Stocks continue to slide, with the Dow losing 250 points, and the Nasdaq Composite off more than 100 points (more than 2%) so far today. I think there has been too much emphasis on the first rate hike (I am guilty of this also). If we look at the multi-year trend for rates, the U.S. has been in low interest rate mode for 7 years. If we look globally, other countries across Europe, Asia and most of the rest of the world have also been lowering rates and keeping rates low for years. The U.S. is the dog waging the tail of the global economy – as we begin to raise rates, other countries will be forced (eventually) to follow. This sets up a global rate raising cycle that could last a decade or longer. Instead of focusing on when the first hike in the U.S. will come, investors should be more concerned with the big picture – rates are headed higher across the globe, and we will see a long-term rate raising trend that will last for years.