NEW YORK ( Minyanville) -- Investing is, in large part, deciding when, where, and how to take risk and get paid for it. The post 2008 risk-taking environment has been uncertain at best, an environment mirrored in 2012. Government intervention, asset price fluctuation, and sub-par global economic growth have combined to shrink trading volumes and increase volatility across assets. Within a long-term portfolio, tactical decision-making has assumed greater importance. Taken together, these effects have led investors on a search for the Holy Grail of investing: high single digit returns with low volatility. While there is no halftime in investing, we approach the second half of 2012 and investing conditions look ugly. Europe remains a mess, emerging markets suffer stagflation, commodity investors question the super cycle, equities soar then swoon, and bond yields shrink in safe havens while rising in ever-wider parts of Europe. US financial assets: the dollar, Treasuries and equities, have remained safe havens leading to significant outperformance. Through May, US equities have outperformed the rest of the world by roughly 800 bps and emerging market equities by 500 bps. Here is how I see the second half playing out.
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