INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - The S&P 500 closed at a five-year high for the reasons I've mentioned many times in this column. It's very close to an all-time high. Look back to all we've been through the past five years - the financial crisis, a steep recession, deficits in the trillions, the problems in Europe, and more. Still, stocks have done well.Some wonder how that can be. Among those are people who have missed the bull market and insist that what is happening in the real world shouldn't be happening ... in theory. There are always many of those. They and the perma-bears (not a small group) argue that people just don't get it. The outlook is bleak, they say. Their bad news sells. Have you ever noticed the best selling financial books are the ones predicting gloom?All that said, stocks are doing well because investors want income and capital gains potential. Where can they find that? Right, in better-yielding stocks. Those who were pessimistic about dividend-paying stocks ahead of the compromise are quickly re-thinking their position. Far from being out of favor, those are the stocks that are now in the sweet spot and there they shall remain for a year or two, maybe longer. Pfizer and other drug stocks, GE, utilities, BP and many higher-yielding issues are doing well. They'll do even better as those people still out of the market (or underinvested) put money to work.The dominant factor for stocks and the bull market will be a driving need for income. There will also be a move out of low-yielding bonds and into stocks and we're starting to see that now. In the most recent week $19 billion went into stock funds, much of it coming out of bonds. In the rush to buy stocks p-e multiples will inevitably expand because prices will be rising faster than earnings.That one-two-three punch - a need for income, money flowing into stocks, and expanding multiples - bodes well for stocks, but not for bonds. Add in some accelerating global growth thanks to the emerging markets and it looks even better.Of course, there will be a day of reckoning in Washington and it won't be pretty as politicians come to grips with the entitlements, as they must. But while that day is surely down the road, it isn't around the corner. Let's enjoy the bull market ... for now.My client accounts are primarily invested in high yielding stocks, preferred stocks, and adjustable rate preferreds (see last week's article). No money is allocated in low-yielding bond funds, especially Treasury funds. We are profiting from a bull market and are prepared for higher interest rates.- David Vomund is an Incline Village-based fee-only money manager. Information is found at www.ETFportfolios.net or by calling 775-832-8555. Clients hold the positions mentioned in this article. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial advisor before purchasing any security.
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