过它们确实存在。我认为,我们作为投资和策划公司需要做得更好,为我们的客户寻找这类投资。

贝尔默(RICHARD L. BELLMER):我认为,有趣的是我们已经进行了大量有关市场和客户对风险感想的讨论。因此,在资产配置方面,已经作出了一定的改变。

鲍德温(WILLIAM T. BALDWIN):可以在债券市场上轻松做出选择的日子现在已经结束了;我们已经回到了到期日短、质量非常高或市政债券的投资组合中。我们对客户提供的资产配置常常要比过去保守得多了。我们希望客户能够抵御风暴。如果他们认为会损失所有的资金,他们就不能这样做。因此我们看到,对中年人来说,现在的资产配置比例可能是四六开(其中六成可能是股票)或五五开,而以前可能是三七开或二八开。

个人投资者乐于看到风险的下降。尽管他们不愿看到完全由股票组成的投资组合失去上涨潜力,但他们更愿看到风险的降低。

拉苏斯(DIAHANN W. LASSUS):在明年的某个时间,美联储将开始加息。届时,我们会对债券感到担忧。因此我们已开始从债券中撤出部分资金,更多地关注短期债券,而非中长期债券,尤其是在公司债券方面。

我们也关注着大宗商品,随着利率的上调,美元可能会比目前走强,这会对大宗商品产生影响。

我们继续关注的另一件事是,你把现金放到哪里?这是一个重大挑战,因为在货币市场,你不得不向他们付钱来存放现金。定存单的利息非常低,不过这当然也是一个替代选择。美国政府国民抵押贷款协会(Ginnie Mae)一些基金等短期债券基金也是一个替代选择。

沃克尔(ROBERT WACKER):我们正在上调投资组合中国际股票相对于美国股票的比例。在两个领域,我们都青睐优质股,拥有良好资产负债表和稳定收入的公司股票。那些股票今年表现一直弱于大盘,在前景不甚乐观的情况下可能会走势更好。

我们对债券普遍感到担忧,因为利率可能会不断走高。因此我们正在想办法改善这一状况,无论是浮动利率债券基金、期限较短的债券还是美国财政部通货膨胀保值债券(TIPS)。

我们将资产向地产投资信托(REIT)领域进行了战略配置。我们认为他们可能会表现不错。这和商业地产没有关系,商业地产未来表现不会很好。但他们并不是挂钩的。地产投资信托通常在商业地产走低之前下滑,又在商业地产回升之前反弹。

或许最为重要的是,我们正在采取更多的对冲。

麦克西:拉苏斯,你提到设法让人们将资金撤出现金头寸。能否具体谈谈你所推荐的投资领域?

拉苏斯:我们看好国际市场和新兴市场。就债券而言,我们正转向美国以外的国际债券,持有一只全球债券基金可以让你对美元不断下滑的风险进行一些对冲。

通货膨胀保值债券是另一个去处。我称之为买保险,因为我们认为短期不会出现通货膨胀,但目前这是一个廉价的保险策略。我们认为,这些策略会逐渐带来回报。我们认为,今年我们已经目睹了高风险资产价格上涨。

明年,优质股、大型国际股、美国大型股、派息的股票、具有强劲资产负债表和现金流的公司股票将表现出色。我们预计小型股2010年很难表现出色。

乔伊斯:在提供极高收益率的非常短期的债券中,仍然可以如大海捞针般找到不错的投资对象。我们购买了一些2010年4月15日到期的投资级债券,到期收益率为6%。之前一个星期,我们购买了一笔非投资级债券,但我认为该债券比很多投资级债券还要优质不少:这就是福特汽车信贷公司(Ford Motor Credit)发行的债券。

******

六位理财顾问的背景:

鲍德温是马萨诸塞州沃尔瑟姆Pillar Financial Advisors总裁兼共同创始人

贝尔默是印地安纳波利斯Deerfield Financial Advisors总裁

乔伊斯是弗吉尼亚里士满Joyce Payne Partners创始人兼总裁

拉苏斯是新泽西州新普罗维登斯Lassus Wherley & Associates的总裁兼共同创始人

奥奇欧是新泽西州威斯特伍德Modera Wealth Management总裁

沃克尔是加州圣路易斯欧比斯普R.E. Wacker Associates总裁兼首席投资长

Erica Beckman/The Wall Street Journal
(从上排,由左至右,奥奇欧,拉苏斯,贝尔默,沃克尔,乔伊斯以及鲍德温。)

Daisy Maxey

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