Why: Many of our clients have access to guaranteed accounts in their retirement plans. These accounts typically offer minimum interest rates of 3%.
Vehicle: TIAA-CREF stable-value funds
Why: Gold is an alternative currency play in a race-to-the-bottom environment and also functions as an inflation hedge. Vehicle: SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)
U.S. Treasury bonds
Why: Interest rates could fall even further. Treasuries act as a deflation hedge and are traded in the short term, not as a buy-and-hold.
Vehicle: Individual 10- to 30-year Treasuries
Why: We are long the U.S. dollar because we expect a flight to quality.
Vehicle: PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish (UUP)
Cash-flow-producing oil and gas
Why: Domestic oil and gas offers the best chance for long-term income and growth. Over the next 10 years, we see far more upside in this sector than in bonds or dividend-paying stocks.
Vehicle: Although we have found the best opportunities in the private markets, we recognize that an attractive option in the public markets is a basket of high-quality master limited partnerships spread out across the royalty and infrastructure sectors. We prefer these cash-flow-type investments to integrated energy companies or energy services stocks.
Why: This is a buy-and-hold investment bought not for duration but for income.
Vehicle: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Investor Shares (VWITX); in some cases, individual high-quality municipal bonds