When Is The Next Bear Market? Evaluating Risk Premium Spreads

Today we’ll measure the current risk premium in the market. We’ll take a look at risk premium spreads and see how much longer this bull has to run.

Make sure you review this video that explains risk premium spreads before continuing: 

When the Fed lowers interest rates, it affects the risk premium of every asset class. It lowers the return on bonds and widens the spread between safer assets like cash and bonds and riskier assets like stocks.

The larger spread means risk assets become more attractive relative to safe ones. And because of the lower return in safe assets, investors have to move out on the risk curve into riskier assets to maintain their returns. This causes riskier assets like stocks to get bid up, driving valuations higher. And when valuations increase, expected future returns go down.

Eventually risk premium spreads get pulled really tight together. Valuations get so high that expected returns in stocks almost equal cash… but with much higher volatility.

This happens during the late cycle phase of the short-term debt cycle. And by this point no one wants to hold stocks which is why we get bear markets as investors sell their stocks and allocate towards cash and bonds.

In the video above we’ll use GMO’s 7 year asset class real return forecast, the inverse of the CAPE minus the rate on 10-year bonds adjusted for inflation, and the rolling 5-year average annual return to equities relative to 2-year bonds to determine the current risk premium in the market.

Putting that information together we can see that we’re in the late cycle phase of this bull. But that phase lasts between 18 and 30 months. And we’re closer to the middle than the end. This puts the next bear market around 12-18 months from now.

Watch the video above for more!

And if you’re interested in learning more about risk premium spreads and our views on the current market, then check out the Macro Intelligence Report (MIR). Click here to get that report.



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Brandon Beylo

Value Investor

Brandon has been a professional investor focusing on value for over 13 years, spending his time in small to micro-cap companies, spin-offs, SPACs, and deep value liquidation situations. Over time, he’s developed a deeper understanding for what deep-value investing actually means, and refined his philosophy to include any business trading at a wild discount to what he thinks its worth in 3-5 years.

Brandon has a tenacious passion for investing, broad-based learning, and business. He previously worked for several leading investment firms before joining the team at Macro Ops. He lives by the famous Munger mantra of trying to get a little smarter each day.


Investing & Personal Finance

AK is the founder of Macro Ops and the host of Fallible.

He started out in corporate economics for a Fortune 50 company before moving to a long/short equity investment firm.

With Macro Ops focused primarily on institutional clients, AK moved to servicing new investors just starting their journey. He takes the professional research and education produced at Macro Ops and breaks it down for beginners. The goal is to help clients find the best solution for their investing needs through effective education.

Tyler Kling

Volatility & Options Trader

Former trade desk manager at $100+ million family office where he oversaw multiple traders and helped develop cutting edge quantitative strategies in the derivatives market.

He worked as a consultant to the family office’s in-house fund of funds in the areas of portfolio manager evaluation and capital allocation.

Certified in Quantitative Finance from the Fitch Learning Center in London, England where he studied under famous quants such as Paul Wilmott.

Alex Barrow

Macro Trader

Founder and head macro trader at Macro Ops. Alex joined the US Marine Corps on his 18th birthday just one month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He subsequently spent a decade in the military. Serving in various capacities from scout sniper to interrogator and counterintelligence specialist. Following his military service, he worked as a contract intelligence professional for a number of US agencies (from the DIA to FBI) with a focus on counterintelligence and terrorist financing. He also spent time consulting for a tech company that specialized in building analytic software for finance and intelligence analysis.

After leaving the field of intelligence he went to work at a global macro hedge fund. He’s been professionally involved in markets since 2005, has consulted with a number of the leading names in the hedge fund space, and now manages his own family office while running Macro Ops. He’s published over 300 white papers on complex financial and macroeconomic topics, writes regularly about investment/market trends, and frequently speaks at conferences on trading and investing.

Macro Ops is a market research firm geared toward professional and experienced retail traders and investors. Macro Ops’ research has been featured in Forbes, Marketwatch, Business Insider, and Real Vision as well as a number of other leading publications.

You can find out more about Alex on his LinkedIn account here and also find him on Twitter where he frequently shares his market research.