In case you had not noticed, the Dow 30, S&P 500 and Nasdaq topped out in mid-September and have ratcheted downward until a week ago Friday. About Nov. 16, those 536 players in Washington said they were talking to each other again. From a perspective of technical analysis however, it appears that the positive trend begun in early June has ended and a new bearish trend is probably under way.

Those U.S. indices are down between 4 and 7.2 percent through Monday (since Sept. 14). While the rebound since Nov. 15 has not regained the election day levels, I hope my pessimism for the longer term outlook is wrong. There are more headwinds than just the so-called fiscal cliff.

The important factor to emphasize is this. In this golden age of technology and global business, it has never before been possible to invest in so many different places or types of investments so inexpensively. Someone is always making money somehow and somewhere. And now, even folks like us in the middle class, far away from New York and world business centers, can take advantage of new resources of information about those trends.

For example, let’s say the U.S. stock market trends sideways at best or downward for a year or more. The path of least resistance currently is to buy bonds, especially those that mature sooner than later. Although I think lending money to our government for 30 years at less than 3 percent interest is not very safe in the long run (because of the inflation risk), investors are still pouring money into bond funds.

They are creating their own self-fulfilling prophecy. When everyone decides to buy Treasury bonds, the price of bonds inevitably rises and the interest yields drop. For example, American Century Target 2025 fund (BTTRX) has risen in value by just over 46 percent since Nov. 24, 2010. This includes its annual dividend payments in December. While we don’t hold that particular fund, we are using bond funds that are more diversely invested.

You can also buy positions that are inverse (or opposite) to the indices in a brokerage account at any major custodian. The Nasdaq 100 index (symbol QQQ) has dropped just over 7 percent since Sept. 21. During the same period, the ProShares UltraShort QQQ fund has gained more than 14 percent, since it is leveraged 2 to 1. Without leverage, its sibling (symbol PSQ) fund has gained 6.98 percent.

Finally, you can invest in almost any part of the world today. International investments now are forming better trend patterns. About six months ago, I expressed my amazement that Market Vectors Vietnam and Egypt funds had each risen by more than 30 percent from January through April this year.

While they are still positive for the year, each has been a roller coaster ride – too speculative for us. However, other individual country funds representing Belgium, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, and Thailand have one-year returns topping 15 percent.

Investing is not often easy, especially in a stormy climate, but opportunities will always be available for the diligent. If I am wrong in my outlook, it will be easier for all of us.

(Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Market data from Worden Brothers Inc., TeleChart 2000 service, 2012.)

Ron Finke is president of Stewardship Capital, a registered investment adviser. This is general advice and not meant to contain specific recommendations. Reach Finke at