Wednesday, December 3, 2008


In 1958 the stock markets yield dropped below the yield of bonds. It stayed that way for fifty years. Until now.

From Stocks vs. bonds by Mark Hulbert:

But what is the "proper" relationship between bond yields and dividend yields? Is today, along with the period prior to 1958, "normal" -- and the last 50 years the exception? Or is it just the opposite.
The memory of the Great Depression lingered for years after it ended, for example, which is one reason why stocks' dividend yields remained so high.

In contrast, the Baby Boom generation (at least possibly until now) had no traumatic memory similar to their parents' memory of the Great Depression. That in turn helps to explain why stocks' dividend yield slipped in the 1960s and beyond, relative to bonds' yields.

The bottom line? If enough investors become sufficiently traumatized by what's going on right now, and as a result more or less permanently expect stocks' volatility to remain a lot higher than bonds' volatility, then stocks' dividend yield is likely to remain above bond yields.

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