The Dow Jones Industrial Average
But that could be about to change.
"Since recession risk still seems low, the bull market is likely to resume once the stock market is revalued and its path is again widened," says long-time market strategist James Paulsen of The Leuthold Group.
Here's how Paulsen recommends getting prepared for the next bull run.
Don't Hate Stocks
Take a step back from the daily grind and assess where we are in the cycle.
Says Paulsen: "Fight the urge to become overly bearish about stocks. The economic recovery may be old by calendar standards but still appears character young. If the economic recovery continues for a few more years, another leg of this bull market seems likely after a valuation adjustment."
Don't Fall in Love With Fixed Income
Chill out with those bond strategies.
"Keep fixed income exposure to a minimum," says Paulsen. "The bond market is also being repriced and will not likely offer respite from a volatile stock market in 2018. Expect the 10-year Treasury yield to perhaps reach as high as 3.5% this year, which would suggest short duration and yield buffers from credit or structure spreads should be part of your bond strategy."
Go Shopping Overseas
Now may be the time to pull the trigger on an overseas trade.
Suggests Paulsen: "Significantly overweight both international developed and emerging stock markets. Overseas markets are relatively cheaper, they face less aggressive overheat pressures, offer better prospects beyond this tax-fueled year for earnings gains, they have more accommodative policy officials, these markets still remain under-owned and finally, we expect the U.S. dollar to decline in the balance of this year."
Dabble in Small-Cap Stocks
Put on some risk via the notoriously riskier small-cap space.
Paulsen says: "Favor small over large cap stocks. Provided the economic recovery continues for a few more years, small cap stocks have tended to outperform during periods of accelerating inflation and rising interest rates. Moreover, recently they have exhibited positive price momentum which may persist."
Break Out the Barbell
It's time for one of the more classic investment strategies around: the barbell approach.
Says Paulsen: "Barbell risk exposures across both aggressive capital goods sectors and traditional defensive sectors. If the stock market continues along a volatile trendless path, both areas could outperform. The economic recovery, now at full employment, is increasingly being led by business as opposed to consumer spending. This should benefit the capital goods sectors including technology, industrials, materials and energy. Moreover, traditionally, these sectors have done well during periods of rising-inflation concerns and higher yields. However, we would also add some defensive sectors (utilities, consumer staples, telecom, and health care) which overall have cheapened considerably in the last couple years and would hold value if the stock market suffers another correction."
Yes, Have Cash
Don't fear the green stuff.
"Hold some cash," recommends Paulsen. "For the first time in this recovery, it offers a competitive return (particularly if the overall stock market remains range-bound this year) which is likely to improve as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates. Moreover, some dry powder may prove opportunistic should the stock market suffer another panicky correction."
Give a Hedgie a Call
Call up your favorite hedge fund, and do it now.
Says Paulsen: "An allocation to hedge funds makes sense. Their low volatility, positive return character is a welcomed attribute if the overall stock market remains trendless."
Ride the Oil Wave
With oil hot again, it's good to ride the wave.
Paulsen concludes: "Add some direct exposure to commodities (via a commodity ETF). While inflation worries may pressure the overall stock market, including commodity stocks, commodity prices may climb even if the stock market wavers."
Facebook and Apple are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS.