Valuation of Government Bonds

Does it make sense to invest in government bonds now? Current valuation of government bonds became expensive. In this paper, I compare the total return on the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (ticker TLT) with the real yield on the 10-year US treasury bonds. By investing in the long-term US government bonds when the real rates are negative, makes such investment speculative and risky.

Yield Curve Reaction to the Fed’s Interest Rate Decision

The Fed and its monetary policy have effect on the entire yield curve; the economy and the stock market. By the decision to cut federal funds rate, the Fed signals increased risk of economic slowdown and lower inflation. Investors rush to safety and buy long-term treasury bonds. The entire yield curve shifts down. Lower interest rates are very beneficial to homeowners, consumers, businesses, overall economy and the stock market.

Structural Wage Stagnation Causes Economic Weakness

The US economy has a structural wage stagnation. For the last 34 years, wages have been growing at the effective real annual rate of 0.51%. Consumers who rely on salary alone, cannot increase discretionary spending too much. As discretionary spending declines, economic growth will slow down. This creates a risk for the next economic recession.

Fed Makes Yield Curve Look Flat

The yield curve is likely to continue to flatten. The Fed has a strong control over the short term rates through its FOMC policies: setting the federal funds rate and by purchasing US treasuries. The long-term yields are out of the Fed’s control