When society is leaning toward the latter, bonds will tend to do well because inflation will be controlled. If equality is demanded, the risk levels of bonds rise. Thus, we are carefully watching Brexit, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. These are all manifestations of a potential trend toward equality that would likely be expressed by re-regulation and deglobalization of the economy. If these trends, and others, gain traction, the potential for rising inflation and interest rates would increase.

Related: What Economic Indicators to Watch in 2016

For now, we continue to favor long duration assets. Given the high level of binary risks looming (the process of the U.K. leaving the EU, November U.S. elections, the Italian referendum on government reform and its banking problems), long duration Treasuries offer some protection against bearish events, as the Brexit situation showed. But, we are closely monitoring economic and political conditions for a change in the secular trend in bonds.

Bill O’Grady is an Executive Vice President and Chief Market Strategist and Kaisa Stucke is an Investment Strategist, both at Confluence Investment Management, a participant in the ETF Strategist Channel.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Information provided in this report is for educational and illustrative purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or a recommendation.  The investment or strategy discussed may not be suitable for all investors.  Investors must make their own decisions based on their specific investment objectives and financial circumstances.  Opinions expressed are current as of the date shown and are subject to change. 

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