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It is hardly an insight to note that markets today are beset with fears. What is less widely acknowledged and critical to investment strategy, however, is that the level of anxiety has driven market segments to different extremes of valuation. On the one side, widespread fear has driven up the prices of the usual safe havens—U.S. Treasury bonds, gold, the debt of other presumably stronger governments. On the other, it has severely held back relative pricing on equities and credit-sensitive bonds. This divergence presents remarkable investment opportunities. Because valuations have braced so thoroughly for disaster, the least improvement can change the pricing equation radically. The probabilities suggest it will move in the direction of stocks and lesser quality bonds over presumably safer investments.

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