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Yoshikami: Investing in a Very Weak Recovery

Monday, 10 Dec 2012 | 9:49 AM ET
Burke/Triolo Productions | Brand X Pictures | Getty Images

A so-called positive drop in the unemployment rate provided a spark of optimism that the labor markets are finally recovering. In reality, labor markets are slowly recovering but stagnation is far more likely rather than an active recovery in employment.

With 350,000 workers leaving the workforce because of discouragement, education choices, and a host of other reasons, it's clear that the labor market will continue to be stressed until true economic growth takes hold on a global basis. And with Europe in the doldrums and Asia still struggling to recover, it seems unlikely that any significant progress on the employment front is imminent. Jobs growth right now will not be a game changer for the economy.

(Read More: China's Economic Recovery Hopes Get a Huge Boost)

With the a US economy driven 70% by consumption, either employment needs to be strong or the housing market needs to rally in order for economic growth to truly to expand. Neither conditions appear likely.

And remember that current economic growth has been bolstered bolstered by a weak dollar which has propped up exports. What happens when interest rates rise, the dollar strengthens, and our goods and services are now more fairly valued relative to other competitors around the world? Sluggish growth will be the result.

A typical recovery growth rate coming out of a recession is approximately 3 1/2 to 4%. With a recent GDP rate of approximately 2%, this recovery is shaping up to be the weakest in decades; not a surprise giving the stagnant job market as well as comatose real estate prices.

As an investor it's important to determine your macro perspective regarding what you think the world will look like and adjust your investment portfolio accordingly.

You must adjust.

(Read More: Big Money Is Making Big Bets on Housing)

It's our view, despite the saber rattling about capital gains taxes, dividend and cash flow stock will still make sense. Also explore solid companies focused on providing value to global consumers. Companies like Costco,McDonald's, Disney, and Apple all merit consideration.

Look for emerging market opportunities in countries like Brazil, China, and Indonesia. Consider investments in more established Asian countries such as Korea and Singapore. And don't forget gold as part of your portfolio strategy as a hedge in case the world blows up.

It's a trying challenge to invest in today's environment. Still, inaction is not an option. Making sure that your portfolio is proactively invested (with a reality check view) is this the best way to achieve success in an uncertain environment.

Take action without delay.

TV Programming Note: Mr. Yoshikami will be a guest on CNBC's "Power Lunch" all this week.

(Read More: Distrust Among Members of Congress Complicates 'Cliff' Talks)

Michael Yoshikami, Ph.D., CFP, is CEO, Founder and Chairman of the DWM Investment Committee at Destination Wealth Management. Michael is a CNBC Contributor and appears regularly on the network. DWM is a San Francisco Bay Area-based independent money management firm that provides fee-based wealth management services to institutions and individuals around the world. Michael was named by Barron's as one of the Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors for 2009, 2010 and 2011.

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