Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 60

Talking Points

Rising Rates Could Affect Equities, Too
By Morningstar’s Mutual Fund Analysts

r Many investors use equity duration to measure stocks’ interest-rate sensitivity. In general, as the equity market’s dividend and free cash-flow yields rise, its duration decreases, and vice versa. Growth stocks, which often don’t pay dividends and have lower free cash-flow yields, tend to have longer durations and to be more interest-rate sensitive than value stocks, says Robert Hagstrom, manager of Legg Mason Management Growth LGGAX. Having a portfolio with a higher average free cash-flow yield relative to your peers and benchmark could help when the hikes happen. r Valuations matter, too. As John Hussman pointed out nearly three years ago, “When valuations are cheap and risk premiums are wide, falling interest rates contribute to downward pressure on risk premiums and upward pressure on stock prices. … In contrast, when valuations are high and risk premiums are already thin, rising interest rates contribute

to upward pressure on risk premiums and downward pressure on stock prices.” r It’s the ones you don’t see that you have to worry about. Stocks on average have lost 2.3% when inflation and interest rates rose unexpectedly, according to a Vanguard study. But the range of results is wide, including a period with a 53% gain, Vanguard’s Fran Kinniry says. So it’s not a slam-dunk that stocks are going to do poorly. “One huge caveat to all this is that stocks are such a wild-card asset class,” he says. r Rising rates need not mean long-term losses. The average domestic-equity fund in existence on Jan. 1, 1963, gained nearly 490% cumulatively over the next 20 years as the 10-year Treasury yield climbed from about 3.8% to double digits. That beat inflation, which averaged more than 220% cumulatively over the period.

The Issues
Stocks may be better off than bonds when interest rates rise, but by how much is hard to say. To stay competitive if bond yields rise far enough, stocks may have to reset their valuations lower to increase their prospective long-term returns. Rising interest expenses also could clip corporate profits, says Jamie Farnham, director of credit risk at TCW/MetWest. How rates rise matters, too. High valuations at the start of a rate-tightening cycle can make stocks more sensitive to hikes. Sharp, unexpected spikes in inflation and interest rates, which often coincide, increase the odds of lousy equity returns, but there’s still a wide range of possibilities, says Fran Kinniry, an investment strategist with Vanguard. Gradual rate increases might be easier to take and even be welcome, especially if they come because of economic growth. Indeed, some businesses are counting on higher rates to help them. Charles Schwab SCHW, for example, gave up $125 million in 2010’s first quarter alone on money market fee waivers. Higher rates will affect stocks in unpredictable ways. Trying to evade those effects could cost you, though. A recent Standard & Poor’s study found that S&P 500 stocks rose an average of 7.3% in the year after the start of 13 Fed-tightening cycles since 1946.

Quotable
“Rising rates have traditionally been adverse for profits.”
Jamie Farnham TCW/MetWest

“As long as rates move gradually up and inflation is under control, it’s OK.”
Sig Segalas Harbor Capital Appreciation HCAIX

“If it comes with economic growth, I want rising rates!”
Charles Cavanaugh Davis Opportunity RPEAX

“When [interest] rates go up, you want low duration. What’s low duration in an equity portfolio? High free cash-flow yields. That will save you.”
Robert Hagstrom Legg Mason Capital Management Growth

60 Morningstar Advisor June/July 2010



Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010

Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010
Contents
New on MorningstarAdvisor.com
Contributors
Letter From the Editor
What Risks to Bonds Are You Most Concerned About?
The Irrational Lizard Brain
Investment Briefs
The Problem With Financial Plans
Preparing for Turbulance
Different Models, Similar Results
The Game Is Up
Some People Are Bullish on Bonds
Bonds We Like
What Does Harry Markowitz Think?
Escape From the Pack
Four Picks for the Present
Rising Rates Could Affect Equities, Too
The Banking Sector Knocks on Wood
Back to Basics
On the Prowl for Smooth Operators
Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
50 Most Popular ETFs
Undervalued Stocks With Wide Moats
New at Morningstar
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Cover2
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 1
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 2
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Contents
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 4
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 5
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - New on MorningstarAdvisor.com
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 7
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Contributors
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Letter From the Editor
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - What Risks to Bonds Are You Most Concerned About?
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 11
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 12
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 13
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - The Irrational Lizard Brain
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 15
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Investment Briefs
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 17
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - The Problem With Financial Plans
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 19
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 20
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Preparing for Turbulance
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 22
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 23
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Different Models, Similar Results
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 25
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 26
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 27
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 28
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 29
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - The Game Is Up
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 31
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 32
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 32a
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 32b
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 32c
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 32d
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 33
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Some People Are Bullish on Bonds
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 35
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 36
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Bonds We Like
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 38
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 39
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 40
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 41
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 42
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - What Does Harry Markowitz Think?
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 44
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 45
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 46
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 47
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 48
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 49
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 50
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 51
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Escape From the Pack
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 53
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 54
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 55
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 56
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Four Picks for the Present
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 58
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 59
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Rising Rates Could Affect Equities, Too
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 61
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 62
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - The Banking Sector Knocks on Wood
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 64
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 65
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Back to Basics
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 67
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - On the Prowl for Smooth Operators
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 69
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 71
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 72
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 73
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 50 Most Popular ETFs
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 75
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Undervalued Stocks With Wide Moats
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 77
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 78
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - New at Morningstar
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Cover3
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Cover4
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