The Impact of Low Interest Rates and the Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Guy Spier

Hatched by Guy Spier

Jun 18, 2024

3 min read


The Impact of Low Interest Rates and the Rise of Artificial Intelligence


In the world of investing, there are often repeated sayings that guide investment decisions. One common belief is that high stock valuations are acceptable as long as interest rates remain low. However, is this really true? This article aims to debunk this claim and explore the relationship between low interest rates, stock valuations, and future stock returns. Additionally, it delves into the growing impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and the need for responsible development in this field.

The Relationship Between Stock Valuations and Interest Rates:

Many investors argue that high stock valuations are acceptable when interest rates are low. However, historical data suggests otherwise. When stock valuations have been at their highest, bond yields have not necessarily been low. In fact, they have often been average or even higher than average. On the other hand, when bond yields are low, stock valuations have not necessarily been higher. This challenges the notion that low interest rates justify high stock valuations.

The Influence of Valuations on Future Stock Returns:

While some investors focus on current valuations, the real concern lies in the future stock returns that these valuations may produce. Historical data indicates that low bond yields have resulted in higher future stock returns. However, it is important to note that these returns are influenced by other factors such as dividend yield, earnings growth, and changes in valuation. Valuation expansion or contraction over time can significantly impact stock returns. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the starting conditions and potential changes in valuation when forecasting future stock returns.

The Case for Responsible AI Development:

Apart from the impact of interest rates on investments, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is another significant factor reshaping the investment landscape. AI has the potential to revolutionize various industries and has already begun to have a real-world impact. However, experts like Professor Stuart Russell emphasize the need for responsible development in the field of AI. As AI continues to advance, it is crucial to ensure that humans remain in control and that AI is ethically and safely implemented.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Diversify your investment portfolio: Given the uncertain future of stock and bond returns, it is advisable to diversify your investment portfolio. Consider allocating a portion of your portfolio to foreign stocks, particularly in markets with lower valuations and higher dividend yields. This can help mitigate the risks associated with high valuations in the US market.
  • 2. Consider alternative investment strategies: Explore alternative investment strategies such as trend following, tail risk hedging, or investing in real assets like farmland. These strategies can provide additional diversification and potentially offer better risk-adjusted returns in changing market conditions.
  • 3. Plan for market downturns: Be prepared for the possibility of market downturns, including significant declines in stock prices. Develop a plan ahead of time and consider how you would react to different scenarios. Writing down your plan and sharing it with someone can help keep you accountable and prevent impulsive decisions during times of market volatility.


While the belief that low interest rates justify high stock valuations is often repeated, historical data suggests otherwise. Low bond yields have historically been associated with lower valuations, and the relationship between interest rates and stock valuations is more complex than commonly believed. Additionally, the rise of AI poses both opportunities and challenges, emphasizing the need for responsible development and human control. By diversifying portfolios, considering alternative investment strategies, and planning for market downturns, investors can navigate the current investment landscape and prepare for potential future challenges.

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