Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

Since Bernanke’s bungle (See Wrong Again Ben) in early December, rotation has been everything if you intended to not lose your shirt (possibly even your mind) in this crazy market.

Financials were absolutely the worst sector to be long despite having started to fall as early as April of 2007. Put options on stocks like BSC and LEH and GS proved to be big winners. The XLF Financial Select SPDR ETF fell faster from December to March than it had in all of 2007.

The S&P 500 was not spared, dropping as far as 13.5% from the December Fed meeting to the March bottom.

So where do you hide? Bonds did pretty well relatively.

But commodities really made your money grow!

Here is a comparison of two widely held mutual funds, the Dodge & Cox Stock Fund (DODGX) and the Pimco Total Return Fund (PTRAX). Even though DODGX is a waning fund, crushed by the weight of its own success, the difference here is quite remarkable. By making the switch, a passive buy and hold 401k investor could have saved two years worth of gains (at an average of 8% per year) in only six months. Not to mention the lower stress level that comes with a shallower drawdown in equity.

Update:

What goes around comes around July 17, 2008

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