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Santoli: This 'coward' portfolio yields 5%

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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The acronym was as grating and inaccurate as it was cute and catchy: TINA. It stood for "There Is No Alternative," and sought to explain in four letters why so many investors kept putting money joylessly into stocks in recent years — supposedly because central banks had banished safe returns from the financial firmament with interest rates near nil.

With the ongoing broad liquidation across markets, including the six month downward chop in U.S. stocks, many are now bemoaning the supposed dearth of safe harbors rather than the lack of alternatives to stocks.

The truth is, though, that the roughing up of nearly all asset classes, aside from developed-market government debt, has created more return opportunities in low-risk investments than have existed in years.

A rather cowardly, conservative portfolio assembled today can easily yield close to 5 percent and allow its owner to sleep pretty well, even if fear continues to outrace greed for a while longer.

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