Fear, uncertainty, volatility. Investors on the sidelines have been stuck with a shaky three-legged stool. And as the first half of 2012 closes, it has certainly been a tale of two quarters — rally and rout.
Investors face somewhat similar circumstances to the late 2008-early 2009 period. A threat to the financial system and a dragging global economy . The big difference is that things aren't nearly as bad or as close to home.
Nevertheless, investors would like to move forward — and move up. Playing it safe makes for low stress, but also low returns. Cash is king in a land of poor choices.
The long-running Treasury-market rally has defied both the odds and history. The stock market recovered then retreated; the Nasdaq, for instance, hit its highest level since the tech collapse a decade ago.
The dollar disappointed then surprised, reacquiring its seemingly lost safe-haven status.
In a world hungry for crude oil and other natural resources, commodities prices — from metals to grains — sank.Page 1 of 2 | Next Page