In normal economic times everyone is trying to predict the direction of interest rates. Economists predict whether interest rates go up or down, when this will occur, and how many basis points they will change. Historically this has been a waste of time, because jut as it has been impossible to predict the stock market movements, it also has been impossible to predict interest rate movements. David Dreman in his book “Contrarian Investment Stratgies; The Next Generation” cites a study done on the results of the 50 largest economic forecasting firms during 1988-1994. These 50 firms tried to predict interest rates throughout the time period. The study showed that not only were they on average wrong, but interest rates moved in the exact opposite direction than they had predicted. Presently circumstances are slightly different. Interest rates are practically at zero and cannot go down further so there are only two questions, when will they move up and by how much.
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full disclosure: the author has no bond holdings in any of the companies mentioned in the article
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