Dividends and Investors look for clues around the future of inflation

Is the glass half empty or half full? It depends on who you talk to is the answer particularly if the issue is inflation.

In an article by David Randall of Reuters, it is easy to see reasons why the glass is half full and inflation is raising its head, in many industries because of supply and demand there are backlogs in the movement of goods from factories around the world to distribution hubs to consumers; consumer price indexes are rising as prices rise; wages and salaries have risen; the Fed is trying to buy less in the bond market.

However, maybe the glass is half full, according to Russ Koesterich, portfolio manager of the $27.6 billion BlackRock Global Allocation fund, as long as the increase in inflation is modest, stocks could continue to move higher.

Generally as the population ages, older consumers purchased less stuff so that is disinflationary force, along with the gains in efficiency due to technology. We know companies are doing more with robotics and Artificial Intelligence to make gains in efficiency.

Jeff Mayberry, portfolio manager of the DoubleLine Strategic Commodity fund said the market was looking for a reason for inflation to be transitory and they got it.

Morgan Stanley’s Michael Wilson believe the rate of change for inflation is peaking which means some commodity prices will fall and shipping bottlenecks will be corrected.

Mohamed El-Erian, chief economist advisor at Allianz said the world’s most powerful central bank is not thinking about thinking about easing its foot off the stimulus accelerator.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, the dividend yield you receive is compared to the interest rate on bonds, which for A rated companies and the government a guarantee. As long as the yield is higher for dividend paying companies, your total return of dividend and stock price over the long term will likely be higher for dividend paying companies. Inflation has raised its head, you need to ask do the companies you invest it have the ability to raise prices to keep their margins?

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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