ACTIONABLE ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS: Newsletters and Commentaries Focused on Investment Strategy

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2016-04-29 00:00:00 Moving Averages: April Month-End Update by Jill Mislinski (Article)

Valid until the market close on May 31, 2016

The S&P 500 closed April with a monthly gain of 0.27% after a gain of 6.6% last month. All three S&P 500 MAs are signaling "invested" and all five Ivy Portfolio ETF MAs are signaling "invested". In the table, monthly closes that are within 2% of a signal are highlighted in yellow.

2016-04-29 00:00:00 Allocating to “Liquid Alternatives” – The Importance of Correlation by Equiinox Funds (Article)

The 60% / 40% allocation to stocks and bonds has long been viewed as a useful benchmark for diversification, albeit naïve, by many investors. In our latest insight, we apply historical data and explore the individual impact that nine CTA (managed futures program) allocations could have had on an investor’s portfolio (overall return, volatility, risk, drawdown, and correlation).

2016-04-28 00:00:00 Quarterly Strategy Update: The End of Ricardian Growth? by Steven Vannelli of GaveKal Capital

This quarter, we explore the hypothesis that the modern era of Ricardian growth has ended. We further explore what this means for asset allocation and which types of stocks in particular should do well in this Ricardian hangover.

2016-04-28 00:00:00 Concerned About Inflation? Consider This Approach by Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, CFP® of Wells Fargo Asset Management

If you want to safeguard your portfolio against eventual inflation, here’s a tip: Don’t automatically think TIPS, or Treasuries. Consider this option instead.

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Second-Longest Bull Market Ever, Yet Investors Remain Skittish by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

If the US stock markets don’t collapse between now and Friday, this will be the second-longest bull market on record. Really. The current bull market began in March 2009 and will have lasted for 2,608 days (7.2 years) on Friday. If so, it will top the former second-longest bull market which ran from 1949 to 1956 (2,607 days). That’s quite impressive.

2016-04-27 00:00:00 FOMC Faqs: When Doves Cry? by John Canally of LPL Financial

As the third of eight Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings of 2016 approaches later this week, the market and the Federal Reserve (Fed) again remain deeply divided over the timing and pace of Fed rate hikes.

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Gold More Productive Than Cash?! by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Is gold, often scoffed at as being an unproductive asset, more productive than cash? If so, what does it mean for asset allocation?

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Boring Ol' TIPS - Not So Boring Now by Elaine Kan of Loomis Sayles

TIPS seem to be en vogue. Why the interest in this relatively unexciting, high-quality asset class? Some of the recent attention can be attributed to strong TIPS performance so far this year versus last year. But I also suspect that forward-looking investors are intrigued by the asset class as they keep a close eye on some looming market changes.

2016-04-27 00:00:00 Value Comeback? by Burt White of LPL Financial

Value stocks have staged a comeback versus growth after a long losing streak. Based on the Russell 1000 style indexes, growth has outpaced value for the better part of the last decade. Other than the period between April 2012 and July 2013, it’s been all growth all the time since 2006.

2016-04-26 00:00:00 It’s Waayyy Too Early to Take Profits on Gold & Silver by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

It was no fun investing in precious metals for most of 2011-2015, but the past few months have sure been a blast for buy-and-hold investors. Silver prices are up 22.5% year to date, and gold isn’t far behind.

2016-04-25 00:00:00 The ECB Remains Focused on Its Targets by Rob Waldner of Invesco Blog

The European Central Bank (ECB) surprised markets once again on April 21 with the timing of some important announcements and also the scope of its bond purchasing program. While the ECB kept all three of its policy interest rates on hold — as expected — and the size of its asset purchase program unchanged at EUR80 billion a month, ECB President Mario Draghi provided new details in a news conference on the implementation of the bank’s program and on the scope of what assets it can buy. At a high level, Draghi summarized by saying that the ECB’s monetary policies are working, but they need time to be more effective.

2016-04-25 00:00:00 The Structural Shift In The US Commercial Paper Market by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

The 2008 financial crisis may have forever changed the US commercial paper market. Not only is the total amount of commercial paper outstanding still 50% less than its peak it 2007, the internal composition of the commercial paper market has changed dramatically as well.

2016-04-25 00:00:00 U.S. Housing Shines Bright in Global Economy by Daniel Hyman, Emmanuel Sharef of PIMCO

Demographics and new housing starts suggest that the U.S. could face a shortage in the near future.

2016-04-25 00:00:00 All That Fun for Nothing! by Jeffrey Knight of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

In sideways market environment marked by large price swings, investors need a way to navigate the round trip of drawdowns followed by recoveries. Broad diversification is the best tool investors have to influence the efficiency of their portfolios. The combination of milder downside capture and stronger upside capture holds the key to avoiding an investment result no better than “all that fun for nothing.”

2016-04-25 00:00:00 Earnings Remain Key to Equity Forecast by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equities climbed yet again last week, with the S&P 500 Index rising 0.5%. Corporate earnings were mixed, and the biggest market story was ongoing strength in commodities, particularly oil and metals. Bank stocks rallied strongly for a second week, while defensive market segments struggled to keep pace.

2016-04-25 00:00:00 Confusion Reigns by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

Osterweis Capital Management Fixed Income Outlook April 2016

2016-04-24 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

SPY made a new all-time high this week. The short and long term trend is higher. Despite a gain of 16% over the past 10 weeks, the majority of evidence indicates that investors largely remain skeptical and defensive. That, together with strong breadth, implies that higher highs still lie ahead. Shorter term, SPY is back to where it failed, repeatedly, to go higher in the spring, summer and fall of 2015. In the best scenario, attaining and then holding significant gains will likely take time.

2016-04-23 00:00:00 Echoes of 1999: The Tech Bubble and the "Asian Flu" by Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates

Four market conditions now parallel the extremes last experienced in December 1998, setting up 1999 as the first year in a decade of outperformance by inflation-fighting and diversifying assets. Now is the time to rotate into these unloved asset classes.

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Mixed Messages From Municipals by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Low yields coupled with fair valuations send a mixed message from the municipal bond market. The shift from a challenging seasonal period to a more favorable one provides another. The passage of April 15, or April 18 as is the case this year, marks not only the tax deadline but also the end of a challenging seasonal period for municipal bonds. Tax-related selling can often pressure municipal prices as soon as the start of March, but lackluster performance in both stock and bond markets in 2015 limited capital gains that might result in municipal bond sales.

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: April by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group® of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have some apprehension about the more dovish stance taken by the US Federal Reserve, which in our view may place too great a focus on global factors, despite a relatively tight US labor market and some indications of a pickup in core inflation.

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Earth Day Spotlights Responsible Investing Evolution by Linda Giuliano of AllianceBernstein

As Earth Day celebrations shift into high gear this week, it’s a good time for investors to think about the environment too. Start by mapping out the trade-offs of different approaches to responsible investing.

2016-04-22 00:00:00 Why Today's Bond Environment Is Different (in 4 Charts) by Rick Rieder of BlackRock

Over the last seven years—as central banks have rolled out more quantitative easing programs and moved benchmark interest rates below, or close to, zero—global fixed income markets have dramatically changed. Here’s a quick look at four charts showing just a few of the interrelated ways the fixed income landscape is different today.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 Following the Money in EM Currency Markets by John Canally of LPL Financial

Emerging markets (EM) tantalize investors with the prospects of higher returns; yet the key to these returns may be the value of the U.S. dollar. Currency movements impact all aspects of international investing, starting with the basic impact of adjusting gains for the change in currency value when determining total returns. However, changes in currency also impact areas like corporate earnings, the ability to repay debts, and the overall economic health of the country. These impacts are greater for EM investments, where currencies are more volatile and countries are more economically dependent on trade.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 Corporate Management: Discerning Opportunities and Risks in Asian Credit by Raja Mukherji of PIMCO

The annual movement of wildlife across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in Africa is one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world. The horizon fills with wildebeest, zebra, eland and gazelle migrating for fresh grass, tracked by Africa’s great predators.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 The Metal Ratios Are An Ominous Sign For US Inflation Trends by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

The gold/silver ratio recently took out 2009 highs and the gold/copper ratio is at its highest level since 2009. This is a negative signal that US inflation, using CPI, could be headed for another leg lower. Since 2008, the gold/silver ratio has had a -73% correlation to the year-over-year change in US CPI (with a 2-quarter forward lag for the gold/silver ratio) . So as the gold/silver ratio increases, the year-over-year change in the CPI tends to fall.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 Financial Matters: It Pays to Dig Deep by Steve Hussey of AllianceBernstein

Europe’s banks are once again under pressure. This sector-wide weakness is opening up selective buying opportunities—as long as investors understand that the bank bond rulebook is changing.

2016-04-21 00:00:00 ETFs … They Aren’t Your Father’s Oldsmobile by Vern Sumnicht of iSectors

For 12 years, we used active asset management, that is, professional money managers and/or actively managed mutual funds. After the dot.com bear market in 2000, we became more and more dissatisfied with the cost and performance of professional money managers. After much research….

2016-04-21 00:00:00 April Market Outlook Update by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

The renewed appetite for risk assets continued during the last month, maintaining the strong rally after global equities registered a 20% decline from their highs on February 11. After triggering risk aversion in January, the news out of China is beginning to show some positive effects from their multi-pronged policy approach. The markets have also been supported by more realistic utterances from the Federal Reserve. Not only has the full committee reduced their expectations closer to the market, Fed Chair Janet Yellen has gained some ground in convincing investors that she's in control of policy making at the Fed.

2016-04-20 00:00:00 Negative Interest Rates: Powerful Out-Of-The-Box Thinking or Insanity? by Wendy Stojadinovic of Cleary Gull

The fight against currency appreciation and deflation explains negative short term rates, but what explains why longer term bonds have negative yields?

2016-04-20 00:00:00 Taking Stock After the Rally by Burt White of LPL Financial

Stocks have had quite a nice run. Since the February 11, 2016 lows the S&P 500 has gained 14%. The rally has been driven by many factors?—?chief among them, better U.S. economic data, higher oil prices, the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) slower rate hike timetable, increased confidence in China, and more stimulus from overseas central banks. These factors have enabled stocks to trade more on fundamentals than fear, and have pushed the S&P 500 to just 2.4% below its all-time high. Here we assess the likelihood that the rally continues from this point forward, and, if so, how much further it might have to go.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Gundlach’s Bond Market Outlook (and a Warning for Junk Bonds) by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The first third of 2016 has been good for bond investors, but don’t expect that performance to continue for the remainder of the year, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. It has left many sectors of the bond market overvalued. In particular, junk bond investors should be wary of pending defaults and lower recovery rates.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 How Do You Measure Which Retirement Income Strategy Is Best? by Michael Kitces (Article)

In framing different retirement income strategies – and the trade-offs they entail – it’s important to scrutinize the measuring stick used to evaluate the outcomes. The best retirement income strategy will depend on whether you measure based on wealth, spending, probabilities of success, magnitudes of failure or utility functions that weigh both the upside and downside risks!

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Permanently High Plateaus Have Poor Precedents by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Speculators seem willing to imagine that the Fed has created a permanently high plateau, but historically-informed investors should know better.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 The Great American Economic Growth Myth by Lance Roberts of Real Investment Advice

Since the end of the financial crisis, economists, analysts, and the Federal Reserve have continued to predict a return to higher levels of economic growth. As I showed in my discussion of the Fed’s forecasts, these predictions have continued to fall short of reality.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 On My Radar: First, Do No Harm by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

My 18-year-old son, Matthew, came to me asking about how the economy works.  This summer he will be an intern and task one prior to his start date is to read “How the Economic Machine Works.”  There is much we can learn from history and it makes sense to study the research from some of the brightest amongst us.  From there, he and I will begin a dialogue.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Why One Analyst Believes Gold Could Hit $3,000 an Ounce by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After finishing its best quarter in 30 years, gold extended its gains, rising more than 17.2 percent year-to-date to become the best performing asset class among other commodities, U.S. Treasury bonds and major world currencies and equity indices.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Expect Economic and Market Improvements Later in 2016 by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The uneven market uptrend in place since mid-February resumed last week, with the S&P 500 Index climbing 1.7%. The primary catalyst appeared to be better-than-expected corporate earnings results in the still-early reporting season, particularly from the banking sector. As a result, bank stocks performed particularly well, rising 7% last week, marking the best weekly gain in over four years. Investors also focused on better economic data coming from China and ongoing evidence that the U.S. economy is growing slowly.

2016-04-19 00:00:00 First Quarter 2016 Economic & Capital Market Summary by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

If you are following the presidential election process, you might conclude that the U.S. economy is in crisis and that we are nearing the brink of catastrophe. On both sides of the isle, Democratic and Republic candidates have built messages to the voters that the economy is in decline and that they have solutions to fix it. Yet, the Federal Reserve, which is our loudest voice right now on the outlook for the health of the economy is saying that everything is okay. What should we believe?

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Sell the News? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The economic calendar is moderate. Fed Heads are mostly on the bench. The Doho oil conference (combining OPEC and non-OPEC producers) will be the first major news for the week ahead. Markets have already anticipated the outcome, just as they have the trend of first- quarter earnings. It is a classic test of the theme: Is it time to sell the news?

2016-04-19 00:00:00 Baseball and Investing: The Hunt for the Best Pure Hitters by Cole Smead of Smead Capital Management

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time.” ? A. Bartlett Giamatti

2016-04-18 00:00:00 Negative Rates May Be Positive for Gold by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

As 2015 came to a close, most investors believed that 2016 would be a year dominated by a series of Fed rate hikes. That conviction solidified in mid-October when comments from multiple Fed officials convinced many that prior hints that the Fed would stay at zero percent rates had been false alarms. The Fed delivered on its promise in mid-December by actually raising rates by 25 basis points. Based on this, gold declined by 10% from October 14 to the end of the year, nearly matching its six year low. Many on Wall Street thought the declines would continue into 2016. They were decidedly wrong.

2016-04-18 00:00:00 March CPI Report: Valuations Matter by Jeremie Banet of PIMCO

The March report on the U.S. Consumer Price Index didn’t paint the rosy picture some were expecting. Headline CPI year-over-year was 0.9% versus the expected 1% and core CPI ticked lower to 2.2% for the 12 months ended March, down from 2.3% in February. Despite this March surprise, we believe Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) can weather much more before they underperform nominal Treasuries.

2016-04-18 00:00:00 Shad Rowe by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

For years, when I was living in Virginia, I attended the annual Shad Planking. This morning, however, I am not referring to Virginia’s “Shad Planking,” but rather my friend Frederick “Shad” Rowe, captain of the Dallas-based money management firm Greenbrier Partners. Back in the 1970s/1980s I used to read Shad’s sage comments in Forbes Magazine, but regrettably he is no longer a contributor. He now writes an insightful letter to investors in his partnership every month, which I very much look forward to. This month’s letter was no exception.

2016-04-18 00:00:00 Finding a New Balance with Alternatives by Lowell Yura, Kristina Kalebich, Kristi Hanson, John Lennox of BMO Global Asset Management

The paper makes the case for incorporating alternatives in traditional 60/40 portfolios. BMO GAM points to a shift in the 60/40 paradigm, explaining the expected strong bond returns are unlikely in our current low yield environment. To compensate, the firm urges investors to incorporate alternatives into their portfolios for optimum diversification.

2016-04-15 00:00:00 Should I Keep My Company Stock? by Richard Weaver, Anne Bucciarelli of AllianceBernstein

If you’re a corporate executive or other employee of a public company, a meaningful part of your compensation may come in the form of company stock or stock options. You may also have a chance to invest part of your cash compensation in company stock. What should you do?

2016-04-14 00:00:00 Spring Awakening by Jerome Schneider of PIMCO

In a volatile market environment, investors may look to cash alternatives in their effort to add stability to portfolios.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 Fund Managers' Current Asset Allocation by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

At the panic low in equities in February, fund managers' cash was at the highest level since 2001, higher than at any time during the 2008-09 bear market. Global allocations to equities had fallen from 40% overweight to only 5% in just two months. Since then, equities around the world have risen an average of 14%. Despite this, investors remain defensive. Over the past month, cash balances have risen and allocations to equities have declined. This supports higher equity prices in the month(s) ahead.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 Potential Earnings Improvements Remain a Critical Catalyst by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets retreated last week amid multiple crosscurrents as the S&P 500 Index fell 1.2%. Currency and commodity markets were in focus. The soaring value of the yen complicated the Bank of Japan’s interest rate decisions, while oil prices rose sharply on expectations for improved global economic growth and a possibility of production cuts. Investors also focused on the regulatory environment, as the Treasury Department rolled out restrictive rules governing corporate inversions.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 State of the States by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

With the deadline approaching, taxes are front and center in the minds of investors. No one likes paying taxes, but they are of utmost importance to the financial well-being of state and local governments. Higher tax revenue has been a key driver of improving (in most cases) state and local government credit quality metrics by firming the financial standing of municipal government debt issuers. However, growth in state and local government tax revenue may be poised to slow, lessening the positive impact behind municipal credit quality.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 Negative Rates Are Dangerous to Your Wealth by Chris Brightman of Research Affiliates

Recently enacted NIRP in several major developed economies means not only lower current yields but also lower expected returns—and thus lower accumulated wealth—for investors investing in these markets.

2016-04-14 00:00:00 The Times Are a--Changin' by Team of PIMCO

Dovish comments and actions by central banks, including the Federal Reserve, helped sustain the market’s rally. Fundamentals still indicated tepid growth even as global risk appetite built further through the course of the month. March highlighted that shifts in political trends could feature prominently in the remainder of the year.

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis: Much Ado About Not Much by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Per a reader's request, today we'll talk about the impact of the current debt crisis in Puerto Rico. Not only is this a major issue for the Puerto Ricans and their investors, but it also sheds light on how similar crises are likely to play out in the future.

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Looking Forward - My View on Multinationals by Pamela Rosenau of HighTower Advisors

The current election season has been filled with a cross-current of emotion. Anti-Wall Street, protectionist and populist campaigns appear to be the overwhelming themes in trying to persuade the electorate. Additionally, there has been significant friction between the public and private sectors as we are “seeing a tidal wave of corporate merger rejections.”

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Moderately Constrained by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

The Barron’s cover story was an interview with Bill Gross from PIM….er I mean Janus that was titled Why Interest Rates Must Rise. The why they must rise part of the article focused on Gross’ perceptions of the many consequences of ZIRP and NIRP including the effect on retirees, pensions being able to match their portfolios with their liabilities, as well as how insurance companies oversee their pools of capital.

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Alpha or Assets? — Factor Alpha vs. Smart Beta by Patrick O'Shaughnessy of O'Shaughnessy Asset Management

More and more investors are buying “factor”-based strategies, which invest using measures like valuation and low volatility. However, the most popular strategies are applying factors the wrong way. We believe that strategies should be built for alpha, not scale—but the asset management industry has gone in the opposite direction.

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Wise Beginnings and Foolish Endings: 1Q 2016 Newsletter by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

The media and most major stock market strategists have been talking lately about beginnings and endings. The S&P 500 Index just celebrated the seventh anniversary of it taking off from its bear market lows on March 10, 2009. We enjoy watching many experts who didn’t participate in the more than tripling of the S&P 500 Index over those seven years comment and make dire predictions about the future. When it comes to negative nabobs, there must be some pretty good money in being the “boy who cried wolf” or the “blind squirrel that finds an occasional nut.”

2016-04-13 00:00:00 Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook – 1Q2016 by Van R. Hoisington and Lacy H. Hunt, Ph.D. of Hoisington Investment Management

The prospects for the Treasury bond market remain bright for patient investors who operate with a multi-year investment horizon. As we have written many times, numerous factors can cause intermittent increases in yields, but the domestic and global economic environments remain too weak for yields to remain elevated.

2016-04-12 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Earnings Spark a Big Move in Stocks? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The economic calendar is moderate. Fed Heads are out in force. More significant is the start of “earnings season.” There is always speculation about earnings, but this time is special. I expect a focus on the question: Will earnings spark a break in the trading range for stocks?

2016-04-12 00:00:00 Technically Speaking: Bull Versus Bear Case by Lance Roberts of Real Investment Advice

As the trumpets sound to signal the start of earnings season, the battle between fundamentals and “hope” begins. Despite weakening earnings, which on an as reported basis are far worse than the rather manipulated “operating” levels currently suggest, the bulls have remained steadfast in their belief that prices are on a one-way trip higher.

2016-04-12 00:00:00 Currency Wars: Fed, Brexit, and Yuan Crisis Potential by Jeffrey Baker of HiddenLevers

Thus far, 2016 has shaped up to be an unprecedented year. The old guard of the Republican party has been usurped and a socialist insurgency has taken hold within the Democratic electorate. For the first time since the late 1930s, populist politics are in vogue, taking hold in both major political parties.

2016-04-11 00:00:00 Energy Bonds: Finding the Silver Lining in Credit Downgrades by Bixby Stewart of Invesco Blog

Several highly punitive credit downgrades of higher-quality energy companies surprised the investment grade bond market recently, with some downgrades representing cuts of four to five notches. But Invesco Fixed Income believes there may be a silver lining to these downgrades: Together with low commodity prices, these moves may be driving a positive shift toward more prudent corporate balance sheet management, largely in favor of creditors. While commodity price volatility, an oversupplied oil market and broader macroeconomic uncertainty cause us to be very cautious about investing in energy-related credit, we believe such volatility and change in corporate behavior may create unique opportunities for active investment managers.

2016-04-11 00:00:00 Yen Trouble. Bond Rally. by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Last week started slow. But then stumbled. The stock market realized that i) earnings are not going to be great ii) that the Fed’s “low rates for longer” message means “low growth for longer” and iii) international markets wrestled with what zero bound means. U.S. stocks were flat, the Japanese market fell 6% and U.S. long Treasuries were up 1.5%.

2016-04-11 00:00:00 European Bank Regulation: Expect a Shift by Joshua Anderson of PIMCO

Regulatory uncertainty will create opportunities for private capital as banks retrench from some lending markets.

2016-04-11 00:00:00 Where Are We Now? Looking for Value in Emerging Markets After the Recent Rally by Charles Wilson of Thornburg Investment Management

After a rough start to the year the MSCI Emerging Markets Index is up sharply – What's next?

2016-04-10 00:00:00 Open Letter to the President, Part Five by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Without significant changes in tax and incentive structures, the US will almost assuredly enter a recession within the next few years. Then, if we lose tax revenues only to the extent we did in the last couple of recessions, we’ll be saddled with a deficit of over $1.3 trillion, and the deficit won’t fall below $1 trillion as far out as the eye can see, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

2016-04-09 00:00:00 Mile-High Merger: Alaska Airlines Buys Virgin America, Expanding Market Reach by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The $2.6 billion deal, awaiting shareholder approval in June, would create the fifth-largest U.S. airline by traffic and result in a much more competitive player, especially on the West Coast. (Alaska is based in Seattle, Virgin in San Francisco.) According to the Wall Street Journal, Alaska’s annual revenue could grow 27 percent because of the deal.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Driving in the Slow Lane, for Now by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

After a turbulent start, the first quarter ended on a calmer note. There were moments when the U.S. economy appeared to defy expectations, and there were moments when the outlook was not rosy. On net, forward momentum remains in place.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 A Tale of Two Halves by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The first quarter of 2016 is in the record books and for most, including bond investors, it was a tale of two halves. During the first six weeks of the year, domestic economic concerns, worries over the state of China’s economy, and a near 30% decline in the price of oil sparked a strong Treasury rally that drove high-quality bond yields lower—not just in the U.S., but globally as well. Then the last six weeks of the quarter saw a shift for lower-rated bonds, thanks to improving economic data and market-friendly central bank actions. Through all the ups and downs, it was a strong quarter for bond performance; however, we don’t expect this strength to repeat over the remainder of the year.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Five Unique Themes by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

RBA’s disciplined investment process tends to lead to differentiated positioning within our portfolios. Our focus on profit cycles, liquidity, and sentiment has once again led us to some distinctive investment themes.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Preparing for Rising Medical Costs in Retirement - 2016 by Andrew Friedman, Jeff Bush of Eaton Vance

The Affordable Care Act (commonly known as the “ACA” or “Obamacare”) has had a significant effect on retiree health care costs and retirement planning, and those effects are likely only to increase in the years ahead. People nearing or in retirement need to understand the extent to which their medical expenses are likely to increase, and steps they can take now to help ensure they will be able to afford medical care after they retire.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Not Your Father's Dividend Stocks by Edward Perkin of Eaton Vance

Dividend investing ain’t what it used to be. What’s the best approach in today’s market?

2016-04-07 00:00:00 2016 Commercial Real Estate Outlook by Peter Nielsen of Saturna Capital

Encouraging fundamentals and positive developments in broadly-used sector classifications and US tax structure bode well for Real Estate in 2016.

2016-04-07 00:00:00 Stocks Climbed In March Amid Subtle Signs of Budding Inflation by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

Global equity markets sprang into action in March, notching a monthly return ranking among the top 10 in the last 10 years. The price of oil finished the month higher as the US dollar continued its descent.

2016-04-07 00:00:00 What a Reversal! by Martin Atkin, Matthew Palazzolo of AllianceBernstein

Stock markets around the world rallied strongly in March, continuing the rebound that began on February 12. In the US and emerging markets, the rebound has wiped out the deep losses from the first six weeks of the year, to deliver positive returns for the quarter.

2016-04-06 00:00:00 90% Psychological, 10% Logical by Sam Stewart of Wasatch Funds

So here we are with very modest global economic growth, seemingly excessive gains in stocks over the past several years, potentially flawed monetary policies around the world, and mediocre readings on the sentiment indicators I follow. Although this may sound like a prescription for flat—or possibly even falling—stock prices going forward, I continue to be the “nervous bull” that I’ve been for quite a few years.

2016-04-06 00:00:00 A White Knuckle Ride by Dr. Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

Market Perspectives Q1 2016: A White Knuckle Ride

2016-04-06 00:00:00 What You Need To Know About High-Yield Bonds by (Article)

Depending on your view of future economic growth and interest rates, high-yield bond funds may present an opportunity for your income-oriented portfolio needs, says portfolio manager Christopher Kilpatrick of Western Asset.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Using Fixed SPIAs and Investments to Create an Inflation-Adjusted Income Stream by Luke F. Delorme (Article)

I consider various return and inflation assumptions to determine an appropriate allocation between bonds and stocks that would enable annual inflation adjustments for fixed SPIAs.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 A Recipe for Lower Volatility in High Yield by Gershon Distenfeld, Ivan Rudolph-Shabinsky of AllianceBernstein

“He who doesn’t risk never gets to drink champagne.” As investors, we can all relate to this Russian proverb. But in choppy markets, big risks can be hard to stomach. A low-volatility strategy can help.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Actively Managing the Evolution in the Insurance Industry by Robert Young of PIMCO

How are insurance companies adapting to low returns, industry consolidation and new regulations?

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Fed Watching For Dummies: Credit Spreads Are Driving Monetary Policy by Mark Ungewitter of Mark Ungewitter Research

On March 29th, Janet Yellen outlined three factors warranting a new, dovish bias: energy prices, currency dislocations, and global equity turmoil. While all of this makes perfect sense, we think the real driver of FOMC policy is corporate credit. In recent months, the price ratio of Baa-to-Aaa U.S. bonds has deteriorated to levels not seen since June 2010 and July 2012.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Torrid Quarter. All Well. by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Finally. The end of a torrid quarter. What seems like a news filled quarter boiled down.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Greater Gradualism for the Greater Good by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

The case for financial repression remains self-evident based on Fed Chair Yellen’s dovish comments last week, says US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper. In this environment, investors need to be vigilant about the potential for higher inflation.

2016-04-05 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is the Fed Too Optimistic? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The calendar continues in something of an alternating mode. Last week had plenty of important data; this week has little. Instead we get multiple speeches from Fed Presidents and Governors and the release of the last FOMC minutes. Little data plus lots of Fed news is a natural draw for the punditry. This week they will be asking: Is the Fed too optimistic?

2016-04-04 00:00:00 Short-Term Narratives vs. Long-Term Fundamentals by Jay Leopold of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

In the short run, simple narratives can form to explain changes in security prices and complex market movements. These narratives can contribute to market volatility — the 30% plunge in oil prices in the first quarter of 2016 was viewed as evidence that global growth was weakening.This year’s market swings have created an opportunity for investors to reassess their portfolio positioning, ensuring it matches their long-term risk and return objectives.

2016-04-04 00:00:00 Change Factor by (Article)

The broader investment arena may be changing more rapidly than the CEF market, but change remains an important factor for investors, says Jon Diorio, Managing Director, BlackRock.

2016-04-04 00:00:00 The Positives Outweigh the Negatives for the U.S. Economy by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The U.S. equity rally resumed last week with the S&P 500 Index climbing 1.8%. Although expectations for the upcoming corporate earnings season are low, investors chose to focus on the positives. Specifically, investors reacted to dovish comments made by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in her speech at the Economics Club of New York, which counteracted some more hawkish comments made by Fed officials the previous week. Other asset classes came under pressure, including commodities and oil, causing some skepticism about the recent rebound. The oil sell-off was due to heightened doubts about the ability of major producers to formalize a production freeze agreement.

2016-04-02 00:00:00 Unconventional Monetary Policy on Stilts by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

With most advanced economies experiencing anemic recoveries from the 2008 financial crisis, their central banks have been forced to move from conventional monetary policy – reducing policy rates via open-market purchases of short-term government bonds – to a range of unconventional policies. And now they are poised to do so again.

2016-04-02 00:00:00 Gold Had Its Best Quarter in a Generation. So Where Are the Investors? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

he last time gold had a quarter this strong, Ronald Reagan was a year into his second term as president, the Soviet Union was taking its final gasp and the U.S. was still reeling from the Challenger explosion. Year-to-date, the yellow metal has risen 16.5 percent, its best three-month performance since 1986, mostly on fears of negative interest rates and other global central bank policies.

2016-04-02 00:00:00 Open Letter to the Next President, Part 4 by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today we are going to look at what the next president might do in response to recession – and possibly even to prevent a recession. I actually think a positive path can be found, but following it will take an enormous political effort and a big shift in the current environment of noncooperation.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 Bold, Confident and WRONG: Why You Should Ignore Expert Forecasts by Adam Butler of ReSolve Asset Management

If you read the paper, watch the news, and listen to investment experts you are doing it all wrong. There are no market wizards; the emperors have no clothes; most people are ‘swimming naked’. The following paragraphs offer abundant and incontrovertible evidence condemning expert judgment for the great sham it really is. We also offer some practical ways to cope with the terrifying reality that no one is in control.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 Driving in Neutral by Team of Neuberger Berman

So far, 2016 has been characterized by stomach churning swerves in market direction with little actual change in levels.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 Real and Alternative Assets Outlook Second Quarter 2016 by Team of Neuberger Berman

Despite challenges, we maintained a slightly overweight view on lower volatility and directional hedge funds; meanwhile certain areas within private debt appear attractive.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 Fixed Income Outlook Second Quarter 2016 by Team of Neuberger Berman

High yield, particularly short-duration issues and higher-rated credits, remains in favor given current prevailing yields and the outlook for credit quality.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 Equity Outlook Second Quarter 2016 by Team of Neuberger Berman

Global equities—particularly those in developed markets outside the U.S.—may provide more opportunities over the coming 12 months.

2016-04-01 00:00:00 How I found Gold in White Water Rapids by Greg Silberman of Atlanta Capital Group

The question of Gold as an investment intrigues me! Nobody it seems is ambivalent to the shiny yellow metal. Either you Hate it! In which case you may be in the camp of a barbarous relic. Or you Love it? In which case you may be a crackpot doomsayer preparing for War against the government. Is there not a middle road when it comes to Gold? Would a smart investor not recognize that in all things investing there is a season? And isn’t it possible that Golds season may just have arrived?

2016-04-01 00:00:00 Wrestling with Negative Interest Rates by Byron Wien of Blackstone

I have long thought that negative interest rates didn’t make sense, but monetarists argue that they are just low interest rates carried further. The theory is that if consumers and corporations have to pay a price to store their cash at banks, they will go out and spend and invest, but it is not clear that is what happens when deposit rates fall below zero. What is clear is that the outcomes vary by the size and importance of the central bank involved. In any case, the effects seem to be more temporary than long-lasting. Perhaps more worthy of examination are the reasons behind the negative rates and what these conditions mean for the long-term economic performance of countries and regions and returns in their financial markets.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 The Rise of the Machines—Volatility’s Back by Bob Rice of Neuberger Berman

The markets had a great run until last August—years of rising prices across nearly every asset class. Unfortunately, long-term investing doesn’t stay that easy.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Update: Is Now the Time for Emerging Markets? by Roger Edgley, Ajay Krishnan, Andrey Kutuzov, Scott Thomas, Matthew Dreith of Wasatch Funds

Why emerging-market stocks have generally performed poorly over the last five years—and why selectively chosen emerging-market businesses are now attractive in our view. We outline catalysts that could lead to sustainable advances in certain EM stocks and discuss the “new reality” that the opportunity set for truly great emerging-market investments has narrowed. This opportunity set includes high-quality growth companies in Internet technologies, health care, business-process innovation, and products and services for the expanding middle-class consumer segments in emerging markets.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Is Economic Growth in Its Final Innings? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The start of baseball season is still several days away, but a recent survey conducted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that 59 percent of U.S. fund managers believe the current stretch of economic growth is in its “final innings.” This is the highest reading since the financial crisis in 2008.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 High Yield Market Technicals by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

As we start to see the high yield market gain some footing, it is important to note the improved market technicals, mainly fund flows and primary market issuance. For the week ending March 16th, we saw high yield retail funds take in another $1.7 bil, making it the fifth consecutive week of inflows.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Indexing the Brexit by Kevin Horan of S&P Dow Jones Indices

In this blog post, Kevin Horan discusses the indexing of the Brexit and what can be observed about it from S&P Dow Jones Indices.

2016-03-31 00:00:00 Arnott on All Asset March 2016 by Robert Arnott of PIMCO

Rob Arnott, head of Research Affiliates, shares his firm’s market insights and allocation strategies for PIMCO All Asset strategies.

2016-03-30 00:00:00 Considering Alternative Investments? First, Know What You Want by Richard Brink of AllianceBernstein

Alternative investments have an impressive long-term track record, but different strategies can perform in different ways—especially when markets are volatile. It’s critical to know what you want from an alternative strategy before you buy.

2016-03-30 00:00:00 Passive-Aggressive: Index Funds and Risk in European Bond Benchmarks by Scott Spalding, Andrew Bosoworth of PIMCO

In our view, using a bond index fund today exposes portfolios to greater interest rate risk without commensurate compensation in the form of yield.

2016-03-30 00:00:00 Dividends’ True Contribution to Total Return May Surprise You by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

In recent years, dividends’ contribution to total return has been one of the most heavily-studied topics in the investment world. Several conclusions about the contribution that dividends make to total return have been claimed. However, these conclusions vary greatly. I have seen studies claiming that 90% of returns are attributed to dividends, several claiming 50% or more, and others arguing for a 30% contribution. Ironically, they all seem to be correct depending on the data-sets and/or timeframes being measured.

2016-03-30 00:00:00 Do You Believe in Central Bank Magic? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Markets have rallied from their lows in February, but do the conditions justify the rally? Russ discusses how central banks have cast a spell yet again, but can the magic continue?

2016-03-29 00:00:00 Are DIAs Better Than SPIAs – Maybe Not? by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

Deferred-income annuities (DIAs) have been receiving favorable press based on claims that they generate greater retirement income than traditional single-premium immediate annuities (SPIAs). DIAs have also been promoted by the Treasury Department, which has introduced new rules to facilitate their use. But I’ll present a contrarian view and demonstrate that retirement strategies built on SPIAs can outperform those that utilize DIAs.

2016-03-29 00:00:00 Brazil's Political Drama Intensifies as Dilma is Implicated, Lula Charged by Charles Roth of Thornburg Investment Management

Protests for Dilma's impeachment grow, sparking rallies in Brazilian asset prices. But much political and economic uncertainty remains.

2016-03-29 00:00:00 Beyond Measure: The Costs of Terrorism by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

The horrific terrorist attacks of the past week suggest that terrorism is likely to play a more prominent role in the investment landscape, leading to increased volatility for stocks as well as possibly oil prices, writes US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper.

2016-03-29 00:00:00 How Much Risk Are You Taking in Your Fixed-Income Portfolio? by David Klug of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Low interest rates have left many investors stretching for additional yield. That means they may have taken on more risks in their portfolio than they intended. Now is a good time to check in on fixed-income portfolio allocations to make sure the level of risk is what the investor expected and doesn’t conflict with or over-amplify other risks in the portfolio. One way to do so is to make sure core fixed-income investments aren’t carrying more high-yield exposure or bigger macro bets than the investor intended. We believe these types of exposure are better served by more targeted and intentional allocations, not as a key part of core portfolios.

2016-03-29 00:00:00 The Détente Agreement by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“Corporate sector metrics have been disappointing of late… Companies are scaling back expenditures of all kinds (capital expenditures, hiring, and inventory-builds, for example), as their top-line revenues and earnings decelerate. Though first-quarter numbers may come in better than beaten-down forecasts, firms are finding that top line revenues are still hard to grow significantly.” Rick Rieder, Head of Global Fixed Income, BlackRock

2016-03-29 00:00:00 A Golden Opportunity? by Steve Land of Franklin Templeton Investments

We continue to see attractive investment opportunities in gold and precious metals equities, with many companies trading well below what it would cost to build their existing mines today. We believe many gold companies are also well-positioned to survive a weak price environment.

2016-03-29 00:00:00 Looking for Value in High Yield? Avoid ETFs. by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

Are high-yield bonds cheap today? Relative to history, yes. But they’re not all alike. That’s why using a passive exchange-traded fund (ETF) to tap into the market can be costly.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Certain European Bank CoCos Still Offer Opportunities by Ian Centis of Invesco Blog

European banks’ contingent convertible (CoCo) junior subordinated Additional Tier 1 securities — the junior subordinated subset of the CoCo family — suffered a significant sell-off in January and February from which they have only partly recovered. However, Invesco Fixed Income believes the investment thesis for this asset class remains intact, especially following the European Central Bank’s (ECB) constructive actions announced on March 10.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Markets Finally Celebrate Good News? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The data calendar continues in something of an alternating mode. This week we have a concentration of the important economic releases. We also have daily appearances by Fed members. This provides a daily opportunity for pundits to interpret the news: Can markets finally celebrate good news?

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Indian Government Sovereign Paper - the Search for Carry Ends Here by Ritesh Jain of Tata Asset Management

Investors need to look at the INR and Indian sovereign G-sec through a fresh pair of lens. Last year, in a major monetary policy overhaul, RBI adopted inflation targeting as a guide to its monetary policy for the first time. India is among the few EM countries in the world with inflation targeting as a monetary policy tool. Inflation targeting will mean that the INR’s depreciation will not be as severe as in the past which will leave more carry in the hands of the investors.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 US Needs Sensible Debt Financing by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Instead of imposing strict fiduciary rules on Wall Street, banks, investment houses, and financial advisors, the government should apply similar rules to the managers of the federal debt. This is particularly true because unlike the private sector – which faces tough market competition every day – the debt managers at the Treasury Department have a monopoly.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 Conditions Are Improving, but Investors Remain Skeptical by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities snapped their five-week winning streak and dropped slightly in a holiday-shortened trading week as the S&P 500 Index fell 0.7%. The news was dominated by the terrorist attacks in Brussels, but outside of a short-lived move to safe-haven assets, the horrific events appear to have had limited market impact. Instead, investors appeared to have taken a step back in response to some more hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials and a sense that the strong rally since mid-February may have been overdone.

2016-03-28 00:00:00 The Best Time to Accumulate Long Credit Bonds May Be Now by PIMCO (Article)

Waiting until interest rates increase may not be the optimal strategy to acquire long credit bonds for plan sponsors concerned about potentially rising rates. Instead, these plan sponsors should consider buying long credit bonds now, while hedging the associated duration risk until rates rise to more comfortable levels. In doing so, investors could potentially earn an attractive yield on duration-hedged portfolios, realize compelling returns on investment grade fixed income portfolios, simplify the operational process of extending duration when rates do rise and improve credit-spread match relative to liabilities.

2016-03-27 00:00:00 The Fed's Spring Surprise by John Canally of LPL Financial

As 2016 began and 2015 ended, global financial markets faced plenty of uncertainty in the wake of the first rate hike by the Federal Reserve (Fed) in nearly nine years. Although the rate hike was well anticipated and priced in by many market participants, the Fed’s move forced markets to focus on imbalances in the global economy and financial markets that had been simmering for years. The fears about how (and when, if ever) those imbalances would be resolved led to an extreme bout of financial market volatility over the first few months of 2016.

2016-03-27 00:00:00 Investment Outlook Update: Market Volatility is Here to Stay by Andrew Pease of Russell Investments

Russell Investments’ Global Market Outlook quarterly looks at global economies through the lens of value, cycle and sentiment to help investors see what might be ahead.

2016-03-27 00:00:00 What Tools Does the Fed Have Left? Part 2: Targeting Longer-Term Interest Rates by Ben Bernanke of Brookings Institute

Although the U.S. economy appears to be on a positive trajectory, history suggests that at some time in the next few years we may again face a slowdown, with a weakening job market and possibly declining inflation. Given that the historically low level of short-term interest rates is likely to limit the scope for conventional rate cuts, how would the Federal Reserve respond?

2016-03-27 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities fell for the first time in six weeks. The intermediate-term uptrend remains healthy, but some minor short-term weakness has crept in. SPY could be setting up a trading range between 200 and 206: fading extremes at these levels is probably the set up going forward. Equities are entering a buyback blackout period, but these have had no consistent bias (positive or negative) in the past. April starts Friday: over the past 10 and 20 years, April has been one of the most consistently positive months of the year for stocks.

2016-03-24 00:00:00 As Western Europe Struggles with Growth, Central Europe Sets a Good Pace by Inbok Song of Thornburg Investment Management

Growth in four of the region's main economies is tracking above 3%, while balance sheet and fiscal profiles have improved.

2016-03-24 00:00:00 Tips Tailwind by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

High-quality bonds broadly have enjoyed a good start to 2016, but Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) have particularly benefited recently and, last week, received an added tailwind from the Federal Reserve (Fed).

2016-03-24 00:00:00 The Value of Value by Brandon Thomas of Envestnet

Value investing as an investment strategy has existed for at least 100 years, and likely for centuries (if not millennia). At its core, value investing is a fairly straightforward strategy: Investors seek to buy an asset when its price is perceived to be “cheap” relative to measures of fundamental value.

2016-03-23 00:00:00 A More Accommodative Fed by Christopher Molumphy of Franklin Templeton Investments

While market consensus currently seems unconcerned about inflation, we know this could change quickly. Longer term, we certainly think higher-than-anticipated US inflation is a potential risk.

2016-03-23 00:00:00 Mixed Economic Data Supports Gold and Short-Term Munis by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A batch of mixed economic data was released this week and last that underlines continued strength among U.S. businesses and manufacturers. But consumer confidence still seems to be held back by the global slowdown, central bank policy concerns and other factors. This suggests investors should remain cautious and might want to consider assets that have demonstrated an ability to preserve capital in times of uncertainty—gold and short-term municipal bonds among them.

2016-03-22 00:00:00 How to Develop Team Bonds by Beverly Flaxington (Article)

I have done a great job of hiring individuals who espouse our values, but when they get together as a group, they don’t gel. Indeed, some of them actively dislike one another. What can I do to encourage more harmony?

2016-03-22 00:00:00 Money Misperceptions by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

1 – The Panic of 2008 was not caused by tight monetary policy. 2 – Zero percent interest rate policy (ZIRP) and Quantitative Easing (QE) did not save the US or global economies. 3 – Monetary policy in the US is getting looser as the Fed hikes rates, and, 4 – negative interest rates in Japan and Europe are not working.

2016-03-22 00:00:00 The Fed's Disappearing Act by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

A busy last week for economic data, most of it good. The S&P 500 rose for the fifth straight week. The broad market is now up 12% in little over a month, up 2% year to date but still down 2% for the last twelve months. Emerging Markets, bonds, treasuries, TIPS and U.S. Small Company stocks are all positive of the year.

2016-03-22 00:00:00 The Central Bank as Helicopter Parent by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

In the absence of expansionary fiscal policies, many countries have relied solely on monetary policy. As central banks consider new and experimental tools, US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says "helicopter money" stands out.

2016-03-22 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What’s Up with Housing? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Once again, this week’s economic calendar is very light. There will be plenty of political news and daily doses of FedSpeak. Despite the political stories, I expect the punditry to be asking: What is happening with housing?

2016-03-21 00:00:00 It's All About the Central Banks by Jeremy Boynton of Laureate Wealth Management

The stock market has now climbed back to break-even for the year. This after a roughly 10% decline thru mid-February (as measured by the Dow Jones or S&P 500). Will the rally continue? My suspicion is yes --- in the near term. But the more important (and more interesting) question might be --- why? In this commentary, I will attempt to answer that question. By way of background, I’d like to start with a re-print of some thoughts I have shared in a prior commentary. But first a brief hint to the eventual answer: it has everything to do with the monetary policies of the most important central

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Extinction Burst by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

When a given behavior stops being reinforced, one might expect the behavior to be abandoned. Instead, and particularly when no substitute behavior is available, you’ll actually see an initial “extinction burst” - a nearly frantic increase in the frequency and the intensity of the behavior. Consider central bankers.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Looking for Yield in All the Right Places: A Post-FOMC Playblook by Gene Tannuzzo of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The Fed took out an insurance policy in order to stay on a rate hiking path. A shallower path of rate hikes should temporarily ease pressure on the U.S. dollar and help improve financial conditions. Bond investors should take cues from the TIPS and credit markets. The Fed wants to see tighter credit spreads and higher inflation expectations before raising rates much more. We view investment-grade corporate bonds and commercial mortgage-backed securities as attractive sources of income in this environment.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Central Banks Just Pulled Back from the Abyss by Brad Tank of Neuberger Berman

A spiral into deeper negative rates is off the table for now.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Fallacy of Overlooking Secondary Consequences by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences that is keeping me up at night. Try telling that one to your spouse.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Dovish Monetary Policy Signs Push Risk Assets Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The macro backdrop remained positive for risk assets last week. The Federal Reserve issued a surprisingly dovish statement, oil prices continued to climb and the crowded long-dollar trade unwound further. As a result, the S&P 500 Index climbed 1.4% and moved into positive territory for the year.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Scared of Defaults? Don’t Worry, There’s a Bright Side by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

It’s hard to talk about high-yield bonds today without addressing defaults. So here’s our take on the matter: Default rates will rise over the next few years. But don’t fret: returns are likely to rise, too.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 An Ugly Deleveraging by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

For the European Central Bank to orchestrate a beautiful deleveraging, the economy needs the right mix of growth and inflation.

2016-03-21 00:00:00 Open Letter to the Next President, Part 2 by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today we’ll continue our world tour with more advice for the next president.

2016-03-19 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities rose for a fifth week in a row. In many important ways, the current uptrend does not fit the profile of a bear market rally. That means that further gains lie ahead and a return to the February low is unlikely. On a shorter timeframe, there are several compelling reasons to expect a retracement of recent gains in the days ahead.

2016-03-19 00:00:00 What tools does the Fed have left? Part 1: Negative interest rates by Ben S. Bernanke of Brookings Institute

The Fed is not out of ammunition, and monetary policy could help cushion a possible future slowdown. That said, there are signs that monetary policy in the United States and other industrial countries is reaching its limits, which makes it even more important that the collective response to a slowdown involve other policies—particularly fiscal policy. A balanced monetary-fiscal response would both be more effective and also reduce the need to use unconventional monetary tools.

2016-03-19 00:00:00 Rising Global Taxes and Regulations (Indirect Taxation) Are Chipping Away at the Benefits of Low Int by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Compliance and regulation measures have intensified from the financial sector to the food industry, from the U.S. all the way to Brazil. Many CEOs of banks, as well as brokers that I have spoken with recently, have lamented on the financial burden of excessive regulation and the indirect taxation that comes along with this rise in rules on steroids. Regulations are fueled with good intentions; however, the unexpected consequences like slow global growth need to be adjusted.

2016-03-19 00:00:00 The Economy and the Election by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The number one question I have been asked during the first quarter is: what will the American election mean for the economy?

2016-03-18 00:00:00 Why Alternatives, Why Now? by Team of Litman Gregory

U.S. stocks. and core bonds currently look unattractive relative to their return-generation and risk-reduction roles in our portfolios, leading us to research and invest in alternative strategies that we see as more compelling on a risk/return basis.

2016-03-18 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Sigh of Relief by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

Beaten down areas of the market have staged a nice turnaround. Stocks have moved well off the lows and the S&P 500 is now within shouting distance of the flatline for the year. Areas of the market that were some of the hardest hit—such as materials, energy and financials—have posted some of the best gains over the past month.

2016-03-18 00:00:00 Fed Is Desperately Seeking… Inflation? by Kristina Hooper, Steve Malin, Greg Meier of Allianz Global Investors

The FOMC showed patience by holding rates steady at their last meeting, says Allianz Global Investors US Capital Markets Research and Strategy Team, but stubbornly low inflation persists. Investors should watch a range of inflation measures for clues about the next hike.

2016-03-18 00:00:00 Active Share: The Truth About Core-Satellite Investing by Leola Ross of Russell Investments

In the last of our four-part series, two of Russell Investments’ experts continue a conversation on active share, this time looking at core-satellite investing.

2016-03-17 00:00:00 Is High Yield Fixed Income Still Attractively Priced? by Bob Collie of Russell Investments

Russell Investments’ cycle-value-sentiment framework for market analysis implies that high yield fixed income currently offers an attractive opportunity.

2016-03-17 00:00:00 Puerto Rico Bonds: Restructure Needed by Guy Davidson, John Ceffalio of AllianceBernstein

A year ago, many people asked us if Puerto Rico’s debt was a good investment. Our answer now, as it was then, is “no.” For investors with strategies that can include high yield, it’s “not yet.”

2016-03-17 00:00:00 Fear…Not? by Team of PIMCO

The fears that had cast a pall over January weighed on the markets in early February as well, but sentiment improved sharply as the month progressed. Encouraging U.S. economic data contributed to an improvement in global risk appetite. Investors marveled at yet another V-shaped trajectory in the markets in February, but concerns still lingered.

2016-03-17 00:00:00 FOMC FAQS: All About the Dots by John Canally of LPL Financial

The Fed holds its second of eight FOMC meetings of 2016 this Tuesday and Wednesday, March 15–16, 2016. The FOMC’s “dot plots” are likely to be at the center of attention. Fed Chair Yellen’s first post-FOMC meeting press conference of 2016 provides an opportunity for the Fed to add color to its view of the economy, inflation, and financial market volatility.

2016-03-17 00:00:00 Seven: Happy Anniversary Bull Market (?) by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Last week we celebrated the seventh anniversary of the U.S. bull market, which commenced on March 9, 2009 and has since generated a total return for the S&P 500 of 247%. The traditional gift for the seventh anniversary is copper, which is fitting since the strong rally many “risk-on” assets have staged since U.S. stocks bottomed on February 11, has been accompanied (driven?) by a surge in commodities, including copper and more importantly oil.

2016-03-16 00:00:00 The War on Liquidity by Ashish Shah, Douglas Peebles of AllianceBernstein

As policymakers try to support the real economy and protect the banking system, they’re unwittingly conducting a war on market liquidity. We think this ensures they won’t achieve either of their stated goals.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 Gundlach’s Warning for “Risk Assets” by Robert Huebscher (Article)

So-called “risk assets” – securities, like equities, that offer the greatest opportunity for returns but the highest exposure to risk – are priced at levels that are eminently unattractive, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. Indeed, he said that investors in risk assets should expect returns of only 2% versus potential losses of 20% – an ominous 10-to-1 tradeoff.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 A Market Valuation Gauge That Works by Theodore Wong (Article)

In my previous article, I examined many popular metrics that show that U.S. equities have been overvalued for over 20 years. The conventional explanation is that the overvaluation and its unusually long duration is a statistical outlier. But until the anomaly is better understood, naively equating the lack of mean reversion with overvaluation will lead to ill-advised investment strategies.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 A Strategy that has Successfully Hedged Equity Exposure by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Randy Swan is president and CEO of Swan Global Investments and its portfolio manager. Since its inception in 1997 through February 29, 2016, the return for his strategy has been 8.38%, versus 6.23% for the S&P 500, and 6.26% for a balanced index of 60% S&P 500 and 40% Barclays US Aggregate Bond.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 Why I Love Christmas In My Bathing Suit by Greg Silberman of Atlanta Capital Group

In our 2016 Market Forecast we postulated that this would finally be the year of rising interest rates! So far this forecast is a bust with the 10-year rate dropping precipitously to a (panic) low of 1.57% in February. Our thinking has been that Government Bonds would be the recipient of any flight to safety during an equity market sell-off which is indeed how things have worked out -- so far.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 Equities Advance Again, But Risks Lurk on the Horizon by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equities posted a fourth consecutive week of gains for the first time since last November. The S&P 500 Index was up 1.2% due in part to yet another increase in oil prices and a positive reaction to the European Central Bank’s policy easing announcement.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 The Chart Every 25-Year-Old Should Ignore by Lance Roberts of Real Investment Advice

There are two primary reasons Millennials aren’t saving like they should. The first is the lack of money to save, the second is the lack of trust in Wall Street. A recent post from JP Morgan, via Andy Kiersz, got me to thinking on this issue.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 An Early Spring by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Markets ended last week firmer. The S&P 500 traded 2,000, roughly where it was fourteen months ago but up 7% from February lows. Nearly all markets experienced a bounce from just four weeks ago: Small Caps were up 11%, Emerging Markets up 9% and REITS up 8%. Why?

2016-03-15 00:00:00 China's Neighbors to Millions of New Free-spending Tourists: "Ni Hao!" by Ben Kirby of Thornburg Investment Management

With more disposable income than ever before, Chinese tourists are venturing abroad in ever-greater numbers, many on shopping sprees.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 When Markets are Quiet—Too Quiet by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich suggests that, given the uneven pace of global growth, there is a potential for a return of volatility.

2016-03-15 00:00:00 An Open Letter to the Next President by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

As the entire world is painfully aware, it is election year in the United States. I realize the images my non-American friends see may not inspire confidence. Our process is messy in the best of circumstances, and this year we are not at our best.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities rose the fourth week in a row, led by continued strength in oil. SPY has now rallied 11% and is back above a key support level and its 200-dma. Breadth momentum during this rebound has been stronger than nearly every bear market rally in the past 16 years. Moreover, despite the large gains, investors remain mostly skeptical. Turbulence during the upcoming March OpX week would be normal, but this week is seasonally bullish. Below, we outline what to look for before assuming the rally has come to an end.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Did Oil Prices Just Find a Bottom? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

On a global scale, oil production is finally dropping—and that’s constructive for prices. In a report released today, the International Energy Agency (IEA) writes that “prices might have bottomed out,” citing a February decline in both OPEC and non-OPEC output and hopes of U.S. dollar weakness.Although I’m cautious, the current recovery is in line with oil’s seasonality trends for the five- and 15-year periods, which show that prices have risen between March and the beginning of the busy summer travel season.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 The ECB’s Race Against Time by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Buffeted first by the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and then by the sovereign debt crisis two years later, the eurozone has struggled to restore prosperity. Real gross domestic product (GDP) has still not recovered to the level recorded eight years ago, and growth has been uneven.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Bearishness Is Strictly For Informed Optimists by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The completion of every market cycle in history has taken the most reliable equity valuation measures toward or below their historical norms - levels associated with subsequent total returns approaching 10% annually. That includes two cycle completions since 2000, as well as cycles prior to 1960 when interest rates regularly hovered near present levels. After an unusually extended speculative half-cycle, we doubt that the completion of the present cycle will be any different. It has taken the third speculative bubble in 16 years to bring the nominal total return of the S&P 500 since March 2000

2016-03-14 00:00:00 PSN Top Guns Q4 2015 - Federal Reserve Finally Makes a Move by Ryan Nauman of Informa Investment Solutions

After a less-than-stellar third quarter, U.S. stocks had a nice rebound in the fourth quarter to close out 2015. The broad U.S. equity market, measured by the Russell 3000 index, finished the fourth quarter with a 6.27% gain. In October, strong domestic macroeconomic data and continued low interest rates fueled performance. Momentum slowed by the end of the quarter as the Federal Reserve finally increased interest rates to 0.25% and oil hit an eleven-year low.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Senior Floating Rate Loans Provide Income and Value by Richard Gardiner, Ing-Chea Ang of Neuberger Berman

While equity volatility at the start of the year prompted handwringing among many investors, one of the most vexing issues in the current environment is in the fixed income market.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: March by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

We regard the greater stability in commodity prices, along with a lessening of volatility in financial markets, as welcome, and believe it should provide a more stable platform for the global economy, where growth remains acceptable, if lower than desirable.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Draghi Bazooka by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Last week’s mention of the great Art Cashin sent a number of emails my way. The one that touched me most was from Richard who worked for Paine Webber from 1974 to 1987. Back then every broker had a small speaker on his or her desk. We in the industry know it as the “squawk” box.

2016-03-14 00:00:00 Volatility View by (Article)

Market volatility has created potential opportunities for CEF investors, says Brian Buehring, Managing Director, Portfolio Specialist, Nuveen Investments.

2016-03-11 00:00:00 ECB Stimulus: A Desperate Move? by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

I wrote the other day about the next crisis and why it might well come from Europe. The news from the European Central Bank this morning reinforces my convictions. Although markets seem to be cheering the announcement of more stimulus, to me it looks like one more sign of increasing systemic stress.

2016-03-11 00:00:00 ECB Makes a Bold Move to Boost Growth by Rob Waldner, Mark Nash, Nicholas Wall of Invesco Blog

New monetary stimulus measures announced today by the European Central Bank (ECB) represent a bold move, in our view, and should be positive for riskier European assets, such as credit assets.

2016-03-11 00:00:00 ECB Delivers Big Package with Muddled Message by Darren Williams of AllianceBernstein

Who’d be a central banker? Last December, European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi was widely criticized for leading markets up the garden path and delivering a lukewarm package of stimulus measures.

2016-03-11 00:00:00 What to Trust? Measuring the Chinese Economy by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

The structure of China’s economy has changed so much over the past decade that investors need to reconsider the best metrics for assessing its growth.

2016-03-10 00:00:00 The National Debt Tops $19 Trillion - 106% Of GDP by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

On Monday, February 1, the Treasury Department announced that America’s national debt had topped $19 trillion for the first time ever – and no one seemed to notice. That’s more than $58,000 for every person living in the US today, including children. When President Obama took office in January 2009 the national debt was at $10.6 trillion; since then the debt has soared by $8.4 trillion during his seven years in the White House — a record pace that the Congressional Budget Office says is likely to continue.

2016-03-10 00:00:00 The Gold Bull Market Is Back… Will It Last? by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

The gold bull is back. After trending downward for more than four years, gold prices have broken out to the upside with a gain of more than 20% off their December lows.

2016-03-10 00:00:00 High Yield Improvement Trend Appears Entrenched by Matthew Past of BTS Asset Management

The most important indicators for high-yield bond prices are the sector’s own price trends. At present, technical indicators strongly suggest a continuation of the high-yield bond strength that began in mid-February as the flight-to-quality urge faded. In addition to technical price trends, several backdrop indicators also suggest a favorable outlook for high-yield bonds, including GDP, oil, and the dollar.

2016-03-10 00:00:00 What You Need to Know About Municipal Bonds by (Article)

Before investing in municipal bonds, know where you want to be on the yield curve and the credit spectrum, and whether your client is subject to AMT, says John Miller, Co-Head of Fixed Income, Nuveen Investments.

2016-03-09 00:00:00 Easing May Not Ease High Debt Levels by Stefan Hofrichter of Allianz Global Investors

Chief Economist Stefan Hofrichter says public debt levels are already so high across the globe, growth stimulus needs to come from a different place: changes to monetary policy and structural reforms.

2016-03-09 00:00:00 On My Radar: Stick With the Drill – Stay Wary, Alert and Very, Very Nimble by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

I was in Florida this week attending the 32nd Annual Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) Risk Management Conference. Attendees were mostly asset managers and larger pension and endowment managers. Several comments stood out to me; particularly the one above from Paul R.T. Johnson, Jr., Board Member of the State University Retirement System. “42% funded?” He added that the good news is that his is the most funded of all the states. Yikes.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 Bob Doll on His 2016 Predictions by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Bob Doll is a senior portfolio manager and chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management, and prior to that held similar roles at Blackrock, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and Oppenheimer Funds, Inc. We spoke with Bob to get an update on his 2016 predictions for the financial markets.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 No Rebound Yet by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

The fast cycle phase of markets continued last week. As of Friday morning, and so before the employment numbers, the market was up 3% on the week, up 9% from recent lows but still down 2.5% year to date. Here’s what caught our eye.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 When Helping Hurts: What More Can Monetary Policy Accomplish? by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

Global markets in February followed a path similar to the one they followed in January: selling off through mid-month, only to recover in the second half. Global rates continued their descent, reflecting increased skepticism over the prospects for global growth.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 TIPS and Value Step Up as Stocks March Ahead by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the case for TIPS and value stocks as more evidence of stabilization in the U.S. economy appears.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What Does the Election Mean for Financial Markets? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Last week’s economic calendar was the biggest of the year and this week’s is the lightest. In the absence of important economic news and earnings, where will financial media turn to fill that space and time? The Presidential election campaign is providing a lot of zest as well as a little substance. I expect financial pundits to be asking: What Does the Election Mean for Financial Markets?

2016-03-07 00:00:00 2 Sectors To Consider by (Article)

CEF investors may want to consider the taxable income and covered call sectors, says Stephen Minar, Vice President, BlackRock.

2016-03-07 00:00:00 Our Three Favorite Picks in Taxable Fixed Income by Katherine Nuss of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Volatility has presented us with an opportunity to purchase structured products such as commercial mortgage-backed securities at much more attractive valuations. Risk premiums on investment-grade corporates are now well wide of historical average and approaching levels historically observed during recessions. While we still view high yield as an attractive investment alternative, we do not believe this is the time to stretch for return or reach for yield by adding significant risk to the portfolio.

2016-03-07 00:00:00 Tuning Out the White Noise in High Yield by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

The sound and fury surrounding high yield these days can make it hard for investors to hear themselves think. It’s time to turn down the volume. Here are four things to keep in mind.

2016-03-07 00:00:00 Equity Prices Advance Again as Negative Signals Diminish by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The “risk-on” trend continued last week, helped mainly by stronger U.S. economic data, heightened expectations for more European Central Bank stimulus and additional stabilization in oil prices. High yield spreads fell and equities rose, with the S&P 500 Index climbing 2.7%. Over the past three weeks, U.S. stocks have nearly recovered all of the ground they lost earlier in the year.

2016-03-06 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

SPY has now rallied 10%, back to a level that was major support throughout most of 2015. It would be easy to say that the rally ends here, but strong breadth, persistent investor pessimism and strength in other asset classes suggest that further upside ultimately lies ahead. That said, by the end of the week, the advance showed several signs of being overextended; weakness early next week would be normal. In fact, if equities continue with an uncorrected rally, those gains are likely to be given back in the weeks ahead.

2016-03-04 00:00:00 Time to Move by Mark Kiesel of PIMCO

PIMCO believes now is the right time for investors to consider a move into higher-quality credit as well as select high yield and bank loan sectors.

2016-03-04 00:00:00 Greetings from the Cold by Charles Aram, Jonathan Treussard of Research Affiliates

The value-oriented investor, still in the throes of a long harsh winter, should be heartened in the knowledge that summer will inevitably arrive on the predictable warm breeze of mean-reverting valuations.

2016-03-04 00:00:00 China Throws Open Its Bond Market by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

China has reminded investors that there’s more to the country than worrisome economic indicators by announcing a significant step in the opening up of its domestic interbank bond market. The move has positive implications for capital flows and the strength of the currency.

2016-03-04 00:00:00 3 Different ETF Strategies for Your Portfolio by Team of BlackRock

With today’s market volatility, you’ll want to be more nimble with your investment mix. We explore how you can use “passive” ETFs in an active way.

2016-03-04 00:00:00 A Walk in the Woods: Evaluating Investment Strategies for the Long Haul by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Investing is like hiking in many respects and when you are in it for the long haul, it helps to have the right gear and to adapt to the environment.

2016-03-04 00:00:00 RIP Central Banks: Examining Negative Rate Scenarios by Jeffrey Baker of HiddenLevers

Beneath the turmoil in emerging markets and commodities, global central banks have resorted to unprecedented measures to stoke growth. Interest rates in Japan and parts of Europe are now negative, with Japanese 10 year bonds recently yielding 0%! Despite central banks' best efforts, increasing growth has been close to impossible. Long terms changes to the global economy have made central bankers increasingly irrelevant and sowed the seeds for deflation and slow growth.

2016-03-03 00:00:00 An International Perspective by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

International factors can help explain the relative resilience of longer-term bonds from mid-February to the start of March. Since Treasury yields bottomed on February 11, 2016, the 2-year Treasury yield has increased by 0.15% compared with a more muted 0.09% rise in the 10-year Treasury yield. The relative resilience of longer-term .

2016-03-02 00:00:00 Why Europe Is Wrong to Ignore the Threat of Brexit by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

Many European investors seem to think this so-called 'Brexit' decision is an issue that will only affect the United Kingdom. We think they’re mistaken and that Brexit has significant implications for investment markets in Europe as a whole.

2016-03-02 00:00:00 The Slinky US Consumer by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Bolstered by job and wage gains but still somewhat tentative, US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says US consumers have been less like a tightly coiled spring and more like a Slinky—which moves slowly only to compress and uncoil once again.

2016-03-02 00:00:00 Mexico's Economic Stewards Take Market By Surprise by Pablo Echavarria, CFA of Thornburg Investment Management

Monetary and fiscal measures tighten financial conditions, but the short-term pain bolsters sound economic fundamentals longer-term.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Currency Mayhem by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

With both the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan moving to a Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP), conventional wisdom says the US dollar will continue to strengthen. After all, the Fed is tightening while everyone else seems to be working overtime to ease policy.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Can Policy Evolution Be a Shot in the Arm for Hedge Funds? by Marc Gamsin, Jeff Bennett of AllianceBernstein

Hedge fund returns lagged during the multiyear rally in US equities, as capital markets rode a wave of unprecedented monetary easing. But the impact of policy changes could mean changing fortunes for alternatives.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Conviction in Volatile Markets: The Value of Loans Across the Credit Cycle by Scott Page, Craig Russ, Christopher Remington of Eaton Vance

The case for loans as a strategic fixed-income allocation has been proven across many credit cycles.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Finding Yield: Difficult, but Not Impossible by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses areas of the market that offer opportunities in the search for yield.

2016-03-01 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can a Rebounding Economy Support Stock Prices? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

This week’s economic calendar is loaded with all of the most important data. In addition, Super Tuesday might provide a defining event to the political campaign. Oil remains volatile, and Fed Speakers are on the loose. Despite the political stories, I expect the punditry to be asking: Can the strengthening U.S. economy support the rebound in stocks?

2016-03-01 00:00:00 The Investing Implications of Negative Interest Rates by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock's Russ Koesterich and investment strategist Terry Simpson explain how negative interest rates may impact various asset classes.

2016-02-29 00:00:00 Muni Outlook: “Broadly Stable” by (Article)

Municipal bonds currently offer a “broadly stable” asset class that may appeal to CEF investors, says John Miller, Co-Head of Fixed Income, Nuveen Investments.

2016-02-29 00:00:00 Five Questions Canadian Investors Are Asking by Scott DiMaggio, Erin Bigley of AllianceBernstein

From concerns about market liquidity to investing in clean energy, we answer the questions Canadian bond investors have been asking.

2016-02-29 00:00:00 On My Radar: Expect More Money Printing by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“Time to put 25% to 30% of your wealth in cash.” – Mohammed El-Erian

2016-02-29 00:00:00 2016 May Be a Frustrating Year for Both Bulls and Bears by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities climbed for a second straight week, with the S&P 500 Index rising 1.6%. Investors took solace in a renewed climb in oil prices and a sense that the United States was unlikely to enter a recession.

2016-02-29 00:00:00 As Equity Markets Normalize, Alternative Strategies May Be Worth Considering by Walter Davis of Invesco Blog

As the equity market normalizes, I believe alternative investments can be helpful to investors. That’s because alternatives have a history of outperforming equities during periods of stock market weakness.

2016-02-28 00:00:00 ZIRP & NIRP: Killing Retirement As We Know It by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The zero interest rate and now negative interest rate policies of our central banks are gumming up the global retirement machinery. The Federal Reserve and other central banks have spent so many years subsidizing debt and punishing savings that it is now extremely difficult to guarantee future income streams at a reasonable present cost. And future income streams are the very heart and soul of retirement. Without adequate future income streams, retirement as we know it today is off the table.

2016-02-26 00:00:00 Breaking: Golden Cross for Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Today, gold experienced a “golden cross,” a technical indicator that occurs when an asset’s 50-day moving average crosses above its 200-day moving average. It’s the first such movement in nearly two years and is a sign that gold might have further to climb.

2016-02-26 00:00:00 China Faces Capital Punishment by Carl Tannenbaum, Asha Bangalore | of Northern Trust

The Chinese are presently giving a lot of consideration to gaps in a different kind of barrier, one that restricts the flow of money instead of people. Despite a system of controls, capital has left the country in significant amounts, pressuring Chinese markets and the Chinese currency.

2016-02-26 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities gained nearly 2% for the second week in a row. SPY has now rallied to 197, the lower end of the target range we set in early February. If this is just a countertrend rally within a bear market, then risk/reward is now marginal. Despite the steep gains in recent weeks, investor pessimism persists: it would be remarkable if the rally ended without even a hint of FOMO (fear of missing out). Breadth also suggests further upside in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, recent macro data strongly refutes the notion that economic weakness is the root cause for the fall in equities.

2016-02-25 00:00:00 Arnott on All Asset February 2016 by Rob Arnott, Christopher Brightman of PIMCO

Rob Arnott, head of Research Affiliates, and Christopher Brightman, Research Affiliates’ Chief Investment Officer, share their firm’s market insights and allocation strategies for PIMCO All Asset funds.

2016-02-25 00:00:00 U.S. Recession Talk is Premature by Multi-Asset Solutions Team of BMO Global Asset Management

The recent commentary from the Multi-Asset Solutions Team at BMO Global Asset Management discusses all the commotion surrounding a potential recession. Business confidence has suffered overall, given the strong dollar, declining export demand and outright collapse of many commodity prices.

2016-02-25 00:00:00 The Missing Muni Market Story by Rafael Costas of Franklin Templeton Investments

In 2015, the municipal bond market benefited from the favorable combination of three positive influences that have historically driven performance: supply, demand and credit quality. We see these positive influences likely to continue in 2016.

2016-02-25 00:00:00 Analyzing Despair; Restoring Hope by Byron Wien of Blackstone

While I began this year with a cautious view of the financial markets, I did not expect the swift market declines that we have all experienced. At one point, the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 10% year-to-date. The recent weakness is clearly supported by some serious economic problems which I will explore. My conclusion, however, is that we will not endure either a bear market or a recession this year, and I will try to defend that position in the course of this essay.

2016-02-24 00:00:00 From Headwind to Tailwind? by John Canally of LPL Financial

Since the middle of 2014—as markets prepared for the start of Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rate hikes and more easing from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ)—the U.S. dollar has been on a near historic run higher versus the currencies of major U.S. trading partners. I

2016-02-24 00:00:00 The Bullish Case: A Mental Exercise by Doug Ramsey of Leuthold Weeden Capital Management

Our quantitative tools have delivered an emphatic bear warning, and we are subjectively convinced the message is correct. But it’s precisely these times when our conviction level is highest that we find it helpful to entertain the other side of the investment argument. We won’t back off our bear market call unless our model does, but we don’t want overplay our hand, either. The charts and tables herein are the ones we find the most challenging (even frightening) to our bearish stance—the ones that appear during those fitful nights when we worry, “What could go right?”

2016-02-24 00:00:00 Constructing a Balanced Portfolio by Litman Gregory Research Team of Litman Gregory

We often write about how our tactical asset allocation investment process seeks to use shorter-term market price volatility to our long-term advantage. Of course, while it is easy enough to say volatility creates opportunity, the reality is that volatility can be stressful and painful when you are actually experiencing it in your portfolio.

2016-02-24 00:00:00 Gold Now? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Gold never changes; it's the world around it that does. Why is it that we see a renewed interest in gold now? And more importantly, should investors buy this precious metal?

2016-02-23 00:00:00 This Is Not 2008 by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

The risk aversion across emerging markets appears to have reached a maximum state of unwarranted pessimism, in our view, and we see a vast set of valuation opportunities amid the volatility.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 Have Currencies Around the World Overshot Fair Value? by Roger Edgley, Ajay Krishnan, Andrey Kutuzov, Scott Thomas, Matt Dreith of Wasatch Funds

We think there’s a case to be made that most emerging-market currencies, along with some developed-market currencies, have seriously overshot in their weakness against the U.S. dollar. A reversal of this trend would be very positive for emerging-market investors. Moreover, we believe such a reversal of the five-year trend may have already started or may be close at hand.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 High Yield: Could the 2008 Crisis Repeat Itself? by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

Does the recent stress in high yield mean we’re headed for another financial crisis? We don’t think so. The probability of anything happening in markets is never zero. But in this case, it’s pretty close.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 Margin of Safety by Kendall Anderson of Anderson Griggs

Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, Seth Klarman, John Templeton, Howard Marks, John Neff, Walter Schloss, Max Heine, Michael Price, Peter Lynch, Wilbur Ross, and many other investment managers created wealth for themselves and their clients based on the belief that the market price for an investment will, at times, vary substantially from the intrinsic value of the investment.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 On My Radar: Ray Dalio and Hussman’s Big “W” by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“If zero or negative interest rates actually fixed what’s broken in the economy, we’d all be living in Paradise after seven years of zero interest rates.” – Charles Hugh Smith

2016-02-23 00:00:00 Less Than Zero by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

In the 1985 novel Less Than Zero, the characters seem intent on a race to the bottom. So too is the current predicament of the world’s central banks, according to US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper. Some have adopted negative interest rates with others set to follow down below zero.

2016-02-23 00:00:00 No Longer to the Rescue by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the implications of a less potent Federal Reserve and other challenges facing investors.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 Are Markets Returning to 'Normal' Behavior? by Scott Wolle of Invesco Blog

The Invesco Global Asset Allocation team doesn’t consider double-digit declines in equity markets to be normal. However, we do see three “typical” characteristics that have returned to the markets over the last few months, characteristics that we believe bode well for a global asset allocation approach.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 A Conversation with Mohamed A. El-Erian by Laurence B. Siegel (Article)

In this interview, Mohamed El-Erian discusses the role of the Fed vis-à-vis fiscal policy and how advisors should construct portfolios under the present monetary-policy regime.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 This Time is Different: A Look at the State of Emerging Market Debt by Charles Wilson of Thornburg Investment Management

Lessons learned during the Asian financial crisis helped emerging economies properly prepare for today's currency volatility and drive future growth.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 An Ocean Divides European and U.S. Banks by Brad Tank of Neuberger Berman

We believe U.S. banks are well-capitalized, well-managed and good value.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 Signs of Hope Emerge, but Pessimism Remains High by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity prices soared higher last week around the globe. In the United States, the S&P 500 Index climbed 2.9%, and gains in Europe and Asia were even higher. However, U.S. stocks continue to lead the pack year to date. At least some of the gains can be attributed to an oversold bounce and overly negative sentiment. Relative stability in oil prices and in China, along with decent economic and earnings data, helped as well.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 Self-Sabotage by Cliff Stanton, Jeremy Frank of 361 Capital

The field of Behavioral Finance has contributed greatly to our understanding of how investors make decisions. Unfortunately, many of the findings from this growing body of work have confirmed that investors routinely make sub-optimal decisions. What we know is that investors routinely chase performance; buying high and selling low. This cycle repeats itself to the point that the typical investor barely keeps up with inflation.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 A Better Week but Traders Have the Upper Hand by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

A short week and, with China closed the prior week, we thought markets may regroup. And they did. The U.S. market rose around 4%, U.S. small caps by 5% and major international markets by around 4%. We don’t usually like to show weekly market moves...there's a high signal to noise ratio, but here it is.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 Six Questions on Emerging-Equity Turmoil by Laurent Saltiel, Sergey Davalchenko of AllianceBernstein

It’s been a terrible start to the year for emerging-market equities. But by maintaining perspective on long-term trends, investors can gain the comfort to stick with developing stocks, in our view.

2016-02-22 00:00:00 The Fed Prepares to Dive by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This week’s letter has two parts. The first deals with some of the practical aspects of negative rates and what the Fed is really signaling. The second part, which is somewhat philosophical, deals with why the Fed will institute negative rates during the next recession. This letter is longer than usual, but I think it’s important to understand why we will see negative rates in the world’s reserve currency (and the currency in which most global trade is conducted). This policy trend is truly a foray into unexplored territory.

2016-02-20 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Equities followed through on last week's reversal, gaining 3-4%. Importantly, the rally came on unusually positive breadth: this has a strong propensity to push equity prices higher in the weeks ahead. Further upside also seems likely given extremes in investor pessimism, with fund manager cash levels rising to a 14 year high this month. Aside from the unpredictable path of oil, the biggest watch out is volatility.

2016-02-20 00:00:00 Monopoly Is Going Cashless. Could We Be Next? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Hasbro Gaming just released an “Ultimate Banking” version of the popular board game Monopoly that nixes the funny money in favor of play credit cards and an electronic scanner.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: February by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

The impact of China’s rebalancing is likely to remain a headwind, particularly for countries that have relied on its appetite for raw materials. But this is likely to be counterbalanced by the continuation of the various accommodative monetary policies that are in place around the world.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 How Can "Smart Beta" Go Horribly Wrong? by Rob Arnott, Noah Beck, Vitali Kalesnik, John West of Research Affiliates

If investors don’t wise up soon that rising valuations are responsible for most of the “alpha” produced by smart beta, the inevitable mean reversion to historical valuation norms threatens to unleash a smart beta crash.

2016-02-19 00:00:00 More About Negative Interest Rates by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

My post the other day about negative interest rates in Japan sparked some questions from readers, so let’s dig a bit deeper. (We’ll return to our analysis of global risks and opportunities next week.) This actually isn’t a new topic. My own discussions of negative rates go back to mid-2014, when the European Central Bank first introduced them. In a sign of how quickly strange things get normalized, I didn't comment on negative rates again until a year ago. Although I wouldn’t say that negative rates are now normal, there’s no question that they’re much less abnormal than they used

2016-02-19 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Confidence is Key by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

There are many words that could be used to describe the first six weeks of 2016 with regard to stock performance but given that this is a family publication we’ll stick with frustrating. There have been rebounds, including the latest fierce recovery which has taken US stocks out of correction mode; but a lot of confidence has been shattered. These are the times that can make or break an investing plan. Our long-held mantra is that panic is not an investing strategy and that investing should always be a disciplined process over time; never about decisions at moments in time.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Data-Driven Perspective on a Rough Start to 2016 by Burt White of LPL Financial

It has been a rough start to 2016 for the stock market. In fact, it’s been one of the worst starts to a year in the history of the S&P 500. This week we look at how stocks have done historically after other similarly bad starts, compare current fundamental and technical conditions to prior bear market lows, and discuss some potential catalysts that could help turn stocks around. While recession odds have risen (we place the odds at about 30%), we do not expect the S&P 500, down 12.5% from 2015 highs, to enter a bear market.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Market Perspectives on High Yield & Liquidity by Kenneth Johnson of Loomis Sayles

High yield bonds are experiencing larger price fluctuations given the low-liquidity environment and lower dealer inventories; the recent drawdown appears to be creating value in the sector.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Marc Faber on Cashless Society Insanity and Why Wall Street Hates Gold by Mike Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

It is my privilege now to be joined by a man who needs little introduction, Marc Faber; editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report. Dr. Faber has frequently appeared on financial shows across the globe and he's a well-known Austrian school economist, and an investment adviser.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 Asia-Pacific: A Broader Investment Landscape in 2016 by Eric Mogelof of PIMCO

In the turbulent market environment, five longer-term investment trends stand out for 2016. It has been a turbulent year for Asia’s financial markets. In the following interview, Eric Mogelof, head of Asia-Pacific at PIMCO, puts events in perspective and discusses investment trends in the region for the year ahead.

2016-02-18 00:00:00 How Extreme It Is by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The 10-year Treasury yield has fallen by 0.6% over the past six weeks, a very rare occurrence. Going back 20 years, such a noteworthy yield decline over such a short period of time has occurred only 2% of the time since February 1996. Figure 1 illustrates not only the rarity of such large yield declines, but also the significant events that pushed high-quality bond prices higher and yields lower. Recessions or global crises are the most frequent catalyst, although the current episode has no single driver. China growth fears, oil prices, sluggish U.S. economic growth, and most recently, bank cr

2016-02-18 00:00:00 New Stock Market Crash is Inevitable by Wim Gommen of US Markets

Every stage of production, or any company or other human invention goes through a process called transformation. Transitions are social transformation processes, which involve at least one generation. In this article I will use on the basis of such a transition, where we stand with our current society and that a new stock market crash is inevitable.

2016-02-17 00:00:00 Global Stock Index In Bear Market - What To Do Now by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The plunge in global equity prices that has accelerated this year continued last week. Investors around the world are worried and as usual, many are bailing out of their buy-and-hold strategies. This is nothing new, unfortunately.

2016-02-17 00:00:00 Seeking Solid Ground While Markets Rumble by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the headwinds facing stocks, and how investors should proceed going forward.

2016-02-17 00:00:00 5 Reasons to Keep Calm and Stay Diversified by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Recent market turmoil underscores the necessity of active management and the ability to take advantage of volatility. US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says this is not a time to move to cash, but to take a longer-term view—with confidence—through periods of tumult.

2016-02-16 00:00:00 2016 Outlook: A Slow and Gradual Fed is Nothing for Municipal Investors to Fear by David Hammer, Sean McCarthy of PIMCO

The combination of continued U.S. growth, muted global inflationary pressures and gradual Fed tightening bodes well.

2016-02-16 00:00:00 On My Radar: What We See Working by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Let’s begin today with the argument that we are in a long-term “secular” bull market regime and look at a few stats. There have been four secular bull periods dating back to 1921 (1921-1929, 1942-1951, 1982-2000 and 2009-present). Within those four secular bull market periods, there have been eight short-term “cyclical” bear market periods.

2016-02-16 00:00:00 A Recession Remains Unlikely Despite Market Turmoil by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity prices fell again last week, with the S&P 500 Index dropping 2.6% despite a significant bounce on Friday. Investors continued to focus on downside risks and fears of slowing growth. Rising concerns over central banks adopting zero or negative interest rate policies also detracted from market sentiment, drove confidence lower and resulted in a sharp sell-off in banking sector stocks.

2016-02-15 00:00:00 Eight Core Ideas to Guide Retirement Income Planning by Wade D. Pfau (Article)

Eight key messages and themes have underscored my writing and research. Those guidelines serve as a manifesto for my approach to retirement income planning.

2016-02-15 00:00:00 Why the Fed Can’t Tell When a Recession Starts by Harald B. Malmgren (Article)

The Fed’s FOMC finally raised its target rate of interest by 0.25% at the end of last year. But by the time it met again on January 27, widespread public controversy had emerged over whether it had made an historic mistake. Driving that purported mistake were systemic problems that prevented the Fed obtaining reliable and timely data upon which to base its decisions.

2016-02-15 00:00:00 Thornburg Investment Management: Our Unique Investment Approach by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Thornburg Investment Management’s first equity fund, the Thornburg Value Fund, has returned 6.80% since its inception in 1995, versus 5.23% for the S&P 500. On February 8, I spoke with Bill Fries, who is in the process of transitioning to senior advisor this year, Connor Browne, the manager of the Value Fund and who was mentored by Bill when he managed that fund and Jason Brady, president, CEO and the head of global fixed income.

2016-02-14 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Treasuries Continue to Rally, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Treasury market sees weak growth over the next 6-12 months.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Negative Interest Rate Policies May Be Part of the Problem by Scott Mather of PIMCO

Investors may see these experimental policy moves as damaging to financial and economic stability.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 CoCos Are a No-Go for Calamos by Eli Pars of Calamos Investments

Contingent convertible bonds (“CoCos”) have been in the news lately. And not in a good way. As several European banks have reported poor earnings recently, investors have become concerned again about banks. Cocos have been ground zero for those fears.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 How to Ballast a Portfolio with Bonds by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ and investment strategist Terry Simpson explain how to ballast a portfolio using fixed income, traditional “safe-haven” Treasuries not included.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 How to Profit from the Oil Price Fall by Lee Robinson of Altana Wealth

In February of last year, I wrote my quarterly piece on profiting from oil. The article is shown on the following page. Oil at the time was hovering just above $50. The December 2020 future was trading around $70. The average price that could be locked in by oil traders over 5 years was therefore around $60. We predicted we would see oil in the 20’s and fast forward to 2016 and oil has fallen to below $30 having been as low as $27 with the forwards at $47 and the average 5 year price now at $38.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Inflation: Dead, or Just Forgotten? by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe that widespread underestimation of future inflation, together with the prospective normalization in the relationship between long-term interest rates and nominal GDP growth, sets the stage for a significant correction in Treasury yields.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Trump: We’re Getting Railed by High Taxes and Regulations by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

It’s not the first time Trump has made a wild claim, but in this case he’s right, by one very important measure—the corporate statutory tax rate. Since 1990, this rate has hovered around 39 percent, making it the highest among OECD nations, and for the largest GDP in the world.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Predicting Recession by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Economic surveys are reflecting a higher possibility that a recession could begin in the next 12 months.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 Are Unicorns for Real? by Lee Robinson of Altana Wealth

The world is a rapidly changing place. We see lots of disruption with many losers and winners. For asset owners, spotting and removing those stocks and bonds that could fall 80-100% is just as important as finding those new winners. Arguably the former is much easier than the latter.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 How Will Low Oil Prices Affect Municipal Bonds? by Cooper J. Howard and Rob Williams of Charles Schwab

We suggest using caution if you're considering investing in bonds issued by a municipality that relies heavily on the oil-and-gas industry—such as areas in Texas and Oklahoma, parts of Wyoming, and western Pennsylvania. We don't believe low oil prices will lead to widespread defaults, but an extended period of low oil prices could lead to ratings downgrades and lower prices for outstanding bonds.

2016-02-12 00:00:00 A Shopping List for Bargain Hunters by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

While stocks overall still aren't cheap, investors looking to bargain hunt may be pleased to know there are certain segments of the market worth considering. BlackRock's Russ Koesterich explains.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 Through the Looking Glass on Rates by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On January 29th, Japan’s central bank governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, announced that the Bank of Japan would introduce a Negative Interest Rate Policy, or NIRP, on bank reserve deposits held in excess of the minimum requisite. The European Central Bank, and central banks in Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden have already partially blazed this mysterious trail. The banks have done so in order to weaken their respective currencies and to light a fire under inflation.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 2016 Economic & Capital Market Outlook by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

This year will likely be a challenging one for both the capital markets and investors. Investors are facing one of the worst stock markets in sixty years as stock prices plunge on news of slowing growth in China and plunging oil prices. We believe the risks in the economy are skewed to the downside and expect to see growing problems in manufacturing and the consumer sector. However, at the same time, this will prove to be a year of opportunity as stock prices of quality companies decline to levels that are now attractive and investors are adequately compensated for taking risk.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 Watch Out for Falling Angels by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The potential downgrade of over $100 billion worth of investment-grade rated bonds into the high-yield market looms as the next challenge for corporate bonds. The decline in oil and commodity prices may lead to $120–150 billion worth of bonds leaving the investment-grade corporate bond market and entering the high-yield bond market.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 3 Reasons Why this Gold Rally Is the Real Deal by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold prices peaked at $1,900 per ounce in September 2011. It was the end of a spectacular, decade-long bull market, during which the precious metal’s value increased a phenomenal 645 percent.

2016-02-11 00:00:00 Think Before You Sell by Seth Masters of AllianceBernstein

If you’re a long-term investor, you should be confident in two key beliefs before you act on your impulse to get out of today’s rocky stock market.

2016-02-10 00:00:00 Fear Trade: Metals Up, Stocks and Jobs Down. by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

Precious metals banked another solid week of gains as investors looked for alternatives to the stock market and U.S. dollar. Both gold and silver pushed through important technical resistance levels. Metals bulls hope to see markets enter a virtuous cycle; improving charts followed by more speculative long interest leading to improved charts.

2016-02-10 00:00:00 A Great Defense by Brian Andrew of Johnson Bank

For those of you who watched the Super Bowl Sunday night, we were all reminded that while a great defense can keep you in the game, you need some offense to win. Both the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos played great defense. At times, it looked like no one was going to be able to score. In fact, the Broncos’ only touchdown until the fourth quarter, came from the defense! The stock market’s gyrations last week remind us that knowing how to play defense in an investment portfolio is equally as important.

2016-02-10 00:00:00 Clueless Fed?! by Axel Merk of Merk Funds

"The Fed doesn't have a clue!" - I allege that not only because the Fed appears to admit as much (more on that in a bit), but also because my own analysis leads to no other conclusion. With Fed communication in what we believe is disarray, we expect the market to continue to cascade lower - think what happened in 2000. What are investors to do, and when will we reach bottom?

2016-02-10 00:00:00 70 Is the New 65: Demographics Still Support 'Lower Rates for Longer' by Matthew Tracey, Joachim Fels of PIMCO

The so-called demographic cliff remains at least a decade away; meanwhile, global demographics should continue fueling the savings glut.

2016-02-09 00:00:00 A View From the Hill by Team of Cedar Hill Associates

Investors cautious after rocky 2015, but recession appears remote. Investors stomached a white-knuckle ride through much of 2015 as the financial markets searched for direction. Although global equity indices bounced off their September lows during the fourth quarter, returns for the full year proved disappointing.

2016-02-09 00:00:00 The 3 Keys to Active Investing by Neil Dwane of Allianz Global Investors

Neil Dwane, Global Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, says investors must navigate increasingly volatile markets by being more ACTive: agile, confident and thorough. Explore our global outlook and its investment implications in his summary of our latest Investment Forum.

2016-02-09 00:00:00 Midwinter Forecast: More Volatility Ahead by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why the elements are in place for more volatility, and ways to help provide some insulation for your portfolio.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 On My Radar: QE Has Not Worked – Period! by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

U.S. recession signals are intensifying. The QE boost that hasn’t reached Main Street will be taken away from Wall Street in the next recession. I wrote a piece this week for Forbes entitled, U.S. Recession Signals Intensify . The hard reality is we are due (some say overdue) for a recession and evidence suggests the next one is heading our way. Equity market declines are at their worst during recession as you’ll see in the following chart. View the next chart with a stiff drink in hand. To this, as advisors, we must defend!

2016-02-08 00:00:00 The Most Dangerous Financial Products by Michael Edesess (Article)

What would we think of doctors who deliberately hurt patients by prescribing dangerous and unhealthful products in order to make more money? Fortunately, the medical profession is set up in such a way that such things virtually never happen. This is not so in the financial services industry, where hazardous products are routinely sold to unsuspecting consumers.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Are Women Advisors the Future of Financial Advice? by Dan Richards (Article)

Women advisors represent the future of financial advice. Some of the differences from men that held them back in the past will work to their advantage going forward.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Suffering Stock Market Stress? by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

It would be an understatement to call the recent stock market activity turbulent. High stock price volatility makes investors anxious and some people even become downright frightened. These emotional responses are often exaggerated for people in or near retirement. Therefore, I contend that all investors need to find ways to keep their emotions in check in order to avoid panicking, which typically leads to the making of a devastating financial mistake.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 When Stocks Crash and Easy Money Doesn't Help by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Historically, increases in the Fed’s balance sheet have only been positively associated with increases in the S&P 500, on average, when the S&P 500 was already in an uptrend and investors were already inclined to speculate.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Equities Remain Under Pressure as Investors Focus on the Negatives by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equity prices fell again last week as investors followed the “de-risking” theme that has dominated most of 2016. The S&P 500 Index dropped 3.0% for the week. Oil prices staged a slight rebound last week, as expectations rose for coordinated production cuts from OPEC countries and Russia. The dollar experienced a sell-off last week as well, which provided some support for the hard-hit commodity-related equity sectors.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Treasuries. The Game In Town by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

What a ride. Stocks were mostly unchanged on the week, as of Thursday afternoon. We have seen a range in the last few weeks of around +/-4%. The action continues to be in bonds where we’ll risk showing the same chart two weeks in a row (updated of course).

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is a Recession Looming? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The economic calendar is light and it is the start of the week-long Chinese New Year. This means some media time and space that must be filled. Needing an attention-getter, I expect the punditry to be asking: Is a recession looming?

2016-02-07 00:00:00 Markets Are a Mess, but Don't Jump to Conclusions Yet by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

2016 has not been a happy new year for investors thus far, with a January plagued by market volatility and some of the worst index returns observed in years. Have these first few weeks set the stage for disastrous markets throughout the rest of the year?

2016-02-06 00:00:00 $100 Trillion Up in Smoke by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The total value of all the world’s oil reserves is over $100 trillion less than it was just a year and a half ago.

2016-02-06 00:00:00 10 Numbers to Know for the Chinese New Year by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

I’ve put together 10 figures to know as China enters a new year.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital Management

The Grey Owl investment process starts and ends with robust risk management. Our goal with the Grey Owl Opportunity Strategy is to provide equity-like returns, but with lower drawdowns and volatility than the major equity indices. As such, we worry about the downside first. We do not want clients to fear opening their monthly statements, and we certainly do not want to put regular withdrawals at risk, regardless of what the indices are doing.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Rich Man, Poor Man by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Given the unmerciful “selling stampede” ushered in with the new year, I thought it would be appropriate to republish one of my strategy reports from a few years ago, because its advice is timeless. Indeed, after 45 years in this business, I have seen a number of cycles and developed a long-term perspective, much like Richard Russell wrote about in “Rich Man, Poor Man.”

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Muni Bonds Have Performed Well in Volatile Times by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Like Winter Storm Jonas, which has disrupted life on the East Coast with up to 30 inches of snow in some cities, strong levels of volatility are sweeping through global markets, from the U.S. to China. The Shanghai Composite Index closed at a 13-month low on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 Index has lost over 7 percent year-to-date.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 GMO Quarterly Letter by Ben Inker, Jeremy Grantham of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker examines U.S. high yield corporate bonds, an "asset class that had a notably bad year," concluding, "at current spreads, high yield seems to be no worse than fair value and probably better than that... In today's environment, that makes it one of the best available risk assets for investors" ("Giving a Little Credit to High Yield").

2016-02-05 00:00:00 Deflation Rears Its Ugly Head by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

Several years ago we developed a view that the U.S. economy and its equity market were misunderstood, out of favor and undervalued. The world was infatuated at the time with the mesmerizing growth rates of many emerging market economies while the U.S. was viewed as having been bumped from center stage by the ascendant BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies. Over the five years, 2009-2014, investors moved a stunning $1.6 trillion into emerging market funds.

2016-02-05 00:00:00 No Place to Hide or No Place to Go? by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

2015 was a very frustrating year for investors as there was plenty of volatility, virtually no standouts and quite a few disappointments. Despite relatively steady U.S. economic growth, domestic equities were essentially flat for the year with the exception of some tech and biotech heavy indices. U.S. investment grade bond performance was also essentially flat, while high yield, still under pressure from declining energy and industrial commodity prices, lost money.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 Groundhog Day? by John Canally of LPL Financial

In recent weeks, there have been plenty of “groundhogs” in the financial markets and in the financial media. For some investors, the fear is that the market’s performance in January 2016 will be repeated over and over again, as in the classic 1993 film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Other investors fear that 1998 will play out all over again, triggered by central bankers’ policy mistakes, volatile currency markets, wave after wave of currency devaluations, and eventually a sovereign default.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 Negative on Japan’s Negative Interest Rates by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

One of the most interesting (and surprising) pieces of news on the economics front has been the Bank of Japan’s decision to take rates to negative levels—in other words, to charge depositors to keep their money in the bank. This is not an unprecedented move, as negative rates have been in place for a while in some European countries, but it’s still somewhat unusual.

2016-02-04 00:00:00 The Folly of Negative Interest Rates as Public Policy by Stephen Conwill of Milliman, Inc.

With its surprise decision last month, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has joined the European experiment with negative interest rates. Is this a bold and brilliant policy move or the last gasp of failed policy? Unfortunately, it is the latter. Quantitative easing was always a risky experiment. From the start, it failed the test of intellectual coherence. With three years of experience in Japan, it is failing empirical tests as well. It is unclear whether policymakers have the knowledge, fortitude, and tools to reverse course and unwind this unfortunate experiment.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 Gold to Beat Stocks? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

"Stocks beat gold in the long run!" is a 'rallying cry' to buy stocks we have heard lately that gets me riled up. It’s upsetting to me for two reasons: first, an out of context comparison, in my opinion, misguides investors. It might be the wrong assertion in the short to medium term.

2016-02-03 00:00:00 Increasingly Addled by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

Long ago and far away in the adolescent cauldron known as Los Altos High School, I attended a senior U.S. history class with a man-child named Delos Roman. He was appropriately christened it seems, because his body resembled that of Zeus, the God of Thunder, and at 6’4”/230 pounds, he rumbled down the football sidelines like a Mack truck on a downhill mountain road.

2016-02-02 00:00:00 Tough January. Now What? by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Last week was relatively quiet, with stocks pretty much unchanged but still down around 2% since year-end. The action continues to be Treasuries with the Ten-Year note at 1.92% compared to 2.29%, when the Fed raised rates in December. Here’s the Treasury yield curve in mid-December and now.

2016-02-02 00:00:00 What the Bank of Japan's Negative-Rate Policy Means for Investors by Daisuke Nomoto of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The Bank of Japan’s new negative interest rate policy should benefit Japanese exporters and high-dividend stocks, but could have an adverse effect on banks. We believe this policy should provide the Japanese economy and equity market with more positives than negatives. We encourage investors to look for opportunities in high-quality Japanese companies to take advantage of the recent sell-off.

2016-02-02 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Last Bull Standing by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Today, I share with you some of my high-level notes from this week’s Inside ETFs Conference in Hollywood, Florida. The forward return theme was consistent, from Vanguard to Wharton Professor Jeremy Siegel: expect low equity and fixed income returns. Jeffrey Gundlach left the audience in a state of depression (well the audience, not Gundlach) and Mark Yusko spoke of likely recession citing poor ISM numbers. This left Prof. Siegel to later say, “It appears I’m the only bull at the conference.”

2016-02-01 00:00:00 James Montier on Fed-Induced Bubbles, Market Valuations, Smart Beta and Liquid Alts by Robert Huebscher (Article)

James Montier is a member of Grantham Mayo van Otterloo’s (GMO’s) asset allocation team. In this interview, he discusses the effect of monetary policy on market valuations, and offers his opinion on smart-beta and liquid-alt investment products.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Two New Books on Retirement Planning by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

The New Year brought us two new books on retirement planning written by well-known authors – Teresa Ghilarducci and Jane Bryant Quinn. Ghilarducci focuses on key steps to build retirement savings, while Quinn provides a much fuller analysis for both accumulation and de-accumulation. Both are books advisors should read themselves as candidates to recommend to clients.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 A Frail New World by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

In this month's Absolute Return letter we argue why the long-term outlook for GDP growth and for returns on risk assets is uninspiring. We are often 'accused' of allowing the negative long-term demographic outlook to colour our view on risk assets in general, but in the February letter we argue why the demographic outlook is only one of (at least) four factors, which will hold back GDP growth as well as returns on risk assets in the years to come.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

A more than 20% rebound in oil the past 10 days helped equities close higher a second week in a row. Importantly, there were two positive breadth thrusts this week: equities have strong tendency to add to gains over the following weeks. Despite equity's gains, investors remain very bearish, and this is also a tailwind into February. After a powerful move Friday, a giveback early in the week would be unsurprising.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Thoughts on the Alternative Investing Landscape in 2016 by Marc Gamsin, Greg Outcalt of AllianceBernstein

As 2016 gets under way, investors need to guard against short-term volatility spikes and contagion risks from factors including geopolitical turmoil and pressure on oil prices. How is the environment impacting the risk/return characteristics of various hedge fund strategies?

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Municipal Bond CEFs by (Article)

Municipal bond CEFs have performed relatively well in recent years and remain attractive in 2016, says senior analyst Cara Esser of Morningstar.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 The Danger in Emerging Market Debt by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Most observers saw the recent troubles in the high-yield markets – the gating of the Third Avenue and Stone Lion funds – as a precursor to a junk-bond crisis. Instead, investors should be focusing on a potentially bigger problem, according to Russell Napier. Open-end mutual funds holding emerging-market debt are at risk.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 The Big Trap in Casual Conversations by Dan Richards (Article)

Today, I highlight an example of bad advice – focusing on how to engage people who aren’t clients in casual conversation and in particular on how to respond to the question “How’s business?”

2016-02-01 00:00:00 The Role of Short Selling in Equity Markets by Niall H. O’Malley (Article)

To understand the role of short selling, one has to step back and see how it impacts price discovery in equity markets. We are familiar with terminology such as short squeeze, prime brokers and short interest, but what does it all mean?

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Equities Rally as Oil and Monetary Policy Remain in Focus by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Volatility remained high last week as U.S. equities regained some ground, with the S&P 500 Index rising 1.8%. Stocks soared on Friday in response to the Bank of Japan’s decision to adopt a negative interest rate stance. Oil prices also rose over speculation that global production might fall. Corporate earnings were mixed, as results continued to be held back by the long-term decline in lower oil prices, a soft economic backdrop and the strong dollar.

2016-02-01 00:00:00 Tokyo Doubles Down by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I’ve been busily writing a letter on oil and energy, but in the middle of the process I decided yesterday that I really needed to talk to you about the Bank of Japan’s “surprise” interest-rate move to -0.1%. And I don’t so much want to comment on the factual of the policy move as on what it means for the rest of the world, and especially the US.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Monetary Policy Stuck in the Mid?Atlantic by Mike Amey of PIMCO

As we look forward to 2016, once again we are faced with the question of whether the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at the Bank of England (BOE) will finally raise interest rates, or whether this will prove to be another year where expectations for a move in official rates are to be dashed.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Recession on the Horizon? Look at the Big Picture by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Whether or not a recession is imminent, I believe it's a good idea for investors to be prepared by having a well-diversified portfolio, including assets such as gold and municipal bonds. Gold has tended to have a low correlation with stocks, meaning that even when stocks were tumbling, it's managed to retain its value well. The same can be said for short-term, high-quality munis, which have been shown to offer a greater amount of stability than some other types of securities, even during market downturns.

2016-01-29 00:00:00 Do Interest Rates Know No Bounds? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Many interest rates in Europe have been below zero for quite a while and are poised to fall further.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Does Market Volatility Bring Opportunities for High-Yield Bonds? by Jennifer Ponce de Leon of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

We believe the recent volatility and selloff in U.S. high yield offers an attractive relative investment opportunity as yield premiums have widened to provide appropriate compensation for today’s market risks. The overall market still warrants a cautious approach for 2016, but we are constructive on much of the non-commodity-related high-yield opportunity set. A disciplined credit selection process should serve investors well in taking advantage of high-yield opportunities.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Central Banks, the Market and Wealth Creation by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group, Inc.

Numerous investor behavior studies have been conducted by researchers, and most come to the same conclusion: individual investors tend to buy and sell at the wrong time. Perhaps it is the “fight or flight” in us that gets in the way. “Thinking deeply” – “Reflecting”. A good friend and advisor client said to me this morning, “This business can be a bi&@h.” I told him I was posting a chart today that may speak to his frustration. Here, I share it with you.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Why It Pays to Keep an Eye on the Credit Cycle by Ashish Shah, Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

Market sell-offs can be unsettling. But it’s important to keep them in perspective. The recent downturn in some credit markets is normal, given where we are in the credit cycle. It’s not evidence of a bursting bubble.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Oil Stocks: Is Bad News Signaling Good Opportunities? by Kevin Holt of Invesco Blog

As a deep value manager with a long time horizon, I often see opportunities in the midst of gloomy headlines. While crude oil hit a new 12-year low of around $26 a barrel in January, I view this sector as one of my top long-term opportunities.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 Bearish Tendencies (and silver linings) by Team of Pinnacle Advisory Group

2015 had many twists and turns, but from a financial market perspective, it was effectively a road to nowhere when looking across a variety of asset classes. In U.S. equity markets, large company stocks (large cap) barely moved as just a few sectors and stocks were big winners. In the broad market, many stocks performed far worse than the large cap averages and gave investors the false impression that the market was generally flat.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 As Goes January...Revisited by Peter Nielsen of Saturna Capital

Oh, market volatility — your foul stench is particularly rancid in the dark of winter, when the taxman begins his rounds and rebalancing fills investors' minds.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 The Challenges Facing Emerging Markets Debt by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Emerging markets debt (EMD) valuations have cheapened in recent weeks, as weaker Chinese economic data and lower oil prices pushed prices lower and yield spreads higher. The average yield spread closed at 4.6% on Friday, January 15, 2016, essentially matching the post-recession peak of August 2015; and the average yield to maturity rose to 6.25%, the highest since mid-2011 and the height of European debt fears.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Verbal Intervention From Draghi by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

A better week. In markets that are directional and emotional, few large buyers stepped up. But we heard from Mario Draghi at the ECB that policies would be “reviewed and reconsidered”. Admittedly, the Fed is in a blackout period before its first meeting since it raised rates. So the news from the ECB was welcome and stocks rallied.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Opportunities in the Evolving Non-Agency Mortgage Backed Security Market by Jason Callan of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The non-agency MBS market has evolved over the past few years with new sectors offering attractive investment opportunities. Non-agency MBS have attractive fundamentals as consumers benefit from a stronger dollar and lower energy prices. Flexible strategies with disciplined credit selection can help take advantage of the evolving non-agency RMBS investment landscape.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Markets Recover (for Now) as Investors Remain Wary by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equities remained volatile last week as the S&P 500 Index gained 1.4% following two weeks of sharp declines. The rebound didn’t appear to be driven by any fundamental shifts, although rising oil prices and expectations of additional policy support from the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan helped. In some ways, last week’s bounce may have been due to a reaction from oversold conditions, and we are not seeing technical signs that would suggest these gains will have sustained traction. Investors remain skeptical and seem to be looking for the next crisis.

2016-01-27 00:00:00 Italy's Banking Crisis by Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

On January 1, the EU implemented a new bank restructuring directive. The new and stricter rules are aimed at forcing private stock, bond and deposit holders to accept losses before public funds would be used in a bank restructuring. Although all EU countries are affected, Italy remains of particular concern due to the number of distressed loans in the country. This week, we look at the overall health of Italy’s banking system as well as its nonperforming loan problem.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 The Best Question to Engage Clients by Dan Richards (Article)

Explicitly asking about the value you provide won’t advance your relationship with most clients – but an alternate question will.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 Municipal Bonds: Staying Calm in Turbulent Markets by Team of Lord Abbett

Municipal bonds continue to defy market volatility, offering an oasis of tranquility for investors. Here’s why.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: A Detailed Look at the Long-Leading, Leading and Coincident Indicator by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

2016 certainly opened with a bang. It started with a massive sell-off in the Chinese market that sent ripples throughout the world. Oil and other commodities continued to plumb new lows. Treasury yields dropped and volatility increased. The combined impact of these events led to an increase in bearish calls for the US economy, which is bolstered by the drop in the Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now and Moody’s High Frequency GDP models. In this article, I’ll take a look at the long-leading, leading and coincident indicators, which will show some weakness exists.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Annus Horribilis for MLPs by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

Despite the returns seen recently for MLPs generally, we are very optimistic about the outlook for MLPs in the long-run. Bottom line, we see the demand for midstream services to continue to expand. While we expect the volumes of oil will decline in the coming quarters, we expect the volumes of gas to be produced will still increase. And while oil is in oversupply for the current time, strong demand growth is being spurred by lower prices.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Reduce Drag on Performance through Tax Managed Indexing by Rey Santodomingo of Parametric

Tax changes in recent years have hit high-income earners, including investment income. These include an additional Medicare surtax, a new top rate for dividends and long-term capital gains, and the phase out of itemized deductions for affluent taxpayers. It’s increasingly important for advisors to help clients identify strategies to help them invest more tax efficiently.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 New Year, More Volatility—What Can Investors Do? by Martin Atkin, Dianne Lob, Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

The calendar has changed to 2016, but the volatility story remains. The key concern: weaker global growth and its possible ripple effects, including low oil prices for an extended period. How should investors approach this challenge?

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Capital Flows into Insurance: Are We at a Tipping Point? by Krishna Mohanraj of Diamond Hill Capital Management, Inc.

A sudden rush of small, related moves within an industry could signal something bigger: an imminent tipping point, perhaps with large impacts. Recent capital flows into the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry appear to show signs of one such shift.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 The First Eagle Portfolio Management Team on the Trends Driving Global Opportunities by Robert Huebscher (Article)

First Eagle’s Global Fund (SGENX) is its flagship fund, with over $45 billion in assets. Since inception (1/1/79), it has returned 13.35% annually, versus 9.50% for the MSCI world index. Over the last 15 years, it has been in the top 2% of its peer group. I recently spoke with its managers about the global trends driving opportunities for their fund.

2016-01-25 00:00:00 Buckle Up: More Volatility Ahead by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Investors enter the final week of January wondering if they should sit out the rest of 2016. US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper cautions against such short-term thinking and reminds investors to keep their eyes on long-term goals.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Even As Defaults Rise, High Yield Should Stay Afloat by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

The plunge in commodity prices is bad for energy- and metals-sector high-yield bonds. But it’s positive for the majority of issuers. That’s why we expect only a modest rise in the average default rate in 2016.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 On January Barometers and Market Bargains by Templeton Global Equity Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

We are now witnessing historic extremes in the discount afforded to value relative to growth, quality and safety. While this environment has been (and may remain) painful for some time, the eventual normalization of these extremes represents the most compelling opportunities in equity markets today.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Do Retirement and Investing Posts from 2015 Still Ring True? by Phill Rogerson of Russell Investments

Phill Rogerson takes a look back at blogs posts in 2015 to see what insights on retirement and investing may be helpful in 2016.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Global Greying and Demographic Drags by Bruce Campbell of BMO Global Asset Management

The report examines the changing demographics of global workforces. The report notes that birth rates are dropping everywhere, workforce growth is dramatically slowing, and the median age is rising as people are living longer. BMO warns that the likely repercussions include inadequately funded pension and social security plans, strain on health care and retirement facilities, and uncertainty surrounding government budget forecasts due to slowing GDP growth.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Market Macro Myths: Debts, Deficits, and Delusions by James Montier of GMO

In the context of the role that debts and deficits play in overall economic policy, in this paper I focus on the philosophy known as “sound finance,” which includes adherents who believe that governments should seek to balance their budgets. I, however, take a different view, and believe that the role of government when dealing with budget deficits should be one of “functional finance,” which ensures that the policies implemented help to reach the overarching goals of macroeconomic policy (generally held to be full employment and price stability).

2016-01-22 00:00:00 ETF Mechanics and Liquidity by Rob Parker of AdvisorShares

When a stock or a bond is traded, the traded price is the value of the security. This is due to the fact that stocks and bonds are non-derivative securities. Their value is driven solely by supply and demand at the moment of the trade. The supply of the security is fixed.

2016-01-22 00:00:00 Comparisons to 2008 Spark Gold’s Fear Trade by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The comparisons to 2008 have triggered gold’s Fear Trade, with many investors scrambling into safe haven assets. Jeffrey Gundlach, the legendary “bond king,” recently made a call that amid further market turmoil, the metal could spike as much as 30 percent, to $1,400 an ounce.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Seeking Shelter from the Storm by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the recent volatility and how investors should proceed going forward.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Any Bulls Left? by Burt White of LPL Financial

The number of bulls is dwindling. In periods of extreme market volatility such as we have experienced in recent weeks—and Friday, January 15, 2016, in particular, when the Dow was down over 500 points at one point before paring losses—we find it helpful to try to take some of the emotion out of our investment decisions. As difficult as that can be at times, this approach can help us reduce the chances of selling at the bottom, even though the natural reaction for many is to panic and hit the sell button.

2016-01-21 00:00:00 Advisors Need to Know How to Address Their Clients’ Market Concerns by Chuck Self of iSectors

Given the recent 10% stock market decline from the May 2015 highs, financial advisors are receiving calls and emails from concerned clients. If a client called me, my extended elevator speech would be...

2016-01-20 00:00:00 What Does the Market Know? by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

In Thursday’s memo, “On the Couch,” I mentioned the two questions I’d been getting most often: “What are the implications for the U.S. and the rest of the world of China’s weakness, and are we moving toward a new crisis of the magnitude of what we saw in 2008?” Bloomberg invited me on the air Friday morning to discuss the memo, and the anchors mostly asked one version or another of a third question: “does the market’s decline worry you?” That prompted this memo in response.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 A Year of Transition for Financial Assets by Jeffrey Knight of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The rocky start to the year corroborates our belief that 2015 marked a transition in the investment environment. We expect low returns and high volatility to continue in 2016. Two factors that help explain market outcomes in 2015 remain relevant in 2016: 1) financial assets aren’t cheap and 2) Fed tightening eliminates one of the greatest tailwinds for financial markets. Even in this new and challenging environment, we strongly believe that positive returns are achievable with the appropriate investment strategy. Active strategies deserve higher prominence.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 The Sharp Equity Sell-Off Continues as Sentiment Sours by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets remained in free fall last week, with the S&P 500 Index dropping another 2.2%. Mixed economic data, a renewed collapse in oil prices, financial turmoil in China and worries over credit conditions and corporate earnings prompted fears that the U.S. economy may be heading for recession. This put additional downward pressure on equity markets and other risk assets.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 It’s Time to Reevaluate Risk in Your Portfolio by Don Schreiber of WBI Investments

In response to the 2008 Financial Crisis, governments around the world led by the U.S. Federal Reserve adopted zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) and quantitative easing (QE) monetary policy tools to try to stabilize the financial system.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 On My Radar: A Cyclical Bear Market (Here’s Why) by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group, Inc.

The speed at which stocks have dropped 10% (defined as a correction) two times in a short period of time has happened just three times in the last 100 years. 1927, 2000 and 2008.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Why the “Worst Year” Might Be a Good Time to Invest by Team of Lord Abbett

Investors who had a hard time finding returns in 2015 might do well to heed the lessons of two other challenging years—1937 and 1987.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Ron Muhlenkamp, Jeff Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company

In the fourth quarter, the S&P 500 Index was up a bit over 7% and up 1.38% for the year. Our accounts, on average, were up 3.52% in the quarter and down 5.03% for the year. (Individual performance varies by account.) The gains for the broader Index in the quarter were mostly made by a small number of large capitalization tech stocks, Facebook, Amazon, Netfl ix, Google, and Microsoft among them.

2016-01-20 00:00:00 Stocks Plunge Most On Record Last Week, Oil Down 10% by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

In the first week of 2016, US stocks plunged by more than in any other first week of January since records have been kept (before 1900). The Dow Jones Industrial Index fell over 1,000 points from 17,591 at the close on December 31 to 16,519 at the close last Friday – a loss of over 6% in one week.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Venerated Voices™ 2015 Year-End Rankings by Jill Mislinski (Article)

Here are our Venerated Voices awards for commentaries published in 2015. Rankings were issued in three categories: by firm, by author and by commentary.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Lessons from Billionaires Who’ve Gone Broke by Dan Richards (Article)

Some new Price Waterhouse Coopers research on billionaires who, over the last 20 years, failed to maintain their wealth provides valuable perspective on dealing with risk-prone clients.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Gundlach’s Forecast for 2016 by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Jeffrey Gundlach is a prescient and accurate forecaster. Last week, as he does each January, he offered his market outlook. But unlike prior years, when Gundlach typically offered high-conviction investment ideas, this year he said he would let market movements over the near-term dictate his outlook.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Albert Edwards – Dollar Appreciation and a Global Recession by Robert Huebscher (Article)

As the equity markets have suffered their worst performance ever to start a year, we’ve heard the familiar refrain from the chorus of sell-side analysts: Don’t panic, the economy is fine and the markets will recover. Among the few who are warning that things could get worse – indeed, much worse – is Albert Edwards.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 CEF Market View by (Article)

Get ready for a bouncy ride. Volatility in the CEF market may continue in 2016, says senior analyst Cara Esser of Morningstar.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: January by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

Though the rest of the world may not be doing as well as the United States, we think global growth remains acceptable and do not anticipate a global recession or global deflation.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Earnings Season Provide a Floor for Stocks? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Stocks continued the worst start in history. With little sign of dip-buying and the start of earnings season, everyone will be wondering: Can earnings reports provide a floor for stocks?

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

US equites have dropped some 10% in the past two weeks, returning to their August/September lows. This has triggered a bearish technical pattern. Is the stock market signaling a recession and the start of a bear market? Risk has clearly increased, but on balance, the evidence suggests the answer remains no.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Tactical Alpha: Theory & Practice (Pt. I) – Fundamental Law of Active Management by Adam Butler of ReSolve Asset Management

For the overwhelming majority of investors, portfolios are broadly organized into strategic silos of stocks and bonds, such as the ubiquitous 60/40 balanced portfolio. By design, the strategic proportions of stocks and bonds in the portfolio change very little over time. However, within each silo investors take active risk by choosing to hold individual stocks and bonds in weights that deviate substantially from passive market-cap weights.

2016-01-17 00:00:00 2016: Surprises & Scenarios by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today we’ll look at 2016 forecasts from some professionals I trust. I know most of them personally and have been friends with some of them for years. I know they aren’t just “talking their book.” They may turn out to be wrong, but if so, it will be for the right reasons. After we review the forecasts, we’ll look at some common threads among them, as well as important differences.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 On the Couch by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

I woke up early on Saturday, December 12 – the morning after a day of significant declines in stocks, credit and crude oil – with enough thoughts going through my mind to keep me from going back to sleep. Thus I moved to my desk to start a memo that would pull them together. I knew it might be a long time between inception and eventual issuance, since every time I dealt with one thought, two more popped into my head. In the end, it took a month to get it done.

2016-01-16 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

• US Fundamentals Look Strong Enough to Cope with Higher Rates • A Softer Growth Backdrop for Much of the Rest of the World • Europe’s Recovery Remains Modest but Inflation Still Weak

2016-01-15 00:00:00 5 Good and 5 Bad Scenarios for 2016 by Neil Dwane of Allianz Global Investors

Peering into the future, Neil Dwane, Global Strategist with Allianz Global Investors, looks at how 10 different scenarios—from a rehabilitated Russia to a global pandemic—could impact the global economy and move markets over the coming year.

2016-01-15 00:00:00 Stay the Course! Which One? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Each time I hear someone suggest investors should ‘stay the course’ as markets tank, I fear such well-intentioned advice fails to adequately capture the predicament investors are in. Worse, the ‘stay the course’ mantra may set many investors up for failure.

2016-01-15 00:00:00 4Q 2015 Municipal Bond Commentary by Chris Ryon, Nick Venditti of Thornburg Investment Management

It finally happened. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, the Federal Reserve moved the target on short-term interest rates up 25 basis points (0.25%) with indications of future rate increases to come. The market reaction? Unimpressed. All who predicted doom and gloom from an interest rate increase were quickly reminded that while the Fed has some power, the mechanics of supply and demand inevitably determine the value of interest rates.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Stocks Plunge Most On Record Last Week, Oil Down 10% by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

In the first week of 2016, US stocks plunged by more than in any other first week of January since records have been kept (before 1900). The Dow Jones Industrial Index fell over 1,000 points from 17,591 at the close on December 31 to 16,519 at the close last Friday – a loss of over 6% in one week.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Economic Outlook January 2016 by John Calamos, Sr. of Calamos Investments

In 2015, we saw significant bifurcation between the haves and have-nots (within asset classes, across asset classes and among economies), as well as high volatility. We expect bifurcation and volatility to remain dominant themes in 2016, making positioning especially important. The year has gotten off to a rocky start, but we believe 2016 ultimately will prove to be a low-return environment. We expect elevated volatility as market participants grapple with a range of unknowns.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Four Reasons Why the Bond Market Is Not Headed Toward a Liquidity Crisis by Tony Wong of Invesco Blog

Liquidity in fixed income markets has become a major focus of concern inside and outside of the investing community. While the consensus view suggests that US bond markets have become more susceptible to serious shocks, Invesco Fixed Income believes there are four main factors that will help the US avoid a liquidity-induced systemic crisis.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 4 Financial Fitness Tips for 30-Somethings by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Just in time for New Year's Resolution season, Russ shares advice to help 30-somethings build strong and stable retirement plans.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Asset Allocation 2.0™ by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Global markets are experiencing a major paradigm shift, which has rendered traditional asset allocation models all but obsolete. In order to attain true diversification investors must abandon the past and embrace the new. Introducing Asset Allocation 2.0™.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Fed Rate Hike Playbook: Part 2 by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

In Part 2 of our Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike playbook, we assess how municipal bonds have fared during periods of Fed rate increases. In the first full week of trading for 2016, Fed rate hike expectations declined in response to another bout of Chinese economic concerns and a benign message from the Fed meeting minutes, which appeared to cast doubt on whether the Fed would ultimately follow through on its forecast of roughly four rate increases in 2016.

2016-01-14 00:00:00 Should Investors Worry About China Selling U.S. Bonds? by Matthew Pasts of BTS Asset Management

At BTS we often say investors should increase the level of attention they pay to the price side of bonds, because we believe the risk of principal loss, especially in a low?interest rate environment, is higher than many people realize. It’s important to focus on supply and demand factors as part of that focus on bond prices.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Will Lower Interest Rate Volatility Last? by Vicky Zhao of PIMCO

Though volatility has diminished in recent years, U.S. interest rates are unlikely to be structurally less volatile going forward.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Why Top Mutual Fund Managers Love Municipal Junk Bonds by Robert Kane of BondView

Data for municipal bond funds show the so-called smart money investors have big bets on junk-rated bonds despite the worries over Puerto Rico and pension deficits across the U.S. Perhaps fears over pension costs are overblown.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 The China Storm: Parsing Sentiment and Substance by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses last week's market rout, and whether it marks the start of a bear market.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 A Year-End Letter to Clients: Why I’m Optimistic by Dan Richards (Article)

This is a template for a year-end letter that can be sent to clients. It summarizes 2015 market performance and provides reasons why clients should be optimistic about the period ahead.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Macro Concerns... Bottom Up Opportunities? by Jim Tillar, Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

A year ago we wrote: "Anyone who scans the investment landscape beyond the S&P 500 should be anxious." Market signals were flashing caution and most financial markets disappointed investors in 2015.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 No More Excuses! by Sam Stewart of Wasatch Funds

What’s really important going forward is not the Fed’s recent decision?—?which was widely conveyed ahead of time?—?but the course of several issues that will play out globally. These issues include the type and duration of monetary policies that will be pursued by the world’s central bankers, and the trends in commodity prices, currency values, credit spreads and longer-term interest rates.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is It Time to Buy the Dip? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

After the worst start in history for U.S. stocks everyone will be searching for meaning. One strategy has worked for almost seven years, but what about now? Is it time to “buy the dip?”

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Policy Support Amid Sluggish Growth: Asia’s Economies in Transition by Adam Bowe, Luke Spajic, Tadashi Kakuchi of PIMCO

Policy will be critical over the coming year but options are constrained by excessive debt, domestic politics and potential asset bubbles.

2016-01-12 00:00:00 Don’t Put Your Bonds on Autopilot in 2016 by Douglas Peebles of AllianceBernstein

The bond market is probably in for more turbulence in 2016, and investors may have to make some course corrections along the way. Staying airborne in these blustery conditions requires an active strategy.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 January 2016 Flash Update by Clyde Kendzierski of Financial Solutions Group

Stock market performance during the first week of the year has historically been a good indicator of market direction for the year ahead. Strong starts have historically indicated a better than normal outcome. Conversely, weak beginnings are generally ominous (excluding years when the Fed cuts short term rates).

2016-01-11 00:00:00 Economicus Terra Incognita by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Welcome to 2016. Tradition dictates that you spend the first few weeks or so reading forecasts for the coming year. I can say with certainty that most of them will be wrong. A smaller number may hit the target. Unfortunately, no one knows which forecasts will fall into which category.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 China Reset by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

And we’re off. The China stock market sucked the air out of the room last week. It’s a strange beast. The size of the market relative to GDP is around 58% compared to 150% for the U.S. But the free, or tradable, part is about one-third as small again. And it runs on high levels of retail margin. What we saw was pent-up selling, circuit breakers kick in, the market close and then repeat for two more days. The authorities dumped the circuit breaker system and allowed the market to settle.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 China Worries Trigger a Tough Start to the New Year by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equities dropped sharply last week with the S&P 500 index losing 5.9%, its worst first trading week of the year on record.1 Worries about slowing Chinese growth and policy uncertainty were the main culprits for the rout, and sagging oil prices triggered concerns about corporate earnings. Late in the week, markets saw a brief reprieve in light of a strong December jobs report.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 On My Radar: China, Valuation Charts and Recession Watch Charts by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

China marked its currency lower once again yesterday. That makes eight days in a row they lowered the yuan. Last August, they devalued the yuan and that sent global equity markets into a dive. As Yogi Berra would say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

2016-01-09 00:00:00 How Gold Got Its Groove Back by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After five straight positive trading sessions, the yellow metal climbed above $1,100 on a weaker U.S. dollar, its highest level in nine weeks. The rally proves that gold still retains its status as a safe haven among investors, who were motivated this week by a rocky Chinese stock market, North Korea’s announcement that it detonated a hydrogen bomb on Wednesday and rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

2016-01-09 00:00:00 Why We’re Not Panicking about China by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Templeton Global Macro CIO Michael Hasenstab’s response to the latest news from China? Don’t panic.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 Money Market Reform and DC Plans Time Is Almost Up by Brett Gorman, Brian Leach of PIMCO

SEC reforms will make money market funds far less attractive but sponsors have several capital preservation alternatives to consider.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 China’s Conundrum by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

As we see it, there is no question that China should continue to have strong growth this year, but one might say China is facing a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, the government wants stability, but on the other, it also is striving toward more openness.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 Lackluster Returns Made 2015 a Year Worth Forgetting by Joe Becker, Adam Schenck, Jeff Greco of Milliman Financial Risk Management

After finishing November in marginally positive year-to-date territory, the S&P 500 sold off by nearly 2% in December, finishing the year down 0.73%, its first down year since 2008.

2016-01-08 00:00:00 CIO Newsletter – Jan 2016 by Ritesh Jain, Abhishek Sonthalia of Tata Asset Management

This newsletter has my views on the important developments in the investment world in 2015 and the outlook for 2016. Indeed we are in a very dynamic global environment and volatility is abound. One of the most important developments in 2015 was the depletion of global forex reserves held by central banks and asset sales by petro dollars funded sovereign wealth funds.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 It's a Xanax World by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

The Romans gave their Plebian citizens a day at the Coliseum, and the French royalty gave the Bourgeoisie a piece of figurative “cake”, so it may be true to form that in the still prosperous developed economies of 2016, we provide Fantasy Sports, cellphone game apps, sexting, and fast food to appease the masses. Keep them occupied and distracted at all costs before they recognize that half of the U.S. population doesn’t go to work in the morning and that their real wages after conservatively calculated inflation have barely budged since the mid 1980’s.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 Federal Reserve Outlook for 2016 by Tony Crescenzi of PIMCO

Up until the Federal Reserve’s historic December meeting, when the central bank increased its policy rate for the first time since 2006, investors were fixated upon when the Fed might finally move its policy rate up from the range of 0%–0.25%. The Fed set the rate at the zero bound in 2008 to combat a plunge in economic growth and to fight disinflationary pressures tied to the debt deleveraging process.

2016-01-07 00:00:00 Active Investing: Managing Global Currency Forecasts by Rob Balkema of Russell Investments

Rob Balkema, takes a look at what potential opportunities there may be for investors in light of our strategists’ recently released annual market outlook and its global currency forecast.

2016-01-06 00:00:00 5 Portfolio Ideas for 2016 by Russ Koesterich, of BlackRock

Amid high prices and high volatility, selectivity will be key to generating returns in 2016. So where should investors look for opportunities? Russ shares five ideas.

2016-01-06 00:00:00 2016 Outlook by Brandon VanLandingham of Perissos Private Wealth Management

There are pockets of hope in 2016 for a more sustainable economy. The jobs picture, at least portrayed by the government, has improved based on their measures. Inflation is low. Corporate profits are high. Under the light of the media the economy is improving. However, as I have been sifting through the data, there are two areas of concern I think we need to discuss. First is Government Debt. We owe as a nation, $18 Trillion in total debt, and we are borrowing $500 billion a year.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 The Key to Becoming a Trusted Advisor by Dan Richards (Article)

Every advisor wants to be viewed by clients as the trusted advisor, the resource to whom they turn for counsel – not just for financial matters, but on their overall wellbeing. To do that, you have to be a resource for all the things that concern clients, not just what makes you money.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 Top 6 Investment Lessons from 2015 by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Despite news headlines bemoaning last year's stock-market returns, US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says it wasn't such a bad year overall—particularly for investors who avoided energy, diversified internationally and took advantage of dividends.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 More of the Same in 2016, for Better or Worse by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the outlook for 2016, which will offers challenges similar to the ones investors faced in 2015.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 The Biggest Stories of 2016? by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

Which stories are most likely to clear the front pages of the financial newspapers in 2016? In this month's Absolute Return Letter we take a closer look at that and arrive at the conclusion that three favourites stand out. We discuss all three, and we look at the implications for financial markets, should any of them unfold. Enjoy the read and happy New Year.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 A Tale of Two Cities – Looking Forward to 2016 by Pamela Rosenau of HighTower Advisors

The U.S. equity market in 2015 was a tale of two cities. There was a wide divergence of performance within the market, which is reminiscent of the late 1990s. In 1999, tech stocks (per the NASDAQ composite returns) rallied to gain approximately 86% (that’s 86% in one year, not a decade!), while the more prosaic, or “old economy,” stocks (per the S&P 500) gained a mere 21%. In 2015, the divergence was exemplified by the largest ten stocks (by market cap) in the S&P 500 accounting for a 17% return, while the remaining 490 stocks were down in aggregate -5%.

2016-01-05 00:00:00 2015 In Review: It Was A Wild Year In The Markets by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

As we begin another New Year, it is often good to reflect on the year that just passed and what we may have learned from it. Here are some thoughts about the market activity we saw in 2015 and what we may see in 2016.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 Boss Kettering by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Charles “Boss” Kettering was an American automotive engineer, businessman, inventor, and the holder of 186 patents who was the head of research at General Motors. My father met Kettering during the late 1940s and often reminded me of the aforementioned quote. I recalled the quote when I received a pretty nasty email from someone I don’t even know about my call for a “rip your face off rally.” The phrase he kept using was “you failed!”

2016-01-04 00:00:00 An Institutional View by (Article)

Institutional investor Cliff Short of Ashford Capital Management says when considering CEFs he looks at asset class, discount and yield, among other factors.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 Byron Wien Announces Predictions for Ten Surprises for 2016 by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Byron R. Wien, Vice Chairman of Multi-Asset Investing at Blackstone, today issued his list of Ten Surprises for 2016. This is the 31st year Byron has given his views on a number of economic, financial market and political surprises for the coming year. Byron defines a “surprise” as an event that the average investor would only assign a one out of three chance of taking place but which Byron believes is “probable,” having a better than 50% likelihood of happening.

2016-01-04 00:00:00 On My Radar: 2016 Outlook by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

If you haven’t seen the movie The Big Short, go see it. Christian Bale plays Michael Burry in Adam McKay’s adaptation of Michael Lewis’s book about the 2008 financial crisis. Burry was one of the hedge fund managers me and my team knew well. He and others helped us to better understand the approaching sub-prime crisis. I wrote about the issue frequently back then.

2016-01-03 00:00:00 The Next Big Short: The Third Crest of a Rolling Tsunami by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

At speculative extremes, recent history always temporarily belongs to the reckless herd that has ignored concerns about valuation and risk at every turn. Fortunately, the future has always belonged to those who take discipline, analysis, and the lessons of history seriously. On the basis of the valuation measures most strongly correlated with actual subsequent market returns (and that have fully retained that correlation even across recent market cycles), current extremes imply 40-55% market losses over the completion of the current market cycle.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 High Yield vs. Equities—Is This the End of the Run for Equities? by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

The decline in credit has been well publicized over the last several weeks, though this decline began months ago. Since the summer, we have seen spreads, a measure of valuation for the high yield market, widen from 400bps to 760bps1, which are levels we have not seen for the last four years.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 The Year Ahead - 2016 by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

In the spirit of year-end prognostication, here's my annual review of long-term trends and behavioral tendencies that are likely to influence key markets in 2016.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 Hope for the New Year: 3 Asset Classes for 2016 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Last week, I reflected back on 2015 by revisiting the 10 most popular posts of the year. Today I’d like to look ahead to 2016 by pinpointing three asset classes that I believe hold opportunities for investors.

2015-12-31 00:00:00 A Year of Sovereign Defaults? by Carmen Reinhart of Project Syndicate

Like so many other features of the global economy, debt accumulation and default tends to occur in cycles, with one- and two-decade lulls in defaults typically followed by a new wave of defaults. As 2016 begins, there are clear signs of such a wave on the horizon.

2015-12-30 00:00:00 On the Completion of the Current Market Cycle and Beyond by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

As we look forward to 2016, to following through on our investment discipline over the completion of the current market cycle and beyond, a few recent market comments will serve as a detailed review of our present market and economic outlook.

2015-12-30 00:00:00 Somber 2015. Brighter 2016 by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Thwaites discusses three main influences on capital markets in 2015 and recommendations for your portfolio in 2016.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 Rebalancing Revisited by Michael Kitces (Article)

Earlier this year, in a series of articles, Michael Edesess argued that rebalancing neither increases returns nor reduces risk, although in the latter case his conclusion was based on one’s definition of risk. However, it turns out that the debate on whether there is value in rebalancing – in terms of return enhancement and/or risk management benefits – actually depends on the similarity (or lack thereof) of the returns between the available investments in the first place.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 The 10 Most-Read Articles of 2015 by Various (Article)

As is our custom, we conclude the year by reflecting on the 10 most-read articles over the past 12 months. In decreasing order, based on the number of unique readers, those are…

2015-12-29 00:00:00 The Ten Best Articles You Probably Missed by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Great articles don’t always get the readership they deserve. We’ve posted the 10 most-widely read articles for the past year here. Below are another 10 that you might have missed, but I believe merit reading…

2015-12-29 00:00:00 2015: What Worked ?and What Didn't by Team of Lord Abbett

The trends were clear early on, but 2015 still took some unexpected turns, particularly with regard to the intensity of the decline in oil prices.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 What I Got Right (and Wrong) in 2015 by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Keeping with his annual tradition, Russ compares the year that was to the year that he expected.

2015-12-28 00:00:00 Fed Hikes 25 Basis Points, Signals Gradual Path by Rob Waldner of Invesco Blog

On Dec. 16, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) increased the federal funds target rate range from 0-0.25% to 0.25-0.5%, in line with market expectations and Invesco Fixed Income’s baseline scenario. The committee’s “dot projections,” each member’s estimate of the federal funds rate based on personal economic projections, were unchanged for 2016, with a slight shift down thereafter. The median projection is often compared with overall market expectations. The dots signaled a faster pace of interest rate increases than the market had expected before the meeting.

2015-12-24 00:00:00 The Sea Change in Repos, Swap Spreads and Dealer Balance Sheets: How Active Management May Benefit by Jerome Schneider, Scott Berman, William Martinez of PIMCO

Since the financial crisis in 2008, global regulators have been working hard to strengthen the banking system and forestall a similar calamity. A torrent of new regulatory requirements for financial institutions, for instance, aims to create global minimum requirements for liquidity and capital, increase transparency and decrease systemic leverage. The transactional intermediation that occurs between borrowers and lenders without governmental oversight – a vital piece of the world’s financial and funding mechanisms – has come under particular scrutiny.

2015-12-24 00:00:00 Where Investors Have Turned Optimistic by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich shares his observations from Japan, where investors have turned positive on their domestic market and cautious toward the United States.

2015-12-24 00:00:00 Christmas Edition: 2015 in Review by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Before we reach 2016, I want to reflect back on 2015. Everyone is talking about interest rates and monetary policy right now, but the role fiscal policy plays is just as important—if not more so. As I always say, government policy is a precursor to change, and very recently we saw this firsthand.

2015-12-24 00:00:00 Arnott on All Asset December 2015 by Robert Arnott, Jason Hsu of PIMCO

Rob Arnott, head of Research Affiliates, and Jason Hsu, Research Affiliates’ co-founder and vice chairman, share their firm’s market insights and allocation strategies for PIMCO All Asset funds.

2015-12-23 00:00:00 2016 Investment Playbook by Doug MacKay of Broadleaf Partners

It’s that time of year again. Time to take stock of the year that was and time to try pondering what 2016 could look like.

2015-12-23 00:00:00 Interest Rates, Energy, Commodities: The Highs and Lows of Year-End by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

The Fed. Interest rates. A stressed bond market. The Paris climate accords. What do these things have in common, and what does that commonality portend for portfolios?

2015-12-23 00:00:00 What You Should Know About Convertible Bonds by Matthew Tucker of BlackRock

What is a convertible bond and what does it have to do with a rising rate environment? Matt Tucker explains.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 2015 Recap and a Look to the Year Ahead by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Sir John Templeton coined the phrase, “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.” In 2015, we expected investors to transition from “skepticism” to “optimism” as we experienced (1) solid momentum in U.S. economic growth with low inflation, (2) a pickup in consumer spending based on job growth, confidence and a positive wealth effect, (3) solid earnings growth, (4) stimulus from low commodity prices and financing costs and (5) a still-good liquidity environment aided by stimulus from non-U.S. central banks.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 What’s the Canary in the Financial Coal Mine Saying? by Martin Pring of Pring Turner Capital Group

Credit spreads, which measure the relationship between bonds of different credit ratings, are arguably one of the most overlooked tools in financial market analysis. That is a shame because reversals in the momentum of credit spreads offer reliable signals of changes in the fortunes of bonds, stocks and commodities. Current evidence suggests some of these relationships have reached a critical juncture point, which means further deterioration in junk bonds and their connection with higher quality ones could lead to a crisis prone 2016.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 2015: A blueprint for 2016? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses how the factors that constrained stocks in 2015 are likely to repeat next year.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 Oil Prices—The Asset Allocation Perspective by Multi-Asset Solutions Team of BMO Global Asset Management

The commentary examines the impact of falling oil prices, specifically the possibility of a “risk-off” event created by an unexpected sharp decline in oil prices spilling over into equity and credit markets. Additionally, the recent closing of the Third Avenue credit fund should not trigger a “one size fits all” attitude regarding all high-yield funds. As asset allocators with a long-term time horizon, BMO sees lower energy prices as a net positive for riskier assets such as equities and high-yield bonds.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 Coasting into Year End by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

The Fed made its long awaited increase last week. We think it’s a mistake. The statement was muted and talked about “further improvements” here and there. The only improvement we have seen is in the labor market but, as we mentioned, scratch the surface and it’s not a great picture. At the risk of flogging this to death, we would make two points.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 Can the Markets Be Timed? by Kendall Anderson of Anderson Griggs

In the past I regularly attended investment conferences, and at first they were informative. As time went by they were my way of rationalizing a vacation for myself and my family at some resort hotel. During the last decade or so, the few conferences I have attended were those in which I was invited to give a presentation to those attendees willing to listen to my thoughts on portfolio management and security selection.

2015-12-21 00:00:00 Seeing the Silver Lining for Fixed Income in Fed Move by Christopher Molumphy of Franklin Templeton Investments

As we look ahead to 2016, we finally have entered this long-anticipated rising-rate environment. However, it’s likely to be slow and steady, and certainly not something we believe should cause major portfolio dislocations for fixed income investors.

2015-12-21 00:00:00 Can EM Debt Continue to Outperform? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

One investing surprise of 2015: While emerging market assets in general have had a tough year, emerging market debt denominated in U.S. dollars has outperformed. Russ and an investment strategist on his team, Terry Simpson, examine whether this exception can continue.

2015-12-21 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Parade of Pontificating Pundits! by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Last week’s stock market had a Jekyll and Hyde feeling, setting the background for the two weeks ahead. We will have lighter volume and plenty of people taking vacation during the holiday-shortened weeks. With plenty of explaining to do and a new year ahead, we can expect: A Parade of Pontificating Pundits!

2015-12-21 00:00:00 On My Radar: Henry Hazlitt and Inflation by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

There is a battle going on between deflation and inflation. Right now, deflation is winning. It is winning globally. In the extreme, neither is desired, yet perhaps the worst of the two is deflation as it leads to depression. The global central banks are fighting to create inflation and it is fight that I think they will ultimately win (though it may take years).

2015-12-21 00:00:00 Reversing the Speculative Effect of QE Overnight by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

In recent quarters, I’ve remained adamant that the immediate first step of the Federal Reserve in normalizing monetary policy should have been to reduce the size of its balance sheet. The Fed’s failure to prioritize that first step, in the apparent desire to maintain an aggrandized role in the U.S. financial markets, has significantly increased the risk of a collapse from the speculative extremes the Fed has created in recent years. Given the increasing risk-aversion evident in market internals, we doubt that even a reversal of last week’s rate hike would materially reduce that prospect.

2015-12-20 00:00:00 The Seven Fat Years of ZIRP by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In today’s letter we are going to examine the problematic credit markets, and I want to focus on something that is happening off the radar screen: the continuing rise of credit in private lending. I predicted the rise of private credit back in 2007 and said that it would become a major force in the world, but I got strange looks from audiences when I talked about the arcane subject of private credit. Today the shadow banking system is taking significant market share from traditional banking.

2015-12-19 00:00:00 The Fed Awakens: A New Hike by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

On Wednesday, Chair Yellen announced that, for the first time in seven years, easy money will become slightly less easy. The target rate will be set at between 0.25 and 0.50 percent, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s important that the Fed ease into this cycle cautiously and gradually. Plus, this comes at a time when fellow industrialized nations and economic areas around the globe are considering further monetary easing measures.

2015-12-18 00:00:00 Positioning Portfolios After Fed Rate Liftoff by Gene Tannuzzo of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

With a positive backdrop for credit risk, we favor investment-grade corporate bonds and MBS, while some areas of high yield also present opportunities. We believe a modest but positive duration stance remains appropriate, with 2016 likely to provide additional opportunities to buy longer dated bonds. Currency risk presents some opportunity, but it is no longer as simple as expecting the U.S. dollar to appreciate versus all other currencies. Inflation risk will likely increase next year as commodity prices ultimately bottom and wages perk up.

2015-12-18 00:00:00 High Yield: Flows Over Fundamentals by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

High-yield bond selling, or the threat of selling, has sparked one of the worst sell-offs in the high-yield bond market since the summer of 2011 and the peak of European debt fears. The origin of high-yield weakness has come from the lowest-rated tiers of the high-yield market but has infected the broader market. Last week’s redemption freeze by an $800 million high-yield strategy, and news of a similar halt by a smaller fund over the weekend of December 12–13, 2015, intensified pressure on the high-yield bond market.

2015-12-18 00:00:00 Past vs. Prologue: Cutting Through the Noise of Investment Returns by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

While investors are fortunate to have good data on returns to guide them, the quality of translation of that information into investment advice varies considerably.

2015-12-18 00:00:00 What to Expect in 2016: 4 Investment Outlooks for the New Year by Neil Dwane, Ben Fischer, Doug Forsyth, Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

How will rising rates affect the US economy and markets? Which risks are most worth watching? Our CIOs discuss a range of challenges and opportunities for investors, and Kristina Hooper provides six timely tips on asset allocation.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Rising Interest Rates, Part 1: Return to the Natural Level? by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

Although economic growth appears to be slowing, stocks continue to hit new highs. This may lead one to ask, “How does the market retain its strength?” In fact, much of this strength seems to result from the low interest rates provided by the Federal Reserve (Fed). And although it can’t be said exactly when the Fed will raise rates, expectation is currently high that it will happen on December 16.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Rising Interest Rates, Part 2: Exploring the Gap by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

In part 1 of this series, I explored what interest rates would look like if they returned to their natural level and determined they would be approximately 5 percent on a nominal basis (assuming 2-percent inflation). As the Federal Reserve (Fed) has determined that 2 percent is the target inflation rate, this approximation of the natural rate seems reasonable. Current interest rates, however, are well below 3 percent, resulting in an obvious gap between where the rate is now and where it should be.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: November 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The upward revision in third quarter U.S. economic growth and buoyant consumer sentiment supports a more stable global economic outlook for the next few quarters. Consumer optimism also remains healthy in Europe, though the Euro-zone economy expanded less than expected during the third quarter. The Japanese economy declined during the July-September period, according to initial estimates, but the data could be revised higher as capital investments for the period were greater than initially calculated.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Six Lessons We Learned About Bonds in 2015 by Douglas Peebles of AllianceBernstein

In 2015, bond investors faced slower nominal global growth, less liquid markets and a looming US rate hike. But with challenges come lessons: here are some takeaways from 2015 that should remain important in 2016.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 FOMC FAQS by John Canally of LPL Financial

The Fed holds its eighth and final FOMC meeting of 2015 this Tuesday and Wednesday, December 15–16, 2015. As of Monday, December 14, 2015, the fed funds futures market has priced in about an 80% chance of a 25 basis point (0.25%) rate hike at this week’s meeting. Our view remains that the timing of the first hike matters less than the pace of the hikes; the end point for the fed funds rate in this tightening cycle and the gap between the Fed’s own view of rates and the market’s view remain crucial.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 The Fed’s Dilemma by Brandon VanLandingham of Perissos Private Wealth Management

The Fed is expected to raise interest rates this week for the first time in nine years. This could be a turning point in the overall economic landscape. The Fed in its latest meeting has sighted a healthy employment picture and an expectation that inflation will normalize in the near term as the reasons for a rate hike this week. We typically think of low inflation and low unemployment as keys to a healthy economy and this is for the most part true.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Stock Market Update – Fed Raises Interest Rates by Willie Delwiche of Robert W. Baird

Fed Chief Janet Yellen raised interest rates 25 basis points. Although this was the first rate hike in nine years, the impact on the markets is not anticipated to add to volatility. Bottom Line: Fed removes uncertainty over rate hike – broad market should expand beginning late next week.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Silly Myths about Gold during Rising Interest Rates by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

The Fed finally acted this week – upping its benchmark Federal Funds rate by 0.25%. Now that the speculation over whether the Fed will hike has been put to rest, analysts are busily speculating about what the Fed's move means for the economy and markets.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Rising Interest Rates, Part 3: What About Investments? by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network

As this is the final post in my series on interest rates, it’s time to talk about what everyone is probably thinking: What happens to investments when interest rates rise? This question is especially pertinent given yesterday’s decision by the Federal Reserve on a rate hike.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 High Yield: A Challenge and an Opportunity by Sean Slein of First Eagle Investment Management

Liquidity in the high-yield market has been a challenge over the past several quarters, as several structural factors have adversely affected traditional sources of liquidity. Historically, counterparties like banks and brokers served as market-makers, allocating capital to provide down bids in periods of market distress, as they did in 2002 and 2008/09.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Navigating the Current Rate Environment by Giorgio Caputo of First Eagle Investment Management

Low interest rates globally have been an important driver of asset price returns over the past few years and are very much on investors’ minds today. In our conversations with financial advisers, many questions come up: How long can we expect the low-rate environment to continue? What has led rates to be so low in the first place? What are the consequences of global central banks’ quantitative easing (“QE”) policies? Have we definitively slain the specter of inflation?

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Follow the Dollar: It’s Heading for China by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

The move to confer reserve status on China’s currency is part of a process that could lead to nearly US$3 trillion being injected into the country’s bond and equity markets. We’ve taken a close look at where the money could come from.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas . . . Not by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Many of you know that around this time of year I journey to New York City for the Christmas tree lighting and the Friends of Fermentation (FOF) Christmas party; this year was no exception. However, it sure did not feel much like Christmas in Manhattan. The temperatures were in the 50s and 60s, so the top coat I brought was never used. Such warm climes brought about thoughts of the much discussed topic, “global warming.”

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Liftoff Takes Backseat as Oil Drives Sentiment by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the reasons behind, and implications of, the collapse in oil prices.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is It Finally Time for the Santa Claus Rally? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Last week’s stock results were poor for nearly all funds and sectors. Will this continue? Until Wednesday, we can expect a continuing focus on the Fed. After that announcement we may see a change in tone: Pundits will be asking: Is it finally time for the Santa Claus Rally?

2015-12-16 00:00:00 What Does the High-Yield Sell-Off Mean for Stocks? by Burt White of LPL Financial

High-yield bond weakness has led investors to fear that a recession or bear market may be forthcoming. Widening of high-yield bond spreads (the spread between yields on high-yield bonds and comparable U.S. Treasuries) preceded the start of the stock market downturns in 2000 and 2008, causing many to ask if the latest bout of high-yield weakness portends another downturn. Here we try to answer that question by looking at characteristics unique to the high-yield bond market and prior periods of similar high-yield weakness.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Why The Fed Is About to Make A Mistake In Raising Rates by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The consensus is the Fed will raise rates at their next meeting. The latest employment report all but baked this into the cake. However, I’m not so sure this is a good idea.

2015-12-16 00:00:00 Lift Off! by Dimitri Balatsos of Tesseract Partners

With all systems set on “GO,” the broadly-advertised and widely-anticipated lift off by the Federal Reserve from the zero-bound Fed funds rate is expected to take place this Wednesday, December 16. One would hope that the fate of the tragic Danish prince does not befall what comes afterwards. As a skeptic of unconventional monetary policies, we look at the impending action and potential consequences with trepidation.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Dear Ms. Yellen, I Don’t Care What You Do by Andy Martin (Article)

Rising interest rates are nothing to fear. Total returns will be positive, not negative, if we have a similar rate trajectory that we had in the last bear market in bonds. Bonds should continue to be a staple in investors’ portfolios – and in greater, not lesser percentages as our population ages and interest rates increase.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 The Risk and Opportunity in Peer-to-Peer Investing by Michael Kitces (Article)

In today’s low-interest-rate environment, advisors must add value to fixed-income allocations. Unfortunately, some of the higher yielding segments of the fixed-income markets – such as peer-to-peer (P2P) investing – don’t fit into the typical financial advisor investment platforms. But that will soon change.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Why Dividend-Paying Stocks are Riskier than You Think by Larry Swedroe (Article)

As advisors shift allocations from bonds to high-dividend stocks, they are exposing their clients to equity market risk. But they are also increasing interest-rate risk. Investors in two of the biggest dividend ETFs – SDY and VIG – are among the most exposed to the surging demand for dividend-paying stocks.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Positioning Portfolios for the Next Tightening Cycle by Gordon Bowers of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Credit is trading at much more attractive spread levels relative to past hiking cycles, reinforcing our view that credit risk can perform well following liftoff. Opportunities may present themselves to add duration risk further out the curve while the potential pullback in the dollar could create an opening to add currency risk. Performance of inflation risk is mixed, with underperformance accelerating throughout the tightening cycle as the Fed lowers market expectations of future inflation.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Weakness in Oil Puts Downward Pressure on Equity Prices by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities fell sharply last week, with the S&P 500 Index declining 3.7%. This was its largest loss since August and the second-largest downturn of the year. A sharp sell-off in oil prices was the main cause, along with credit and liquidity concerns within the high yield market. The energy sector was the worst performer last week and financials also took a hit. In contrast, more defensive areas such as utilities, consumer staples and health care held up better.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Panic, Punts and Reality by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The biggest single college football play of 2015 happened in Ann Arbor, MI, on October 17th. The ball was at mid-field, it was fourth down with two yards to go and there were only 10 seconds left in the game. The Michigan Wolverines were beating the Michigan State Spartans, 23-21.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 Rising Rates: A Good Thing for Bond Investors? by Wendy Stojadinovic of Cleary Gull

When interest rates rise, the price of your bond goes down. That’s obviously not a good thing at the time it happens, but investors should consider how their bond investment does over time. The change in price is not the only component of your return. In fact, the income you receive and the rate at which you reinvest that income are typically the biggest components of bond returns. Rising rates aren’t the worst thing for bond investors. In fact, for long term investors, rising rates are a good thing. The more rates go up, the more you earn.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 How to Diversify into International Growth Cycles by Jeff Everett, Dale Winner, and Venk Lal of Wells Fargo Asset Management

When it comes to portfolio diversification, the dialogue tends to focus on the domestic side of investing, from market-cap size to stocks versus bonds. What’s often missed is the need to think regionally. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of positioning your portfolio to capture overseas opportunities, through international diversification strategy. We’ll also highlight three types of companies that position themselves to capitalize on improving business climates.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 On My Radar: El-Erian’s 2016 Outlook & The T Junction by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

I spent a few days earlier in the week in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was invited to present on portfolio positioning and best execution at the 20th annual IMN Global Indexing and ETF Conference. One of the big highlights for me was El-Erian’s keynote presentation. Today, I share with you my notes from El-Erian’s speech. He is humble, balanced and brilliant. I have listened to my recording of his presentation several times. Stop-start-rewind-replay-rinse-repeat. Fun for me and well worth the effort. In short, he puts the odds for a good outcome at 50/50 saying he, “hates to say that."

2015-12-14 00:00:00 Yellen Is About to Blunder by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Quiet week for the Fed’s “data dependency”. But what we saw was not good.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 Gundlach: The Fed’s Biggest Problem by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The Fed may be intent on raising interest rates, but a wide range of market indicators should give it pause to reconsider, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. Indeed, he said the biggest challenge to a rate hike is this one piece of data...

2015-12-14 00:00:00 Income Opportunity by (Article)

Despite a rising rate environment, CEF strategist Rob Shaker of Shaker Financial Services, says he’s “bullish” on the income opportunity for investors.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 This Industry Is Set to Post Record Profits on Lower Fuel Costs by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Everyone knows there are winners and losers in any bear market, including the recent commodity rout. Low crude oil prices have definitely hurt explorers and producers. Airlines, on the other hand, appear to be thriving.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 2016 Fixed Income Outlook: New Episode, Same Show by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

We expect a limited return environment may persist in 2016 and the year as a whole may look similar to 2015. High valuations, steady economic growth, and the lingering threat of Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hikes may keep pressure on bond prices in 2016. We do not envision a recession developing, which we believe is ultimately needed for a sustained move higher in bond prices.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 Eurozone 2016 Economic and Capital Market Outlook by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

Six years after the financial crisis, the Eurozone continues to face major challenges in restoring economic growth. Our investment thesis has been that the structural problems facing the European Union are real impediments to sustained economic growth and until they are addressed, sustained growth is elusive. While that does not mean that there are not investment opportunities in Europe, it does mean that as one of three major capital markets in the world, investors need to be careful.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 December 2015 Market Commentary by Adam Jordan of Paul R. Ried Financial Group

As we are approaching the end of a roller coaster year in most markets, many asset classes are now nearly flat or negative for the year.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 China Takes a Big Step Forward by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On November 30th the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it would admit China’s Renminbi currency, commonly known as the Yuan, to the select basket of reserve currencies that make up its Special Drawing Rights (SDR’s). Having been stalled by U.S. influence for many years, the long-awaited IMF decision acknowledges the massive transfer of financial power from the old West to the new East. The move heralds an era of potentially great change with global implications for politics, economics and investments.

2015-12-11 00:00:00 Rising Rates: Dispelling the Myth by Scott Mather, David Fisher of PIMCO

Bond investors may have little to fear and potentially something to gain from rising interest rates.

2015-12-10 00:00:00 The Paris Climate Negotiations: A World in Transition by BMO Global Asset Management’s Governance and Sustainable Investment team of BMO Global Asset Management

The stage is set in Paris for global leaders to secure a climate change deal, which would aim to curb fossil fuel use. China, India and United States are signaling their willingness to keep global warming to within two degrees Celsius. We have intensively engaged policy makers and companies advocating for reforms, which will result in a smooth transition path to a more sustainable climate.

2015-12-09 00:00:00 Back to a Routine: 2016 Economic Outlook by John Canally of LPL Financial

Our view is that the U.S. economy—as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP)—is likely to post growth of 2.5–3.0% in 2016. This rate is below its post-World War II average of 3.2%, but above the 2–2.5% average growth rate seen in the first six-and-a-half years of this expansion, based on the factors discussed below. Despite the length of the current expansion (already the fourth longest on record), it has not followed what would be considered a routine path.

2015-12-09 00:00:00 Retirement Savings Crisis Getting Worse, Not Better by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

As long-time readers know, one of my continuing themes over the years has been saving, and in particular saving for retirement. Record numbers of Americans are retiring every year and, unfortunately, most have not saved nearly enough for the retirement lifestyle they envisioned.

2015-12-09 00:00:00 Want High Income? Time to Expand Your Horizons by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

As we look ahead to 2016, we still see attractive opportunities for investors who need their portfolios to deliver a high level of income. CCC-rated corporate bonds are not one of them.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 On My Radar: Beauty or the Beast by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“The economy is like a machine. At the most fundamental level it is a relatively simple machine. But many people don’t understand it – or they don’t agree on how it works – and this has led to a lot of needless economic suffering…

2015-12-08 00:00:00 Investing Without the Solace of Central Bank Support by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the impact of less central bank actions and financial conditions outside the U.S. on investors.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 An Evolving Investment Landscape May Benefit Equities by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets were volatile last week, losing ground early before rebounding. Sentiment soured over a more modest easing announcement than expected by the European Central Bank (ECB). OPEC’s decision to leave oil production unchanged triggered a drop in energy prices, which also acted as a drag on equities. Additionally, a weak manufacturing report contributed to the gloomy tone. However, a strong jobs report on Friday seemed to pave the way for the Fed to raise rates this month and allowed equity prices to rally strongly.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 Want High Income? Time to Expand Your Horizons by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

As we look ahead to 2016, we still see attractive opportunities for investors who need their portfolios to deliver a high level of income. CCC-rated corporate bonds are not one of them.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 Extending the Cycle by Erik Knutzen of Neuberger Berman

At our most recent (fourth-quarter) Asset Allocation Committee meeting, perhaps the single most important issue we considered was whether the then-fresh decline of risk assets indicated a needed bull market correction, or something far more serious. Our analysis suggested short-term weakness, but for a while, the noise around China’s devaluation, Federal Reserve policy and concern about emerging markets and commodity prices had many investors very worried.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 No Pain No Gain: 2016 May Require Tolerance for Volatility by Burt White of LPL Financial

Gains in 2016 may require tolerance for volatility. Stocks historically have offered a tradeoff of higher return for higher risk, the gain of more upside than high-quality bonds versus the pain of market volatility and losses. For the last few years, U.S. stock markets provided below-average pain, while still providing strong returns. Between October 2011 and July 2015, the S&P 500 Index went nearly four years without a “correction” of more than 10%, while climbing an average of 20% a year.

2015-12-08 00:00:00 Rate Watch by (Article)

Interest rate changes may affect closed-end fund performance in the fourth quarter of 2015, says Cara Esser of Morningstar.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 Rates Will Rise. Markets Won’t by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

The November payrolls reported 211,000. That's enough for a mid-month rate rise of about 25bps. The Fed wants to raise rates. They believe employment is at equilibrium and inflation under control. But neither is correct. To repeat: employment growth in the post 2009 period has been way below past cycles and with an expanding work population. So either people don't want to work, are aging or the U.S. job machine is broken.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 No Fireworks from the ECB as Draghi Plays It Cool by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

{Mario) Draghi and his governing council colleagues wanted to avoid rocking the boat too much, preferring instead to keep things moving and to show that they were prepared to act.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 Why You Shouldn’t Fear a Fed Rate Hike by Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

The Federal Reserve appears ready to raise interest rates next week. Bond investors fear that could pummel their portfolios. We’re not so sure—and we think moving to the sidelines now is a bad idea.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 More Money Has Been Lost Reaching for Yield than at the Point of a Gun by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

A schizophrenic week, indeed, with a ~10 point loss for the S&P 500 (SPX/2091.69) on Monday followed by a 22 point pop on Tuesday and then 23 point decline on Wednesday and 30 point loss on Thursday, capped by Friday’s 42 point rally.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 Gamma Trading: Why Big Market Swings Can Be Good News by Jason Hill, David O’Donohue of Calamos Investments

When it comes to your investment portfolio, volatility can be an unsettling word. For strategies that utilize convertible arbitrage though, market volatility can be a welcomed phenomenon, as we may be able to profit from it through what is referred to as gamma trading. In a convertible arbitrage strategy, we are buying convertible bonds and selling short shares of the underlying stock as a hedge. If the stock rises, we will lose money on the shares we are short but we will make money on the bonds we own as they appreciate in value.

2015-12-07 00:00:00 Four Key Reasons to Consider Market Neutral Investing by Kenneth Masse of Invesco Blog

The market downturn and ensuing volatility in the third quarter of 2015 is a timely reminder about the benefits of diversifying your portfolio with investment strategies that are expected to exhibit little-to-no correlation with the broad equity and bond markets.

2015-12-06 00:00:00 You Have Questions, I Have Answers by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Rather than dive deeply into a single topic today, I will weigh in on some of the week’s top financial stories. I recently did a webinar debate with my friend Frank Trotter, hosted by Robert Huebscher of Advisor Perspectives, on whether the Fed should raise rates in December. I argued they should, for reasons I’ve written about before, so we won’t go into that. But we did get a number of incisive, timely questions during and after the webinar. I will try to answer most of them in this letter.

2015-12-06 00:00:00 From Risk to Guarded Expectation of Recession by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

In the presence of obscene valuations, deteriorating market internals, widening credit spreads, and tepid economic activity on the most historically reliable measures, we presently observe the same essential syndrome of risk factors that allowed us to accurately anticipate the 2000-2002 market collapse and recession, as well as the 2007-2009 global financial crisis. Emphatically, a return to risk-seeking behavior among investors, as evidenced by a clear improvement in market internals across a broad range of individual stocks, industries, sectors and security types (including debt securities

2015-12-05 00:00:00 Sweden Declares War on Cash, Punishes Savers with Negative Interest Ratesy Market Summary by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Among the endangered species in Sweden are the gray wolf, European otter—and cash. Back in June, I shared with you the story of how, in 1661, the Scandinavian monarchy became the first country in the world to issue paper money. (It was an unmitigated disaster, by the way.) Now it might be the first to ban it altogether.

2015-12-04 00:00:00 A Vote of Confidence for the RMB by Wei Zhang of Matthews Asia

On November 30, 2015, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced its decision to add the Chinese renminbi (RMB) to the basket of currencies that make up the Special Drawing Right (SDR). The IMF SDR basket inclusion criteria—last updated in 2000—requires that the SDR basket comprise currencies whose exports of goods and services had the largest value over a five-year period, and have been determined by the IMF to be “freely usable.” The Chinese RMB has long met the first criteria of a currency whose exports of goods and services play a central role in global trade.

2015-12-04 00:00:00 The December 16th Fed Tightening - Preemptive to a Fault by Paul Kasriel of Econtrarian, LLC

Barring an outright decline in November nonfarm payrolls, the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will raise its policy interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point on December 16. I submit that this tightening will go down in annals of Fed history as one of the most preemptive, if not, the most preemptive. I say this because the December 16th tightening will occur as a U.S. economy, short of full employment, already is losing momentum with no discernible signs of inflationary pressures.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 Japan’s Demographic Challenges Dampen Growth by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Demographics have played—and continue to play—a key role in holding back Japan’s growth performance. Japan’s population keeps aging at a rapid pace.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 High Yield, High Opportunity by Andrew Jessop, Anna Dragesic of PIMCO

Valuations have improved and growth should keep defaults low outside of the energy and commodities sectors.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 Safety First: Model Portfolios for the Coming Volatile Year by Chuck Self of iSectors

2016 will likely be a “Jekyll and Hyde” market. As financial advisors meet with their clients at or around the beginning of the new year, they should be mindful of these economic and market trends.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 Quantitative Easing: Draghi and the ECB Opt for Moderate Approach by Wouter Sturkenboom of Russell Investments

So the divergence of central banks continues. On Dec. 3 the European Central Bank (ECB) took the widely anticipated step of providing more stimulus to the European economy. It’s the first move in a December pas de deux that we expect will include a hike in U.S. interest rates after the Dec. 15-16 meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s (the Fed) Federal Open Market Committee.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 Historical Rates Impact Common Stocks by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

Time and coincidence often cloud our own perception. Consider interest rates. Baby Boomers and Generation Xers became adults (25 or older) between 1965 and 2005. During that period, these adults witnessed an aberration in the history of interest rates. They saw moments of monumental highs (20%) and levels consistently above historical norms. The chart below shows that long and short-term Interest rates in the United States have spent most of the last 400 years in a range between 3% and 6%.

2015-12-02 00:00:00 The Great Policy Divergence by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

Over the next few weeks, the US Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates, while the European Central Bank doubles down on monetary stimulus. Although both central banks are pursuing legitimate domestic agendas, there are few mechanisms to manage the international repercussions of this policy disparity.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 Is the Bond Index Broken? by Michael Edesess (Article)

Several criticisms – I counted three – have been leveled at the AGG bond index recently. I explored these critiques in a wide-ranging conversation with John C. Bogle, renowned founder of The Vanguard Group. My conclusion is that two of these three criticisms are inconsequential or mistaken while the third is meaningful and significant.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review: Diverging Oil Price Predictions and Rising Junk Yields, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

One of the central debates occurring within the Fed regards the causation of current inflation weakness. Some, like Fed President Bullard and Chairman Yellen argue low oil prices are solely responsible for the weakness. Ohers like President Brainard and Chicago Fed President Evans see a more nuanced picture involving declining international trade negatively impacting a wide swath of commodity prices. Regardless, this week various organizations published stories to support and counter each argument. As for oil prices, Goldman Sachs sees oil prices at $20 in the next 12 months.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 Reasons to Stick with a Pro-Growth Investment Stance by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. markets were relatively quiet last week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Economic data were generally positive and investors seemed less concerned about increasing evidence that the Federal Reserve will raise rates at its policy meeting in December. The S&P 500 Index was up fractionally for the week. Smaller capitalization stocks outperformed, as did the consumer staples and energy sectors. Outside of the United States, Chinese stocks sold off sharply on Friday as investors grew nervous about policymakers’ latest attempts to regulate the Chinese brokerage industry.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 A Tipping Point for TIPS? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the case for Treasury Inflation Protected Securities in the current environment.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 Devil Inside, Redux: Another Look at the Variety of U.S. Market Valuation Metrics by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

I’ve written many times about equity market valuation being both in the eye of the beholder and a function of the chosen indicator. Even the most common valuation metric—the price/earnings (P/E) ratio—has many derivations. The table in this report is a summary of most of the common (and somewhat less common) valuation metrics, and a subjective assessment of whether they are sending an inexpensive or expensive message about the stock market presently.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 What Is the Credit Cycle Telling Us About 2016? by Tony Wong of Invesco Blog

As investors anticipate the beginning of a new year, we at Invesco Fixed Income are anticipating a new phase in the credit cycle for several bond asset classes. In this post, I will highlight a few areas where we’re seeing substantial changes in asset classes’ fundamentals or operating environment. We believe these areas could influence the broader market in 2016.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 Rarefied Air: Valuations and Subsequent Market Returns by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The atmosphere is getting thin up here, and every ounce counts triple when you're climbing in rarefied air. While near-term market dynamics are more likely to be impacted by Friday’s employment report than any other factor, our broad view remains that stocks are in the late-stage top formation of the second most extreme episode of equity market overvaluation in U.S. history, second only to the 2000 peak, and already beyond the 1929, 1937, 1972, and 2007 episodes, not to mention lesser extremes across history.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 We'll Always Have Paris by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

The past weeks are a stark reminder of the risks that we live with in the world today. Such times trigger multiple questions, and their answers may be more vital than how we invest. Nonetheless, how we plan and invest for our futures is of core importance.

2015-11-30 00:00:00 Bond Rally Ahead? by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

Are bonds about to rally? Our money flow model, based on hedge fund positioning, suggests lower yields ahead. This seems awkward going into a well advertised Fed tightening. But why argue with the message of the market? "Sell the rumor, buy the news" might easily apply.

2015-11-27 00:00:00 Diversification: A Hedge Against Market Uncertainty by Jeff Hussey of Russell Investments

Global CIO Jeff Hussey takes a look at three key diversification strategies to help hedge against volatility in 2015 and beyond.

2015-11-27 00:00:00 Why Argentina's New Leader Is Good for Latin America and Global Investors by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week, Argentina said no, gracias to further leftist rule when it elected conservative businessman and two-term Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri to succeed Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as president. It was an upset victory for the people of Argentina, who have seen their once-prosperous nation deteriorate under decades of Marxist policies. It was also a strong win for investors around the globe. Not since Narendra Modi's election last year has a leader's entry on the world stage inspired such bullishness.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 Happy Holidays for Risk Assets by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Risk assets—particularly high-yield bonds and bank loans—are well positioned to enjoy a prosperous road ahead.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 To Be Continued … the Fed Drama and Its Implications by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

The Fed has strung investors along for quite a while in anticipation of the first rate increase in nearly a decade. What would happen if low rates were to become a permanent fixture of the investment landscape?

2015-11-25 00:00:00 Technically Speaking: The Real Value Of Cash by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

With the "inmates running the asylum" during a holiday-shortened trading week, the upward bias to the market is set to continue.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What are the Best Year-End Investments? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

There is a lot of data to be reported in only three full trading days, but it does not rate to signal important economic changes. I expect plenty of participants to take the week off and even more will leave after the first hour on Wednesday. The punditry still has pages and air time to fill, despite the lack of fresh news.

2015-11-25 00:00:00 The World Is Looking More & More Deflationary by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Consumer prices are running well below the 2% inflation target of central banks across the developed world. While central bankers continue to say they expect inflation to return to 2% or thereabouts in the medium-term, there is no evidence of that.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 The Investment Portfolio of the Future by Bob Veres (Article)

I envision a world where advisors are vetting a growing number of nontraditional investments for their clients.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 Reflections on Four Decades of Economic Forecasting by Harald B. Malmgren (Article)

Timeworn economic forecasting methodologies on which we rely -- whether prepared by governments, central banks or private economists -- are gradually becoming less relevant and reliable.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 Why Advisors Should Use Deferred-Income Annuities by Michael Finke (Article)

I will show that an eminently effective way to fund retirement is through a deferred-income annuity, particularly if it is purchased through an IRA as a qualified longevity annuity contract (QLAC). The advantages of purchasing a QLAC include the ability to avoid RMDs.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 A Warm Pineapple for Wall Street by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Last week's stock rally seems to point to a shift to more positive sentiment as markets warm to the idea of a possible December rate hike, says Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors. That said, don't dole out the goodwill just yet, there's more data to come.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 The Back-and-Forth Continues as Equities Gain Ground by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities climbed sharply last week, with the S&P 500 Index advancing 3.3%, essentially erasing losses from the prior week.1 Somewhat surprisingly, investors did not focus on the terrorist attacks in Paris, paying more attention to the positives. The October Federal Reserve minutes seemed to strike the right balance between raising expectations for a December rate liftoff and maintaining a measured pace. Merger and acquisition headlines were also in the news and there were some bright spots on the corporate earnings calendar.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 The Three Towers by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

All three major central banks held policy meetings in October and recently published minutes. Here’s what they said.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 Dispersion Dynamics by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Two types of dispersion are increasingly apparent in market dynamics here. The first type of dispersion is between leading measures of economic activity and lagging ones. The second is dispersion in market internals, particularly observable in a continued narrowing of leadership to a handful of “winner-take-all” stocks, while broader measures of market action across individual stocks, industries, sectors, and credit spreads show persistent divergence that suggests increasing risk-aversion among investors.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 Quantitative Tightening by Ritesh Jain, Abhishek Sonthalia of Tata Asset Management

In the last 15 years, emerging economy central banks have been busy accumulating forex reserves to build a buffer against external shocks after having learnt their lessons in the Asian financial crisis, adding more than $10tn in this period. The swing in global foreign exchange reserves is one key measure of the global liquidity tap flow. However, we are witnessing a reversal of reserve accumulation, something last seen at the height of the global financial crisis for a brief while.

2015-11-23 00:00:00 On My Radar: Global Recession a High Probability by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“I have long made the claim that the transnational nature of Europe cannot be sustained. The divergent economic interests of EU countries, some with unemployment over 20 percent, some with it under 5 percent, meant that it was impossible for all of them to live not only under the same monetary regime, but under the same trade regime, which we cannot call free trade with agriculture, among other things, being protected. This would lead to a focus on national interest and on a resurrected nation-state.” -George Friedman

2015-11-22 00:00:00 US Equity And Economic Review: A Narrowing Rally, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

The Conference Board reported the LEIs and CEIs this week: LEIs increased .6% while CEIs rose .2%. The only negative LEI component was the ISM manufacturing new orders index, which subtracted .05% from the total number. But two other leading manufacturing numbers were positive. Perhaps best of all, the average workweek of production workers added to the number. Three of four CEI components expanded; only industrial production contracted.

2015-11-21 00:00:00 What We’re Paying Attention to Following the Paris Attacks by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A week ago today, 129 lives were brutally cut short when assailants affiliated with the terrorist group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, stormed Paris in a series of coordinated attacks. Along with the rest of the world, we were shocked and saddened as the tragic news unfolded, worsening as the night progressed. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families and friends.

2015-11-21 00:00:00 Lessons from Australia and New Zealand on Debt, Immigration, and Food by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The arc traced by Australian and New Zealand home prices is a source of broad concern. Property values in Sydney, in particular, have risen by 50% over the past 5 years. Observers from near and far fret that the line between fair value and market excess was crossed some time ago.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Stop “QE” Insanity by Don Schreiber, Jr of WBI Investments

In response to the 2008 Financial Crisis, governments around the world led by the U.S. Federal Reserve developed a series of monetary policy tools to try to stabilize the financial system. The two primary policy tools they have employed are a zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) and quantitative easing (QE). We believe that these policies have created a high-risk paradigm for investors who have come to believe that easy monetary policy can drive asset prices higher, forever.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Waiting for the Fed by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The inverse correlation between stocks and high-quality bonds failed to hold over the past week, after holding for October 2015, suggesting other forces are at work. The answer to the bond market’s indifference to risk asset performance may lie in market fixation over a possible Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike in December 2015. According to fed fund futures pricing, market expectations for the timing of the Fed’s first rate were essentially unchanged, with the probability of a December rate hike marginally lower on the week to 64% from 70%.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 The Case for Active Equity Management by Paul Doyle of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The growth of passively managed funds adds to market inefficiency by increasing the prevalence of price indiscriminate buyers and sellers. This can create inefficiencies that active managers can exploit. Weakening global liquidity means that there will no longer be a rising tide of liquidity that lifts all boats, and dispersions in the returns offered by individual stocks are likely to increase.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Muni Investors Want Liquidity Plus Diversity by Guy Davidson of AllianceBernstein

The municipal market is no different than other markets when it comes to liquidity: they’re liquid until suddenly they aren’t. Investors must assess their need for liquidity to navigate such challenges.

2015-11-20 00:00:00 Southern Company: Invest While the Yield Is Still High by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

In consideration of today’s low interest rate environment, fixed income securities offer little in the way of return. Moreover, the safety characteristics normally associated with fixed income are also potentially upside down. Since early 1982, the interest rates available with fixed income have been in a continuous freefall. This has presented both good and bad news for the conservative investor desirous of a high and safe income stream on their portfolios.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Gundlach – The Scariest Indicator in the World by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Those Federal Reserve governors who intend to vote for an increase in rates at their December meeting need to take a close look at some of the charts Jeffrey Gundlach presented on Tuesday. One chart – which Gundlach called his “scariest” – carried a particularly ominous signal for the global economy.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Friends by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

“Friends” . . . except in this case I am not referring to the 1994 TV sitcom, but the true friends I have met over the past 45 years in this business. I thought about this theme two weeks ago as I was sitting in Bobby Van’s, across from the NYSE, listening to great stories from my friend Art Cashin and Eric Kaufman (captain of the sagacious VE Capital), and other members of Friends of Fermentation (FOF). As I listened to Arthur, I could not shake the feeling that these classic Wall Street stories need to be scribed lest they be lost forever.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: November by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

While China’s manufacturing sector—which drove China’s rise to its place as the world’s second-largest economy—has been losing steam, it is being supplanted by a domestic, consumer-led economy propelled by a rising middle class with growing income. Other Asian countries are on a similar trajectory.

2015-11-19 00:00:00 Newsletter Volume 8, No. 5 - November 2015 by Harold Evensky of Evensky & Katz / Foldes Financial Wealth Management

AMAZING AND VERY COOL! From my friend Peter: The French restaurant «Le Petit Chef» (The Little Chef) came up with an original way to entertain guests while waiting for their orders — using a projector on the ceiling, animation appears on the table.

2015-11-18 00:00:00 Are You Being Paid for Emerging-Market Risk? by Shamaila Khan of AllianceBernstein

When it comes to emerging-market (EM) bonds, clients often ask us if they’re being adequately compensated for their risk. It’s a fair question, but answering it isn’t as easy as many people think.

2015-11-18 00:00:00 The Enormous Long-Term Cost of Holding Cash by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Many Americans are placing a disproportionate amount of their savings in cash. Russ explains the perils of this excessive conservatism.

2015-11-18 00:00:00 European Union Challenged from Right and Left by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

The heinous ISIS attack in Paris is a game changer in Europe. In addition to the horrific amount of individual casualties, the attack has also threatened severe damage to the long term survivability of the European Union as a political entity. Based on the unpopularity and unfeasibility of immigration controls under the EU's Schengen Plan, the events have opened up the Union to renewed attacks from the right, just as its support from the left is crumbling as a result of opposition to EU-mandated fiscal austerity. This two-front onslaught may be too much for the Union to endure.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Gundlach – The Psychology of a Rate Hike by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The consensus is building for a Fed rate hike in December. But how the market will react is far less certain. According to Jeffrey Gundlach, that will depend on the context in which the Fed takes action.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Market Focus: Finding Value in the MLP Misfortune by Investment Strategy Group of Neuberger Berman

The brutal selloff in the energy sector has produced a good deal of collateral damage, even among businesses that seemingly have little to do with the price of crude oil.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Equities Decline, But Long-Term Trends Look Positive by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities came under pressure last week, with the S&P 500 Index falling 3.6%, its largest pullback since late August. A number of issues contributed to the decline, including valuation concerns driven by the recent price rally and struggling earnings. Some negative earnings results from department stores and ongoing unease over Fed policy also contributed to souring sentiment. For the week, utilities was the only sector to advance, while energy, technology and consumer discretionary led the way lower.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Yield: One Commodity That’s Still Hot by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses investors’ quest for ample sources of income

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Sustaining a Foundation, Stepping Up as Fiduciaries by Seth Masters of AllianceBernstein

Establishing a foundation can be a great way to pursue charitable objectives, but it often brings a host of fiduciary responsibilities that donors may feel ill-equipped to handle. In this hypothetical case study, a couple of entrepreneurs sought our advice on asset allocation.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Gasoline and Coffee Fuel Our Daily Lives. Can Commodities Also Fuel Our Investment Portfolios? by Bransby Whitton, Klaus Thuerbach, Kate Botting of PIMCO

Commodities are a tangible part of our daily lives. They are the food we eat, the energy that powers our cars and heats our homes, the metals that go into our electrical wiring and our jewelry. Yet investing in commodities can seem elusive.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 Are We Heading into a Rising Rate Environment? Historically, High Yield Bonds Have Done Well by Steve Rumsey of Optimus Advisory Group

As the Federal Reserve inches closer to raising interest rates, many fixed income investors are becoming increasingly worried about an expected negative impact on their portfolios. With cash rates at zero and the stock market looking tenuous at best, conservative investors have no place to go other than to look for the areas of the bond market that might survive a series of Fed rate hikes.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 ETF Trading: Understanding ETF Liquidity by Sponsored Content from FlexShares ETFs (Article)

As you determine which ETFs best meet your clients’ needs and objectives, bear in mind ETF liquidity and trading. This will help you better maximize opportunities and optimize trades at the best possible price in order to gain potentially higher total returns.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 A December Rate Hike Would Not Be the Fed's First Act of Tightening by Alex Christensen of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Investors preparing for the shock on risk-on assets as a result of Fed tightening may be surprised to realize that they have already been feeling these shocks. The impact of a single 25 basis point hike as a part of a slow, years-long rate-rise cycle will likely be modest compared to the impact of the end of QE3. Now that panic has retreated following August and September’s volatility, the view that a rate hike is not a death knell for portfolios, whether risky or not, is emerging once again.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 Could High-Yield ETFs Be the New CDOs? by Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

Passive management strategies in high yield promote lax lending standards and sketchy supply, much as they did during the pre crisis CDO boom. For investors, this could mean lower credit quality and a higher probability of default.

2015-11-16 00:00:00 On My Radar: Poking At The Beehive by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“The European Central Bank is likely to continue negative rates, extend and enlarge QE, and acquire more balance sheet assets over time. ECB policy influences other nearby non-euro jurisdictions. Essentially, all short-term interest rates of higher-credit-grade and mid-grade countries in Europe are negative, and the policy of negative rates is spreading as the rates go even lower (more negative).” – David Kotok

2015-11-13 00:00:00 The Bullish Case for Aussie Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

There’s a gold bear market here in North America, where the yellow metal has plunged to a six-year low of $1,083 per ounce on the strong U.S. dollar. But when priced in the weaker Aussie dollar, the precious metal is sitting at $1,520. As recently as last month, it touched $1,642.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 How Fast and How High by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

We do not believe last week’s sell-off is the start of a spike in interest rates. In fact, the spike may have already occurred with the 10-year Treasury yield higher by nearly 0.4% since October 14, 2015. The 30-year Treasury yield has also undergone a significant adjustment [Figure 1]. Yields on both 10- and 30-year benchmark Treasury yields have broken above the September highs and are within striking distance of 2015 highs of 2.5% and 3.2%, respectively. From a technical perspective, a breach above these levels would be needed to sustain a breakout to new yield highs.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Gasoline and Coffee Fuel Our Daily Lives. Can Commodities Also Fuel Our Investment Portfolios? by Bransby Whitton, Klaus Thuerbach, Kate Botting of PIMCO

Commodities are a tangible part of our daily lives. They are the food we eat, the energy that powers our cars and heats our homes, the metals that go into our electrical wiring and our jewelry. Yet investing in commodities can seem elusive.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 A Decisive Monetary Policy Approach Is About More Than Economics by John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

With monetary policy divergence between the developed world’s three most influential central banks set to continue, it seems clear to us that the need for a decisiveness of approach extends beyond a simple economic argument.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Making the Most of a 401(k) Account by Anne Bucciarelli of AllianceBernstein

Taking advantage of your employer’s retirement savings plan is one of the most powerful and effective tools available to investors planning for retirement. But be wary of “setting and forgetting” the amount you contribute each year: It may not be enough to meet your goals.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 The Shadow Rate Casts Gloom by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Nearly 92% of economists surveyed this week by the Wall Street Journal expect that our eight-year experiment with unprecedented monetary easing from the Federal Reserve will come to an end at the next Fed meeting in December. Since we have had the monetary wind at our back for so many years, at least a few have begun to question our ability to make economic and financial gains against actual headwinds. But in reality, the tightening cycle that the forecasters are waiting for actually started last year. Sadly, the markets and the economy are already showing an inability to handle it.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Life in a No Growth World and the Impact on Interest Rates by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

The recent Fed decision seems to provide no more clarity: they left the opening for a December hike but didn’t specifically commit to making a move then. So the question remains, when will the Fed begin raising rates and by how much? It is clear they want to start increasing rates in order to give themselves some flexibility if they need it down the road, all the while fulfilling their dual mandate. However, it seems the “data” for our “data dependent” Fed isn’t getting better globally.

2015-11-13 00:00:00 Americas: Economy Trends Update October 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The fall in energy and commodity prices continues to drive the divergent economic trends in the U.S. and other countries in the region. While the low fuel costs have supported the ongoing healthy U.S. economic expansion, the resource exporting countries in the region continue to struggle. Brazil remains in an economic recession even as political controversies have worsened the outlook for the country. The recent downgrades by the credit rating agencies have led to significant capital outflows from Brazil, making it difficult for domestic corporations to finance growth.

2015-11-12 00:00:00 2 Investing Implications of Higher US Rates by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Real U.S. rates have been climbing, while rates are falling in much of the rest of the world. As Russ explains, this divergence has a number of implications for investors.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 It's Groundhog Day for the Markets by Mark Burgess of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

The likelihood of subdued economic growth means that interest rates will be lower for longer. There will no longer be a rising tide of U.S.-led QE that lifts all boats. We think that a selective approach in equities will pay off as investors focus more on valuations and fundamentals.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 High Yield Energy: Paths of Valuation and Correlated Effects by David Kleinberg of Universal Orbit

An observer may rightly state the bull case for oil and related investment thesis is not one of prescience but only precarious sentiment. True a simple wager on the directional valuation of commodity pricing may set the course, perhaps even amplified by modest use of leverage. In the Energy sector, valuating macroeconomic drivers consistent with the permutations of effects on corporate performance is measurable in degree though often variable in the most desired performance metric—timing.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 Is the Selloff in High-Yield Bonds Warranted? by Jon Adams, John Boritzke, Sandy Lincoln, Alan Schwartz, Lowell Yura of BMO Global Asset Management

The commentary reviews the patterns in the high-yield market over the past few years, particularly how investors have fled the asset class in light of various expected crises, which turned out to be unwarranted. BMO GAM believes investors are once again overestimating default risks, evidenced currently by fears of a global growth scare spurring high yield outflows. Some may feel these outflows and default risks imply a recession is nigh, but the MAST team feels our economy is a long ways off from signaling such an event.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 ETFs: Before You Buy, Read the Warning Label by Peter Kraus of AllianceBernstein

We don’t hate ETFs. In fact, we use them ourselves and are considering managing client assets in the active ETF space. When used properly, these instruments can be a useful component in a well-diversified portfolio. But ETFs aren’t perfect, and relying heavily on them without understanding their imperfections is risky.

2015-11-11 00:00:00 Financial Festival by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

I first met Minyanville’s Todd Harrison more than 10 years ago. Subsequently the first “Minyans in the Mountains” confab was held in Crested Butte, Colorado. Todd’s Minyanville idea was to create a financial community whose participants would bond over the years and share investment themes, strategy, and investment ideas. Minyanville also tried to advance the financial education of children. The “glue” that seemed to tether everyone together was dubbed “The Buzz and Banter” where all of us could contribute to the ongoing financial blog.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 Sticking with Your Asset Allocation by Seth Masters of AllianceBernstein

An investment plan will work only if an investor has the emotional fortitude to stick with it. That’s easier said than done, particularly with a more aggressive portfolio, when market conditions are rough.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 Digesting the Implications of Higher Rates by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the implications of higher rates for investors.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 Managing Fixed Income in a Changing Interest Rate Environment by Patty Quinn McAuley of Clark Capital Management Group

Tired of the constant chatter about where interest rates are headed and what will happen when they finally rise? We’ve compiled the following five ideas for positioning your clients’ bond portfolios to capture opportunities and navigate risks in fixed income — regardless of where rates go.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 Japan: The Quest for Growth and Inflation by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Abenomics [in Japan] constitutes a true regime change and has already had a significant impact—but the road to sustainably higher growth and inflation is still long.

2015-11-10 00:00:00 Every Rose Has its Thorn(s) by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

On the tail of a bright jobs report, the likelihood that the FOMC will raise rates in December seems more clear, say Kristina Hooper. However, not everything is picture-perfect as the dollar is strong, global demand is waning and energy prices remain low.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Remember Greece? Neither Does the Market. by Tere Alvarez Canida, Alan Habacht, William Canida, Scott Kimball, Daniela Mardarovici of BMO Global Asset Management

Global conditions are absolutely impacting the U.S. markets in known and established manners, but the Fed’s recent introduction of the language confused markets away from a perception of Fed support to one of Fed fear. The resulting move to wider in spreads, which was largely undifferentiated by issuer, caused the past quarter to be a very difficult one for investors. Looking forward, that undiscerning move in spreads has afforded the opportunity to purchase potentially mispriced assets in anticipation of a return to rationality.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What Will Higher Interest Rates Mean for Financial Markets? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Friday’s employment report, rightly or wrongly, confirmed expectations for a December shift in Fed policy. There will be a parade of Fed speakers. We can expect daily discussion about the implications. The punditry will be asking: What will higher rates mean for financial markets?

2015-11-09 00:00:00 CEF Market Update by (Article)

As relatively wide discounts persist, the closed-end fund market presents potential opportunities to investors, says John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Winners and Losers: Q3 2015 by Jackie Lafferty of Loomis Sayles

Investor risk aversion battered emerging market (EM) assets during the third quarter. Local currency and hard currency markets both posted negative gains and EM equities posted double digit losses.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 The Most Critical Planning Assumption – and How to Choose it by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

Compared to the popular approach of assuming a point estimate for the equity-risk premium, an approach that admits we don’t know what number is may seem counterintuitive. But what has been truly crazy is assuming we know a precise number when the evidence clearly indicates that we don’t.

2015-11-09 00:00:00 Resisting the Chase: Reimagining Liquidity and Diversification by Douglas A. Dachille and Mark G. Alexandridis (Article)

Mutual fund bond investors have reached an unwelcome crossroads. With interest rates at historic lows, they have spent much of their post-crisis existence cautiously ascending the risk ladder in search of yield. While the liquid alternative space has been touted as fertile ground for diversification and non-correlated returns, it has fallen short of delivering the kind of liquidity and diversification today’s retail investor really needs.

2015-11-07 00:00:00 Get Ready for Commodity Liftoff: Global Manufacturing Just Made a HUGE Move! by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

As Donald Trump might say: This is going to be huge.

2015-11-07 00:00:00 Want High-Yield Exposure? Forget About ETFs by Gershon Distenfeld of Alliance Bernstein

Have a short-term view on high yield? Maybe an exchange-traded fund (ETF) is right for you. But if you want long-term exposure to this market, ETFs are a terrible choice.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 What's in your wallet: The case for cash? by David Robertson, CFA of Arete Asset Management

Several factors have contributed to the lowly status of cash. An important one has been a core tenet of investment theory that indicates higher returns accrue from assets with higher levels of risk.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 The Defaults Ahead by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Much has been made about the outlook for defaults in the high yield market. Many have speculated that we are at the beginning of a big upturn in that default cycle and thus, this market should be avoided. While this makes for good headlines, the projections we’ve seen, and our own expectations, don’t add up to a big uptick in default rates. Yes default rates will likely increase, but remain below historical averages for the high yield market.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital

In 2008, most investors were driving a fast car down a country road at night with no headlights. They ignored widening credit spreads and kept their allocation to risk assets too high. Value investors bought financial securities because they seemed cheap relative to book value, and neglected to size the position with any consideration to the idea that these entities had so much financial leverage, a bad quarter could entirely wipe out equity value.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 Portfolio Risk: It’s More Complicated Than You Think by Harin de Silva of Analytic Investors, Sub-Advisor of 361 Capital

2015-11-05 00:00:00 Third Quarter Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital Management

Risk management is not simply a step in the investment process. It is an all-encompassing, ongoing activity, and a frame of mind. Every action we take when structuring our portfolios starts with the questions: “How can this go wrong? What is the downside? What don’t we know that could hurt us?” John Paul Jones was correct – risk is a necessary component of progress, but we can use all the tools at our disposal (including history) to quantify it. Unlike Han Solo, we want to assess the odds to the best of our ability.

2015-11-05 00:00:00 The Defaults Ahead by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares/Peritus Asset Management

Much has been made about the outlook for defaults in the high yield market. Many have speculated that we are at the beginning of a big upturn in that default cycle and thus, this market should be avoided. While this makes for good headlines, the projections we’ve seen, and our own expectations, don’t add up to a big uptick in default rates. Yes default rates will likely increase, but remain below historical averages for the high yield market.

2015-11-05 00:00:00 Getting a Mortgage is Harder Than Ever by Dmitri Rabin of Loomis Sayles

There’s an important debate bubbling among investors and policy-makers: have residential mortgage lending standards tightened too much for too long in the post-crisis period?

2015-11-04 00:00:00 QE’s Creeping Communism by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Most economists and investors readily acknowledge that the current period of central bank activism, characterized by extended bouts of quantitative easing and zero percent interest rates, is a newly-blazed trail in economic history. And while these policies strike some as counterintuitive, open-ended, and unimaginably expensive, most express comfort that our extremely educated, data-dependent, central bankers have a pretty good idea as to where the trail is going and how to keep the wagons together during the journey.

2015-11-04 00:00:00 It’s the Zero Bound Yield Curve, Stupid! by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

I have been increasingly suspicious since late 2011 that Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579) may be the modern John Maynard Keynes. I said as much in a Financial Times op-ed when I wrote in December of that year, that the famous “Gresham’s Law” needs a corollary. Not only does “bad money drive out good money” but “cheap money” may do harm as well. Just as Newtonian physics breaks down, and Einsteinian theories prevail at the speed of light, so too might easy money, which has invariably led to stronger economic recoveries, now fail to stimulate growth close to the zero bound.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 Three Keys for Advisors When Implementing Alternatives by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

• For almost 25 years, I’ve worked with financial advisors regarding the use of alternative investments. • I’ve found three common traits among advisors who have the greatest success, i.e., satisfied clients who understand their investments and their results.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 Light This Candle by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

The US stock market reminds us of Alan Shepard in 1961. Exasperated by the long wait in his Mercury Spacecraft “Freedom 7” while NASA engineers fiddled, he said, “Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?” They finally did and he became the first American to go into space.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 On My Radar: Defending Diversification by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“Whatever the form of risk and risk measurement one uses, the important thing to know is that diversification reduces risk and can be used to reduce risks without reducing returns.” – Ray Dalio

2015-11-03 00:00:00 ‘Rocktober’ for US Stocks by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

While October has been a robust month for the US market, this positive position may begin to wane, says US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper. That said, even if stocks run into earnings challenges and economic data stays bland, it’s still important to stay in the game.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 No trends. No friends. by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

We’ve said this many times before, but this is a good time to remember diversification.

2015-11-03 00:00:00 Central Bank Divergence Returns by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the impact of the return of divergent central bank policies on stocks and bonds.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 Should FIFAA Be Red-Carded? by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

No, I haven’t gone bonkers – the focus of the Absolute Return Letter has not all of a sudden switched to football. Nor have I lost the ability to spell correctly, although I am sure that there are one or two like-minded readers out there who would also like to see the rear side of Sepp Blatter one final time.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 How European Insurance Portfolios Can Benefit From Alternatives by Tom Collier, Matthieu Louanges, Jeroen Van Bezoouen of PIMCO

Adding alternatives may not only make economic sense, but it also has the potential to improve European insurers’ return on capital.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 Robert Merton on the Promise of Reverse Mortgages and the Peril of Target-Date Funds by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Target-date funds are an exceptionally bad way to save for retirement, according to Robert Merton. But, he said, reverse mortgages are a powerful – yet largely untapped – tool for retirees to improve their standard of living.

2015-11-02 00:00:00 Curve Ball - Is the Yield Curve Still a Dependable Signal? by Michael Lebowitz (Article)

Although traditional yield-curve analysis does not predict a recession, other equally persuasive indicators do.

2015-11-01 00:00:00 International Economic Week in Review: It's A Brave New Policy World, Edition by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

From a policy perspective, the decline in Chinese demand and the relative over-supply of commodities within China adds downward pressure to a variety of commodities. This situation is likely to continue.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 Apples and Oranges: A Random Portfolio Case Study by Adam Butler, Michael Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of ReSolve Asset Management

This article was motivated by a provocative discussion with a thoughtful RIA. Let’s call him Harry. Harry expressed some disappointment with the performance of Global Tactical Asset Allocation (GTAA) strategies over the past few years relative to some popular tactical U.S. sector rotation funds.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 Uncertainties Holding the Market Hostage by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Before August 11, the popular perception was that the United States economy was growing at about a 2% annual rate and the Standard & Poor’s was locked in a trading range between 2040 and 2125. After the Chinese revalued the renminbi by 2%, the trading range was lowered to 1875–2025. Perhaps the key reason for the equity market’s inability to work its way higher is the belief that earnings for the index are likely to be flat in 2015 compared with last year (the view that we are in an earnings recession). The strong dollar and lower oil prices have contributed to this situation.

2015-10-30 00:00:00 Have Commodities Reached an Inflection Point? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week the Federal Reserve announced that it would delay the interest rate liftoff yet again, but while everyone seems concerned about nominal rates—the federal funds rate, in this case—real rates have already risen about 5 percent since August 2011. This “invisible” rate hike is much more impactful to commodity prices and emerging markets than a nominal rate hike, which is simply the “tip of the iceberg.”

2015-10-30 00:00:00 A Better Bond Blueprint? by John Taylor of Alliance Bernstein

Bond strategies based on benchmark indices have big limitations and could expose investors to an unattractive mix of investment risks. Is there a better blueprint for global bond investors?

2015-10-29 00:00:00 The Weather Will Change for MLPs by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

The advantages and competitiveness of North American shale assets will only grow over time and we expect production to resume its increase at some point. We believe the recent sell off in MLPs is due to forced selling and a typical equity market cascade and overshoot, which has created a potentially attractive opportunity for investors to allocate to the asset class. Adapting Mark Twain to the MLP market, the reports of its demise are greatly exaggerated.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Fixed Income Outlook October 2015: Is China Really That Important? by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

Negative sentiment permeated the stock and bond markets this quarter, with August taking September’s usual honor as the worst month of the year, so far, for stocks. In particular, concerns about China weighed on the markets, and the Federal Reserve (Fed) Governors fanned these fears with comments at the September Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, when they voted to hold the federal funds rate steady.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 The Upside Potential in Buying Some Puerto Rico’s Bonds Now by Robert Kane of BondView

Puerto Rico’s municipal bonds have crashed just like Greek bonds did three years ago. Puerto Rico issues hundreds of different types of bonds. They shouldn’t be viewed as a homogeneous h?oard??. They have varying degrees of credit quality and risks. Some are insured. Many have become mispriced because of the company they keep and are trading at a steep discount to face value.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Equity Investment Outlook October 2015: Global Growth Scare: Is it Warranted? by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

During the third quarter, global markets were roiled by heightened investor uncertainty and downright fear that China’s slowing economic growth might tip the global economy into recession. The selling pressure that took hold in mid-August had all the elements of a mini panic. The only assets that held their value or posted gains were cash and investment grade bonds. The further out one looked on the risk spectrum, the worse the decline.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 Seeing the Forest for the Trees: The Role of Investment Yield in a Portfolio by Marc Odo of Swan Global Investments

Chasing Investment Yield or Total Return - How investors may be missing the big picture when chasing yield from fixed income in a low yield world.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 4Q 2015 Outlook: Key Issues Have Not Changed Much This Year by Michael Avery, Cynthia Prince-Fox, Chace Brundige of Ivy Investment Management Company

As the final quarter of 2015 begins, we are reminded of several topics of focus from the start of the year: concerns that global central bankers are stuck with their current monetary policies because the global economy now depends on them; market acceptance that higher U.S. interest rates are inevitable, even if they rise only slightly; and favorable prospects for U.S. consumers, who benefit from a stronger labor market and lower energy prices. If the topics sound familiar now, it is because little has changed in these areas while global risks have increased for several reasons.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 On Mutual Fund Liquidity, SEC Headed in Right Direction by Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

Investors trust open-ended mutual funds because they promise easy entry and exit. We think proposed new liquidity rules should help fund managers deliver on that promise.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 On My Radar: I’m Rooting For Ray by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

There is a great deal of research around investor behavior. For example, our brains notice when a group provides an answer that is different from ours, the disparity is unpleasant. For many, aligning with the group is more rewarding for the brain than being independent and correct.

2015-10-28 00:00:00 Is Now a Good Time to Buy REITs? by Wilson Magee of Franklin Templeton Investments

Investors in US REIT stocks may use a variety of valuation methodologies in making investment decisions, but we think one of the most important of those considers the underlying value of properties using transactional evidence in the real estate investment market itself.

2015-10-27 00:00:00 Conditions Remain Uneven, but Equities Again Charge Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets climbed for the third consecutive week, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 2.1%.1 Much of the strength came from additional signs of easing from the European and Chinese central banks. Corporate earnings were mixed, with some health care and retail industries coming under pressure, while the technology sector provided impressive results. Overall, however, the majority of companies reported better-than-expected earnings results, which added to improved market sentiment.

2015-10-27 00:00:00 Will Voters Force Lawmakers to Loosen the Purse Strings? by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

With stocks soaring after Mario “Whatever It Takes” Draghi’s latest comments, it’s clear markets still like easy money from central banks, says US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper. But fiscal stimulus induces spending more directly—and voters might start demanding it.

2015-10-27 00:00:00 The Fed's Dilemma by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate rise history reveals a familiar dilemma—previous delays led to inflated asset prices and recessions.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 What Do Today’s Stock Prices Imply for Future Returns? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Has the U.S. bull market run its course? Russ and an investment strategist on his team, Terry Simpson, look at various valuation metrics to assess the outlook for stock returns.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 The Changing Dynamics of Eurozone Inflation by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and its governments’ responses to it have changed the relationship between inflation and economic slack in a way that is causing inflation to undershoot the ECB’s forecast.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Dan Fuss: Rates Will Rise (and so will taxes) by Robert Huebscher (Article)

If there truly were a “bond king,” it would not be Bill Gross or Jeffrey Gundlach. It would be Dan Fuss, whose tenure in the fixed-income markets has spanned more than half a century. In a talk last week, Fuss warned investors to expect higher interest rates along with higher taxes.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Global Bonds by (Article)

Income-oriented investors pursuing higher yield may want to consider closed-end funds with global bonds and “think broadly,” says Tim Palmer of Nuveen Investments.

2015-10-26 00:00:00 Preparing for Stormy Markets by Tracy Fielder of Invesco Blog

It’s the heart of hurricane season, and here on the coast, every tropical weather system brings with it a flood of speculation: Will this turn into a major storm? When will it make landfall? Where will it hit?

2015-10-24 00:00:00 Someone Is Spending Your Pension Money by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

We are going to talk about the slow-motion train wreck now taking shape in pension funds that is going to put pressure on many people who think they have retirement covered. Please feel free to forward this to those who might be expecting their pension funds to cover them for the next 30 or 40 years. Cutting to the chase, US pension funds are seriously underfunded and may need an extra $10 trillion in 20 years. This is a somewhat controversial letter, but I like to think I’m being realistic. Or at least I’m trying.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 A Bond-Free Portfolio: Why Cash Should Replace Bonds to Reduce Risk and Improve Returns by Kendall Anderson of Anderson Griggs

In a recent interview, Howard Marks, the great investor and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital, quoted the original Dr. Doom, Henry Kaufman, who once said “There are two kinds of people who lose money: those who know nothing and those who know everything.” Those of us who are selling investment services, whether portfolio management or investment products, have a tremendous ability to locate or create research that rationalizes our approach to building and maintaining a portfolio.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Indexing the Past by Bob Rice of Neuberger Berman

Today’s financial world disputes many of the most basic assumptions of yesteryear’s investing “truths.” Globalization, the rise of a “winner take all” digital economy and markets led by policymakers have redrawn the investing map in profound ways.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Liquidity Premiums In High Yield Investing by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

There is no denying that liquidity has become a well-publicized concern in today’s high yield market, with much focus specifically on high yield ETFs. With the post financial crisis regulation that has curtailed market making activity by the large investment banks and dealer inventory, liquidity has decreased and volatility increased. However, we believe that arguments that liquidity concerns within the ETF space will lead to the high yield market’s demise are overblown.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: October by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

Overall, while there are plenty of ‘problem children’ in the emerging-market space, there are undoubtedly assets and currencies being beaten down by broad-brush assessments of economic prospects that merit renewed attention.

2015-10-23 00:00:00 Clean Power Plan May Mean More Green for Investors by Thomas Socha of AllianceBernstein

The Obama administration recently introduced its Clean Power Plan, which aims to combat US climate change. This groundbreaking project will clean the air and transform how we generate power. Will investors breathe easier as well?

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Four Strategies for Navigating the Equity Environment Ahead by Andrew Pyne of PIMCO

Recent market turmoil suggests we could be at a turning point for equities. After several years of high returns and low volatility as the market rebounded off the lows of 2009, supported by unprecedented monetary policies, investors are faced with broadly full valuations, global growth that is still uneven and the prospect of rising rates in the U.S. In this environment we suggest four simple approaches that could enhance returns while potentially reducing risk.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Why Have the Markets Been so Volatile Recently? by Wendy Stojadinovic of Cleary Gull

U.S., European and Japanese central banks have all been running with easy monetary policies for years and all have engaged in quantitative easing (QE). We are seeing growth in all three countries, with the U.S. doing the best, as a result. However, QE tends to lead to currency depreciation, which is difficult to see when everyone is doing it.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 The US Bond Market: A Welcome "Nonstory" During August's Turmoil by Payson Swaffield of Eaton Vance

Overall, the bond market functioned relatively well in the risk-off month of August – it did its job in reflecting relative value among sectors.

2015-10-22 00:00:00 Reshuffling the Deck in the Mideast by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

The U.S. presence in the Middle East, which for years provided some control over one of the world’s most volatile regions, appears to have dissolved into chaos. By removing Saddam Hussein from power, the U.S. removed his tyrannical but stabilizing hand from the powder keg that always existed in the poorly designed nation state of Iraq. Rather than attempting to repair the damage, President Obama appears intent on leaving what he terms “a quagmire.”

2015-10-21 00:00:00 An Important Rebalancing Milestone by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

Third quarter macroeconomic data shows that Chinese consumers shrugged off the A-share market fall, with a small acceleration in spending. While many headlines may declare that China’s 6.9% GDP growth was the slowest since 2009, it should be noted that this pace of growth was on a base that is about 300% bigger than it was a decade ago (when GDP growth was 10%), meaning that the incremental expansion in China’s economy this year is about 60% bigger than it was back in the day.

2015-10-21 00:00:00 On My Radar: Lucy, Charlie Brown and the Fed by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

All over the world, all eyes are zeroed in on the Fed. No pun intended.

2015-10-21 00:00:00 With Stocks on Shaky Ground, a Promising Ballast in Bonds by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the emergence of the return of longer-duration bonds as a potential hedge to equities.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 Chart Toppers: Diversification, China and the Fed’s Dual Mandate by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

From time to time, instead of diving into a singular topic in these reports, I am going to do a“Chart Toppers” review, where I share some of the more interesting and relevant charts I’ve put together or seen on a variety of topics.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 'Relentless Rise' in Home Prices Helping Consumers by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Although the Fed cited low inflation as a big reason it didn't raise rates, the housing market is showing continued pricing strength, says US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper. Higher equity levels and a chance to refinance should mean extra spending money for consumers.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 Four Takeaways on Alternative Opportunities Today by Marc Gamsin, Greg Outcalt of AllianceBernstein

Dispersion among asset classes and individual stocks and bonds will likely increase, and that’s only one trend reshaping the landscape and redefining alternative investing opportunities. Here are four things investors should consider.

2015-10-20 00:00:00 European Deleveraging Continues: Alternatives Investment Themes for 2016 by Joshua Anderson of PIMCO

With European bank deleveraging expected to continue for the foreseeable future, there are several developing opportunities to look to take advantage of.

2015-10-19 00:00:00 New TLAC Guidance Could Have Positive Implications for US Banking Sector by Jacob Habibi of Invesco Blog

The Financial Stability Board (FSB), an international body of banking regulators founded to promote global financial stability, on Sept. 25 confirmed that it would release its final proposal for minimum levels of “total loss absorbing capacity” (TLAC) required for globally systemically important financial institutions, or G-SIFIs, by the G20 Summit this November.

2015-10-19 00:00:00 The Hinge by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

One of the central themes I’ve emphasized over the past year is the critical importance of using market internals as a gauge of investor risk-seeking and risk-aversion. Over the long-term, investment returns are driven by valuations – particularly on a 10-12 year horizon. Over shorter horizons, and more limited portions of the market cycle, the primary driver of investment returns is the preference of investors to seek or avoid risk.

2015-10-19 00:00:00 Where to Look for Outperforming Active Managers by Bob Veres (Article)

Not all stock-pickers are winners, and winning funds tend to be scattered all over the various sectors of the market. Is there a way to analyze the different segments of the global opportunity set, and determine the best places to look for those outperforming managers?

2015-10-19 00:00:00 Foreigners Are Once Again Accumulating US Corporate Bonds by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

An under appreciated consequence of the financial crisis is the fact that foreigners became net sellers of US corporate bonds for an unprecedented 7 years. It is unprecedented because from 1984 to 2008, the one-year moving average of net purchases of US corporate bonds by private foreigners never even dipped into negative territory.

2015-10-19 00:00:00 The Rally Continues, but Equities Appear Stuck in a Trading Range by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets continued to advance last week, with the S&P 500 Index climbing 0.9%. Third quarter earnings results were mixed, and investors focused on stabilization in China and the upside of the Federal Reserve holding rates steady. The utilities sector was the best-performing, while industrials lagged.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Charting the Market's Course by Burt White, Jeffrey Buchbinder of LPL Financial

This week we highlight seven key charts to watch that may determine the stock market’s near-term direction. The charts cover a wide range of topics including manufacturing sentiment, earnings, oil, and high-yield bonds. We believe these charts can help investors navigate the market’s course for the balance of 2015 and into 2016.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Third Quarter 2015 Economic & Capital Market Summary by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

On the one hand, the domestic economic story is playing out pretty much as we had thought. Economic growth is muddling along in the 2% area. The unemployment rate is low, but job growth is still limited to service sector jobs which pay lower wages. Inflation is barely rising as commodity prices continue to plunge and wage growth has been flat. The Federal Reserve is poised to raise interest rates, but has deferred making the first increase in over nine years under pressure from global economies who fear that an increase in short term interest rates will impair the fragile global growth.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 US Monetary Policy: It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again by Brooks Ritchey of Franklin Templeton Investments

Is maintaining a zero interest rate policy in the United Sates today a good idea, or is not raising rates doing more harm than its intended good? I suppose that depends on perspective and opinion.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Eyeing Up the Infrastructure Investment Opportunity by Gerry Jennings of AllianceBernstein

There’s intense demand for capital to build and modernize the world’s infrastructure. That’s good news for investors, but accessing the opportunities isn’t a straightforward proposition.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Retirees: The Risks, Dangers and Advantages of Reaching For Yield: Part 2B by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

There is an undeniable fact that differentiates investing when in retirement versus investing while you are still working. When you are employed, you are working for your money. However, once a person truly enters their retirement years, the situation reverses itself. When in retirement you begin the stage in your life where your money must work for you. In my opinion, this changes the investing dynamic considerably.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Zero Yields & The Debt Ceiling by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The Treasury issued new three-month Treasury bills (T-bills) at 0% yield at auction last week and is on pace to do so again on October 13, 2015. Zero percent T-bill yields, or even lower, are not new, but 0% prevailing at an auction is unusual and made media headlines.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Why There’s a Disconnect Between Economic Data and Performance by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Recent weak economic data have confirmed everyone’s worst fears: The global economy is indeed decelerating. Yet risky assets have been advancing. Russ explains why and whether this can continue.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Tocqueville Gold Strategy Investor Letter Third Quarter 2015 by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

Financial market turmoil has been what was needed to rekindle investment interest in gold, as we have argued in our investor letters this year. The onset of a bear market is what we envisioned in making this statement. A preliminary glimpse of what is what is needed to turn the tide for the gold market occurred in the 3rd quarter with a sharp decline in all global equity markets. On a year to date basis, most of the leading stock market averages are now in the red.

2015-10-16 00:00:00 Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook – 3Q2015 by Van Hoisington, Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management

Future business activity will reflect two economic realities: 1) the over-indebted state of the U.S. economy and the world; and 2) the inability of the Federal Reserve to initiate policies to promote growth in this environment.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 Is it Time to “Buy” Inflation? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

While there's little evidence that inflation is going to come roaring back anytime soon, current estimates may be too low. Russ explains.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 3rd Quarter Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

The third quarter produced the worst return for the S&P 500 Index in four years, wiping out the prior year’s gains. Peak to trough declines from 2014-15 index highs to recent lows were even greater.

2015-10-15 00:00:00 Under the Credit Microscope: Methods of Shorting Corporate Bonds by Neuberger Berman Long Short Credit Team of Neuberger Berman

Approaches that are commonly employed in shorting a single corporate bond

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Signs of Healing in the Markets Are Slowly Starting to Appear by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Signs of economic stabilization in China and improvements in commodity markets helped U.S. equities recover some ground last week. Diminishing concerns over the delay in Federal Reserve rate hikes also aided sentiment. For the week, the S&P 500 Index jumped 3.3%, with the energy, materials and industrials sectors leading the way. Health care, in contrast, struggled.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Air Pockets! by Sam Stewart of Wasatch Funds

Global Stock Prices Dropped on Headline Concerns. But What Were the Underlying Causes? And Where Are the Opportunities?

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Earnings recession coming? Does it matter? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Despite a full slate of data, continuing international events, Washington maneuvering, and a possible record in Fed speeches, a new subject will command attention this week: Will there be an earnings recession, and should we worry?

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Three Ways to Help Reduce Capital Gains on Investments by Frank Pape of Russell Investments

Frank Pape provides simple ways to be more tax aware with help understanding capital gains and how they may impact investments.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Fear Mongering in The High Yield Market by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

There have recently been a few high profile investors that have spoken out against the high yield market, with Carl Icahn among the more vocal. While Icahn may have an agenda or perhaps a short trade in high yield, it is peculiar that he is so vocal against high yield bonds, calling it a bubble, when many of his equity purchases also are high yield issuers, not to mention his Icahn Enterprises is an issuer of high yield bonds.

2015-10-14 00:00:00 Upcoming Debt Ceiling Fight Could Get Really Ugly by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Here we go again – another debt ceiling battle will play out between now and November 5 when the Treasury says it will run out of “extraordinary measures” to fund the government without exceeding the current debt limit of just over $18 trillion. If the debt ceiling is not increased, the US government will default on its debt.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 Beware the Allure of One Data Point by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

The stock market continued cheering the bad-news September jobs report last week, glossing over other glum headlines in the hopes it would nix a 2015 rate hike. US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says investors shouldn’t make the same leap of logic.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 3Q 2015 Smead Capital Management Quarterly Newsletter: The Red, Green, and Beige Room by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

One of the great investing books of the last 40 years was David Dreman’s, Contrarian Investment Strategy. He started it by telling of a hypothetical gaming casino with two separate, but adjoining, rooms: the red room and the green room. The red room was packed with people and excitement and almost every day someone hit a huge jackpot setting the building on fire with electricity. Every seat was packed, others waited their turn to play and the anticipation was palpable.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 Stocks Push Higher, But Earnings May Be a Roadblock by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the catalysts for last week's stock rally, the specter of weak earnings ahead, and asset classes we favor.

2015-10-12 00:00:00 Alternative Strategies by (Article)

Investors looking for more diversification may want to consider CEFs with alternative strategies, says Larry Antonatos of Brookfield Investment Management.

2015-10-12 00:00:00 Smart Beta 2.0: A Disruptive Innovation by Steven Vannelli of GaveKal Capital

At the beginning of every major disruptive innovation, fear, uncertainty and doubt reign supreme. Consumers are fearful of the unknown, uncertain of the benefits and doubt the durability of the innovation. But, in the end, fear, uncertainty and doubt give way to confidence, understanding and acceptance. The fund management industry is on the cusp of a major disruptive innovation.

2015-10-12 00:00:00 Bob Zenouzi Discusses Delaware’s Dividend Income Fund by Robert Huebscher (Article)

In this interview, Bob Zenouzi, manager of the Delaware Dividend Income Fund (DDIAX), discusses how he strives to provide investors with a yield that is competitive with fixed income, while achieving a premium yield to equities with better downside protection.

2015-10-10 00:00:00 How these 12 TPP Nations Could Forever Change Global Growth by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The current members include Canada, the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.After nearly seven years of negotiations, the TPP promises to deliver unprecedented free and fair global trade among the 12 participant nations.

2015-10-10 00:00:00 Fourth Quarter Comeback? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

A disappointing year to this point for the US stock market has a chance to end on a better note, with good seasonality and a still-growing economy as supports. Consumers are in good shape, the Fed remains accommodative, and the much-larger service side of the US economy is still healthy. But Fed uncertainty, Congressional budget battles, and Chinese growth concerns will remain as headwinds and will likely contribute to continued bouts of volatility. Across the pond, the European fight against deflation appears to be working, although more QE may be needed, to the potential benefit of Europe/

2015-10-09 00:00:00 Hasenstab Sees Once-in-a-Multi-Decade Opportunities by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

There are a handful of countries that are being caught up in the current market turmoil that we think are the diamonds in the rough—multi-decade opportunities, once-in-the-history of some of these countries—opportunities.

2015-10-09 00:00:00 The ECB’s ABS Purchases – Catalyst or Dud? by Felix Blomenkamp of PIMCO

Given the limited scope and focus of its ABS purchases, the ECB has not yet revived Europe’s lackluster ABS market.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 China and the Fed by Dr. Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

The third quarter of 2015 was marked by significant losses in capital values and an increase in volatility. The S&P 500 lost 7.55% in the quarter and 6.71% year-to-date; NASDAQ dropped 7.77% quarterly and 2.26% for the year; Dow Jones Industrial average declined 8.15% in the quarter and 8.68% year-to-date. The VIX fear measure closed the quarter at 24.50, an increase of 42.6% since the beginning of the quarter and 37.7% since the beginning of the year.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Technically Speaking: The Real Correction Is Still Coming by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

In last week's update, I discussed the short-term oversold condition that existed at that time. To wit: "As you will notice, the reflexive rally, and subsequent failure, have tracked the original predictions very closely up to the point. With the market once again very oversold on a short-term basis, it is likely that the markets could manage a weak rally attempt over the next few days."

2015-10-08 00:00:00 Why Are You So Angry? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Mass layoffs are being announced. The U.S., Central America, South American countries, etc. are all economic disasters. Major currencies are falling and raw materials companies are seeing huge order reductions around the world. Plant production has been reduced to 66% in the first half of 2015; there are fields of idle construction equipment that China is not buying. Look for Korea to dump products into the U.S. Wholesale raw sugar prices dropped from $0.36/pound to $0.11/pound leaving Brazilian sugar cane companies ready to file for Chapter 11.

2015-10-08 00:00:00 A Very British Recovery by Mike Amey of PIMCO

The UK appears to be experiencing a typical British recovery, but needs further improvement to tolerate rising interest rates.

2015-10-07 00:00:00 On My Radar: Defaults Will Breach the Historical High Next Year – The Fed is the “Wild Card” by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“The Fed is the “wild card” that has the power to determine how quickly the current credit cycle ends.” – Ed Altman

2015-10-07 00:00:00 As Growth Slows, Markets Seek Comfort in Old Friends by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the slowing global growth picture, and the implications of an even longer spell of low rates.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 US Corporate Bond Spreads Continue To Widen by Eric Busch of GaveKal Capital

Spreads are on the move in the bond market, especially for lower credit bonds. The spread between the Bank Of America/Merrill Lynch US High Yield index and 10-year treasuries has widened out to 623 basis points which is the largest spread since June 2012. It’s not just junk bonds that are making multi-year highs in spreads, however. The spread between BAA and 10-year treasuries is the widest since July 2012 and the spread between BAA and junk is the widest since September 2012.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Global Bonds: To Hedge or Not to Hedge? by Scott DiMaggio, Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

With US rates poised to rise, there’s never been a better time to reposition into global bonds as your core mandate. But when you do, it’s crucial to fully hedge against currencies—an asset class nearly twice as risky as fixed income.

2015-10-06 00:00:00 Equity Outlook Fourth Quarter 2015 by Neuberger Berman Asset Allocation Committee of Neuberger Berman

The Committee upgraded our view on U.S. large cap equities following the recent correction, and maintained a slightly overweight view on European equities. Our view on MLPs has also improved following a challenging year.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 Rethinking 'Safe Haven' Assets in a Multi-Asset Portfolio by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

• Correlations have risen between perceived ‘safe haven’ assets and equities • Volatility has been a positive performer in falling equity markets, and we see it as a diversification tool in multi-asset portfolios • We look for areas where we think the markets' implied relative risk is an opportunity

2015-10-05 00:00:00 Provise Bullets by Team of ProVise Management Group

The 3rd quarter is now behind us and the major indexes did not fare well through the dog days of the summer. For the quarter the S&P 500 was down 6.44%, the DJIA was down even more at 6.91%, the Russell 2000 was down 11.92%, and the MSCI EAFE index was down 10.23%. The Barclays Aggregate Bond Index was able to post a small gain of 1.23%. Year to date the indexes are -5.29%, -6.88%, -7.73%, -5.28% and +1.13% respectively. As disappointing as these benchmark returns were, a look behind the scenes reveals an even more somber picture.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 The Looming Risk in the Bond Market by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Lack of bond-market liquidity has been the focus of recent reporting in the financial media. But one of the first to warn about that danger was Michael Aronstein, who said last week that the risks are clearer than ever. Mutual fund investors face the greatest peril.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 When Obfuscation Backfires by Dan Solin (Article)

Many advisors face with troublesome questions from prospects. Sometimes these questions go into the technical aspects of investing. How you answer these questions can determine whether you are successful in converting a prospect into a client.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 US Bond Market Week in Review; Did the Window Close, Edition? by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

A rate hike of at least 25 basis points was a done deal a few months ago. But recent global and domestic events have greatly lowered that possibility. It began with the Chinese equity sell-off followed by the surprise yuan devaluation. Recent Chinese manufacturing weakness adds to the mix. Although some recent US news has been positive, continued price weakness, lower industrial production and a recent employment slowdown show the US is not immune to the slowing international environment.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 Jobs Down, Bonds Up by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

We had truly bad job numbers this week. The rate of new jobs created came in at 142,000, way below expectations. It is true that the BEA often revises these numbers up but that tends to be in an upswing. We are not in an upswing.

2015-10-05 00:00:00 Key Themes for the Fourth Quarter and 2016 by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Since the Great Recession, the global economy has grown sporadically at a below-trend pace. This is unlikely to change in the short-term, but we expect ongoing improvement, led by growth in the United States.

2015-10-04 00:00:00 Recession Watch by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

If recovery from a banking crisis can take ten years and we are only seven years in, I expect (barring aliens) that we have a few more years to go. A slow, muddle-through recovery may not be exciting – but it’s better than the alternatives. As I noted at the beginning, I am quite worried about the possibility of a recession in our slow-growth, barely limping along at stall speed economy.

2015-10-03 00:00:00 The 10 Most Competitive Countries in the World by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

No new countries have entered or exited this exalted list, and there was very little rank-shuffling. For the seventh consecutive year, Switzerland is the most competitive country. For the fifth straight year, Singapore is number two. The U.S. comes in at number three for the second year. And so on.

2015-10-03 00:00:00 Better Times are Ahead by Byron Wien of Blackstone

The best recent period for investing in equities may have been 1982–1999, but I still think reasonable risk-adjusted returns for equities are likely in the years ahead, and that Treasurys and high-quality corporate bonds are less attractive.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 India Issues Its First Sovereign Gold Coin… to Curb Gold Imports October 1, 2015 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold tends not to leave India once it enters. As the world’s largest importer, the country consumes massive quantities of the yellow metal—it’s on track to take in 900 tonnes of the stuff this year—where it remains in private families’ coffers, mostly in the form of jewelry and decorative heirlooms. It’s estimated that less than 10 percent of all Indian gold demand is in bars and coins.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 When Markets Get Volatile, You’ve Got Options by Josh Lisser, Ben Sklar of AllianceBernstein

Last month’s simultaneous volatility spike and stock downturn were unpleasant surprises for investors. But in the spirit of making lemons into lemonade, we see them as reminders to think broadly about downside protection.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 The Real Burden of Low Interest Rates by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

Almost the entire world is concerned about the high levels of debt, should interest rates begin to rise again, but we are not. Don't get us wrong; a meaningful increase in debt service burdens could do substantial damage to a global economy so loaded with debt. We just don't think it is going to happen. Economic growth and inflation are likely to stay comparatively low for many years to come, and so are interest rates, but that raises another question. What damage can very low interest rates for an extended period of time actually be expected to do?

2015-10-02 00:00:00 Designing a Dividend Growth Portfolio for a Specific Retirement Yield Objective: Part 1 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Managing an investment portfolio is a very personal matter. Consequently, the most important consideration is to design a portfolio that meets your own unique goals, objectives and risk tolerances. Everyone is different, and consequently, every investment portfolio can and should be appropriately different as well. Stated more straightforwardly, I do not believe in cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all approaches to portfolio design.

2015-10-02 00:00:00 Upgrade Your Investment Approach and Put Some Fears to Rest by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Markets are inherently risky so some volatility is no reason to feel uneasy – unless it’s a signal that your investment approach is not well suited to manage through important changes in conditions.

2015-10-01 00:00:00 A Fragile Transition Supported by (Further) Policy Accommodation by Adam Bowe, Isaac Meng, Tadashi Kakuchi of PIMCO

n the following interview, Portfolio Managers Adam Bowe, Isaac Meng and Tadashi Kakuchi discuss conclusions from PIMCO’s quarterly Cyclical Forum, in which the company’s investment professionals debated the outlook for global economies and markets. They share our views on economies and investment implications across the Asia-Pacific region over the next 12 months.

2015-10-01 00:00:00 How Income Planning Can Help Clients Navigate the Future by Patty Quinn McAuley of Clark Capital Management Group

As our industry begins to address the income needs of the aging baby boomer population, arming clients with a personalized roadmap can help them stay on the right track to reach their desired outcomes. An income plan can bridge the gap between the investment plan and the actual execution of it, helping clients truly understand how their money will work for them.

2015-10-01 00:00:00 It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over by Burt White of LPL Financial

Yogi Berra passed away last week at the age of 90. One of the greatest baseball players of all time, Berra was probably known more for his funny sayings (so-called “Yogi-isms”) than he was for his impressive career as a New York Yankee that lasted from 1946 until 1963 and included 3 MVP awards and 10 World Series championships. Some of these Yogi-isms are relevant for investors, including: 1) it ain’t over ‘til it’s over, 2) déjà vu all over again, and 3) the future ain’t what it used to be. Berra also famously once said, “Make a game plan you can stick to…unless it’s not w

2015-09-30 00:00:00 Liquid Alternatives: Considerations for Portfolio Implementation by Justin Blesy, Ashish Tiwari of PIMCO

Since the financial crisis, investors have poured nearly half a trillion dollars into liquid alternative strategies – typically mutual funds and ETFs that deploy non-traditional strategies once reserved for large institutional investors.i These vehicles offer the potential for diversification, downside risk mitigation and attractive risk-adjusted returns with the transparency and daily liquidity many investors desire. Liquid alternatives have been a democratizing force for investors, and we believe today’s market environment arguably has only made them more attractive.

2015-09-30 00:00:00 Forget “Active vs. Passive”: It’s All About Factors by Adam Butler, Michael Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of ReSolve Asset Management

We just love a good debate, and there seems to be quite a heated debate at the moment about the relative utility of passive versus active investing. Perhaps this debate is as timeless as investment management itself, but a flurry of recent studies may have finally armed passive advocates with enough ammunition to settle the argument once and for all.

2015-09-30 00:00:00 Playing the Odds or Trying to Beat the Odds? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Our firm is built around the core principle of always seeking to put the odds on the side of our clients’ investment success. And yet ...

2015-09-30 00:00:00 Speaker Boehner Readies Final Sellout As Debt Ceiling Debacle Looms by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

It's campaign season, and that means non-stop media coverage of candidate polls, quips, gaffes, tweets, emails, controversies, lies, and scandals. It all makes for a good soap opera. Unfortunately, it's almost all irrelevant in the big picture.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 Annual Outlook by Mary Ellen Stanek of Baird Advisors

In an environment of low rates and heightened uncertainty, the U.S. has experienced sub-par growth during this economic cycle relative to past expansions. But compared to the rest of the world, the U.S. has been a strong performer. And even with only moderate growth, the U.S. economy has experienced healthy job creation – 11 million jobs since the bottom of the recession, 3 million created last year, the highest since 1999, and 2.5 million this year.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 Why Data, Not Lipreading, Hold Key to Liftoff by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper says that despite the market's confusion over a cacophony of Fed voices, it's critical not to lose confidence in what the Fed has been stating all along: Data will dictate its decision on rates.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 A Call for Quality as Volatility Turns Up the Volume by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why volatility is likely to remain elevated, and how investors should manage the risks in their portfolio.

2015-09-29 00:00:00 On My Radar: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

What scares me, or what worries me, is what the next downturn in the economy looks like, with asset prices where they are and a lesser ability of central banks to ease monetary policy.” – Ray Dalio with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene

2015-09-29 00:00:00 The High Yield Market: A Look at Past Recessions by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

The Fed interest rate decision came and went with relatively little market reaction. They pushed out an increase in rates, citing concerns about global economic conditions. Like many, we do share their concerns about the global economy, as we expect that it will result in muted growth here at home (and as we have noted in prior writings over the past several months, we’d expect that muted growth to ultimately result in a very moderate move in rates). But some market participants are voicing concerns that this global weakness will lead to a U.S. recession.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Valuations Not Only Mean-Revert; They Mean-Invert by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Risk-seeking among investors can often defer the immediate consequences of extreme valuations, while vertical losses can suddenly emerge when extreme overvaluation is joined by increasing risk-aversion among investors (as evidenced by deterioration in broad market internals). In any event, investors should expect market overvaluation or undervaluation to be reliably “worked off” within a period of about 12 years, on average.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Strengthen Your Core by Scott DiMaggio, Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

Core bond investors tend to have a strong “home bias.” But our research shows that global bonds have offered comparable historical returns and considerably lower volatility than local markets over the long term. In addition, a global approach offers protection when local rates climb.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 How Charity Leadership Deepens Client Bonds by Dan Richards (Article)

Many advisors volunteer in their communities, quietly and anonymously as a matter of personal choice. But recent conversations with advisors show that over a period of time, letting clients know about your involvement with the right charity sends a hugely positive message that deepens bonds.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will global weakness drag down the U.S. economy? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The recent Fed non-decision on interest rates increased worries about global economic weakness. Trading in commodity markets underscores a widespread perception of a potential recession. The week ahead is packed with fresh economic data, including the most important reports. The punditry will be asking: Will the U.S. economy succumb to global weakness?

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Equities May Remain Trendless Until More Clarity Emerges by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Sentiment was negative for most of last week, as investors focused on continued uncertainty over Federal Reserve policy, slowing growth in China and emerging markets and ongoing weakness in commodities. Stock prices bounced on Friday following comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen that a rate increase was looking more likely in 2015. Nevertheless, equities finished in negative territory, with the S&P 500 Index falling 1.4%. The health care, materials and industrials sectors came under pressure, while utilities, consumer staples and financials finished higher.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Fed Bolsters Investment Grade Bond Issuance by Jacob Habibi, Mike Hyman, Matt Brill of Invesco Blog

Barring an external shock that sends global risk assets lower, the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision to keep interest rates unchanged while lowering its projected pace of future rate hikes is likely to support a continuation of the heavy pace of new corporate bond issuance and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the US investment grade (IG) market.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 Staying Level-Headed in the Face of Fed Uncertainty by John Calamos, Sr. of Calamos Investments

As we know, uncertainty about the Fed’s plans for raising short-term rates remains a key driver of market volatility. It’s understandable that investors are afraid to be in the markets and at the same time, afraid to be out. Whenever rates do rise (probably before the end of the year), there’s every reason to expect continued heightened equity market volatility. Even so, I view a more normal interest-rate environment as long-term positive—for the economy and for the equity market.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 In Search of the Phillips Curve by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Macroeconomics students spend a good bit of class time learning about the Phillips curve, and it is probably etched permanently in their minds. The Phillips curve suggests that there is an inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment in the short run.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 Gliding Along Better with Bond Diversifiers by Daniel Loewy, Christopher Nikolich of AllianceBernstein

Will the Fed start raising interest rates in October, December or next year? It should make no difference to building a successful target-date glide path for the next decade and beyond.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 The Case for Credit by Mark Kiesel of PIMCO

Three reasons why the outlook for developed credit markets remains constructive.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 China, Commodities, and Crisis: What’s Next for Emerging Markets by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

China’s growth story fueled global markets for years, and the recent market rout raises concerns that the spigot may be tapping out. But is it really? Emerging markets, currently out of favor with investors, are showing signs of domestic economic growth driven by an expanding middle class. Could these economies, along with China, re-emerge as bright spots in the global markets?

2015-09-24 00:00:00 It’s Not Easy by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

In 2011, as I was putting the finishing touches on my book The Most Important Thing, I was fortunate to have one of my occasional lunches with Charlie Munger. As it ended and I got up to go, he said something about investing that I keep going back to: “It’s not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid.”

2015-09-24 00:00:00 Saved by Zero? by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

So the Fed has chosen to hold off on their goal of normalizing interest rates and the ECB has countered with the threat of extending their scheduled QE with more checks and more negative interest rates and the investment community wonders how long can this keep goin’ on. For a long time I suppose, as evidenced by history at least.

2015-09-24 00:00:00 One Year, Three Lessons by David Katz of Larch Lane Advisors

As the category of liquid alts funds has exploded this year with numerous launches, there has been a healthy dose of skepticism about the products and the true ability to perform well in down markets. The following article from David Katz, who is President and COO of Larch Lane Advisors LLC, which is a leader in early stage hedge fund investing. The firm formed a joint venture with Rothschild Asset Management to manage the Rothschild Larch Lane Alternatives Fund.

2015-09-24 00:00:00 Is Another Bear Market Ahead? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ updates his outlook for U.S. stocks in 2015 and beyond.

2015-09-24 00:00:00 The Liquidity Crunch—It’s About Supply and Demand by Douglas Peebles, Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

Investors fear that new banking regulations are drying up bond market liquidity. But this overlooks several market trends that are making the liquidity situation worse and that could deepen—or even trigger—the next financial crisis.

2015-09-23 00:00:00 With the Fed Holding, an Opportunity to Make Moves by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses how the recent selloff has made some parts of the market look attractive.

2015-09-23 00:00:00 Sticking with Equities when Volatility Strikes by Kent Hargis, Chris Marx, Sammy Suzuki of AllianceBernstein

Does recent market turbulence increase the chances of higher volatility in the months ahead? Our research says yes. But don’t ditch an allocation to equities—instead think about how to stay invested while reducing risk.

2015-09-23 00:00:00 Balancing Risks and Opportunities in the Multi-Speed World by Richard Clarida, Andrew Balls of PIMCO

Read our global economic outlook for the near term and implications for asset classes.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 The Uber-Dove vs Black Swans by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

You couldn’t have missed it. Only stages full of GOP presidential candidates or the Super Bowl have ever had more media attention. Yes, we are talking about the Federal Reserve’s thundering announcement on Thursday – of nothing. The Fed decided to keep interest rates at zero, for at least the next few months, after holding them near zero for over six years.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 The Unique Benefits of Mortgage-Backed Securities by Jason Mandinach of PIMCO

MBS have potential to outperform U.S. Treasuries with high liquidity and low correlation to risk assets.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 US High Yield: Energy Is Lagging, but Consumers Are Set to Spend by Scott Roberts and Rahim Shad of Invesco Blog

Weak commodity prices have made this year’s US high yield story a “tale of two markets.” Year-to-date returns for the overall high yield market were a meager three basis points (0.03%) through Aug. 31. However, if you peel back energy and metals and mining, the rest of the asset class delivered a respectable 2.6% total return over the same period.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 Equity Funds: What You Should Know about Flows by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Current trends support the notion that U.S. stock valuations are far from overstretched. Prices up, prices down—the trends in mutual fund flows seem to continue unaltered. Money flows out of domestic U.S. equities and into foreign equities, hybrid funds, and bonds, regardless of how low yields fall or how well or poorly the stock market does.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 Are we About to see a Big Time Rally in the Long Bond? by Bryce Coward of GaveKal Capital

During this cycle the positioning of commercial traders (the smart money) has been a crystal ball for players in the treasury market. Every peak in long bond rates since 2010 has been associated with commercial traders net long options and futures contracts on said instrument. At a net long positioning of about 34,000 contracts, the commercials are the most long the long bond since the end of 2013 before the 30-year treasury bond yield fell from 4% to about 2.2% over the course of 13 months.

2015-09-22 00:00:00 Clean Power Plan: Lights Out for Coal? by John Kohli of Franklin Templeton Investments

As investors, we have found that in general, the most forward-looking utilities have already started reducing emissions by using less coal power and more sources of renewable energy.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Has the Fed Assumed a Third Mandate? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Despite many signs of economic improvement, the Fed chose to maintain policy accommodation at emergency levels. In a week that is light on data and long on speeches, this news will be enough to keep Fed policy at the forefront.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 When an Easy Fed Doesn't Help Stocks (and When It Does) by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Investors who wonder why the stock market failed to advance on the Fed’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged would do well to understand that the market is following a script that has played out repeatedly across a century of market history. The short explanation is straightforward. When investors are risk-seeking (which we infer from the behavior of market internals), Fed easing tends to be very favorable for the stock market, because risk-free, low-interest liquidity is a hot potato to risk-seeking speculators.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 No rate change. Now what? by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

It is rarely a good moment when the Fed makes the Today show. It’s usually too esoteric a subject first thing in the morning. Most people, including us, thought they would raise rates for the first time since June 2006 by around 25bp. They did not. Here’s why and, more important, what it means for your investments.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 Federal Reserve Kicks the Can on Interest Rates by Christopher Molumphy of Franklin Templeton Investments

We were a little disappointed the Fed didn’t take action, primarily because we think the longer the Fed stays on hold the longer we will have uncertainty in the marketplace.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 Rising Rates Got You Down? by Scott DiMaggio, Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

The Fed may have left well enough alone for now, but in our view it won’t leave the pot to simmer much longer. US interest rates are going to rise, almost surely before the year is out. Thankfully, diverging interest-rate cycles around the globe offer hope—and opportunity—for US investors.

2015-09-21 00:00:00 Equities Fall After the Fed Fails to Raise Rates by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities were little changed last week, with the S&P 500 declining 0.1%. Stocks posted gains early in the week before falling on Thursday and Friday after the Federal Reserve announced it would hold rates steady. For the week, utilities, consumer staples and health care outperformed, while materials, telecommunications and financials came under pressure.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 Here Are Two Ways Investors Can Take Advantage of the Fed's Uncertainty by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Although interest rates could still be hiked in one of the two remaining times the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets this year, I’m inclined to think they’ll stay near zero until at least 2016. The decision is a welcome one for both gold demand and new home purchases. When rates rise, gold becomes less attractive for some investors, who are encouraged to exchange their no-yielding gold for income-producing assets.

2015-09-19 00:00:00 Annual Outlook Address by Mary Ellen Stanek of Baird Advisors

The uncertainty caused by speculating on when the Fed will raise rates is almost worse that the move itself. We think the Fed needs to forecast where the U.S. economy will be in terms of full employment and inflation a year or two down the road given the long and variable lags of the impact of their policy changes. We think they have been too optimistic in terms of the expected growth of the economy.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 A Fed Move Could Be Good News for Emerging Markets by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

If in coming months the Fed feels confident enough in the US economy to raise interest rates, it could be viewed as positive news for emerging markets, particularly those with export ties that benefit from a strengthening US economy.

2015-09-18 00:00:00 Municipal High Yield: Do Outflows Indicate Increased Opportunity? by James Iselin, S. Blake Miller of Neuberger Berman

It may seem counterintuitive, but recent investment outflows may have contributed to return potential within the municipal high yield marketplace.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 How Much, How Far, How Fast, Not When? by John Canally of LPL Financial

The policymaking arm of the Federal Reserve (Fed), the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), will hold its sixth of eight meetings of the year this week. On Thursday, September 17, 2015, at the conclusion of the two-day meeting, the FOMC will release a statement and a new economic and interest rate forecast. In addition, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will conduct her third post-FOMC meeting press conference of the year.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 More Volatility on U.S. Horizon Has Sights Turning to Asia by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

After weeks of struggling, global equities stabilized last week. In the U.S., the S&P 500 Index rose 2.08% to 1,961, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 2.05% to 16,433, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index advanced an even stronger 2.97% to end the week at 4,822. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose from 2.13% to 2.19%, as its price correspondingly fell.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 Choosing Common Stocks That Make Sense for Your Retirement Portfolio: Part 2 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Choosing the most appropriate stocks for the common stock portion of your retirement portfolio is vitally important. In part 1 of this series found here I presented the 6 broad categories of stocks (businesses) that renowned mutual fund manager Peter Lynch presented in his best-selling book "One Up On Wall Street." I contend that the 6 categories that Peter Lynch wrote about establish a solid foundation of understanding of what’s generally available in the common stock universe.

2015-09-17 00:00:00 Fed Keeps Interest Rates Near Zero a Little Longer by Paul Eitelman of Russell Investments

Paul Eitelman delves into today’s Fed announcement on interest rates. What might it mean for the U.S. economic growth outlook?

2015-09-17 00:00:00 Does a Higher Retirement Bogey Call for a Different Club? by Jeff Middleswart of Ranger International

Recent research suggests the rule of thumb 4% distribution rate is far too high. If true, savers may want to consider adding dividend paying stocks to their portfolios.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 Duration Issues Related to Seasoned Residential Mortgage Backed Securities by AlphaCentric Advisors LLC and Garrison Point Capital, LLC of AlphaCentric Funds

Fixed income practitioners traditionally think of duration as a security’s first-order sensitivity to changes in interest rates. Thus, a duration of X years equates – roughly – to a change in price of X% for every 100bp move in rates. And since the discounting formula for bond prices has this “rate” factor in the denominator, an increase in rates represents a decrease in the bond’s price, and vice-versa. Simple, right? Maybe not!

2015-09-16 00:00:00 The Fed's Dilemma by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate rise history reveals a familiar dilemma—previous delays led to inflated asset prices and recessions.

2015-09-15 00:00:00 Gundlach on Donald Trump, China and Fed Policy by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Despite grabbing most of the headlines and leading in many of the polls, Donald Trump is not expected to win the Republican nomination. But Jeffrey Gundlach said that Trump has done the electorate a “big favor by bringing up issues that have been conveniently buried for quite some time.”

2015-09-15 00:00:00 On My Radar: Valuations, Forward Returns and Recession by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Of the nine market declines associated with recessions that started with valuations above the mean, the average decline was -42.8%. Of the four declines that began with valuations below the mean, the average was -19.9%”– Doug Short

2015-09-15 00:00:00 Stuck in the Middle with You by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

Unless you have been asleep on the floor for the last six weeks, you’ve noticed that the U.S. stock market has gone down. Even before stocks sold off in August, the average common stock had been performing poorly relative to the S&P 500 Index. In August, the market officially declined more than 10% from peak to trough. An anthem for situations like this comes from the one-hit wonder, Stealers Wheel, who penned the song “Stuck in the Middle with You.”

2015-09-14 00:00:00 The Beauty of Truth and the Beast of Dogma by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

When you examine historical data and estimate actual correlations and effect sizes, the dogmatic belief that the Fed can “fine tune” anything in the economy is utter hogwash. Truth, on the other hand, is beautiful. Economic relationships that are supported in real-world data are a sight to behold.

2015-09-14 00:00:00 What We’re Doing to Manage Liquidity Risk by Douglas Peebles, Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

In our last post, we urged investors to vet potential asset managers to make sure they understand the bond liquidity crunch. It’s only fair, then, to explain what we’re doing to manage liquidity risk.

2015-09-14 00:00:00 Investing for Income: Meeting the Challenges of a Low Yield Environment by Paul Reisz, Tina Adatia, Tanya Sanwal of PIMCO

For many investors, generating a high and sustainable income stream is challenging in the current secular landscape, which PIMCO calls The New Neutral. Over the next three to five years, we expect to see global economies converging to modest trend growth rates as central banks are constrained to set policy rates at levels well below those that prevailed before the financial crisis.

2015-09-14 00:00:00 A Turn of the Tide Revisited by Martin Pring of Pring Turner Capital Group

US equities reached a major inflexion point in the year 2000. It was historic because it represented both a secular and primary reversal. A primary trend revolves around the business cycle and typically lasts 2-3 years, whereas a secular one lasts much longer and embraces several cycles. Our objective here is to revisit an article published earlier this year in which we pointed out some ominous signs for US equities. At that time some trend reversal signals, such as negative long-term moving average crossovers, were required as confirmation.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 Life Is Uncertain and So Are Interest Rates by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Right now, a lot of investors are wondering about the uncertainty of rising interest rates—the causes, effects and possible ramifications. Many people have been saying for weeks and months now that a rate hike is imminent and that September is the anticipated takeoff. I’ve been skeptical of this, and now a chart from highly-respected market analyst Jeff deGraaf confirms my skepticism.

2015-09-12 00:00:00 The Case for (Carefully Selected) High Yield by Chad Gunther of Ivy Investment Management Company

The second half of summer has challenged high-yield fixed income investors with volatility fueled by developments on a number of fronts. That volatility, however, may have created some potential opportunities. Chad Gunther, portfolio manager of Ivy High Income Fund, shares his views.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Closed End Funds versus Exchange Traded Funds by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

There are currently a number of fund-based options available to investors looking for yield. In addition to traditional open-ended mutual funds, investors are also turning toward closed end funds (CEFs) and exchange traded funds (ETFs) to generate yield, including in the high yield bond market. Both CEFs and ETFs have continuous trading and pricing throughout the day, making them very liquid options for investors. While CEFs tend to be actively managed, there are both index-based options and actively managed options in the ETF space.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 An Expert’s Guide to Market Volatility by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ shares three themes that have emerged from his conversations with numerous clients following the market drama in recent weeks.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Put Your Bond Manager to the Liquidity Test by Douglas Peebles, Ashish Shah of AllianceBernstein

Bond market liquidity is drying up—something every investor and financial advisor should take seriously. But liquidity risk can also provide an additional source of returns. The trick is knowing how to manage it.

2015-09-11 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: September by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

While the [US] Fed is facing an extremely delicate task ... it is still our belief that the US economy remains sufficiently strong to be able to bear a gradual increase in short-term rates in the coming months.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 Did you miss it? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

As kids in Michigan head back to school today, I’m sure many students are asking, “What happened to summer? Did I miss it?” When I was that age, it always seemed like the school year was so long and that summer just flew by. Because the last week before Labor Day is one of the most popular vacation weeks, many investors were probably only vaguely aware of the financial market actions last week. With the extreme market swings of the previous week, they doubtless just wanted to lie down on a sandy beach, soak up some end-of-summer rays, and read some diverting summer fiction.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 What Might Tax Liability Mean to You? by Frank Pape of Russell Investments

Understanding tax liability and being able to explain it to your clients can be important. Frank Pape provides ways to be more tax aware.

2015-09-10 00:00:00 Why All the Hoopla over 25 Basis Points? by Dr. Brian Jacobsen of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Should the Federal Reserve hike rates at their next meeting? Take a look at the case for and against, with Dr. Brian Jacobsen, CFA, CFP®, of Wells Fargo Asset Management.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Revise Year-End Market Estimates? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Sometimes the calendar dictates the agenda. The Labor Day weekend marks the official end of a summer that was eventful for markets. The punditry will be asking: What is your (revised) EOY target for stocks?

2015-09-09 00:00:00 Markets Remain in Turmoil, but Should Stabilize Eventually by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Global equity markets fell last week with the S&P 500 Index down 3.4% and some non-U.S. markets declining even more. The sell-off is a continuing reflection of the ongoing turmoil that started a few weeks ago when China devalued its currency on August 11.

2015-09-09 00:00:00 A Time to Take Stock – and Advantage of Pockets of Value by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Another week, another selloff. Stocks tumbled again last week with the S&P 500 Index falling 3.37% to 1,921 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declining 3.25% to 16,102. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index struggled as well, down 3.00% to 4,683. Meanwhile, bond yields were relatively unchanged, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury slipping from 2.18% to 2.13%, as its price correspondingly rose.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 That Was Not a Crash by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

To call the recent market retreat a “crash” is an offense to informed discussion of the financial markets. It was merely an air-pocket of the sort that typically emerges once overvalued, overbought, overbullish conditions are joined with deterioration in market internals. It was probably just a start.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Rising Rates and the Case for Leveraged Loans by Mark Boyadjian, Reema Agarwal of Franklin Templeton Investments

For certain investors—in particular pension funds and insurance companies that tend to follow a more cautious investment strategy—the extended period of record or near-record low US interest rates has been a thorn in the side.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Betting on Japan, Inc.’s Recovery by Vadim Zlotnikov of AllianceBernstein

Japanese stocks have outperformed the past few years, and we don’t think their run is over. Policies to improve profitability, capital use and productivity should provide a stronger foundation for further gains.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Navigating Divergent Global ILB Markets: Why Are UK Index-Linked Gilts Persistently Overvalued? by Mihir Worah, Mike Amey, Berdibek Ahmedov of PIMCO

Current extremely low and negative real yields on UK index-linked gilts, particularly for long-dated bonds, do not appear to have any fundamental justifications.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Curb Your Mind by Rick Lear of Lear Investment Management

With the recent events in China and Greece causing volatility in the global markets, we think it is more important than ever to take a moment to reflect on how capital markets function. People trade stocks; and an understanding of the human thought processes is at the foundation of markets. The recent gyration of the world’s markets reminds us how quickly greed can turn to fear and how investors can begin to make mistakes. We find that heightened emotions often lead to mistakes that can be easily avoided.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 Investment Grade Bonds Power Explosion in M&A by Jacob Habibi of Invesco Blog

New bond issuance in the US investment grade (IG) market has exploded in 2015 as companies look to finance mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and Invesco Fixed Income sees no signs of this trend slowing down through the end of the year.

2015-09-08 00:00:00 On My Radar: A Bumpy Ride? How Bumpy? And For How Long? by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Volatility and uncertainty are nothing new in financial markets. QE4 may right the ship but that is the bet. No guarantees in this game.

2015-09-07 00:00:00 Fed Up with the Fed by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

Every August, central bankers and financiers from around the world meet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This year, the participants were greeted by a large group of mostly young people, who were there not so much to protest as to emphasize to the assembled policymakers that what they do affects ordinary citizens, not just financiers.

2015-09-06 00:00:00 Muddling Through Shanghai by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

China is in transition, a transition that was clearly telegraphed if you have been paying attention. Our recent book on China (A Great Leap Forward?) clearly laid out this new path. Today we are going to talk about this precarious, difficult transition, which may impose profound impacts on much of the rest of the world. This transition is going to change the way global trade has worked in the past. There will be winners and losers.

2015-09-05 00:00:00 Meet QT; QE's Evil Twin by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

There is a growing sense across the financial spectrum that the world is about to turn some type of economic page. Unfortunately no one in the mainstream is too sure what the last chapter was about, and fewer still have any clue as to what the next chapter will bring. There is some agreement however, that the age of ever easing monetary policy in the U.S. will be ending at the same time that the Chinese economy (that had powered the commodity and emerging market booms) will be finally running out of gas.

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Here’s Your Guide to What the Influencers Are Saying about Commodities by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A few legendary influencers in investing are making huge bets right now on commodities, an area that’s faced—and continues to face—some pretty strong headwinds. What are we to make of this?

2015-09-04 00:00:00 Unpopularity Contest by Herbert and Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

With central banks focused on growth and generating inflation, and their pedals to the metal, we believe the ultimate outcome will be inflationary growth, or even stagflation. But, inevitably, a boost for depressed commodities and the depressed share prices of their currently unpopular producers. A particular opportunity when the correction phase ends and the bull market resumes. Time to be contrarian. And patient value investors should clearly be rewarded.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 12 Questions for a 12% Correction by Burt White of LPL Financial

The recent market downdraft and related uncertainty in China have led to many investor questions. The strong 6.5% rebound in the S&P 500 over the last three trading sessions (August 26, 27, 28, 2015) has cut the S&P 500’s losses from the 2015 peak (2130 on May 21, 2015) to 6.7%. In response to the S&P 500’s recent 12% correction?—?the first decline of more than 10% since 2011?—?we answer 12 investor questions. Bottom line, we do not expect the latest correction and China uncertainty to lead to the end of the U.S. economic expansion or the end of the six-and-a-half-year old bull

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Weight of the Evidence Argues for Caution by William Delwiche of Robert W. Baird & Co.

At this point, cycle lows for the popular averages may well be in place. This is not yet supported by the weight of the evidence, however. Simply put, risks remain elevated and it is too early to sound an all clear.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Look Out Below? by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Are we experiencing a healthy correction or something more? After a long-period of relative calm, risk assets sold off meaningfully in response to global growth concerns. Our Chief Investment Strategist analyzes the fundamental picture in the wake of the recent downturn and what investors should do now.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 The Next Financial Crisis May Be Already Unfolding by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Is an epic financial meltdown about to commence? Predictions that a crash will occur in the fall of 2015 have been gaining traction. They are bolstered by some of the market events of this summer, which suggest that something big is indeed unfolding.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Defensive Expectations by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Last week there was an article in the WSJ noting the performance struggles of one of the larger liquid alternative mutual funds. I am not going to link to the article or name the fund because any fund can do very well, attract a lot of assets, then do poorly and lose the assets which is the arc of this fund’s story but instead want to focus on avoid that sort of loop or at least recognizing the potential for that sort of loop so that no one is surprised if/when it happens.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Portfolio Strategy: China September 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The current global market volatility has made some investors skittish and, presumably, many are contemplating curtailing the equity exposure in their portfolios. But before throwing in the towel, they will do well to ask themselves: Who is buying all the stocks amid this selloff?

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Time to Ditch the Bond Benchmark? by John Taylor of AllianceBernstein

Bond indices’ limitations as investable strategies are evident when taking a closer look at a key proxy for global investment-grade bonds—the global aggregate index.

2015-09-03 00:00:00 Remember This Isn’t 2008 by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

After a seesaw week for stocks, Russ Koesterich explains why it's important to maintain perspective.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Keeping Firm Perspective as Markets Gyrate by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why it is important to maintain perspective amidst the recent volatility, and how the selloff has created some areas of value.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Equities Endure Intense Volatility, but the Bull Market Survives by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities experienced extreme volatility last week. Prices plummeted on Monday morning due to concerns over slowing growth in China as well as uncertainty surrounding Federal Reserve policy. The sell-off was likely exacerbated by trading halts, liquidity pressures and systematic investing programs. Markets recovered later in the week as investors viewed conditions as oversold, and as oil and other commodity prices stabilized and advanced. For the week, the S&P 500 Index gained 1.0%. The energy, technology and consumer discretionary sectors led the way while utilities sold off sharply.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Bremmer’s Choices by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last week, we wrote our first formal book review as a Weekly Geopolitical Report. The book, Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World, is a recently published book by Ian Bremmer in which he discusses three models for American foreign policy. In our closing comments last week, we promised to take a deeper look at Bremmer’s foreign policy models to examine their costs and benefits. In this report, we analyze his three models of exercising the superpower role, Indispensable America, Independent America and Moneyball America, and discuss which model is the most likely choice.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Fear the Talking Fed by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper discusses the confusion created by Fed officials' public comments and how they stir up higher volatility—and more moaning and groaning among investors.

2015-09-02 00:00:00 Is "New Normal" Enough to Grow China's Economy? by Jerry Zhang of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Jerry Zhang, Ph.D., CFA, explores the economic underpinnings that can spark growth in China—and, in turn, present investing opportunities for growth seekers.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What Are the Lessons from the Market Turmoil? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Dramatic events reset agendas. People re-evaluate probabilities about what is possible as well as the personal implications. Because the recent market story is so big and so fresh the week will start with the punditry asking: What are the lessons from the market turmoil?

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Investors Should Not "Buy the Dip" Because Macro and Market Risks Remain Elevated by Don Schreiber, Jr. of WBI Shares

The global market meltdown is turning into a rout as investors who ignored the warning signs of overvaluation, weakening earnings/revenue trends, and deteriorating internal market dynamics may now be heading for the exits. As advisors and investors try to rationalize asset allocation and equity market exposure, they may deem it appropriate to stick with investments in countries with the strongest economies. Reasoning, stronger eco-markets should behave better than markets in countries with economies under pressure.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Risk Is Like the Air We Breathe by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

A couple of months ago I wrote an article about how risk, like death and taxes, is always with us. That was written as the market made new all-time highs, and I wanted to make it clear that such highs did not mean that risk was absent. Risk is always with us—like the air we breathe.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Five Reasons Now is the Time to Hold Equities by Steven Vannelli of GaveKal Capital

After the recent correction, many investors are asking how to respond in their portfolios. I’m recommending clients hold on to equity exposure, even consider increasing it. Below, I run through my case.

2015-09-01 00:00:00 Understanding Fair Valuation: A Common Sense Approach To Long-Term Investing Success by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

In order to understand what the intrinsic value or fair value of a common stock is, you must think like a long-term business owner and not like a stock trader. Additionally, you must think like a business owner that has no intention of selling their business. Put another way, your business generates your livelihood. Therefore, your primary focus and attention is on answering the question: how’s business?

2015-08-31 00:00:00 Grade Yourself on August’s Moment of Truth by Dan Richards (Article)

Moments of truth occur when clients make judgments about their advisors. Exactly such a moment came in mid-August as clients read alarming headlines about “plunging markets” and “market routs.” Here’s a way to assess how you handled that moment.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 If You Need to Reduce Risk, Do it Now by John P. Hussman of Hussman Funds

The single most important thing for investors to understand here is how current market conditions differ from those that existed through the majority of the market advance of recent years. The difference isn’t valuations. On measures that are best correlated with actual subsequent 10-year S&P 500 total returns, the market has advanced from strenuous, to extreme, to obscene overvaluation, largely without consequence. The difference is that investor risk-preferences have shifted from risk-seeking to risk-aversion.

2015-08-31 00:00:00 On My Radar: We Didn’t Start The Fire by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Risk is high. For equity exposure, hedge or raise cash on rallies and let your tactical and alternative strategies follow their processes. Put in place the processes. Now is the time.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Doodles from an Eventful Summer by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

This month's Absolute Return Letter is a little different. It was a very eventful summer with many incidents impacting financial markets and we have compiled all these topics into one letter. China is, not surprisingly, a core subject. If the Chinese economy is slowing (and it is), we don't think China is in for a hard landing. If anyone is in the near term - and this may surprise you - we think the U.S. and the euro zone are far more likely candidates.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Forget the Sept. '15 Fed Tightening -- There Has Been a Stealth Tightening Since Sept. '14 by Paul Kasriel of Econtrarian, LLC

The late, great Milton Friedman used to preach that you don’t assess the degree of monetary policy restriction or accommodation by the level and movement of interest rates but rather by the behavior of monetary quantities. For Friedman, the monetary quantity by which he judged the stance of monetary policy was some definition of the money supply – currency and some of the deposit liabilities of the banking system.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Who Ate Joe’s Retirement Money? Sequence Risk and its Insidious Drag on Retirement Wealth by Peter Chiappinelli, Ram Thirukkonda of GMO

Defined Contribution (DC) plan participants are haunted by an invisible risk called sequence risk (sometimes called sequence-of-returns or path dependency risk), that is, getting the “right” returns but in the “wrong” order. Sequence risk in the retirement phase has been studied extensively. Sadly, not as much attention has been paid to sequence risk during the accumulation phase, but it is equally important.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Schwab’s Perspective on Recent Market Volatility by Team of Charles Schwab

Global markets may have swung wildly in recent days, but we think the recent selloff in stocks and commodities is not a sign of imminent global recession. However, it may prompt the Federal Reserve (Fed) to postpone raising U.S. interest rates for a while longer. In the meantime, the basics of successful investing remain the same: Sticking to your long-term investment plan and maintaining a well-diversified portfolio should help you weather the market storm.

2015-08-28 00:00:00 China’s Economy Is Undergoing a Huge Transformation That No One’s Talking About by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Misconception and exaggeration are circling China’s economy right now like a flock of hungry buzzards. If you listen only to the popular media, you might believe that the Asian giant is teetering on the brink of economic disaster, with the Shanghai Composite Index’s recent correction and devaluation of the renminbi held up as “proof.”

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Solidifying a Case for Liquid Alternatives by David Saunders of Franklin Templeton Investments

Skeptics may be surprised to learn that the majority of hedge fund managers focus on providing capital appreciation with lower volatility than the broad markets.

2015-08-27 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: The Start of Something Big? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The big market decline has the attention of everyone, even those who do not closely follow the markets. The week will start with the punditry will be asking: Is the market decline the start of something big?

2015-08-27 00:00:00 What Value are Credit Ratings? by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

If there was any question about it, the financial crisis of 2008 demonstrated to us all just how flawed the ratings process is, where AAA debt was suddenly in default and highly rated companies all of a sudden required bailouts seemingly overnight. However in the aftermath, while there have been efforts to reduce our reliance on ratings, it has also become clear that changing the ratings process is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible. They are ingrained in our system and ingrained in the way many people and institutions invest.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 A Macro View of Recent Market Volatility by Michael Hasenstab and Sonal Desai of Franklin Templeton Investments

When we look at how much market panic there has been, you’d be under the impression China is headed full-speed into full-blown recession. That is not our call. We expect moderation in China’s growth and continue to see it as healthy.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Inspecting the Fed's Policy Toolkit by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

A Federal Reserve research report recommends deploying current policy for future crises. Is that really such a good idea?

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Markets Crashing, Gold Rising by Clint Siegner of Money Metals Exchange

U.S. Investors are on edge following last week’s and today’s sell-off in stocks around the globe. The carnage impacted equity markets in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. Interestingly, the U.S. dollar also weakened. And bonds and gold are getting most of the safe-haven buying.

2015-08-26 00:00:00 Why a 500-Point Sell-off Isn’t “Massive” by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

While I was training early this morning, I was forced to endure two hours of CNBC’s seemingly permanent headline across the bottom of the screen that screamed that the markets were heading for a “massive sell off.” At the time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down about 500 points. When the markets opened at 9:30, the Dow did open down about 500 points (thereafter it actually was down about 1,000 points) before bouncing back to its opening levels.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 Building Corridors to the Future in Pakistan by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have been investing in Pakistan for a number of years, and see it as an overlooked investment destination with very attractive valuations due to negative macro sentiment.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 Get Real! Offsetting Inflation Risks in Your Glide Path by Daniel Loewy, Christopher Nikolich of AllianceBernstein

We’ve had a remarkable 30-year run of declining interest rates and modest inflation. As a result, few target-date glide paths were constructed with any inflation protection. We think it’s time to act.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 The Fed Is Spooking the Markets Not China by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Fasten your seat belts, this ride is getting interesting. Last week the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 1,000 points, notching its worst weekly performance in four years. The sell-off took the Dow Jones down more than 10% from its peak valuations, thereby constituting the first official correction in four years. One third of all S&P 500 companies are already in bear market territory, having declined more than 20% from their peaks. Scarier still, the selling intensified as the week drew to a close, with the Dow losing 530 points on Friday, after falling 350 points on Thursday.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 The Correction May Not Be Over, but the Bull Market Should Persist by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The S&P 500 Index fell 5.7% last week, its biggest weekly pullback since September 2011. Equities have been under pressure for some time, and it appears that investors finally gave in.

2015-08-25 00:00:00 On My Radar: An Optimist Sees The Opportunity In Every Difficulty by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

2015-08-24 00:00:00 There’s No Free Lunch with Structured Notes by Seth Masters, Richard Weaver, John McLaughlin of AllianceBernstein

For yield-hungry investors, the lure of structured notes may seem difficult to resist. However, our analysis shows that the promise of safe, outsized yields shouldn’t be swallowed whole.

2015-08-24 00:00:00 Equities: Enhancing Your Small Cap Allocation by Laura Schlockman, Steve Jones of PIMCO

Our New Neutral outlook is generally supportive of equities: Low discount rates, recovering but muted inflation and a drawn-out business cycle argue for positive equity performance. However, full valuations and uneven growth suggest returns may be significantly lower than long-term averages. This means that capturing equity alpha will be critical for investors to meet their return objectives.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Shrugging Along by Brooks Ritchey of Franklin Templeton Investments

From our point of view, trying to predict market declines or rallies is not as important as preparing for incipient shocks smartly and strategically; it is about being vigilant.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 In Today’s Overheated Market Control Risk in Your Retirement Portfolios with Sound Valuation by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Investing money in anything is never without risk. When investing in liquid investments, prices can and do fluctuate daily. Importantly, all liquid investments can fluctuate in price, and that includes both stocks and bonds. I mention this because price volatility, especially when investing in common stocks, represents one of the biggest risks that investors focus on, some to the point of obsession.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Gold Glimmers as Global Market Fear Grips Investors by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold this week broke above its 50-day moving average as a fresh round of negative news from around the globe rekindled investors’ interest in the yellow metal as a safe haven. The Fear Trade, it seems, is in full force.

2015-08-21 00:00:00 Schwab’s Perspective on Recent Market Volatility by Team of Charles Schwab

Global financial markets endured their worst week of the year this past week amid concerns over slowing economic growth and currency woes in China and other emerging markets, among other reasons. At times like these it is easy to start thinking short term, but keep in mind that the foundations of investing success are well established (have a plan, keep a close eye on expenses, stay diversified, and make sure your portfolio composition is lined up with your tolerance for risk and the timetable for when you’ll need to start drawing down the portfolio).

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Summer Quartet by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Music from four players continues to influence events in the bond market this summer: the Federal Reserve (Fed), China, oil prices, and the U.S. dollar. The music from these four players has led to a mixed response in the bond market: disturbing for short-term securities, melodic for long-term bonds.

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Global Energy: Adapting to New Realities by Suken Patel of Diamond Hill Capital Management, Inc.

The recent slide in oil prices is symptomatic of large fundamental shifts taking place across the energy sector. The current volatility is nothing new to oil markets as their self-correcting nature has frequently resulted in a sequence of deep boom and bust cycles. While we can anticipate and prepare for these cycles, much like with earthquakes, the timing and consequences can still be surprising. In times like these, maintaining a long-term perspective is essential to place current events in the proper context.

2015-08-20 00:00:00 Chasing Yield: Is Sustainable Income a Better Way? by Brian Meath of Russell Investments

Looking at the dangers and opportunities of yield-seeking investing, Brian Meath explains an alternative approach: sustainable income.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: August by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe sound headline job creation figures point to rate increases by a [US] Fed that would like to begin to ‘normalize’ monetary policy when possible. The US economy is no longer in the emergency room, as it was in December 2008.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Crossover Bonds: Catching the Rising Stars by Hozef Arif, Michael Brownell of PIMCO

Many investors seeking yield in the current low interest rate environment are reluctant to take on high risk. Corporate crossover bonds, which straddle the line between the investment grade and high yield bond markets, may offer a solution.

2015-08-19 00:00:00 Fundamental Truths by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

When policymakers tell you one thing and the data tell you something different, heed the data. Markets that are in the midst of transition do not behave according to script, despite the best efforts of policymakers to script them. Last week, China loosened control of its currency, resulting in its biggest one-day loss in two decades, compounded by additional losses over the following days. As of this writing, the renminbi (RMB) has depreciated by close to 3 percent since the start of last week.

2015-08-18 00:00:00 No Contest: In High Yield, Active Funds Beat ETFs by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

Investors have been rushing into high-yield exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for years. But have they been getting their money’s worth? A look at the performance numbers offers a clear answer,“No.”

2015-08-18 00:00:00 China’s Currency Moves Spark Volatility and Uncertainty by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities endured high levels of volatility last week, dropping sharply in the first few days of trading before recovering to end the week slightly higher. The main focus was China’s surprising decision to devalue the yuan, which raised concerns about a weaker global growth backdrop, deflationary trends, the prospects of a currency war and what the move would mean for the U.S. Federal Reserve and U.S. monetary policy.

2015-08-18 00:00:00 China Surprise by Christian Thwaites of Brouwer & Janachowski

Ouch! August is often a month of surprises. In 2011, the S&P 500 lost nearly 7% at the height of the European debt crisis (yes, it’s been going on that long). In 2013, the NASDAQ closed for three hours sending stocks into a mini tailspin. This week’s “I didn’t see that coming” was the devaluation of the Chinese renminbi by nearly 3%.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 A Study of Real Real Returns Now in its Third Decade by Team of Thornburg Investment Management

If generals always fight the last war, investors all too often chase past performance and mistime the market. Despite the age-old admonition to buy low and sell high, few actually do, to the detriment of their portfolios and wealth. Why? No one wants to be the first to the party or the last to leave. Yet upswings in one asset class may not be all that apparent until well under way. By the time many market analysts and financial media notice, relative valuations may already have reached lofty levels. Loathe to miss out, investors pile in anyway, hoping there may be some steam left.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 Chinese Yuan Depreciates Further: What is the Endgame? by Rob Waldner of Invesco Blog

After China’s surprise devaluation of the yuan by 1.9% last Tuesday, the Chinese currency was devalued by another 1.6% on Wednesday. Policymakers appear to be following a pattern of setting the daily fix, which sets the center point for trading during that day, with reference to the market price at the close of the previous day. Invesco Fixed Income believes that further devaluations are likely as the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, acquiesces to market pressure and price movements over time.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 Charts for the Beach 2015 by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

We’ve put together five of our favorite non-consensus charts that are perfect reading material for a sunny day at the beach.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 On My Radar: China’s Surprise – Power To The Dollar by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“Something is deeply wrong if an economy is not growing, because it means these natural processes are impeded. That is why around the world, since the Dark Ages, lack of growth has been a signal of political oppression or instability. Absent such sickness, growth occurs.”– Adam Posen, “Debate: The Case for Slower Growth”

2015-08-17 00:00:00 Structured Notes: Read the Fine Print by Seth Masters, Richard Weaver, John McLaughlin of AllianceBernstein

Structured notes have gained in popularity, but investors would be wise to read the fine print carefully. Our research indicates that these complex instruments rarely live up to their intriguing claims.

2015-08-17 00:00:00 Why High Yield Still Has a Role to Play by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich and an investment strategist on his team, Terry Simpson, weigh in on the case for including high yield in a portfolio.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 The US Federal Reserve’s Brakes Do Work by Wayne Godlin of AllianceBernstein

Over the past three decades, the Federal Reserve has raised the official short-term rate when the US economy has shown signs of overheating. When the Fed moves, savvy bond investors also move—toward opportunity.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 The Shot Not Heard Around the World by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

China’s recent move to devalue the yuan has sent shock waves through the global financial markets and has convinced most observers that a new front in the global currency wars has begun. The move has caused...

2015-08-14 00:00:00 China Not Immune to Contagious Quantitative Easing and Massive Printing of Cheap Money by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

First it was the U.S. Federal Reserve. Then, in 2013, Japan launched what became known as Abenomics. The European Central Bank (ECB) followed suit in 2014. And now the People’s Bank of China has joined the parade. All of them in some way stimulated economic growth by initiating monetary quantitative easing (QE) programs.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 The High Yield ETFs: Market Size, Money Flows, and Liquidity by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

The entire U.S. fixed income market (municipals, Treasuries, mortgages, corporates, federal agency bonds, money market, and asset back securities) totals $39.2 trillion. Of this, corporate credit is about $8 trillion. The high yield bond market is a growing piece of that corporate debt piece, now at $1.8 trillion, and accounts for over 20% of total corporate bonds outstanding. If you add in high yield floating rate loans, that total high yield debt number moves to over 30% of corporate debt.

2015-08-14 00:00:00 Riding the Energy Wave to the Future by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Today I’ll tell you about some big shifts in the energy industry. These shifts are about as positive as can be, unless you need high oil prices to run your country. In the long run, these changes are bullish for the whole world, which I think this will surprise many of you. And though we’ve been used to thinking about energy and technology as two different facets of modern life, today they are inextricably linked.

2015-08-13 00:00:00 Putting Adaptability to Work by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

In our last post we looked at the importance of adaptability to overcome obstacles that impede retirement plans. This may also turn out to be especially important for portfolio management going forward, more so than in the past.

2015-08-13 00:00:00 No Solace in Small Caps by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

In an effort to mitigate the impact of a stronger dollar, many investors have been favoring small-cap stocks. However, this strategy hasn’t provided much benefit year-to-date. Russ explains why.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Winners and Losers: Q2 2015 by Jackie Lafferty of Loomis Sayles

Following positive performance in the first quarter, emerging markets (EM) came under pressure from macroeconomic factors in the second quarter, resulting in mixed returns for the asset class.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 Walls are Not Perfect by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

I spent part of this summer on a family vacation in four of the six nations that were once republics of the socialist state of Yugoslavia. Many have asked me “Why,” and I simply replied that I had heard it was beautiful and had always wanted to go there. It didn’t hurt that my barber of 40 years and my employer during law school, Marv Esch, a congressman from Ann Arbor, MI, were both of Yugoslavian heritage.

2015-08-12 00:00:00 High Yield Default Outlook by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

With the energy markets once again taking a turn downward, we are seeing concern for the high yield market again escalating and talk of a spike in default rates heating up. Yes, the energy industry does make up a large portion of the high yield market, in fact the largest industry holding within the space at about 14-17% depending on the index used. We do expect defaults to increase in this industry.

2015-08-11 00:00:00 Bank Hybrids Bloom Globally—with Subtle Variations by Matthew Minnetian, Shrut Vakil of AllianceBernstein

The market for financial hybrid securities is growing as banks worldwide implement stringent new capital rules. But not all hybrids are alike, so investors can’t afford to take a one-size-fits-all approach.

2015-08-11 00:00:00 The Idolatry of Interest Rates Part II: Financial Heresy by James Montier, Ben Inker of GMO

In many ways this is perhaps my most personal essay, not because I’m about to share some deep and dark personal revelation (I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief), but rather because this essay reflects my views and mine alone. Others at GMO should not be tarred with the brush of my beliefs, and I have no doubt that many will disavow any association with the views I express here. In fact, my colleague Ben Inker’s “rebuttal” follows this piece.

2015-08-11 00:00:00 The Curious Case of Dollar Strength by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

U.S. equities finished in the red last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.79% to 17,373, the S&P 500 Index slipped 1.28% to 2,077 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.66% to close the week at 5,043. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell from 2.20% to 2.17%, as its price correspondingly rose.

2015-08-10 00:00:00 Sentiment Should Eventually Improve, Lifting Equities by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors remained focused on Federal Reserve policy last week. Economic data continue to be mixed, but suggest that Fed action should occur sooner rather than later.

2015-08-10 00:00:00 On My Radar: Margin Debt, Valuations and Vacation by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain

2015-08-07 00:00:00 China’s Secret Gold Hoarding Strategy by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

China’s recent stock market gyrations have some analysts now calling China the biggest bubble in history. But those who write off China because of market volatility are missing a more important long-term trend of Chinese geopolitical and monetary ascendancy. That trend shows no signs of abating.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 Is the United States Insulated from China’s Economic Distress? by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Chinese economic slowdown, following decades of spectacular growth, is more than noticeable now. Also, the world is watching the recent turbulence in Chinese equity markets closely. These developments have triggered many questions. We address the most popular query in our inbox: What are the potential spillovers to the United States from weaker growth in China?

2015-08-07 00:00:00 20 Dividend Growth Stocks To Buy Today For Your Retirement Portfolios: Part 1 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Assuming an equal investment in each of the 20 research candidates provides an average aggregate dividend yield of 3.66%. Although each candidate was primarily suggested based on the merit of fair or attractive valuation, the 10 research candidates in this article was primarily focused on quality. In part 2, the 10 candidates presented were focused primarily on either yield or total return.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 3 Warnings For Market Bulls by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

3 Things: Major strategist sees bull market coming to an end in 4-6 months, Tom McClellan sends a warning and M&A activity is sounding an alarm.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 Do Your Alternative Investments Have the Right Fit? by Richard Brink, Christine Johnson of AllianceBernstein

Investors who chose alternatives for downside protection in recent years have been frustrated with their performance. We think the problems were an unfavorable market environment and the unique challenges of manager selection for alternatives.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 The Three Gluts by Joachim Fels of PIMCO

While the global savings glut is likely the main secular force behind the global environment of low growth, lowflation and low interest rates, both the oil glut and the money glut should help lift demand growth, inflation and thus interest rates from their current depressed levels over the cyclical horizon.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 The Euro Isn't Dead by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

While the world can count dozens of important currencies, when it comes to top line financial and investment discussions, the currency marketplace really comes down to a one-on-one cage match between the two top contenders: the U.S. Dollar and the Euro.

2015-08-06 00:00:00 Fed’s Higher Rates May Have a Muted Impact on REITs by Boris Pialloux of Master Income ETF

The impact on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) could be muted as strong fundamentals and the use of fixed rate debt may continue to bolster free cash flows and dividends. Additionally, Cap rates (a key denominator to estimate underlying net asset values) may be less sensitive to short-term rate increases than long-term rate trends.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 How to Navigate Today’s Bond Markets by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Bond markets today present investors with multiple challenges, including lower yields and more risk than in the past. In this environment, these bond funds are worth considering, explains Russ.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 Market Review by Rick Vollaro of Pinnacle Advisory Group

The summer heat has finally arrived, and it’s naturally coincided with lower volume markets that are prone to the rumor mill and news flow. The second quarter of 2015 was choppy, but included some reversals in behavior across asset classes. Domestic equity markets bounced around in a flat range, while broad emerging equity markets declined slightly on the quarter.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 Investors Traveling a Mountainous Road? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Now’s the time when many of us are off enjoying a well-earned summer vacation. This week I was remembering one of my favorites that occurred a few years ago. It was great; we hosted a family reunion in a large, rented house on Big Bear Lake in Southern California with spectacular weather and scenery.

2015-08-05 00:00:00 The Case for Hedge Fund Strategies in a Rising-Rate Environment by Dr. Sudhir Krishnamurthi, Ronald van der Wouden, Kenneth LaPlace of Wells Fargo Asset Management

Dr. Sudhir Krishnamurthi, Ronald van der Wouden, and Kenneth LaPlace from The Rock Creek Group, LP explain why hedge funds may outperform traditional fixed-income investments in a rising-rate environment.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 Concerned About Interest Rates Rising? Consider Convertibles by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

  • Convertible securities uniquely combine equity and bond features.
  • In my view, convertibles are attractive today due to their historical performance during rising interest rate periods.
  • I examine asset class performance during each of the last 10 periods of US rising interest rates.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 Why Bond Funds Don’t Belong in Retirement Portfolios by Wade Pfau (Article)

Income annuities provide payments precisely matched to a client’s longevity while stocks provide opportunities for greater investment growth. The question remains whether clients should hold bond funds in their retirement income portfolio.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Soft Economic Data Confirm the Commodity Price Message? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

Recent weeks have emphasized markets (especially declining commodity prices) as a read on the economy. This week’s full slate of data will provide a reality check on that interpretation.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 Reasons to Stay with an Equity-Focused Investment Stance by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

A number of issues garnered attention last week, including falling oil prices, a sell-off in Chinese equities, ongoing corporate deal activity and mixed economic and earnings data.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Fed – Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it.You play the guitar on the M.T.V. That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it. Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free.” Money For Nothing – Dire Straits

2015-08-04 00:00:00 The B-Side of Capital Preservation by Jerome Schneider of PIMCO

Vinyl single records have two sides: The A-side is always the well-known hit song by the musician, and the other, called the “B-side,” is often a lesser known (or unknown) work. When it comes to cash management, the hit song on the A-side – “Capital Preservation Is King” – has been played over and over since the financial crisis.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 Update on Puerto Rico as Aug. 1 Debt Deadline Missed by Rafael Costas, Sheila Amoroso of Franklin Templeton Investments

In our opinion, the governor’s wishes to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt will likely be very difficult—and expensive—to realize.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 It’s What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Some of y’all know that I spent years working as the Director of Research and Director of Capital Markets for a Baltimore-based brokerage firm. Accordingly, I met a number of professional sports folks through the law firm Shapiro & Olander, which at the time were the attorneys of choice for a lot of professional athletes, as well as the firm I used for our investment banking department’s legal counsel. One of the folks I met was O’s manager Earl Weaver.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 Retired Investors Don’t Buy Bonds Until? by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

The primary attractions supporting investing in bonds or other fixed income instruments have traditionally been high income and safety. People invest their principal in bonds and receive a stated interest rate (coupon) over the life of the bond and are given the promise of having their principal returned at maturity. Under normal times, bonds would typically pay a higher rate of interest than the dividend rate on stocks. Consequently, bonds have acquired the reputation as low risk and high income instruments.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 The End of U.S. Sovereign Debt as a Near Perfect Protection Asset by Michael Winchell of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

For the past 30 years, the paradigm portfolio holding 60-percent stocks and 40-percent government debt seemed to exhibit a reasonable mix of both growth and protection, being a simple allocation the market beta of two very liquid asset classes with low (occasionally negative) correlation.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 Tax-Sensitive Ideas by (Article)

Beyond municipal bond funds, tax-sensitive closed-end fund investors may want to consider MLP and covered call funds, says John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 5 Reasons August May Take Investors for a Ride by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

The dog days of summer haven’t been too favorable for the stock market, historically, and this year could be more of the same. But a temporary pullback might be a buy signal, writes Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors.

2015-08-01 00:00:00 Gold on Sale, Says the Rational Investor by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The leveraged gold futures derivatives market is knocking down the precious metal, yet in massive contrast, this drop has ignited a shopping frenzy according to gold coin dealers. I spoke with several friends and industry experts this week who confirmed the record sales numbers for the month. In fact, American Gold Eagle sales reached 161,500 ounces in July, the highest monthly figure since April 2013. What gives?

2015-07-31 00:00:00 Aligning Beliefs: 7 Tenets of Russell Investments Target Date Funds by John Greves of Russell Investments

Russell Investments’ John Greves examines 7 tenets in constructing target date funds.

2015-07-31 00:00:00 The Danger in "Debalancing" by John West, Brandon Kunz, Amie Ko of Research Affiliates

Eat a balanced diet. Drilled into our brains since preschool, this advice falls squarely in the “duh, everybody knows that” camp. But it’s not just kids who need reminding. Parents and grandparents, as role models and dietary enforcers, do too. Common sense alone tells us this universally applicable dictum is the right way to eat. Different foods have different nutritional and caloric values. If we eat a wide variety of food groups, or as a five-year-old child is taught, “Eat a rainbow,” good nutrition is likely to take care of itself.

2015-07-31 00:00:00 3 Questions to Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself by Adam Butler, Michael Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of BPG & Associates

A few simple questions one should ask oneself before making any decisions in public markets.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 Money Market Reform: Reflections on This Critical Inflection Point for Cash Liquidity Investing by Jerome Schneider of PIMCO

On July 23 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) formally approved additional reforms for money market funds. These changes will directly impact institutional investors and definitively alter the dynamics of liquidity markets.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 A Midyear Look at Global Real Estate by Ivy Global Real Estate Team of Ivy Investment Management Company

There are many drivers of recent short-term price changes for publicly traded real estate companies in the current market environment. These include changes in the market’s outlook for economic growth, for interest rate movements, for central bank actions and even the issues surrounding Greece and Ukraine.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 U.S. Dollar Still Stands Tall by Burt White of LPL Financial

The U.S. dollar remains strong, defying some skeptics. As has been the case since late 2008 when the Federal Reserve (Fed) began its quantitative easing (QE) program, there has been a great deal of concern recently among some market participants that the dollar is on the verge of a significant decline. Although the dollar may have lost some market share relative to other global currencies in recent decades, it remains the dominant global currency (often referred to as a reserve currency) and we expect it to remain so for the foreseeable future.

2015-07-30 00:00:00 Rising Rates: Threat or Opportunity by Eric Stein, Andrew Szczurowski of Eaton Vance

Investors should take an active approach to duration management and favor assets that have historically benefited from a rising rate environment.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Equities, Dividends & Rising Interest Rates by Guinness Atkinson Investment Team of Guinness Atkinson Asset Management

With interest rates at generational lows and what is likely an improving US economy, it is natural to contemplate or even worry about the possibil- ity of rising interest rates. Common perception is that rising interest rate environments are generally not favorable to equities and income oriented in- vestments. This is certainly true for bonds1 whose prices move directly and inversely with changes in interest rates. But is it true for equities in general and for dividend paying stocks in particular?

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Price-Insensitive Sellers by Ben Inker of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker examines the impact on a range of global asset classes of "price-insensitive market participants" who may "buy assets for reasons other than the expected returns those assets may deliver."

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Embrace, Don’t Fear, Illiquid Asset ETFs by Richard Bernstein of Richards Bernstein Advisors

Our research suggests that while many are fearful of the unknown, investors should embrace, not fear, illiquid asset ETFs.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Diversify and Conquer: Enhancing Equities in Your Glide Path by Daniel Loewy, Christopher Nikolich of AllianceBernstein

Equities take a lead role in any target-date glide path because they’re the most reliable engine for investment growth. But even that engine could use some help in the future.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Are Managed-Payout Funds Better than Annuities? by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

Managed-payout funds promise to meet retirees’ need for sustainable lifetime income without relying on annuities. To see whether this promise can be fulfilled, I’ll answer three questions: What’s the best design for such funds? How do they compare to annuities? Can retirees do even better by combining managed-payout funds and annuities?

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Is Sovereign Debt Sacrosanct? by Paul DeNoon of AllianceBernstein

Many governments face large and seemingly insurmountable levels of debt. Headline mainstays Greece, Ukraine and Puerto Rico have recently been the subjects of debate over the necessity or suitability of receiving debt relief. Other governments may soon find themselves under the same spotlight.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 When Will We Ever Learn? by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Life is full of irony. When I was in school, I hated history. It was boring. It was pointless. How was reading about a bunch of dead people ever going to be useful in life? Today, I consume everything I can find on history. Particularly, financial history. Ironic.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What is the Message of the Market? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

As I have noted for the last two weeks, this earnings season carries a special significance. It provides an alternative to the official data on the economy.

2015-07-28 00:00:00 Equities Retreat, but Long-Term Prospects Should Improve by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

At the beginning of July, it became clear that Greece and European policymakers would come to at least a temporary debt agreement. Since that time, U.S. equity prices jumped, with the S&P 500 Index climbing more than 4% by the beginning of last week.

2015-07-27 00:00:00 On My Radar: Grantham, HY and the Cyclical Bear in Gold by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

If you’re young, take the whack [and] if you’re old, pray for the Fed to keep going.”– Jeremy Grantham

2015-07-26 00:00:00 Mid-Year Update: A Look at the High Yield Market by Tim Gramatovich of AdvisorShares

I have seen every cycle since 1985 and while this cycle which began in 2009 has not been without a few warts, it has also been very different and far more conservative than many of these prior cycles. The majority of issuance was and continues to be for refinancing activity. This lowers interest expense and improves credit metrics for companies. Case in point, as noted below, high yield interest coverage (cash flow, or earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization divided by interest expense) has steadily improved and at the highest levels we have seen over the past 15 years.

2015-07-26 00:00:00 European Drama Hasn’t Derailed US Growth by Ed Perks of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe headwinds to growth have been easing and what the current leg of the US expansion has perhaps lacked in intensity may very well be made up for by a transition to a more durable or lengthy expansion.

2015-07-26 00:00:00 Memorize This, Earn a Dollar by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

As a kid growing up in the 1960’s, I earned my allowance the usual way; cutting grass and raking leaves. When there was no grass to cut or other work to do, my parents – who deeply valued education – would give us things to commit to memory. I figure I squeezed more than 30 bucks out of memorizing the multiplication tables up to 12. My brothers were better at memorizing poetry, but I was pretty good at song lyrics, which put me in good position to learn the words to countless 70's songs (e.g. "This really blew my mind.

2015-07-25 00:00:00 3 Reasons Why Gold Isn’t Behaving Like Gold Right Now by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The last time the metal descended this quickly was 18 months ago, on January 6, 2014, when someone brought a massive gold sell order on the market before retracting it in a high-frequency trading tactic called “quote stuffing.”

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Parsing Puerto Rico by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Puerto Rico municipal bond prices continue to reflect a significant probability of a potential default or debt restructuring. Puerto Rican difficulties are coming to a head: The commonwealth is suffering through a recession that began in 2006, a severe cash crunch has increased the prospects of a missed bond payment, and a greater than forecast budget deficit means that revenue fell short again and more cost reductions are needed.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Is Social Security on Life Support? by Gail Buckner of Franklin Templeton Investments

The benefit of securing your future by building your own financial nest egg goes without saying, but developing a Social Security strategy can be a key part of the equation that can help lead to a less stressful future.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Does Your Muni Bond Fund Own Puerto Rico’s Bad Debt? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

While the media and investors are focused on Greece, Puerto Rico is having a debt meltdown of its own. The U.S. territory owes lenders over $70 billion, $5.4 billion of which is due in the next 12 months. But without some form of debt restructuring, says Governor Alejandro García Padilla, it will be unable to meet its obligations. Countless municipal bond fund investors—many of them unaware they have exposure to the Caribbean island—could be affected.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Market Timing Is Not Appropriate for Retired Investors by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Any discussion on the appropriateness of any “investment” strategy should start with a discussion on the important differences between investing versus speculating. Although these are radically different concepts, it is all too common in finance jargon to ubiquitously reference all financial activity as investing, even when speculating would be the more precise term. I believe it is vitally important for people to understand the distinctions between investing and speculating, and it’s even more important to be cognizant of which you are engaging in.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Is Gold Dead? by Treesdale Partners of AdvisorShares

Gold hit $1080 per ounce Sunday night which was the lowest price level since February 2010. Gold in U.S. dollar (USD) terms has a three-year annualized return of -11.1%. It is no wonder that money managers currently carry the smallest net long positions in gold.

2015-07-24 00:00:00 Don’t Let the Noise Keep You Up at Night by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

Three subjects have concerned the markets recently: a Greek debt default and possible exit from the European Union (Grexit), the Federal Reserve’s (the Fed’s) normalization of interest rate policy and potential bond market illiquidity following a rise in interest rates. The first two are binary outcomes, which have been debated in the marketplace for years. While discussing these possible outcomes ad nauseam may be a palliative to some, in our view it doesn’t really provide much meaningful, incremental information until more definitive actions are taken.

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Tocqueville Gold Strategy Investor Letter: Q2 2015 by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

What is required to restore investor interest in gold? In our opinion, a prolonged bout of financial-market adversity would suffice. After all, the cornerstone of coordinated central-bank policy since 2008 has been the levitation of financial assets via Zero Interest-Rate Policy (ZIRP) and Quantitative Easing (QE) by forcing investors into risky assets. We believe that nothing would serve better to undermine confidence in central bankers than a bear market in bonds and equities. The roof above the dollar gold price has been built brick by brick from confidence in central bankers.

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Are MLPs Waiting for Godot? by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

Like the absurdist play where two characters Vladimir and Estragon wait for a mysterious Godot who never shows up, investors in MLPs continue to wait for definitive answers to the "big questions" facing MLPs: when will interest rates rise and what will happen with future oil production and prices?

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Summer Quarterly Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

Greece is much in the headlines again. As we stated in our Spring 2013 letter, “The European debt crisis will not be over until either: 1) the debt goes away (read: default or substantial inflation) or 2) these governments start producing actual surpluses with which to pay the debt down.” So far, every subsequent deal has failed to produce either of these two scenarios, and so each time news media builds up another weekend summit or referendum, the running joke around here is, “Don’t worry, it will all be resolved this weekend.”

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Mid-Year Outlook: Global Economy Likely to Withstand China, Greece by John Calamos, Sr. of Calamos Investments

The global markets and economy should be able to move higher for the remainder of the year, with accommodative monetary policy and well-contained inflation providing tailwinds. The U.S. looks set to extend its not-too-hot, not-too-cold recovery, while Japan is benefiting from stimulus and pro-market reforms. Although economic conditions in Europe remain fragile and uneven, growth looks to be accelerating overall, and we believe the European Union has the tools to prevent a broader Europe contagion should the Greek bailout resolution fall apart.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 The BOJ’s Policy: What’s Next, More Easing? Or Something Else? by Tomoya Masanao of PIMCO

Investors are now debating what the next step will be for the Bank of Japan. It is a dramatic turn, isn’t it? Earlier this year, the consensus view was that the BOJ would move forward with additional easing – the question was ‘when’, not ‘if’.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 July 2015 Economic Update by Robert Cron of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

The U.S. economy continues to plod its way forward at a slow and steady pace. Short-term setbacks seem to be the norm, but a general sense of an improving economy is seen through many sectors. The focus on month-to-month indicators has been de-emphasized recently by the scale of global headlines that seems to be driving markets and investor sentiment. Having a steady economic backdrop is very helpful during a period of global challenges.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Are Stocks Overvalued? A Survey of Equity Valuation Models by Chris Brightman of Research Affiliates

In the latest piece from Research Affiliates, Chris Brightman, Chief Investment Officer, revisits the most commonly used equity valuation tools, comparing their respective strengths and weaknesses—and no metric is without its shortcomings. He explains Research Affiliates' approach to valuation, combining both absolute value and relative value. No matter the measurement, U.S. equity prices are high and long-term expected returns are low.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Quarterly Review and Outlook Second Quarter 2015 by Van Hoisington, Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management

From the cyclical monthly high in interest rates in the 1990-91 recession through June of this year, the 30-year Treasury bond yield has dropped from 9% to 3%. This massive decline in long rates was hardly smooth with nine significant backups.

2015-07-22 00:00:00 The Upside to Low Liquidity Bond Markets by Multisector Full Discretion Team of Loomis Sayles

As structural and cyclical factors reduce bond market liquidity, the Multisector Full Discretion team explains how they are positioning portfolios.

2015-07-21 00:00:00 The Opportunity in Municipal Closed-End Funds The Value in the 9th Inning of the Great Bond Rally by Michael Lebowitz (Article)

For the last five years, bond market experts have unfailingly and wrongly predicted a rise in interest rates. If the current rate-hike fears prove unfounded again, municipal-backed closed-end funds (M-CEFs) is an asset subclass likely to perform well. Here are eight such funds to consider.

2015-07-21 00:00:00 Searching for Natural Hedges Against Interest-Rate Risk by Eric Takaha of Franklin Templeton Investments

We have found that historically over time, interest-rate moves don’t often play as large of a role in a broadly diversified fixed income portfolio as one might think.

2015-07-21 00:00:00 Secular Outlook: Implications for Asia-Pacific Investors? by Eric Mogelof, Alan Isenberg of PIMCO

We hope you have had the opportunity to review the summary from our secular forum in May: “The New Neutral Revisited,” written by PIMCO’s Group CIO Dan Ivascyn, Global Fixed Income CIO Andrew Balls an?d Global Strategic Advisor Rich Clarida. In this analysis, the authors identify the six key themes that emerged from our discussion, as well as six risks.

2015-07-21 00:00:00 Markets Show Life While Consumers Hold Back by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why consumer spending remains sluggish, and what it means for the market.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Two-Tier Markets, Full-Cycle Investing, and the Benefits and Costs of Defense by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

“The Nifty Fifty appeared to rise up from the ocean; it was as though all of the U.S. but Nebraska had sunk into the sea. The two-tier market really consisted of one tier and a lot of rubble down below. What held the Nifty Fifty up? The same thing that held up tulip-bulb prices long ago in Holland - popular delusions and the madness of crowds. The delusion was that these companies were so good that it didn't matter what you paid for them; their inexorable growth would bail you out.” Forbes Magazine during the 50% market collapse of 1973-74

2015-07-20 00:00:00 On My Radar: Black Widow Returns by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“When it does happen, it’s usually not the first-derivative event that people are caught off guard by. They’re caught off guard by the second, third and fourth derivative events. It’s ‘Oh yeah, when interest rates go up, that happens.”– Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs’ President and COO

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Muni CEFs & Interest Rates by (Article)

With a potential interest rate hike looming, John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors shares a perspective for investors in national municipal bond CEFs.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Equities Rise as the Focus Returns to Fundamentals by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities experienced their largest one-week gain since late March last week, with the S&P 500 Index rising 2.4%. Much of the gain came from an easing of Greece’s debt problems and a calming of volatility in China’s equity market. In both cases, policymakers achieved some breathing room, but fundamental issues remain. Greece must still engage in some serious structural reforms and the Chinese economy is still experiencing a significant slowdown.

2015-07-20 00:00:00 Understanding “Liquidity” by Payson Swaffield of Eaton Vance

In the U.S., the consumer economy is strengthening, while the industrial economy continues to struggle. What does it mean for equities?

2015-07-20 00:00:00 5 Reasons Puerto Rico Is in Debt Trouble by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, breaks down the key drivers that have led to a mounting debt crisis in Puerto Rico—one that, in some ways, rivals what has happened in Greece.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 How Much Bond Duration Could You Endure? by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

In my most recent article titled “Designing a Retirement Portfolio That’s Just Right for You” I opined that a retirement portfolio should be designed to meet the individual investor’s specific goals, objectives and risk tolerances. I also suggested that the highest total return is not always the best approach because if the investor needs income to live off of, a focus on a consistent rising income stream makes more sense.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 ProVise Bullets by Team of ProVise Management Group

In just a few short days, the comment period will close on a controversial proposal proffered by the Department of Labor (DOL) which would require virtually all financial advisors to adhere to a fiduciary standard of care when giving clients or prospective clients advice on their retirement plans, including IRAs. Ironically, most Americans believe that the advice that their financial advisor provides is already held to this high standard.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 The Future is Already Here by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

A good idea of what the future will look like for bond investors is already here. The three-year average annualized total return of the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index, a broad measure of high-quality bond performance, stood at a very modest 1.8% at the end of June 2015. This is an average return, and shorter-term returns have been both higher and lower over the past three years, but it provides an approximation of what investors may expect over a longer time frame.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Last month we said that the odds favored some sort of “kick the can down the road” agreement between Greece and its creditors, and it looks like that may be coming to pass. While there’s still much work to be done, the tone of the current agreement seems focused on avoiding a euro exit and debt write-downs, while ignoring growth-oriented policies. With the hard decisions yet again put off for another day, this should be euro-weakening, all else equal.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 U.S. Economy Slouches toward Recession as Eurozone Crisis Widens by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen may have missed her window of opportunity to raise interest rates. The economic data no longer paint a picture of even a tepid recovery. Since the start of the year, key indicators for the economy began pointing toward recession.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Sometimes Waterfalls Aren’t Beautiful by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Over 25 years ago I took my family (my wife, Pat, and two sons, Michael and David) to the big island of Hawaii. It was a dream comes true. We’d been to Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui, but not to the Big Island. Our family spent two weeks in a car circumnavigating the isle on our own. It was a joy not to be forgotten. Early on in our trip, it became apparent that the major island attractions (after the live volcano that is) were the waterfalls. We seemed to race from one waterfall to another as we circled the island.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Market Overview Q215 by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Massive interventions by central banks over the last several years have created a “game of Chicken” that has fundamentally changed investing into an exercise that more closely resembles gambling. Until the game resolves investors will do well to recognize this “game” as largely unwinnable and await better opportunities later.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 How Environmental Factors Affect Airlines’ Cost Structures by Kim Nguyen-Taylor and Mauricio Agudelo of Calvert Investment Management

The airline industry exemplifies the materiality of sector-specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors on credit drivers of spread performance. We remain bullish on the industry and we will look to opportunistically increase exposure in certain fixed-income investments in the near term. We continue to favor newer deals that are backed by younger, more energy-efficient and modern fleets. We believe the impact of these environmental factors on an airline company’s bottom line is quite direct.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter – July 2015 by Ron Muhlenkamp, Jeff Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company, Inc.

Ron and Jeff Muhlenkamp discuss their observations of domestic and global economic activity and the impact it has on the markets.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 China: Searching for a New Equilibrium by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Overall, based on our detailed analysis, we believe China will remain on course … while the economy shifts toward consumption, services and higher value-added manufacturing. This could have important implications for the global economy.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Balancing Your Bond Portfolio’s Risk and Reward by Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

Most participants in our Global Income Study told us they wanted income to be high and stable. We think it’s possible to build a bond portfolio that strikes a balance between both—provided investors are willing to take some risk to do it.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Five Portfolio Moves for the Second Half by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

After a relatively calm few months, market volatility is back. In recent weeks, stocks have swung between ups and downs, as investors have attempted to digest the latest news out of Greece, the recent bear market in China and the growing likelihood that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will hold off on raising rates until after its September meeting.

2015-07-15 00:00:00 The National Debt Is Over $18 Trillion, Not $13 Trillion by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

In June, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its annual “Long-Term Budget Outlook” which concluded yet again that the trajectory of US federal debt is “unsustainable” and will lead to an unprecedented debt crisis in the years ahead.

2015-07-15 00:00:00 How Socialism Destroyed Puerto Rico, and How Capitalism Can Save It by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

While Greece is now dominating the debt default stage, the real tragedy is playing out much closer to home, with the downward spiral of Puerto Rico. As in Greece, the Puerto Rican economy has been destroyed by its...

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Greece: Chaos or Orderly Resolution? by Brent Schutte of BMO Global Asset Management

Greece has found itself in dire financial straits for the last few years (its first bailout was back in 2010), but the situation has become critical in recent weeks. The impetus for this was the election in January 2015 of a radical left government that wished to reopen negotiations with creditors. Much of the response and commentary that we have seen from European politicians and central bankers has been political posturing that has masked the harsh reality: without significant debt restructuring, Greece will never be able to pay back its debts.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Gundlach v. Yellen: Will the Fed Raise Rates? by Robert Huebscher (Article)

On Friday, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said that the nine-year wait for an interest-rate increase would likely end this year. Three days earlier, though, Jeffrey Gundlach said that a rate increase this year is unlikely, given the mix of bad news and uncertainty in the world markets. Which view prevails will be the focus of bond market participants in the months ahead.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Venerated Voices™ Ranks Economic and Market Commentaries Most Read by Financial Advisors by Advisor Perspectives (Article)

Advisor Perspectives, a leading publisher serving financial advisors and the financial advisory community, has announced its Venerated Voices™ awards for commentaries published in Q2 of 2015.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 How Likely is Hyperinflation in the U.S? Part Two by Seaborn Hall (Article)

My previous article covered hyperinflation's history, process, effects, definition, types and causes. Part Two answers the questions of how to gauge the likelihood of hyperinflation in the U.S., what the emerging dangers are, how it might happen here and how to prepare if it does.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Putting the Greece Deal in Context by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Now that Greece and its creditors have reached a tentative deal, Russ discusses the two investing themes that are likely to dominate the second half of 2015.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Risks from China Overtake Concerns About Greece by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equity volatility spiked last week, driven by escalating concerns over Greece’s debt problems and a sharp volatility in Chinese equities. The Chinese stock market experienced a dramatic sell-off in recent weeks before staging a comeback toward the end of last week. Early last week, the possibility of additional Greek defaults and a potential messy exit from the eurozone intensified. By the end of the week, however, Greek officials and policymakers seemed to be approaching an agreement.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Falling Earnings Sink the Stock Market? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

There is special interest in 2nd quarter earnings both as a read on the economy and trends in costs and margins. Ordinarily the focus would be Fed Chair Yellen’s House testimony on Wednesday and the reprise on Thursday. She has stated her viewpoint so frequently – rate hike possible, data dependent, expecting better growth – that a surprise is unlikely.

2015-07-13 00:00:00 Greece and the King of Asteroid 325 (and The One Lesson to Learn Before a Market Crash) by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Last week, the price of Greek government debt soared on hopes of an 11th hour stick-save bailout by the European Union. Unfortunately, that price jump still left Greek bonds priced to reflect a default probability of 100% at every maturity. The jump only reflected an increase in the amount that bondholders evidently expect to recover in default, raising the implied recovery rate from the recent low near 30% to something closer to 50%. Put another way, the bond market has fully priced in the likelihood of a default coupled with a major haircut on Greek debt.

2015-07-13 00:00:00 On My Radar: High Probability of a Global Recession by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Economists have a number of different ways to measure over and under valuation. Most measures currently show an overvalued equity market. Let’s just say the market is expensively priced.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 Greece’s Precarious Position by Norman Boersma, Cindy Sweeting, Heather Arnold of Franklin Templeton Investments

Given how fluid this situation is currently, attempting to assign probabilities to a Greek exit scenario remains a moving target on a daily basis.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 China Has Tools to Manage Stock Sell-Off by Anthony Chan, Stuart Rae of AllianceBernstein

Chinese equities are undergoing a sharp correction, and the volatility could last for some time. But we think policymakers have both the tools and the resolve to support the broader Chinese economy.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 Volatility as an ‘Opportunity Class’ by Rick Chan of PIMCO

Is volatility an asset class? It’s a question we often debate, internally and with clients. There’s no simple answer. Either way, though, it’s an academic point that matters less than our belief that volatility is an “opportunity class” – one with a variety of tactical and macro implications.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 What Do High-Yield Maturities Tell Us About Timing the Credit Cycle? Another Take on the Wall by Ara Lovitt of GMO

Not only did the maturity wall tell investors to be complacent right before the market was about to sell off, it told investors to be more cautious just as the market was about to rebound. The point is not that debt maturities are irrelevant. Rather, based on the experience of the last three credit cycles, there seems to have been much larger forces at work that ultimately caused the cycle to turn. From the perspective of an investor trying to formulate a high-yield outlook, it seems to GMO that focusing too much on the maturity wall is probably unhelpful.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 Greek Referendum: Definitive Vote Ushers in Further Uncertainty by Rob Waldner, Mark Nash of Invesco Blog

Greek voters sent a definitive message Sunday, July 5. They said “no” to further austerity measures required for additional bailout aid from the European Union (EU). In a 60/40 vote, Greek voters rejected EU reforms and entitlement cuts required for a new EU funding program. But according to exit polls, the referendum did not appear to be a vote to leave the euro.

2015-07-10 00:00:00 Designing a Retirement Portfolio That’s Just Right For You by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

No one knows your own personal financial situation better than you do. Every individual possesses their own unique investment goals, objectives, needs and risk tolerances. At first glance this may seem simple and straightforward to the point of stating the obvious. However, I contend that the reality that individuals have different financial situations, goals and objectives is profoundly important as it relates to designing an appropriate retirement investment portfolio.

2015-07-09 00:00:00 Greece Playbook by Burt White of LPL Financial

Greece’s critical referendum took place this weekend and the Greek people resoundingly voted “no”?—?rejecting the latest bailout deal from creditors. The referendum result, which some interpreted as a vote to exit the Eurozone, throws Greece’s future in the currency union firmly in doubt. The unexpected result has led to a roughly 2% decline in the broad European indexes but only a modest decline in the S&P 500 (as of 3 p.m. ET today, July 6, 2015). The negative market reaction in Europe is not surprising, given polls heading into the weekend suggested a vote for the bailout was

2015-07-09 00:00:00 Opportunity Set in Private Lending to Remain Robust by John Howe of Old Hill Partners

The U.S. economic environment continues to be ideal for asset-backed lending, according to a new research report from Old Hill Partners Inc.

2015-07-09 00:00:00 CIO Newsletter by Ritesh Jain of Tata Asset Management

In this edition of my newsletter, I have tried to address one of the most common questions that investors have been asking me these days; what to make of the noise surrounding us and how India is placed to weather this volatility. Let me tell you, it's not going to be a smooth ride. In the last 6 months, there has been too much going on worldwide.

2015-07-09 00:00:00 The Greek Crisis Takes a New Turn by Toby Nangle, Martin Harvey of Columbia Threadneedle

Talks between Greece and its creditors collapsed over the weekend. The Greek government has called a referendum on July 5 to accept or reject its creditors' terms — a move almost universally considered to be a poll on the continued membership of the euro area. The timing of this latest turn may have taken many by surprise, but like watching a slow-motion train wreck, few could say they didn’t see it coming.

2015-07-08 00:00:00 How We View the Big Picture by Team of Litman Gregory

We are regularly asked for our take on the broad macroeconomic topics of the day. Two of the more noteworthy big-picture subjects we have been asked about recently are the Greek debt crisis and the timing of the U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike. In most cases, we don’t believe we have new insights to add beyond the reams of commentary these topics typically inspire, and given the dynamic nature of these two topics, it is quite possible that new information will unfold as we publish this or shortly thereafter.

2015-07-08 00:00:00 With High-Yield ETFs, Costs Can Be Hidden by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

More and more investors see exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as an easy and inexpensive way to tap into the high-yield market. We have some friendly advice for them: look again.

2015-07-08 00:00:00 The Fed After the "No" by John Canally of LPL Financial

The “no” vote in the Greek referendum on July 5, 2015, will potentially raise the level of economic and financial market volatility in the coming weeks as global investors assess the market and economic risks associated with an increasingly likely Greek exit (Grexit) from the Eurozone and from the Eurozone’s common currency, the euro.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 A First-Half Letter to Clients: Robert Shiller on the Valuation Quandary by Dan Richards (Article)

Since 2008, I have posted a template for a client letter each quarter as a starting point for advisors who want to send clients an overview of the period that just ended and some thoughts looking forward. This quarter’s letter addresses one of today’s most taxing questions for advisors and investors alike: How to deal with the quandary presented by today’s valuation levels on U.S. stocks.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Update on Greece by Henderson Global Investors of Henderson Global Investors

What happens next in Greece? The immediate impact of the referendum will be to greatly intensify financial and economic pressures in Greece. Now without a bailout, Greece will struggle to find the cash to pay for pensions and public sector wages. The government’s only option may be to make these payments in some form of IOUs in the weeks ahead.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Jobs Take Backseat to Greece’s Austerity Vote by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, dissects the June employment report and the investment implications of a deepening debt crisis in Greece, which is likely to spur higher volatility and renewed contagion fears.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Does Greece Pose a Threat to Global Markets? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ explains why the situation in Greece likely doesn’t pose a longer-term threat to the global economy or financial markets.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 On My Radar: Walking Into A Trap by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“If more respected investors had warned about the market in ’07, we might have avoided the crisis in ’08. I think the public is walking into a trap again…” -Carl Icahn via Twitter June 24, 2015

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Earning an Illiquidity Premium in Private Credit by Joshua Anderson, Tom Collier of PIMCO

With low yields and tight spreads prevalent in traditional liquid fixed income markets, many institutional investors are considering whether higher returns are available by assuming credit risk in private or illiquid form. We believe this type of alternative credit strategy may enhance portfolio returns, but investors should be extremely judicious when giving up liquidity, particularly today.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Staring into an Abyss by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

With a resounding "NO" vote on the Greek referendum to accept the terms of Europe's proposed "bailout", market pundits are out in force talking about the coming turmoil. I think investors and policymakers alike would be wise to step back and put this unexpected outcome into perspective for the long term.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will FedSpeak Interrupt the Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer? by Jeff Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

In one sense, the week ahead should be a quiet, dull semi-vacation. As Nat King Cole explained, the Lazy-Hazy-Crazy days of summer – pretzels, beer, and bikinis that never got wet. It is the lull before earnings and includes a light economic calendar. Will the A-Team need to return from the beach because of Greece? Or will it be a quiet week, disturbed only by an avalanche of FedSpeak and consequent punditry? One way or another, I think we will (finally) put the Greek drama behind us and resume the familiar debate about the Fed.

2015-07-06 00:00:00 The Big Picture by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

The past four years or so have been extremely frustrating for investors like me who have structured their portfolios around the belief that the current experiments in central bank stimulus, the anti-business drift in Washington, and America's mediocre economy and unresolved debt issues would push down the value of the dollar, push up commodity prices, and favor assets in economies with relatively low debt levels and higher GDP growth. But since the beginning of 2011, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 67% while the rest of the world has been largely stuck in the mud.

2015-07-04 00:00:00 A Week of Unseen Things by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

We Americans are celebrating our Independence Day this weekend. The news our ancestors read on this day in 1776 wasn’t so great – but the US survived its rough start. China, Puerto Rico, and Greece will survive, too. But the decisions their government make, just like the ones our fledgling government made all those years ago, will make a great deal of difference. Let’s get past the gloom and doom to see if we can find some good news.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Investors Take Shelter as Greek Referendum Nears by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

American industrialist J. Paul Getty once said: “If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” And when the amount is $1.73 billion, it’s everyone’s problem. Greece is officially in arrears for missing its scheduled payment Tuesday to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Expecting this, American stocks had their largest one-day drop of 2015 on Monday. Market volatility, as measured by the VIX, spiked sharply.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Eurozone Contagion Fears Flare as Greek Crisis Enters Crucial Phase by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

Whatever the outcome of the Greek referendum on Sunday (July 5), the result is likely to mean more uncertainty and possibly pain for the people of Greece. So far, according to David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, the economic fallout of the crisis appears to be mostly contained within Greece, and the likelihood of longer-term contagion to other eurozone economies seems to be limited.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Looking for Income in All the Right Places by Morgan Harting, Martin Atkin of AllianceBernstein

Investors and advisors know they can’t depend solely on the old standbys—bonds, high-dividend stocks and cash—to produce income today, and they’re ready to try a new approach. But which one?

2015-07-02 00:00:00 The Business Cycle—Middle-Aged or Elderly? by Erik Knutzen of Neuberger Berman

When it comes to the duration of the business cycle, 50 is the new 40. Much the way that better diet, health care and exercise have helped double life expectancy over the past century, central banks have prolonged the current expansion using new elixirs such as zero interest rates and quantitative easing. At 72 months, the business cycle has well surpassed the 58.4-month average of the modern era and is now more than twice the length of the pre-WWII average.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 California’s Drought Won’t Affect Its Municipal Debt by Daryl Clements, John Ceffalio of Alliance Bernstein

California has endured four years of severe drought, raising fears of economic hardship and reduced revenues at water authorities. We don’t think the state will run out of water—or money to pay its debts.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Home of the Free, Land of the Entrepreneur by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Where else but in America can a startup such as Uber be valued at $50 billion, higher than 80 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 Index, only six years after its founding? Where else but in America can someone reach billionaire status by inventing a new type of hosiery, as Sara Blakely did with Spanx? Before her now-ubiquitous undergarments were worn by women—and now men—all over the globe, Blakely was so broke that she had to write her own patent without the help of an attorney.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 The 2015 Mid-Year Geopolitical Outlook by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

As is our custom, at mid-year, we update our geopolitical outlook for the rest of the year. This report is less a series of predictions as it is a list of potential geopolitical issues that we believe will dominate the international situation into year’s end. It is not designed to be exhaustive; instead, it focuses on the “big picture” conditions that we believe will affect policy and markets going forward. They are listed in order of importance.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 Greece Firestorm Won't Stifle Consumer Comeback by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Investors should expect more volatility in the stock market and larger flows into US Treasuries this week given the increased likelihood of a Grexit. Rather than hide, investors could view this crisis as a buying opportunity—a chance to position their portfolios for the second half of 2015. Over the longer term, fundamentals like job creation and a healthier consumer play a far more important role.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 Greek Contagion Fears Likely Overblown by Gary Black of Calamos Investments

We remain bullish on global equities despite the expected near-term volatility, as we believe the Greek situation will be resolved in a manner that the markets will view constructively. Although the Greek debt drama has veered off script over the past few days, we believe investors have overdiscounted the impact of Greece defaulting on its IMF loan. We expect volatility will stay high in the run up to the Greek austerity referendum scheduled for July 5.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 The Greek Saga Escalates by Carl Tannenbaum, Victoria Marklew of Northern Trust

The situation in Greece has taken some unexpected turns over the past several days, commanding the lion’s share of the market’s attention ever since. Following are answers to the questions we are being asked most frequently about the situation.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 A Return to Fundamentals? by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

June was a very eventful month, in particular here in Europe. Greece went from bad to worse, and the Greek people have now been asked to vote on their own destiny in a referendum scheduled for Sunday 5 July, which we expect to return in a 'Yes' vote. However, Greece is not the only subject in the July Absolute Return Letter. Financial markets have in many ways behaved oddly since the near meltdown in 2008. The objective of this month's letter is to look at whether we are finally beginning to see some sort of normalisation - as in a return to the conditions we had prior to 2008...

2015-07-01 00:00:00 ProVise Bullets by Team of ProVise Management Group

Okay, so where did the last six months go? Hard to believe that half of 2015 is gone and even harder to believe that we have a presidential election coming up in “only” 16 months. Of course, with all the candidates coming out, especially on the Republican side, it is going to be an interesting 10-12 months while the primaries play out.

2015-07-01 00:00:00 Greece and Puerto Rico Spark Global Volatility by K. Sean Clark of Clark Capital Management Group

More than five years after first entering investors’ view, the Greek drama has again hit center stage and has investors fretting about a market collapse.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 Evaluating Investments versus Insurance in Retirement by Wade Pfau (Article)

In the past, I’ve described two fundamentally different philosophies for retirement-income planning: probability-based and safety-first. Those philosophies diverge on the critical issue of where an individual must place their trust: in the risk/reward tradeoffs of an equity portfolio, or on the contractual guarantee of insurance products. Here’s how to overcome that challenge and integrate the two approaches in a retirement plan.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 Three Responses When a Prospect Already has an Advisor by Dan Richards (Article)

Advisors often run into prospects who already have an advisor in place. Here are three hot buttons to engage those who already have an advisor.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 In the Know: Fed Policy and Fixed Income by Roger Bayston of Franklin Templeton Investments

As fixed income investors, we have to build more tools and use different types of tools when managing our portfolios, allowing ourselves to remain more liquid in some of our short-term investments in order to keep what we believe to be a prudent level of risk given the changes in liquidity in the marketplace.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 Greece Isn’t the Only Problem U.S. Stocks Face by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Several factors are dampening investor sentiment, including Greece and an emerging bear market in China. However, for U.S. markets, a longer-term problem may be one closer to home. Russ explains.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 It Never Rains in California by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

Ted Cruz recently suggested praying for rain in Texas, and apparently someone did a few weeks ago, producing a deluge resembling a modern day Noah’s Ark of sorts. California’s Governor Brown on the other hand, has taken a more secular approach. He believes that Mammon, not God, bears responsibility for the Golden State’s record drought and that I, we, all of us simple folk should cut back water usage by a minimum of 25%.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 A Mid-Year Assessment of Our Ten Predictions by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

We have described 2015 as the year when investors transition from disbelief to belief, or from skepticism to optimism. Sir John Templeton coined the phrase, “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.” We believe we are entering the “optimism” phase.

2015-06-30 00:00:00 Ignore Greece by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Don’t let anyone tell you Greece is sticking up for its "dignity" by fighting “austerity.” The current Greek government is sticking up for socialism by fighting reality.

2015-06-29 00:00:00 Don’t be Surprised - Speech to CFA Society of Chicago by Stephen Romick of FPA Funds

I’m reminded of a gentleman who discovers a genie in a bottle. Granted one wish only – apparently even genies have pricing power – the man asks for peace in the Middle East. The genie backs away and says, “That’s way too difficult. Give me something easier.” The man ponders his options and asks the genie instead, to help him pick a good mutual fund. The genie quickly responds, “Let me get to work on the Middle East.”

2015-06-29 00:00:00 On My Radar: Buffett Burgers and The Hallelujah Chorus by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

"People are habitually guided by the rear-view mirror and, for the most part, by the vistas immediately behind them.”– Warren Buffett

2015-06-27 00:00:00 Shoot the Dog and Sell the Farm by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The Greek situation is presently caught in those two bubbles on the bottom. European leaders held summit meetings this week to consider new breakthrough concessions offered by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Let the champagne flow. Except those concessions were rejected, and the Greeks rejected the counteroffer as of this afternoon. But it’s not quite midnight yet.

2015-06-27 00:00:00 High Drama for the Hellenic Republic by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Hard realities and hardened positions are combining to create a dangerous game of financial chicken between Greece and its creditors. We can only hope they avoid a headlong collision that could create a lot of collateral damage.

2015-06-26 00:00:00 Time to Consider Municipal High Yield? by David Jurca of Russell Investments

David Jurca explains why investors may want to consider municipal high yield to help manage taxes, especially since it can offer strong tax equivalent yields at a historically attractive level of volatility.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Unconstrained Global Investing in an Extraordinary Monetary Policy Enviornment by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

As we see it, it is only a matter of time before US wages start to rise to levels where inflation is triggered. Using the Fed’s own estimates, we are quite close to what’s considered to be full employment. To us, this does not justify 0% interest rates.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Gaining Greater Lift in Your Glide Path by Daniel Loewy, Christopher Nikolich of AllianceBernstein

Target-date funds have always promoted the mantra of diversification (“don’t put all your eggs in one basket”). Now it’s time to preach—and practice—an even wider diversification strategy.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Outrunning the Bear: Pension Strategy in a Low Return World by Jared Gross of PIMCO

Pension investors often seek to meet two conflicting objectives: delivering high absolute returns and managing risk relative to liabilities. Unfortunately, this approach has not produced the desired result because the strong absolute performance of risk assets has been eclipsed by even-faster growth in liabilities. With the era of surging liability values most likely behind us, a realistic goal today may be a relative one: outperforming the value of liabilities, by a smaller margin perhaps, but with more diversification and less risk.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Batteries Not Included: Midyear Stock Market Outlook by Burt White, Jeffrey Buchbinder of LPL Financial

Expect the bull market to continue through 2015. In the stock market, 2015 has felt like déjà vu. In 2014, the year began with a tough first quarter and finished strong. After a weak start to the year, we believe that corporate America will provide a much needed boost for the second half and 2015 may also finish strong?—?providing the seventh year of positive returns, in the 5?–?9% range we forecast.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Diversification: A Better Way to Avoid Portfolio Gridlock by Tracy Fielder of Invesco Blog

Every morning as I drive into the office, I see my fellow commuters darting from lane to lane, trying to choose the fastest one. The problem is, traffic in the “fast” lane inevitably slows down as cars crowd into it, and the slower lanes suddenly become the place to be. So in the long run, despite their risky maneuvers, these drivers don’t usually get much farther ahead than anybody else.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Yields Skyrocket! Really? by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

It is hard to pick up a paper, read an investment blog (mine excluded), or listen to a financial news program without hearing about the global bond market rout. Yields (interest rates) on government bonds in the U.S. and Europe have been on the rise and the financial media is trying to whip everyone into a frenzy about it. Here is why I think you should be celebrating rather than worrying.

2015-06-25 00:00:00 Inflation Outlook: Approaching Target by Mihir Worah of PIMCO

Over the next three to five years, PIMCO expects the global economy will continue along a New Neutral path in which major economies tend to drift along at modest growth rates. At our annual Secular Forum last month, our global investment professionals rigorously debated the longer-term, or secular, outlook for the global economy and markets, and the broad conclusions we reached are detailed in “The New Neutral Revisited.”

2015-06-24 00:00:00 Handicapping Bubbles and Shocks by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, explains the results of the 2015 Allianz Global Investors RiskMonitor Survey, a global study of prevailing views on portfolio construction, asset allocation and risk among a cross-section of institutional investors.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Richard Thaler’s “Misbehaving” and Implications for Investors and Advisors by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

Richard Thaler is out with a new book, Misbehaving, tracing his career in behavioral economics. It offers an appealing combination of entertaining writing and serious discussion of the many areas he has researched. The book is a natural complement to Daniel Kahneman’s classic, Thinking, Fast and Slow. I’ll briefly compare these two books and then address what Thaler’s work says about two issues particularly important to financial advisors.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 How Likely is Hyperinflation in the U.S? Part One by Seaborn Hall (Article)

Since the great financial crisis, perhaps the most talked about scenario for the next crisis to hit the U.S. has been hyperinflation due to high levels of Treasury debt and Federal Reserve Bank liabilities. Fortunately, the logic that produces this chain of events is specious.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Equities Gather Momentum on Positive Indicators by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities finished higher last week as the S&P 500 increased 0.8%, recording its highest weekly gain since April. The dovish message from Wednesday’s FOMC announcement boosted markets. Contagion from Greece appears relatively contained. The sell-off in equities in China did not impact global markets. The health care, consumer staples and utilities sectors rallied. Financials lagged as banking lost momentum and energy underperformed.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: What Does the Greek Crisis Mean for Financial Markets? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

The calendar shows a fair amount of economic data in the coming week, but attention is likely to be focused abroad. After many years (some would say decades) of percolating, the issue of Greece and the Eurozone is coming to a conclusion.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Central Banks Still Hold the Keys by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

U.S. stocks and bonds were cheered last week by soothing comments from the Federal Reserve. For better or for worse, says BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist, Russ Koesterich, the world's central banks continue to drive market swings.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Why VBINX is the Wrong Benchmark For Global Tactical Asset Allocation Strategies by Adam Butler, Michael Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of BPG & Associates

We recently came across a couple of articles making the sensational claim that TAA is nothing more than a repackaged and dressed-up version of market timing. Both articles – and others, we’ve subsequently learned – point to a Morningstar study showing that TAA has underperformed the Vanguard U.S. 60/40 balanced fund over the past few years.

2015-06-23 00:00:00 Getting More from Low Market Volatility by Alex Barenboym of AllianceBernstein

Stocks still seem attractive, but it’s important to guard against a potential spike in market volatility. Today’s low-volatility environment happens to be a good time to shop for downside protection.

2015-06-22 00:00:00 A Chinese Swap Meet by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

The new local bond swap program of China’s Communist Party is its latest effort to manage debt. It aims both to make the amount and structure of local government debt more transparent, and to reduce the financing burden of local government debt. Could this be considered a version of quantitative easing or a bailout? Could it lead to local government defaults?

2015-06-22 00:00:00 CEFs in a Portfolio by (Article)

Analyst Alex Reiss of Stifel shares a perspective on the role closed-end funds may play in a long-term investment portfolio.

2015-06-22 00:00:00 On My Radar: Three-Way Asset Strategy by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

“The probability of loss is no more measurable than the probability of rain. It can be modeled, and it can be estimated (and by experts pretty well), but it cannot be known.”– Howard Marks, Chairman, Oaktree Capital

2015-06-22 00:00:00 Why Higher Rates Could Be Good News for Consumers by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Many investors worry about the impact rising interest rates could have on financial markets. It is easy to forget there is an upside: Some consumers will gain from more income and be able to spend more.

2015-06-20 00:00:00 Public Pensions: Live and Let Die by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I am not sure if my heart was ever that much of an open book, but I like to think I’m still relatively young. Nevertheless, I must admit that sometimes I want to “give in and cry.” This is especially so when I look at our nation’s public pension funds.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 How to Play the Fed’s Big News Day by Kristina Hooper, Steve Malin, Greg Meier of Allianz Global Investors

Although the FOMC tried hard not to make headlines, there’s still plenty to parse in its latest communications. Bonds are likely to exhibit more volatility as we near liftoff, which is likely to happen in September. And based on the Fed’s “dots” forecast, we may even see two rate hikes in 2015.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: June by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

In spite of lingering concerns about Greece’s fate, the European economy would appear to have hit a sweet spot marked by steadily improving growth and inflation figures along with declining unemployment.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 The Perils of Low Liquidity and High Leverage by Michael DePalma of AllianceBernstein

Diversify. It’s a cardinal rule of sound investing. But what’s an investor to do when a well-diversified portfolio won’t protect him? It’s time to start thinking about an answer.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 4 Healthcare REITs For A Healthier Retirement Portfolio by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

To be considered prudent investors we must recognize and accept the undeniable reality that all true investing is done in future time. Consequently, the key to long-term investment success is to forecast the future as accurately as we possibly can. Of course, we must simultaneously recognize and accept that forecasting the future can only be accomplished within a reasonable degree of accuracy. Forecasting the future, and investing for that matter, can never be a game of perfect. Nevertheless, our investing success will ultimately be achieved based on how good our forecasts turn out to be.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Gold and Health Care Stocks Get a Clean Bill of Health by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Even though the Federal Reserve announced this week that it would wait a little longer to raise rates, spooked investors fled to gold bullion, helping to drive prices above $1,200 an ounce. It was the greatest single-session surge by percentage in nearly a month and a half for the yellow metal, widely seen as a safe-haven investment. As I told MarketWatch yesterday, $1,200 is an important threshold for gold miners because it helps increase profitability and spur production.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Connecting the Dots by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

A stream of positive data supports a September rate hike, but summer storms loom on the horizon.

2015-06-19 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

While we expect U.S. growth to see some improvement from the slow start to the year, we think optimists are likely to be disappointed at the overall pace of growth. The U.S. economy has averaged 2.2% growth since the financial crisis, and we don't see a material acceleration during the near-to-intermediate term. The prospect of a pending increase in the Fed funds rate has contributed to a rise in interest rates and strengthening of the dollar, both of which serve as a constraint on growth. We also don't see much upside to the U.S. economy through materially better growth outside the U.S.

2015-06-18 00:00:00 Picking U.S. Energy, Housing and Other Credit Sectors for the Long Haul by Mark Kiesel of PIMCO

Persistent trends in economies around the world are providing opportunities for focused, long-term investors in the credit markets. Mark Kiesel, Chief Investment Officer Global Credit, discusses promising themes PIMCO sees over the next three to five years, including the U.S. energy revolution, the rising Asian consumer, the ramifications of global banking regulation and latent demand in the U.S. housing market. PIMCO’s global investment professionals gathered in May at our annual Secular Forum to discuss our long-term, or secular, views of economies and markets around the world.

2015-06-18 00:00:00 Concerned About Rising Interest Rates? Consider These Four Alternative Investments by Walter Davis of Invesco Blog

As I travel across the country meeting with financial advisors and their clients, a common concern I hear voiced is “how can I position my portfolio for when the inevitable happens and interest rates start to rise?” In response, I state that certain types of alternative investments are well suited to help prepare portfolios for rising interest rates in the future, while also potentially adding value in the present.

2015-06-17 00:00:00 Stocks: Keep Your Eye on the Bull by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Since the equity rally of the past few years has brought most stock indexes to new highs, investors increasingly have expressed skepticism about the possibility of future gains. It is an understandable concern—but it also is misplaced. Stocks still carry attractive valuations, if not as attractive as in past years, and so have ample ability to continue to rise, even if, as expected, the economy only lumbers along the shallow recovery path it has traveled to date.

2015-06-17 00:00:00 Double Trouble for Investors? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

When I think of doubles, on the positive side I think of my years of playing doubles tennis, Miguel Cabrera winning a Tigers game with one, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble band, and even those commercial spots that started in 1959. You know the ones I’m talking about – the Doublemint® gum commercials.

2015-06-17 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Market Message for the Fed? by Jeffrey Miller of NewArc Investments, Inc.

While few expect a change in Fed policy at this week’s FOMC meeting, it will still be the center of attention. With last week’s interest rate jump, I expect the theme to be: Is the market sending the Fed a message?

2015-06-17 00:00:00 Geopolitics Will Trump Economics in Greece by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

Based on the continued failure of the negotiating parties to make any substantive progress in the talks over Greek debt payments, the financial world is tied up in knots over a possible Greek exit from the European Union. The uncertainty has manifested in both high and low finance, with a sharp sell-off in bonds, particularly EU and Greek government debt, and heightened retail withdrawals from Greek banks as depositors become wary of capital controls that would be imposed in the case of an exit. All concerned parties should likely breathe easier.

2015-06-17 00:00:00 Need Income? Let’s Talk by Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

Investors and their advisors know how tough it is to generate income in today’s low-interest-rate world. Forthright and frequent conversation about how far they’re willing to go to boost returns can help.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 Gundlach: Rising Rates and Summer Insects by Robert Huebscher (Article)

You should never ask summer insects about ice, according to the Chinese philosopher Chuang Zhu, because they are bound by a single season. In the same way, many investors have never experienced a period of increasing rates. One who has, however, is Jeffrey Gundlach, who offered his forecast for rates and the one sector of the bond market that is most vulnerable.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 One Step Closer to Normal by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The recent spike in interest rates, and corresponding drop in bond prices, has left longer-term U.S. bonds looking more reasonable. But will there be more rate volatility?

2015-06-16 00:00:00 High Yield Bonds: Rates and Returns by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

With a number of data points over the past month, including Friday’s better than expected jobs report, pushing the expectations for a September rate hike higher, concerns about the impact of interest rates on various asset classes is heating up. It is important to keep in mind that if and when “rates” do rise, we are talking about the Federal Funds Rate which we expect will primarily impact the short end of the yield curve, and less so those 5-year to 10-year maturities that relate more to the high yield market.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 Take an Opportunistic Approach to the Municipal Market by Adam Weigold of Eaton Vance

The municipal market is vast: approximately 60,000 different issuers, over one million CUSIPs and about $3.7 trillion outstanding. Navigating this disparate universe is tremendously difficult for individual investors and their advisors.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 The Market for “Lemons": A Lesson for Dividend Investors by Chris Brightman, Vitali Kalesnik, Engin Kose of Research Affiliates

Central banks the world over are buying high-quality bonds, thereby removing them from the market and forcing savers to find alternative strategies to meet their income needs. In this environment of financial repression and near-zero interest rates, dividend-yield (or equity income) investing has become increasingly popular. Investors are understandably reallocating their portfolios from lower yielding bonds to higher yielding equities. But in selecting equities with a high dividend yield, investors should be aware of the risk of concentrating their portfolios in low-quality companies.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 Rate Hikes: Investor Risk Perceptions and Historical Context by Matthew Pasts of BTS Asset Management

During a recent quarterly webcast for financial advisors, we asked the audience about their clients’ biggest concerns for the remainder of 2015. The four options were: - Losing money on their equity allocations; - Not earning enough income; - Not keeping up with the stock market; - Losing money on their fixed income allocations. Of these, “losing money on their equity allocations” was by far the most popular response, at just under 40%. In our view, bond market risks are greater than many people realize.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 Mid-Year Investment Outlook: 10 Experts on What to Watch by Orla O'Brien of Loomis Sayles

We spoke with 10 Loomis Sayles investment experts about the most pressing issues and provocative investment themes for the remainder of 2015. What are they watching? Read on for their insights.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 Stay with Equities, but Prepare for Turbulence by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities were up fractionally last week, with the S&P 500 Index up 0.1% as seven out of ten sectors traded higher. Strong retail sales figures kept the focus on the Federal Reserve and the prospect of higher interest rates. Concerns over Greece’s debt problems pushed volatility levels higher. The banking industry performed well, while cyclical areas of the market such as transportation lagged.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 Rising Rates and the Rebirth of Global Stockpicking by John Remmert, Donald Hubert of Franklin Templeton Investments

Once the efforts of various central banks start to bear fruit and the global economy becomes healthier, we expect to see a potential reduction in the pursuit of unconventional monetary policies. That should enable equity markets to return to what we view as a more rational level of behavior.

2015-06-16 00:00:00 June 2015 Newsletter - How's Your Temperament? by Jim Tillar and Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

Markets have been churning but not really going anywhere for a while. Convincing arguments can be made that both stocks and bonds are pricey. While this doesn't mean prices will go down in the near term it does mean returns in some future periods may be more modest. It's a frustrating environment that makes investors impatient and a great time to discuss a key characteristic needed to be successful at investing.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 Worried About Rising Rates? Go Global by Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

US-only bond investors are affected by one business cycle, one yield curve, one monetary policy. As long as interest rates were falling, that was good. But it doesn’t sound so good now.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 Bank Loans & High Yield: Conscious Uncoupling is Not Just for Celebrities by Cheryl Stober of Loomis Sayles

We have long believed that the bank loan market, as represented by the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index ("All Loans"), can be thought of as a true combination of high-quality loan risk and high yield bond risk.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 Is the European Insurance Sector in a State of Emergency? by Matthieu Louanges of PIMCO

Europe’s insurance industry has responded to profound challenges with a high degree of agility and innovation on both sides of their balance sheets.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 June Economic Update by John Richards of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

A drop in exports, poor weather, and shipping yard difficulties led the U.S. economy back into negative territory after GDP was revised downward to -0.7%. Many economists believe this is a similar situation to what we saw in 2014 with a drop in GDP during the first quarter, and a subsequent rebound in the following quarters. However, the strong dollar effect has continued into April and May and will continue to provide a headwind for GDP. The preference by consumers to save additional earnings instead of spend is also putting downward pressure on growth.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 On My Radar: Watch Out For Minus Two by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: hard work, stick-to-itiveness, and common sense.”– Thomas Edison

2015-06-15 00:00:00 Bonds: Can’t Live With Them, but How Do You Live Without Them? by Joe Becker of Milliman Financial Risk Management

For generations of investors, conventional wisdom regarding managing portfolio risk relied on the cardinal rule of diversification. In its simplest form, this meant holding high quality bonds in an attempt to generate income, and offset volatility and drawdowns in the stock market.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 Muni CEFs by (Article)

For “tax-driven” investors, closed-end funds featuring municipal bonds may provide an attractive opportunity, says John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors.

2015-06-14 00:00:00 The People’s Republic of Debt by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Among the most important questions for all investors and businessmen is, how will China manage its future and the problems it faces? There are many problems, some of them monumental – and at the same time there is an amazing amount of opportunity and potential. Understanding the challenges and deciphering the likely outcomes is itself an immense challenge.

2015-06-14 00:00:00 When You Look Back On This Moment In History by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

There are moments in time when durable history is made; history that others observe much later, shaking their heads, at a loss to understand how the events that followed could not have been obvious at the time. When you look back on this moment in history, remember these things. When you look back on this moment in history, remember that spectacular extremes in reliable valuation measures already told you how the story would end.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 U.S. Economy Turns on the Afterburners-Is a Rate Hike Next? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

So when will rates be raised again? Next Wednesday the world will tune in to see if Fed Chair Janet Yellen can answer that question. Though it's anyone's guess what she'll say, there's no denying that many of the economic indicators the Fed is keeping an eye on have sharply improved lately.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 Against this Rosy Backdrop by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

While bonds are still reasonably valued, yields have risen more than expected and seasonals appear to have turned against equities.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 How Investors Are Positioned Heading Into Mid-Year by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

The latest data from the Federal Reserve and ICI, a company that measures equity money flows, show that US households have been aggressively adding to their equity exposure and reducing their cash. As the bull market has matured and investor confidence has increased, money has increasingly flowed to foreign equity markets, especially in 2015.

2015-06-12 00:00:00 Retired With Money To Invest? Consider Playing Defense With Utilities by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Prudent investors might consider investing in fairly valued utility stocks if they need income, and if they are concerned about safety and capital preservation. Utility stocks can also serve as a viable alternative for parking cash. This last point is especially relevant when the valuations of other equity options are extended as they are today.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 Using Investment Manager Styles to Navigate Markets by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

Investment manager styles, like markets, move in cycles. So as investment advisors, we try to identify where we are in the market cycle to choose the best managers. Decision making should not be binary – “I like the market or I don’t like the market,” with a resulting buy or sell decision. In downturns, the normal reaction is to sell out of the market rather than looking at how to stay in the market and become more defensive. In fact, being out of the market negatively impacts results over time.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 The Market for 'Lemons': A Lesson for Dividend Investors by Chris Brightman, Vitali Kalesnik, Engin Kose of Research Affiliates

Central banks the world over are buying high-quality bonds, thereby removing them from the market and forcing savers to find alternative strategies to meet their income needs. In this environment of financial repression and near-zero interest rates, dividend-yield (or equity income) investing has become increasingly popular. Investors are understandably reallocating their portfolios from lower yielding bonds to higher yielding equities. But in selecting equities with a high dividend yield, investors should be aware of the risk of concentrating their portfolios in low-quality companies.

2015-06-11 00:00:00 When Following the Herd is Risky, Where is the Safety? by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

Risk and safety. Safety and risk. In investing, as in life, balancing both is an ongoing challenge. We know intuitively that all of either one or the other rarely yields the results we want, but finding the right mix is easier said than done.

2015-06-10 00:00:00 Bears Gather Around the Goldilocks Eurozone by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

The eurozone is currently offering what we would regard as an ideal environment to generate growth, so we’d certainly be slightly concerned if the economy there was not growing.

2015-06-10 00:00:00 U.S. Stands Out Amid Global Sluggishness by Scott Mather of PIMCO

A year ago, PIMCO said the world was in The New Neutral, as the path to recovery dragged on years after the financial crisis. Last month, at our annual Secular Forum in which our global investment professionals gathered to discuss our long-term outlook, we affirmed that thesis, and we recently published “The New Neutral Revisited” detailing and updating our views. Scott Mather, Chief Investment Officer U.S. Core Strategies, discusses how the outlook for the U.S. differs, to a degree, from other large economies.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Can We Recover from the Public Debt Crisis? Of Course We Can by Laurence Siegel (Article)

Is the world facing a public-debt crisis, or is too much debt just another headache we will muddle through? How can investors distinguish between countries that are likely to default or otherwise injure debtholders, such as through high inflation, and those that will resolve their debt problems and emerge stronger? How can countries deal with high and rising levels of debt and return their finances to a sound footing?

2015-06-09 00:00:00 In Defense of ‘Smart Beta’ by Keith Goddard (Article)

In a recent article, Why Smart Beta is Really Dumb, Michael Edesess encouraged investors to be skeptical of the growing number of factor-based investment strategies being marketed under the moniker of "smart beta." While I applaud Edesess' call for skepticism, I am compelled to play the role of public defender and cross-examine his accusations.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Me, Lord Marlboro, and the Dow?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Holy cow, somebody must have slipped American Pharaoh a “sugar cube” last Saturday as horse and jockey (Victor Espinoza) made the turn into the withering stretch at Belmont Park and pulled away from the rest of the pack. Hopefully, somebody will feed a “sugar cube” to the stock market this week because it certainly needs it.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Does It Make My Portfolio Better? by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Cliff Asness posted a commentary a few days ago that includes the following; One of the most basic lessons of investing is to think about how each investment impacts your overall portfolio not just its characteristics stand alone. You don’t evaluate your other investment options based on, “Would I trade my whole portfolio for this?” but rather on, “Does it make my portfolio better?”

2015-06-09 00:00:00 AMT doesn’t have to stand for “add more tax” by Cindy Clemson, Tom Metzold of Eaton Vance

Muni bonds exempt from Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) may help impacted investors.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 Precision in Your Retirement Short Game by Glenn Dial of Allianz Global Investors

Getting the asset allocation right as plan participants close in on retirement is critical, writes Glenn Dial, Head of US Retirement Strategy at Allianz Global Investors. And professional advice can help them find that pinpoint accuracy.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 The Punch Bowl Stays by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

It is well known that I don’t think much of the ability of government officials to correctly forecast much of anything. Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke have made famously clueless predictions with respect to stock and housing bubbles, and rank and file Fed economists have consistently overestimated the strength of the economy ever since their forecasts became public in 2008.

2015-06-09 00:00:00 The Importance of FIFA by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Swiss authorities recently arrested several top officials affiliated with FIFA on various charges, mostly related to corruption. The ongoing investigation continues to unfold, so we will not spend much time on arrests or new charges. Instead, we offer a short overview of the arrests and the election and resignation of FIFA President Blatter, discussing FIFA’s structure and how the organization is prone to corruption. We follow this discussion with the most important part of the report, the extension of U.S. law enforcement into the international realm as a function of the superpower role.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 Why Stocks are Not "Cheap Relative to Bonds" by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

One of the constant refrains we hear at present is that while stocks may be richly valued on an absolute basis, they are “cheap relative to bonds.” At least one professor recently told students that valuations are meaningless because the P/E on cash is 100. Technically, with T-bill yields at just 0.01%, the P/E on cash is more like 10,000, but let’s not quibble. Using simple P/E ratios or inverted interest rates as a standard of value only makes sense if you have no appreciation for how securities are valued.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 Global Tactical Asset Allocation is More than Just Market Timing by Adam Butler, Michael Philbrick, Rodrigo Gordillo of BPG & Associates

In Part 1 of this series we explored why quality TAA strategies do not rely on ‘expert’ market calls, noting that the terms ‘discretionary’ and ‘tactical’ ought not to be viewed as two sides of the same coin. Rather, the best tactical managers increasingly use systematic approaches to harvest persistent risk premia from factors such as ‘value’ and ‘momentum.’ This article will show why investors should not equate TAA with market timing.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 On My Radar: “Shine Your Light Bright” by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Today, let’s take a look at the current state of inflation and the direction of interest rates and peek at a few processes that may help us better navigate the rough waters ahead. My gut says it will be the bond market that jerks the Fed’s chain. We’ll see.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 As the Economy Grows, Bonds Struggle and Equities Tread Water by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. economic data last week seemed to confirm that the country is rebounding from a weak first quarter. Manufacturing, construction, sales figures and the labor market all showed signs of improvement.

2015-06-08 00:00:00 Risk Revisited Again by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

In April 2014, I had good results with Dare to Be Great II, starting from the base established in an earlier memo (Dare to Be Great, September 2006) and adding new thoughts that had occurred to me in the intervening years. Also in 2006 I wrote Risk, my first memo devoted entirely to this key subject. My thinking continued to develop, causing me to dedicate three chapters to risk among the twenty in my book The Most Important Thing. This memo adds to what I’ve previously written on the topic.

2015-06-06 00:00:00 Thoughts from the Frontline: Cleaning Out the Attic by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

My goal is to present a simple outline of the policies we need to pursue as a country in order to get us back to 3–4% annual GDP growth.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 China Reforms Create a New Muni Market by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? These days, news about China seems to be mainly good or mainly bad. The market and media response to China’s local-government debt swap programme shows why maintaining a balanced view is essential.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 Bond Tug-of-War by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The bond market tried to end the month of May on a high note but did not quite make the mark. The last 10 days of May 2015 witnessed fairly steady improvement in high-quality bond prices after a difficult five weeks, but it was still not enough to offset losses for the month. The broad Barclays Aggregate Bond Index still finished 0.24% lower in May and posted consecutive monthly declines for the first time since the last two months of 2013.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 Is the Yuan the New Greenback? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

Given the expanding role of China's currency in international trade and finance, Russ weighs in with his outlook for the yuan.

2015-06-04 00:00:00 Strong Demand for Chicago Bonds Shows It’s No Detroit by Stephanie Larosiliere, John Loch of Invesco Blog

Moody’s Investors Service recently downgraded Chicago’s $8.1 billion of outstanding general obligation (GO) debt two notches to Ba1, officially putting the bonds in the “junk” rating category, after a May 8 ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a law overhauling state employee and teacher pensions, narrowing the city’s options for curbing growth in its unfunded pension liabilities.

2015-06-04 00:00:00 China in the Spotlight by Eswarie Subrahmanyam Balan of WisdomTree

While 2014 was a challenging year for emerging markets, the story in 2015 has been substantially different so far. At a country level, both China and Russia have been primary contributors to this recovery.

2015-06-03 00:00:00 Greenbriar Gleanings by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

I always look forward to reading Frederick “Shad” Rowe’s monthly investment letter to his partners. Shad founded Greenbrier Partners, Ltd. In 1985 and has captained the investment fund ever since. He is known as one of the best “stock pickers” on Wall Street, a moniker that is well deserved.

2015-06-03 00:00:00 Global Carry Mechanics and Derailment by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

Global Carry (a.k.a. Risk Parity) appears to be derailed, as we cautioned in February. We observe how that happened and how Global Carry is singularly linked to Bund and US Dollar. We also refresh and reflect on our US Leading Indicator and SPX fair value.

2015-06-03 00:00:00 Are You a Carousel or Coaster Investor? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Historically, in the Midwest and Northeast, Memorial Day weekend has been the kickoff for amusement park re-openings. From rollercoasters to merry-go-rounds, the plunges and whirls begin in earnest with the unofficial beginning of summer.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Should You Have More Fun at Work? by Dan Richards (Article)

A growing body of research suggests that creating a culture of having fun at work will attract and retain employees and increase motivation and productivity.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Is 3D Printing Following the Railway's Tracks? by Marianne Brunet (Article)

The British Railway Mania of the 1840s is considered the greatest technology hype in history. Although railroad developments were instrumental to the U.K.'s Industrial Revolution, investors ultimately overvalued the technology because they underestimated the costs associated with it. Given the growing excitement around 3D printing, is it possible that we are in for another "hype-cycle"?

2015-06-02 00:00:00 CEFs As Complement by (Article)

Closed-end funds may be a smart way for financial advisors to complement existing portfolio strategies, says Stephen Fox of Nuveen Investments.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Where to Look for Yield in a Low-Yield World by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ Koesterich discusses where to look for yield in today's “low-for-long" interest rate environment.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Economic and Earnings Growth Appear Poised to Move Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities were fairly volatile last week as investors focused on potential Federal Reserve action and concerns over Greece’s debt problems resurfaced. Merger and acquisition activity also gathered headlines in the technology and health care sectors.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 The Envestnet Edge by (Article)

With so many portfolios seeking shelter in bonds and funds constantly flowing out of equities, could the investor herd actually be reversing the areas of the markets where "safety" and "risk" reside? This month, we ask, "When Following the Herd is Risky, Where is the Safety?”

2015-06-02 00:00:00 Are Bond Investors Crying Wolf? by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

Since we last wrote to you there has been quite a dramatic increase in interest rates in most markets and in Germany in particular. In this letter we look into whether this is the beginning of something much bigger. For those of you with too little time on your hands we conclude that it is NOT. Economic growth will stay low for many years to come, and central banks have no intention of suddenly flooding the bond market with sell orders.

2015-06-02 00:00:00 June Gloom Doesn't Mean Doom by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper says bucking the conventional wisdom on summer swoons in the stock market may be a smart play, regardless of when the Fed decides to raise interest rates.

2015-06-01 00:00:00 On My Radar: Inflation and The Big (Bigger) Short by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

"Negative-yield bonds now account for some €1.5 trillion of debt issued by governments in the euro area, equivalent to almost 30% of the total outstanding. Many expect even more of the global bond market to fall into negative yield territory. Half of all government bonds in the world today yield less than 1%.”– John Mauldin

2015-06-01 00:00:00 U.S. Core Fixed Income Performance at a Crossroad by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

In recent weeks, longer-term borrowing costs around the world have started to rise rapidly. As a result, long only investors are now sitting on losses in their bond portfolios for the first time in 2015. This can be psychologically significant.

2015-05-31 00:00:00 The Liquidity Time Bomb by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

Advanced countries’ central banks have managed to keep interest rates low, reduce the volatility of bond markets, and lift many asset prices. But a series of recent shocks suggests that macro liquidity has become linked with severe market illiquidity.

2015-05-31 00:00:00 Behold the Power of Buybacks and Dividends by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Buybacks and dividends. The mere mention of either one is often enough to make some investors’ hearts race with excitement and embolden them with confidence that company management is being a better steward of capital.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 World War D—Deflation by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Everywhere I go I’m asked, “Will there be inflation or deflation? Are we in a bull or bear market? Is the bond bulk market over and will interest rates rise?" The flippant answer to all those questions is “Yes.” And that can be the correct answer as well, but it depends on what your time frame is and what tools you use to measure the markets and inflation.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 The Importance of Liquidity by Byron Wien of Blackstone

Since the axiom “Don’t fight the Fed” came into common parlance, we have all been aware that central bank policy is an important component of market performance. Most of us started out as security or business analysts and believed that fundamental factors like the pace of the economy, earnings growth and interest rates were the drivers of equity values.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Is Now a Good Time to Add More Risk? by Alan Hartley of Black Cypress Capital Management

About this time in a market cycle, after several years of strong stock market returns, there is a tendency for investors to become more tolerant of risk. One may find his or herself questioning the reasoning behind their current asset allocation and strongly considering adding more stocks and other “risk” assets to their portfolio.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Investing Without a Goal is Like Racing Without a Finish Line. by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

In investing, there is no actual finish line, unless you subscribe to the old line that, “He who dies with the most money wins.” But investing, like most activities in life, is improved by having goals.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Yellen on Interest Rates and Equities, Grabs Attention by Paul Eitelman of Russell Investments

Paul Eitelman compares recent comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen to historical commentary and also provides an update on Russell Investments’ outlook on the U.S. economy.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Brexit Signs: Envisioning an EU Without the UK by David Zahn, Heather Arnold, Philippe Brugere-Trelat of Franklin Templeton Investments

In my view, the big risk for the United Kingdom of exiting the EU would be marginalization, not just economically, not just financially but also politically … I would even go so far as to suggest that the status of the United Kingdom as a large world financial center could be at risk if it were to leave the EU.

2015-05-28 00:00:00 Half Full or Half Empty by Herbert Abramson, Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

The ultimate question for investors. Is the glass half full, that is to say are economic backdrops improving to support attractive valuations, or to the contrary, half empty, deteriorating and threatening full valuations?

2015-05-27 00:00:00 On My Radar: Investor Behavior, Margin Debt & The Merciless Mathematics of Loss by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

As the Fed nears its tipping point, let’s take a look at investor tendencies and the risk to the market when investors are nearly “all in”. Can we safely ‘get off the Fed’s juice’? They are going to try and it’s going to get bumpy.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Don’t Fear Rising Rates — Embrace Them by Scott Eldridge of Invesco Blog

Interest rates have been on the march since late January, thanks largely to global rate markets and a looming US Federal Reserve. In general, bonds are vulnerable to falling market prices as a result of higher rates, but there are income investments that can be used to take advantage of, rather than fall victim to, rising rates. They’re known as floating rate instruments.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: May by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

Having come through 2015’s first quarter with virtually no growth, the US economy is generally expected to pick up during the rest of this year. Indeed, as we move into a new quarter and shake off the effects of a significant West Coast dock strike and severe winter weather, forward indicators have pointed toward better growth.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 The Slowly-Growing Economy Should Persist for Some Time by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

There was little meaningful direction in equity markets last week. Global bond yields generally rose and economic data was mixed.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Actively Manage Your Activist Credit Risk by Jeff Skoglund, Susan Hutman of AllianceBernstein

Bondholders fret about leveraged buyouts (LBOs) late in the credit cycle. But this time around, with new federal lending rules slowing LBO activity, shareholder activism is stealing the spotlight—and the cash flows. The threat to bond portfolios is just as serious.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 For Bond Investors, The Timing of Liftoff Matters by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, breaks down last week's FOMC minutes and public remarks from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Find out why the path of rate hikes and the timing of tightening both matter.

2015-05-27 00:00:00 Mr. Bleu by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

“It’s a spectacle of excess at the highest level”, quoted an art consultant to the N.Y. Times. Perhaps it was. Christie’s, even not counting its archrival Sotheby’s, had bagged $1 billion in sales during its May auction week – rivaling even the frenzied bidding for Manhattan high rise condos. As with high flying stocks, the logic was that the money had to go somewhere and why not a wall instead of a monthly portfolio statement.

2015-05-26 00:00:00 Why 'Smart Beta' Is Really Dumb by Michael Edesess (Article)

What does smart beta mean? Does it deserve the attention it is getting from the market and academia?

2015-05-26 00:00:00 Disproving the Four Themes Behind Gold Bearishness by Trey Reik (Article)

The resurgent bear thesis for gold rests on four key assumptions. Because each of these assumptions is already in the process of being disproved, Western investment demand for gold will surge dramatically in coming years.

2015-05-25 00:00:00 Voting Machine, Weighing Machine by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The fact is that valuations drive long-term returns, but over shorter horizons, stock prices are the result of whatever investors collectively believe, however reckless or detached from historical evidence those beliefs may be. As long as enough market participants are attached to the idea that risk is their friend (or enemy) regardless of the price, there is no natural limit to how overvalued (or undervalued) stocks can become. There is only one way to address this: measure investor risk preferences directly through observable market internals.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Rate Hike Ahead? Here’s How to Get Your Portfolio Ready by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Many experts and analysts believe a June rate hike seems very unlikely, but today, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen hinted that one might happen as soon as the end of this year.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 The Affordable Care Act and Low Interest Rates: A One-Two Punch for Health Insurance Portfolios by Chitrang K. Purani and Georgi Popov of PIMCO

Two common themes emerged from a recent PIMCO survey of U.S. health insurers: Underwriting performance will be a larger factor in asset allocation, and there will be more emphasis on liquidity and income. For now, health insurers generally expect increased premium volumes and shifts in insured profiles as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Re-examining investment policies and tiering liquid assets can help investment portfolios maintain flexibility while potentially contributing more to the bottom line.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Investor Opinions Have Become Extremely Uniform, And That's Not Good by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

Investor opinions have become extremely uniform. By some measures, they are the most uniform in 25 years. In the past, this has corresponded to a period where equities have lacked significant upside momentum. That appears to be a quite likely outcome until investors become more varied in their market outlook than they are today.

2015-05-23 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

Our monthly Perspective newsletter keeps you apprised of current market and economic conditions across an array of topics including: US, European and Asian markets, global real estate and commodities.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 The (Investment) World Is Changing And You Need To Get On Board by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Fast Company posted an article that looked at existing jobs that are likely to change dramatically or disappear altogether over the next ten years. Change happens of course often spurred along by technology and/or innovation.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 The 3 R's of a Winning Retirement Plan by Glenn Dial of Allianz Global Investors

There's a new paradigm for enhancing plan design, and therefore improving outcomes for plan participants, writes Glenn Dial, Head of US Retirement Strategy at Allianz Global Investors. It's not just about the 3 F's anymore (fiduciary responsibility, fees and funds). Learn why you should look to the 3 R's instead: results, reliability and risk.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 Slow Growth: A Tale of Two Theories by Shane Shepherd of Research Affiliates

Global demand is dragging. Savings far exceeds investment. The combination is a surefire recipe for long-term low to negative growth in the developed markets—and core U.S. asset returns of 1% or lower over the next decade.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 Our May 2015 Market Commentary by Adam Jordan of Paul R. Ried Financial Group

We could spend this letter going into detail on the topics du jour, such as if/when we think the Fed will finally raise interest rates (they will...eventually). Or whether Greece will leave the Euro (they probably will...eventually). Or what we think of China’s growth (It will continue slowing...Slowly).

2015-05-21 00:00:00 Time to Go Active by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Earlier this week we saw one of the major financial publications feature an article about how active management has outperformed passive management so far in 2015. While their article and data focused on equity funds, we believe that the same sort of opportunity for active fixed income managers exists over the balance of 2015.

2015-05-21 00:00:00 China Bonds Still Offer Opportunities by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

As more corporate bond issuers in China run into financial trouble, investor anxiety about the possibility of a broader market collapse has understandably increased. We don’t think it’s time to man the lifeboats, however; on the contrary, we believe that Chinese bonds still offer good opportunities for research-driven investors.

2015-05-20 00:00:00 Economy is "Good Enough" for Stocks by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With economic data remaining mixed, BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist, Russ Koesterich, discusses why investors should continue to favor stocks over bonds.

2015-05-20 00:00:00 Reducing Inflation Risk During Retirement: The Compelling Case for Stocks by Joe Becker of Milliman Financial Risk Management

In April 2005, (when interest rates were arguably more normal than they’ve been during the low-rate, post-crisis economy, steered by the Federal Reserve) an investor could have purchased a 10-year Treasury bond with a yield to maturity of 4.4%. That represented an attractive boost over the dividend yield of the S&P 500 Index, which at the time was 1.9%.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Gundlach - Beware of CNBC Pundits by Robert Huebscher (Article)

On issues as central as the effect of quantitative easing or Fed tightening on interest rates, Jeffrey Gundlach says you shouldn't trust the pundits on CNBC.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Monetary Movements & Economic Mirage by Team of GaveKal Capital

While we entered 2015 with the Federal Reserve talking confidently about lift-off and how many rate increases there would be by the end of the year, the markets didn't seem to buy it. As weak economic data began to surface, the Fed seemed to quietly backtrack first on the date of lift-off and then on the trajectory of the expected hiking cycle.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Active Equities Don’t Have to Be Riskier by Kent Hargis, Chris Marx of AllianceBernstein

Many investors are throwing in the towel on active equity management in the name of evading risk. But being active doesn’t always mean accepting higher risk. Consider, for instance, the benefits of even-tempered stocks.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Devil Inside: Dissecting the Most Popular Valuation Metrics by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

Given that first quarter earnings season is largely in the books—and since it’s been a couple of years since I wrote comprehensively about valuation—I am tackling it again this week.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 On My Radar: Valuations and Forward Return by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

This week let’s take a look at current market valuations (high) and what they are telling us about probable 10-year forward returns (low).

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Equities Push Ahead Despite Softening Economic Growth by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The continued advance in global bond yields dominated the financial story again last week, although this trend eased slightly by the end of the week. Economic data featured a relatively weak retail sales report.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Rates and Returns, 2013 versus 2015 by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Given the recent move in Treasury yields, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield up over 30bps in just the last 30 days, the concern about interest rate risk is heating up again.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 The "New Era" is an Old Story by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

It’s not monetary easing, but the attitude of investors toward risk that distinguishes an overvalued market that continues higher from an overvalued market that is vulnerable to vertical losses. That window of vulnerability has been open for several months now, and the immediacy of our downside concerns would ease (despite obscene valuations) only if market internals and credit spreads were to shift back toward evidence of investor risk-seeking. Meanwhile, there’s no evidence to suggest that historically reliable valuation measures have somehow become irrelevant.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Investor Sentiment Around the World by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

We certainly don’t want to jump to any conclusions about potential market performance based on investor sentiment (or any one indicator for that matter), but it reminds me of the late Sir John Templeton’s famous words: ‘Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism and die on euphoria.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Chicago Faces Critical—but Not Insurmountable—Financial Problems by Joseph Rosenblum of AllianceBernstein

Chicago’s decades of poor financial decision making will come to a head as Mayor Rahm Emanuel starts his second term today. His battle to enact pension reform and stabilize finances will shape his legacy and Chicago’s future. But it’s hard to envision a successful solution given the extent of the problem.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Security Selection and Liquidity Management Are Key in the Steadily Growing Credit Market by Jelle Brons, David Linton of PIMCO

Over the past several years, two trends have reshaped the market for U.S. investment grade (IG) corporate bonds: a significant increase in the size of the market (both in number of issuers and issues and in aggregate debt outstanding) and a contraction in dealer balance sheets.

2015-05-18 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Interest Rate Spike Threaten Stock Prices? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

This week’s economic calendar includes the most important housing data, but the market context will prove irresistible to the pundits. Stocks continue at the top of the trading range, and even broke through for a few minutes. Even more interesting is the bond market. Interest rates decisively broke their trading range and also showed a lot of volatility.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Secular Versus Cyclical: Notes from SIC 2015 by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The consensus I’m hearing and reading from the 500+ attendees at the recent Strategic Investment Conference is that this was the best ever. It was certainly intense, with more divergent views presented this year than at previous conferences. Plus, the range of topics was rather dramatic. This year I was able to listen to all but one of the presentations, and I want to share with you my notes and takeaway thoughts.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Wall Street Underestimates the Great American Earnings Machine by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

With a little over 90 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported, it looks as if the index has risen a modest 2 percent for the first quarter. That might not seem significant, but as LP Financial Services Chief Investment Officer Burt White points out in a recent Barron’s piece, “given the steep uphill climb that corporate America faced due to the twin drags of the oil downturn and strong U.S. dollar, this is actually a good result.”

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Why Some Investors are Tilting Toward TIPS by Matthew Tucker of BlackRock Investment Management

With Treasury yields hovering near record lows, and many believing they are set to rise, Matt Tucker explains why Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) may be worth another look.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Align the Design: Considering and Evaluating Target-Date Glide Paths by Stacy Schaus and Ying Gao of PIMCO

Few responsibilities are as important to defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors as selecting a default glide path that best maximizes a participant’s odds of retiring on time and with sufficient lifetime income. The goal, put simply, is to maximize asset returns while minimizing volatility relative to the retirement liability – precisely what Objective-Aligned Glide Paths aim to achieve.

2015-05-16 00:00:00 Explaining the Rise in Long-Term Interest Rates by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Explaining the Rise in Long-Term Interest Rates; Consumers Should Overcome Higher Gas Prices; OPEC and the U.S. Face Off in the Oil Markets

2015-05-15 00:00:00 Monetary Policy at Warp Speed by Harley Bassman of PIMCO

An imaginative twist on theoretical physics forms the premise of the science fiction series “Star Trek”: An engine called a warp drive enabled the Starship Enterprise to travel faster than the speed of light, going beyond known space to uncharted, exciting new worlds. The confounding detail was managing the sheer power inherent in the warp drive, including its potential to behave in unexpected ways.

2015-05-15 00:00:00 Taper Tantrum Redux by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

After a brief reprieve at the end of last week (May 4–8, 2015), the global bond sell-off resumed Monday, May 11, 2015, with 10- and 30-year Treasury yields rising to year-to-date highs of 2.28% and 3.04%, respectively. Treasury yields have now broken out of their recent ranges and have done so quickly.

2015-05-15 00:00:00 Diagnosing China's Debt Disease by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

China suffers from a serious case of “debt disease,” but the treatment and side effects may not be as severe as some expect, and dramatic credit tightening is very unlikely. Debt is concentrated among state-owned firms, while the private firms that generate most of China’s new jobs and investment have already deleveraged. The biggest risk is the high level of debt among real estate developers.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 The Momentum Mob by Keith McCullough of Hedgeye Risk Management

In markets, the momentum mob constantly cares about one thing – #charts. Lots and lots and lots of charts. The linear moving average ones are the simplest to scare you with.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 OMG: Putting Jump In Interest Rates Into Perspective by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

During my daily radio broadcast yesterday, I received a rather "panicked" call regarding the "dramatic plunge" in his bond funds due to the recent jump in interest rates. Of course, he is not alone. Over the last few weeks the media has done its normal headline-grabbing spin by dragging out every bond "bear" they can find to discuss why this time, unlike like the last 30 times, is definitely the end of the "great bond bull market."

2015-05-14 00:00:00 A Look at High Yield Bond and Equity Valuations by Tim Gramatovich, Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

There has been talk in the media recently about high yield being overvalued at current levels. However, we feel that historical metrics indicate that we are nowhere near a point of overvaluation; rather, there is still value to be had in this market.

2015-05-14 00:00:00 Risk Parity: Reducing Our Bond Exposure by Scott Wolle of Invesco Blog

Every month, the portfolio management team for the Invesco Balanced-Risk Allocation strategy examines the market’s signals for stocks, bonds and commodities, and makes tactical adjustments in an effort to enhance returns. In recent weeks, our tactical signals for government bonds have led us to substantially reduce our exposure and adopt an underweight position.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 When is “in” not the opposite of “out”? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

When you ask someone what is the opposite of “in,” they automatically say “out.” But when you ask them “What’s the opposite of income?”, some might immediately start to say “outcome”, but that’s never their final guess.

2015-05-13 00:00:00 CEF Yield by (Article)

If you’re looking for yield, closed-end funds may interest you, says John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors. But remember, CEF distributions may change.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 The Best Approach to Adjustable Retirement Withdrawals by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

A great deal of recent research has focused on strategies that adjust withdrawals in retirement depending on investment experience. But such strategies disrupt retirement plans by causing withdrawals to vary a lot from year to year. I'll examine the prominent approaches for determining what will work best for clients.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Louis-Vincent Gave: The World's Most Crowded Trade by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Investors are paid to adapt, not to forecast, according to Louis-Vincent Gave, and three changes are occurring globally that all portfolios must accommodate. One of them is a position that is missing from virtually every investor's allocation.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Henderson Unconstrained Bond Fund (HUNAX) update by (Article)

James McAlevey, Head of Interest Rates and Kevin Adams, Director of Fixed Income, provide a review of the Henderson Unconstrained Bond Fund’s performance in April and discuss the drivers of the recent increase in bond market volatility. Performance in April was reasonably good particularly in the context of global bond markets selling off quite substantially.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Q1 Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital Management

Grey Owl’s strategies all performed well in the first quarter. The good performance came despite US GDP growth of just 0.2%, continually lowered earnings expectations, and volatile equity and bond markets. Below we discuss the current environment including the now absolute fixation by investors on every Fed comment, our continued focus on an all-weather approach, and our best and worst performing securities during the quarter.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Dog Days of the U.S. Expansion by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The Kentucky Derby marks the beginning of summer, but ultimately investors must prepare for the coming winter.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 A Wild Ride for Global Bond Yields by Seth Masters of AllianceBernstein

Bond yields in key markets around the world have been on something of a roller-coaster ride, moving up quickly in recent months. Ten-year Treasury rates closed at 2.28% on May 11, up from 1.65% at the end of January.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 What's next for Gold? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Will gold zoom higher with Greece on the brink of default? Or will it crash as the Fed pursues an “exit?” Why has gold not rallied with the recent retreat of the dollar? To understand where gold may be heading, keep in mind that this shiny metal isn’t changing; it’s the world around it that is. We contemplate why investors may want to hold gold as part of their portfolio.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 As Volatility Rises, Momentum Loses by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With volatility rising, BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses implications for the markets, especially momentum stocks.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 High Yield: Handling Headline Risk by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Market movements caused by the sharp drop—and subsequent recovery—in oil prices provide insight on successfully navigating the high-yield market.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Are We Headed for a Hangover? by Gibson Smith of Janus Capital Group

It’s late, and the punch bowl is half full. With central banks around the globe still in accommodative mode, the threat that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will pull away the punch bowl sets up the markets for some real disruption. Until then, let the party continue.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Recognizing the Risks to Financial Stability by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Our hope is that Chair Yellen’s growing recognition of speculative risks will continue, and for the sake of the U.S. economy, that the rather baseless hope of manipulating a “Phillips Curve” or a “wealth effect” will fade. If one believes in these things, it is tempting to think that more monetary easing could be “good” for the economy. If the FOMC recognizes how weak those empirical relationships actually are, and how extreme the financial distortions have become, we might still avoid another financial crisis.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Economic & Capital Market Summary – First Quarter 2015 by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

Our belief is that a market is simply a clearinghouse for the price of risk and the quantitative easing programs of the central banks of developed countries are distorting the price of risk in our capital markets. As a result, valuations in bonds, stocks, real estate and other assets are distorted.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Strategic Allocaiton to High Yield Corporate Bonds – Why Now? by Matthew Kennedy of Rainier Investment Management

The demand for higher yielding fixed income investments has never been greater. In the current environment of low yields, from the virtually non-existent rate offered on savings accounts and CDs to the declining, and in some cases negative, yields on global government debt securities, investors are searching for attractive income¬ generating alternatives.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Taming Longevity Risk by Patrick Drum of Saturna Capital

"In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular." - Kathleen Norris. These words offered by Kathleen Norris decades ago carry more weight than ever before, particularly within the realm of financial planning and saving for retirement.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 On My Radar: Life is Great! by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

The primary need of investors is shifting and the risk dynamics has changed. Gone are those wonderful defined benefit plans. This is the first generation of retirees retiring with control of their financial assets. That’s good news for your advisory business, yet, with zero bond rates and 10-year forward returns for equities in the 2% to 4% range, the challenges loom large.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Corporate Earnings and Inflation by Clyde Kendzierski of Financial Solutions Group

A few months ago our 2015 forecast emphasized several points we began making late last year. Taken together, those points differed dramatically from the prevailing wisdom of the time. As we begin May, they are falling into place.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Roadblocks to Equity Gains May Start to Fade by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors had a lot to react to last week, with the biggest story being a continued rise in global bond yields. The Conservative Party secured an unexpectedly decisive victory in the U.K. elections and Fed Chair Janet Yellen commented about higher equity valuations.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 In the Know: Seven Myths About Municipal Bonds by Rafael Costas, Sheila Amoroso of Franklin Templeton Investments

Municipal bonds are used to fund the public works projects that affect all of us every day. For many everyday investors (not just the wealthy) seeking to generate income in retirement, we think municipal bonds are worth considering.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Taxable Bonds in a Taxable Account? by Daryl Clements of AllianceBernstein

It sounds unorthodox. But for investors facing taxes, it makes sense to consider opportunities beyond the municipal bond realm. Because it’s all about what you have left after taxes.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Made In Europe by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

A weak finish to the month of April 2015 was “made in Europe” as expectations of better global growth weighed on bonds. On Monday, May 4, 2015, the 10-year German government bond yield closed at 0.45%, more than quadrupling over the past two weeks. European strength combined with a dovish Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting outcome continued to arrest U.S. dollar strength, a primary driver of the steady decline in inflation and investors’ inflation expectations from mid-2014 through the first quarter of 2015.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview and Equity Commentaries: March 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

The global economy is facing subdued growth in the short term, as adverse weather and a stronger currency have slowed the pace of U.S. expansion. Unusually severe winter weather on the U.S. East coast restricted business and consumer activity during the first three months of the year.

2015-05-08 00:00:00 Americans Take 3-Trillion-Mile Road Trip, Dollar Corrects and Commodities Rebound by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The busy summer travel season is at our doorstep, starting this Mother’s Day weekend, and with that comes stronger fuel demand.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 What Rising Yields Mean for U.S. Stocks by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Last week’s bond selloff provided a foreshadowing of the U.S. stock segments likely to suffer as the eventual Federal Reserve (Fed) rate liftoff nears.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 What's Next for the Dollar and Currencies? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

In anticipation of higher U.S. rates and lower rates elsewhere, the greenback had enjoyed a dramatic rally. Has the tide turned, or is the dollar merely taking a breather? We believe there are threats and opportunities hidden underneath recent market action. Below is a closer look in an effort to allow investors to better understand the dynamics that might be unfolding.

2015-05-06 00:00:00 Laddered Bond Portfolios: Built to Perform in Rising Rate Environments by Josh Yafa of Thornburg Investment Management

As the Federal Reserve prepares to embark on a path of interest rate policy normalization, fixed income investors are finally facing the beginning of a cycle they have feared for the better part of a decade. Yet with answers come more questions, and while investors can reasonably expect a series of Federal Funds rate increases (hereafter, “Fed Funds”), the pace, magnitude, and ripple effects on various segments of the broader fixed income market are open to interpretation.

2015-05-06 00:00:00 GSE Reform? It’s Already Happening by Michael Canter of AllianceBernstein

Official reform of the government’s role in housing finance isn’t likely this year. But de facto reform, led by the private sector, is already under way. That’s good for investors, borrowers and the housing market as a whole.

2015-05-06 00:00:00 The Credit Analysis Process: From In-Depth Company Research to Selecting the Right Instrument by Andreas Berndt, Charles Watford of PIMCO

Credit can offer a broad range of investment opportunities. But in today’s low yield environment, an active and integrated investment approach is critical.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 David Rosenberg - Bullish on Stocks by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The consensus narrative is negative for the economy and U.S. equity markets. But according to David Rosenberg, that is wrong. A recession is three years away, he said, and even if the Fed raises rates, equities will perform strongly this year.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Will China's Shadow Banking System be its Ruin? by Michael Edesess (Article)

A great deal of concern has focused on China's shadow banking system, and whether that system is reliant on a real estate bubble that will ultimately collapse, bringing the economy down with it. The recent global financial crisis, in which the U.S., the U.K. and other world leaders tripped and fell, makes this scenario seem very possible.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Who Is Afraid of the Inflation Ogre? by Liz Ann Sonders, Christian Menegatti of Charles Schwab

When many commentators and investors show a high conviction about something, it is perhaps a good time to explore how things could move in the opposite direction. After several trillions of quantitative easing (QE) from the major global central banks, and with trillions of QE likely ahead, the consensus appears spooked by the specter of global disinflation and deflation. The possibility of a higher inflation scenario seems to have fallen completely off the radar.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Americas: Economy Trends Update - April 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Lower oil and commodity prices as well as changes in currency rates continue to be the main drivers of economic trends in the Americas. The weak export outlook for energy and commodities have hurt the prospects of large economies such as Brazil, which is expected to see a decline in economic output this year.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 Re-Emerging Markets? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With emerging markets showing surprising resilience, BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses why investors should consider including EM equities in their portfolios.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 How to Dress for a Rainy Day by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

The answer is the Lollapalooza effect. The question you may recall from last month’s Absolute Return Letter - what’s the opposite of a perfect storm, or put another way, what do you call it when an unusual combination of constructive factors creates an outcome which is extraordinarily positive? A reader was kind enough to provide the answer, which was coined by Charles Munger years ago. As a non-American, the answer was at first complete gobbledygook to me, but a quick Google search convinced me that the answer is absolutely legitimate. Thank you.

2015-05-05 00:00:00 The Real Financial Crisis That Is Looming by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

There is a financial crisis on the horizon. It is a crisis that all the Central Bank interventions in the world cannot cure. It is a financial crisis that will continue to change the economic landscape of America for decades to come.

2015-05-04 00:00:00 The Importance of Full Market Cycle Returns by Ryan Leggio, Steven Romick of FPA Fund

A full market cycle can be defined as a peak-to-peak period that contains a price decline of at least 15% from the previous market peak, followed by a rebound that establishes a new, higher peak.1 Few publications or data providers publish, let alone highlight, full market cycle returns, yet we believe understanding them can help the return of your portfolio over the long-term.

2015-05-04 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Employment News Change the Fed’s Course? by Jeffrey Miller of New Arc Investments

This week’s economic news is mostly jobs-related. The Fed has cited employment as the most important factor in future rate decisions. There is plenty of FedSpeak on tap. Pundits love to talk about the Fed. Voila!

2015-05-04 00:00:00 A Sense of an Ending by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

Having turned the corner on my 70th year, like prize winning author Julian Barnes, I have a sense of an ending. Death frightens me and causes what Barnes calls great unrest, but for me it is not death but the dying that does so. After all, we each fade into unconsciousness every night, do we not?

2015-05-04 00:00:00 On My Radar: “The Rodney Dangerfield Expansion” by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

"Earnings don't move the overall market; it’s the Federal Reserve board. And whatever you do, focus on the central banks and focus on the movement of liquidity. Most people in the market are looking for earnings and conventional measures. It's liquidity that moves markets." - Stan Druckenmiller

2015-05-04 00:00:00 Two Point Three Sigmas Above the Norm by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

If you’re waiting for stocks to become overvalued by 2 standard deviations, we’re already past that, and we would not be at all surprised to observe another decade of negative total returns on the S&P 500, as we observed the last time valuations were similar on the most reliable measures.

2015-05-03 00:00:00 Show Me the Stocks, Not the Cash, Say Optimistic CEOs by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In early March, I made the case that there’s no greater vote of confidence in a company’s growth prospects than when its top officers put some skin in the game and buy their own company stock. Among the examples I used were Warren Buffett, who owns millions of shares in Berkshire Hathaway; Elon Musk, who purchased over $100 million worth of Tesla stock in 2013; and myself, the largest shareholder of U.S. Global Investors. Another example of how bullish an executive is on his own company is when he chooses to forego a base salary entirely and instead be compensated in company stock.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 High Yield Bonds: A Legislative History and the Opportunity Created by Tim Gramatovich, Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Throughout history of the high yield market there have been various legislative acts that have created and continue to create the market dislocation that allows investors an opportunity to produce what we see as attractive risk-adjusted returns.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 QE Posted On The Wall? by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

Pondering On Inflation, Corporate Debt, Dollar Exchange Rates, Oil Prices, NYSE Margin Debt, T-Bonds, China and Past QEs.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 Cross Currents by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Cross currents continue to push and pull the bond market, leaving bond prices and yields range bound ahead of another Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting and key batch of monthly economic reports. Intermediate to long-term Treasury yields increased by 0.01% to 0.11% for the week ending April 24, 2015, despite weaker economic data.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 Greece: Stuck in the Middle by J. Brooks Ritchey of Franklin Templeton Investments

Opinion polls show that many Greek voters support Athens's tough negotiation tactics. But the polls also show that most Greeks want their country to remain in the eurozone—but to do so would require agreeing with the zone's austerity demands. I think this would be the definition of a pickle.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 Yes, the Top 1 Percent Do Pay Their Fair Share in Income Taxes by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In January 2014, I posted what has unexpectedly become one of my most widely-read articles, “What Does It Take to Be in the Top 1 Percent? Not as Much as You Think.”

2015-05-01 00:00:00 Emerging-Market Opportunities: Look Under the Surface by Vadim Zlotnikov of AllianceBernstein

Emerging markets seem to offer value for investors to tap into based on stock and bond valuations. But allocating more isn’t necessarily the answer. We think the value lies under the surface.

2015-05-01 00:00:00 After the Market Crisis: Does Diversification Still Work? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Diversification may not have worked during the last market crisis, but this isn’t an argument for skipping exposure to international stocks.

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Analysts Love to Talk about China but Should Focus on South Korea by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

This week Professor Siegel and Jeremy Schwartz chatted with Jeff Weniger, Investment Strategist at BMO Global Asset Management. We spoke at length about the impact of the U.S. dollar on global markets. I found our conversation about the impact of easy monetary policy on economies such as China and South Korea particularly noteworthy.

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Celebrating Romania by Greg Konieczny of Franklin Templeton Investments

Ten years ago, Fondul Proprietatea (Fondul) was established to compensate Romanians whose properties were confiscated by the former communist government, and we were selected as its investment manager in September 2010. My colleague Grzegorz Konieczny, based in Bucharest, spearheaded the effort to list Fondul on the Bucharest Stock Exchange in 2011, and now Fondul is making its debut on the London Stock Exchange on April 29. In honor of the occasion, I’ve asked Greg to share his thoughts on investing in Romania today, and the exciting changes that have taken place there in the past few years

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Carry Scares by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

With Bill getting what he wants Bunds sell-off, and so does Global Carry (a.k.a. Risk Parity), as we warned last week, confirming that perfect correlation between the two is alive and well. Dollar unwind should not be surprise to anyone given now hardly arguable US deceleration at hands of which we warned all along, but the hidden Yen deleveraging that steepens US treasury yield curve is something to watch closely.

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Breaking Out of Bondage by Ben Inker of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker provides the basis for future bond returns: "For while it is unlikely that stock investors are going to achieve anything like as strong a return over the next 30 years as they did over the last, it is basically impossible for bond investors to duplicate their feat." ("Breaking Out of Bondage").

2015-04-29 00:00:00 MLPs Waxing not Waning by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

We view the recent sell off of MLPs/midstream energy infrastructure companies as a buying opportunity. Our long-term evaluation of the total return prospects of these companies is very good, especially on a risk adjusted basis.

2015-04-29 00:00:00 Do More Americans Feel Confident About Retirement? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

More Americans say they are feeling more confident about their retirement. That’s according to the results of the latest “Retirement Confidence Survey” conducted each year by the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The Washington-based EBRI is the leading source for data on savings, retirement, health and related issues.

2015-04-29 00:00:00 Risk Marches On by Burt White of LPL Financial

The latest data releases pointing to weak U.S. new home sales and manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) have investors guessing about the possible messaging coming out of this week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

2015-04-29 00:00:00 The Smart Money Is Getting Long Treasury Bonds Again by Team of GaveKal Capital

Long-dated US Treasury bonds have been treading water of late, leaving many rate watchers wondering in what direction the next big move is going to be. One variable in the next move is of course trader positioning. The two charts below show how the "smart money" is betting.

2015-04-29 00:00:00 China Officials Dig in on Stronger RMB by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

Recent events in China provide yet more support for our view that the renminbi (RMB) will continue to appreciate steadily—and that the country will proceed more rapidly with its reforms than most people expect.

2015-04-28 00:00:00 Five Words that Shape Client Behavior by Dan Richards (Article)

Financial advisors know the difficulty of getting clients to do the right things. Clients often fail to diversify portfolios, rebalance out-of-whack allocations or discuss inheritance plans with adult children. These behaviors undermine long-term outcomes. But five words can put the right default behavior in place.

2015-04-28 00:00:00 Reasonable Expectations, Warren Buffett and Active Management by Michael Crook (Article)

According to the ongoing SPIVA analyses, most equity mutual fund managers have failed to keep up with their respective benchmarks recently. In fact, roughly 60% of domestic managers and 65-70% of international managers underperformed in 2014 - a phenomenon that most investors observed in their own portfolios. But that is not a reason to abandon active management, assuming you own active managers for the right reasons.

2015-04-28 00:00:00 The Fed's Countdown to Liftoff by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, previews the upcoming FOMC meeting and its implications for the first interest-rate hike since 2006: "Suffice it to say that the Taylor Rule, which fairly accurately predicted the fed funds rate from 1988 through 2008, might as well be in my attic with my Duran Duran albums, Benetton rugbies and other vestiges of the '80s and '90s..."

2015-04-28 00:00:00 Equities Should Push Higher Along a Bumpy Road by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors mostly focused on the positives last week. Corporate earnings generally beat expectations and merger and acquisition activity remained solid. Despite disappointing economic data, this trend reinforced the perception that the Federal Reserve would hold off on rate hikes for the time being. The turmoil in Greece rattled investors, but remains relatively contained.

2015-04-28 00:00:00 That Silly Mr. Market by Kendall Anderson of Anderson Griggs

I’m sure you remember my friend Mr. Market. He was introduced to me a few years after I entered the business of investment advice via Ben Graham’s book The Intelligent Investor, and for most years since I have found him to be quite fair and reasonable. Whether I wanted to sell or buy any one of the thousands of securities available to the public, he would make an intelligent opinion of its value and proceed to close the deal at that price.

2015-04-28 00:00:00 As Milestones Are Crossed, Be Selective by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

Stocks around the world rewrote the record books last week. In the United States, the Nasdaq Composite Index eclipsed its 2000 peak, advancing 3.26% to close the week at 5,092. In Japan, the Nikkei Index climbed above 20,000 for the first time in 15 years, while China's equity market continues to defy gravity.

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Fair Value on the S&P 500 Has Three Digits by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

We continue to classify market conditions among the most hostile expected return/risk profiles we identify. The current profile joins rich valuations with continued evidence of a subtle shift toward risk aversion among investors, which we infer from market internals (a variant of what we used to call “trend uniformity”), credit spreads, and other risk-sensitive measures.

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Spring Quarterly Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

Charlie Munger, firmly ensconced in the investor hall of fame, remains, at age 91, one of our favorite purveyors of worldly wisdom on subjects investment related and otherwise. He is also known to be blunt and humorous, offering the above response to a question regarding money-printing, interest rates and unintended consequences at the Daily Journal shareholder meeting a few weeks ago. When a genius like Charlie is confused...then things indeed are confusing.

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Foreign Factors by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Gauging foreign demand for U.S. bonds, Treasuries in particular, is a constant source of attention for bond investors, with foreign ownership of outstanding U.S. Treasuries remaining fairly constant at approximately 50% over the past few years.

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for an Upside Breakout? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

We have the makings of a volatility cocktail! It is a huge week for economic data. It is the heart of earnings season, with Apple’s report leading off the week. The Fed has a two-day meeting culminating with a policy announcement. Global economic threats continue. Which of these will be the theme?

2015-04-27 00:00:00 Where's the Hyper-Inflation? by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors

If we had a dollar for every time we’ve heard about the threat of hyperinflation, we’d probably have enough money to never worry about it.

2015-04-25 00:00:00 Why International Diversification Matters Today by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

The tendency of U.S. investors to invest close to home is understandable, but it’s not optimal. Russ has three reasons why international diversification matters now more than ever for U.S. investors.

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Searching for Clarity Among the Dots by Carl Kaufman, Simon Lee, Bradley Kane of Osterweis Capital Management

In 1886 Georges Seurat finished his most famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Seurat used a new technique, Pointillism, in which small dots of color are applied to the canvas to express an image. More recently, Janet Yellen and the Federal Open Market Committee (the FOMC) updated their own version of Pointillism to express an image called the dot plot – a graphical representation of each FOMC member’s forecast of future federal funds (fed funds) rates.

2015-04-24 00:00:00 BofA Is Confusing Liquidity Fueled And Secular Bull Markets by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Over the past couple of years, there has been a growing chorus of individuals claiming that the financial markets have finally shaken the shackles of the secular bear market that began at the turn of the century. This, of course, suggests that the markets have now begun the next long-term secular bull market.

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Global Divergence, the Federal Reserve and the Impact on U.S. Insurers by David Braun, Scott Millimet of PIMCO

Insurance publication SNL Financial recently sat down with members of PIMCO’s Financial Institutions Group to discuss PIMCO’s latest views on global divergence, the Federal Reserve and the impact on U.S. insurers in their investment portfolio positioning.

2015-04-24 00:00:00 China's First SOE Default: More to Come? by Teresa Kong of Matthews Asia

A power equipment maker just became China’s first state-owned company to default on domestic debt. Is this a strategic move by the central government to further liberalize its capital markets, and to reform its state-owned enterprises?

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Schwab Market Perspective: Heads, Bulls Win; Tails, Bears Lose? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The bears can’t seem to grab hold of this market, but that doesn’t mean full-speed ahead for the bulls either. Grinding generally higher with increased volatility seems to be the course for now, but the possibility of a correction still exists. Diversification, discipline and patience is required. International equity exposure should be part of most investors’ portfolios, to a level commiserate with risk tolerance. European risks related to Greece seem to have lessened, while the Chinese stock market doesn’t appear grossly overvalued, although a pullback from the recent run is possi

2015-04-23 00:00:00 U.S. Consumers Gaining Ground by John Osterweis, Matt Berler of Osterweis Capital Management

In early 2015 global financial markets continued to be buoyed by a combination of low interest rates, central bank liquidity and positive, albeit modest, economic growth. For some time we have been talking about the "Goldilocks" backdrop of slow growth, low inflation and low interest rates that has been very rewarding for financial assets.

2015-04-23 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Winners and Losers: Q1 2015 by Jackie Lafferty of Loomis Sayles

2015 kicked off with a rocky start for emerging markets: pending US rate hikes, falling commodity prices, quantitative easing in Europe, and idiosyncratic country risks all soured investor sentiment and caused the US dollar to soar. This led to substantial weakness in emerging market (EM) foreign exchange, pummeling US-based investors in many local currency bond markets. Despite that pain, EM credit performed well, and along with EM sovereign debt, posted positive gains.

2015-04-23 00:00:00 To Hedge or Not To Hedge by Treesdale Partners of AdvisorShares

There have been several blogposts on the merits of buying currency hedged ETFs for foreign equity exposure versus unhedged exposure. The arguments against unhedged ETFs are weak and often false, like “the companies hedge their currency exposure already”.

2015-04-23 00:00:00 Lower Oil Prices Have Varied Effect on Municipal Bond Market by Stephanie Larosiliere of Invesco

The decline in oil prices since the summer of 2014 continued throughout the first quarter, as oil supply surpassed demand and we saw substantial price declines. This is of particular interest to municipal bond investors, as many US state and local budgets have a substantial dependence on oil production and exploration revenue, and lower oil prices can influence economic growth and inflation, which can affect Treasury and municipal yields.

2015-04-22 00:00:00 Sizing Up Small Caps by Burt White of LPL Financial

The Russell 2000 Index hit a fresh all-time high last week (on tax day, April 15, 2015) and has outpaced large caps by 205 basis points (2.05%) year to date. Although valuations are on the high side, the factors that have driven recent small cap strength, in our view, remain largely intact. Small cap technicals appear bullish, with positive relative strength and an upward sloping 40-week moving average.

2015-04-22 00:00:00 Bill’s “Short of a Lifetime” by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

According to Bill Gross “German 10yr Bunds = The short of a lifetime.” We just wanted to make it clear that the Bunds were perfectly co-moving with the Global Carry over the last six years and the Global Carry is the major source of returns behind US equities, bonds, the Risk Parity portfolios, and 60/40 for that matter.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 The Best Asset Allocation for Retirees by David Blanchett (Article)

In this article, I determine the optimal glide path for retirees using varying initial bond yields and stock market valuations.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Profit Margins - Is the Ladder Starting to Snap? by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Since mid-2014, the broad market as measured by the NYSE Composite has been in a broad sideways distribution pattern, with an increasing tendency in recent months for advances to occur on weaker volume and declines to follow on a pickup in volume. While capitalization-weighted indices have done somewhat better since mid-2014, the S&P 500 Index is unchanged since late-December.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Roller Coaster Quarter by Jim Tillar and Steve Wenstrup of Tillar-Wenstrup Advisors

Volatility continues to be the theme for stocks. The S&P 500 was down big in January, rallied even bigger in February and went down again in March ending the quarter up 0.95%. The real action was in Europe where stocks clocked double-digit returns.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Pregnant Pause by Adam Bowe and Robert Mead of PIMCO

After re-engaging policy support in February following an 18-month hiatus, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) wrong-footed many in the market by keeping policy on hold in the two subsequent board meetings. So was February's decision a "one-and-done" policy event or the start of a more aggressive easing cycle?

2015-04-21 00:00:00 QE: The Silver Lining of Slower Growth by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Stocks struggled last week amid more evidence that economic growth is not accelerating as expected. In the United States, the S&P 500 Index fell 0.99% to 2,081, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.28% to 17,826, and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.30% to close the week at 4,931.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Stay Patient Against the Consensus Trade of 2015 by Kathleen Gaffney and Matt Hildebrandt of Eaton Vance

When making moves that are against a crowded trade, does it pay to be a patient, opportunistic income investor?

2015-04-21 00:00:00 The Charge Of The Monetary Light Brigade - Neosho Capital On The European Central Bank And Negative by Chris Richey of Neosho Capital

A paper on European Monetary Easing, which we feel is a well-meaning, but misguided effort, to solve demographic, cultural, and political problems with massive monetary manipulations of exchange rates and securities markets.

2015-04-21 00:00:00 Has The US Dollar Topped Out, Or Headed Much Higher? by Gary D. Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The US dollar’s value has been on a tear since last summer, with the greenback’s value surging more than 20% against a basket of major foreign currencies.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 Afraid of Rising Rates? Don’t Be. by Ashish Shah and Ivan Rudolph-Shabinsky of AllianceBernstein

Sometime this year, the Federal Reserve will probably raise interest rates for the first time in more than half a decade. That makes bond investors nervous. But it shouldn’t. Those who keep their cool may find that higher rates can work to their advantage.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 On My Radar: The Speech at Lost Tree Club by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

You and I are in a tough business. It is based on probabilities and involves imperfection. The mismatch between customer expectations and practical reality is challenging. Art Cashin said, That to survive 50 years in this business, you learn that the first thing you do when you enter a room is look for the exit sign. It is with this thinking that I also share a great piece on investing and risk from Ned Davis.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 Drags on the Economy and Earnings Should Slowly Fade by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors focused on the negatives last week, including some disappointing U.S. economic data and growing concerns over what will happen with Greece’s debt problems.

2015-04-20 00:00:00 Thoughts from the Frontline: Half a Bubble Off Dead Center by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Central banks, in their valiant, unceasing efforts to restore liquidity and growth, have unleashed numerous unintended consequences that are beginning to show up in earnest. Today we are going to review the well-meaning behavior of central banks for clues about our near future.

2015-04-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Geopolitical Risk to U.S. Stocks? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

I expect the supposed worries of Friday to prove unwarranted – an idea supported by late-day Friday trading. The real focus will quickly turn to earnings and housing data.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Who will get caught skinny-dipping? by Edward Perkin of Eaton Vance

More than six years into a bull market for all major asset classes, are there any true investment bargains left?

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Key Themes for Navigating Credit Markets in Alternatives Strategies by Joshua Anderson of PIMCO

Against a backdrop of low volatility and tight spreads, 2014 turned out to be a challenging year for many alternative investors as they watched their trades become crowded, and reverse quickly when expected returns were not realized. One such example was the positioning among investors in advance of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Asset Quality Review announcement; many had increased their exposure in anticipation of a tightening of European bank-related securities.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Greek Drama Extends Its Run by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

Greece’s debt problems have retaken center stage, as payment deadlines approach and negotiations with creditors continue. The money-strapped country and Syriza, its radical left-wing ruling party, are back in the headlines and on the minds of investors, as predictions that Greece could leave the eurozone abound. David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group®, offers his perspective on Greece’s dramatic debt saga, as well as the orderly beginning of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Sharpen Your Pencils: Why Low Rates Challenge Traditional Security Analysis Methods by Edward Talisse of Chelsea Global Advisors

Now that we are dealing with near-zero, and in certain instances, negative short-term interest rates, is it worth retaining the highly cherished Sharpe Ratio as a tool of investment performance? Measuring and ranking the intersection of risk and reward is a foundational principle of investment management, first introduced by Noble Laureate William F. Sharpe back in 1966.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Junior Mining Companies Have Taken a Senior Role by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

For the past decade, junior mining companies have outperformed senior miners at finding new mineral deposits and generating wealth for investors.

2015-04-17 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary: Countries Can’t Devalue Their Way to Prosperity by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Countries Can't Devalue Their Way to Prosperity; Central Banks Are Doing Some Interesting Rebalancing; Paying for the Energy Dividend

2015-04-16 00:00:00 Three Portfolio Moves to Consider Now by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

While the first quarter largely played to script, there were a few surprises. Russ explains, noting three portfolio moves to consider as the second quarter kicks off.

2015-04-16 00:00:00 Implications of a Fed Funds Rate Hike on Asian Securities by Gerald Hwang of Matthews Asia

The prospect of a higher U.S. federal funds rate can make U.S. cash and short duration Treasurys look more attractive vs. risky assets. The effect of higher U.S. short rates is felt across all asset classes, regardless of the pattern of cash flows or currency of denomination. We can expect some market reallocation out of risky assets and into risk-free assets. But why does the market seem to fear a wholesale shift out of risky assets and why might that view be unjustified? In the second installment of a two-part series, Matthews Asia Portfolio Manager Gerald Hwang, CFA, examines the ways in wh

2015-04-15 00:00:00 Market Overview Q115 by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

One consequence of loose monetary policy and financial repression is that market participants stop “making judgments for themselves” which exacerbates procyclical behavior. At the same time, high levels of debt weaken the ability of the economic and financial systems to absorb shocks which creates a fragile situation. Although this environment is difficult for almost all investors, it will favor those who can think and act independently.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Gundlach - The Bond Market is at a Pivotal Point by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Jeffrey Gundlach turned defensive on the U.S. bond market at the end of January, almost precisely when yields were at their lowest point. Whether his outlook changes hinges on the direction of the 30-year bond and if it retests its low yield of 2.45%.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Ukraine: Mass Corporate Debt Restructuring Looks Likely by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

Ukraine's biggest economic problem is its deep recession. We expect gross domestic product to contract by about 7% this year, as the conflict with Russia has devastated Ukraine's vital industrial corridor in the east, interest rates and inflation are soaring, and its currency teeters on collapse.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 New Research: Reverse Mortgages, SPIAs and Retirement Income by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

Retirees need longevity protection and additional funds. Annuities and reverse mortgages can meet those needs. While annuities have been researched extensively, reverse mortgages haven't received as much attention. We need research on how to fit these two products together in overall retirement plans. I'll launch that effort here.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Tocqueville Gold Strategy Investor Letter by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

John Hathaway, manager of the Tocqueville Gold Fund (TGLDX), looks back at the performance of gold over the first quarter, noting that "Gold and gold mining shares appear to be as contrarian today as in 1999, before a decade?plus run in which bullion rose nearly seven?fold in US dollar terms."

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Not-So-Great Expectations: Why Real Interest Rates Won’t Soar by Shane Shepherd of Research Affiliates

In a recent piece from Research Affiliates, Shane Shepherd, Senior Vice President, Head of Macro Research, looks at the consensus on interest rates: they are set to fly. But if, as Research Affiliates expects, savings accelerate and real GDP grows slowly, then interest rates won’t rise very much anytime soon.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 The Case for Not Currency Hedging Foreign Equity Investments: A U.S. Investor’s Perspective by Catherine LeGraw of GMO

In a new white paper, Catherine LeGraw of GMO's asset allocation team explains GMO's approach to currency hedging, a topic which has gained relevance as the U.S. dollar has strengthened.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Bear Market Hibernation End is Nearing by Sean Butson of DC Capital Management

The S&P 500 continues to be overvalued and has become more so over the last 6 months. Based on 7 different valuation metrics, future 10 year compound annual returns are likely to be only about 6% vs. 9%-10% historically. While we are not expecting an imminent bear market, the specter of FED rate increases likely does indicate the beginning of the end of the current bull, as 12 out of 14 S&P 500 declines of at least 15% over the last 60 years have occurred within 3 years of FED tightening.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Yield Curve Flattening and Volatility LIkely to Continue in 2015 by Payson Swaffield of Eaton Vance

In the first quarter of 2015, we continued to see a trend toward a flatter yield curve, shaped by rising rates at the short end and a relatively tethered long end, against the backdrop of higher volatility.

2015-04-14 00:00:00 Second Quarter Market Commentary 2015 by The CCR Wealth Management Investment Committee of CCR Wealth Management

Over a year ago in our January 2014 Outlook commentary, we cited European markets as attractively priced relative to the US equity markets. Most market observers at the time were expecting a nascent recovery from the 2012 EU recession to get a boost from the European Central Bank (ECB). We even boosted our non-US developed market (and European-specific) allocation—though cautiously—in anticipation. Please note that we still think these markets are most attractively valued.

2015-04-13 00:00:00 Global Economic Risks Remain but Appear to Be Diminishing by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors reacted to a range of data and news last week that included a further digesting of the relatively weak March jobs data, ongoing merger and acquisition news, signs of weakening corporate earnings and further evidence of upward pressure on wages. Amid all of the crosscurrents, U.S. equities finished higher, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 1.7%.1 Most international markets advanced as well, while Treasury yields and the U.S. dollar rose.1 Industrials, health care and energy stocks led the way while telecommunications, utilities and financials lagged.

2015-04-13 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter – April 2015 by Ron Muhlenkamp, Jeff Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp & Company, Inc.

Ron and Jeff Muhlenkamp discuss their views on the U.S. stock market, then briefly touch on some broader U.S. and global issues, then close with a summary of how it all ties together.

2015-04-12 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: The Start of an Earnings Recession? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

The year-over-year growth rate for forward earnings has once again turned positive. We can and should be on the watch for a true recession – the source of major earnings declines. The talk about an “earnings recession” should not be a source of worry.

2015-04-10 00:00:00 An Open Letter to the Eurozone by Harley Bassman of PIMCO

As it has once again become fashionable to send an open letter to foreign dignitaries, now is certainly a propitious moment to help focus attention upon dissolving a perplexing financial impediment. For while limiting nuclear proliferation and reducing armed conflict are headline grabbers, the more mundane topic of cleansing the channels of global finance is in fact a public policy good that can create a positive social impact in real time. As such, I now respectfully offer my thoughts on ways to enhance the effectiveness of the current policy path.

2015-04-10 00:00:00 Key Themes for Navigating Credit Markets in Alternatives Strategies by Joshua Anderson of PIMCO

??We believe the current investment environment provides extensive opportunities for alternative investors.

2015-04-10 00:00:00 Favorable growth in European bond markets by Phil Apel (Article)

Phil Apel, Head of Fixed Income, reviews European current fixed income market trends and provides an outlook for the bond market throughout 2015. Apel reflects that during Q1, global bond markets were positively driven by the actions of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB) resulting in bonds yields generally falling, and good returns for government bond markets.

2015-04-09 00:00:00 It’s Time to Make Taxes Less Taxing by Michael Allison, Peter Crowley, Jim Evans, Tom Metzold, Rey Santodomingo of Eaton Vance

Can a strategy based on asset allocation, asset location and asset management increase the tax efficiency of your portfolio?

2015-04-09 00:00:00 Supply-Side Yellenomics Is (Slowly) Losing Its Grip on Markets by Tony Crescenzi of PIMCO

Should investors worry about the possibility that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates this year? How about the negative economic consequences of the rally in the U.S. dollar? “Hawkish” Fed mistakes?

2015-04-08 00:00:00 The 'Perfect Storm' by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

This month's Absolute Return Letter is about the highly unusual set of circumstances which have underpinned the equity bull market of the last 35 years. Not one of the factors we identify did exceptionally well - they all did and, between them, they created the perfect breeding ground for exceptional equity performance. So far so good. Unfortunately a reality check is required as it is exceedingly unlikely that those circumstances will be repeated in our lifetime. We should prepare for more modest returns ahead.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 Equity Cyclical Outlook: Between Fed lift-off and living in the New Neutral by Virginie Maisonneuve, Mark Richards of PIMCO

Virginie Maisonneuve, PIMCO’s CIO Global Equities, and equity macroeconomic analyst Mark Richards provide an update on PIMCO’s views on equity markets.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 The Misunderstanding Of El-Erian's Cash Position by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

In a recent interview with Mohamed El-Erian, former CEO of PIMCO Investments, a most interesting question was posed.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 Economists in Glass Houses by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

For many economists, the chicken and egg question is, which came first, consumption or production? What drives growth? Let’s continue with our series on debt, in which I have been contrasting my views with those of Paul Krugman.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 U.S. and Canada: Continued Recovery With Some Potential for Headwinds by Ed Devlin, Mike Cudzil of PIMCO

?Each quarter, PIMCO investment professionals from around the world gather in Newport Beach to discuss the firm’s outlook for the global economy and financial markets. In the following interview, portfolio managers Ed Devlin and Mike Cudzil discuss PIMCO’s cyclical outlook for Canada and the U.S..

2015-04-07 00:00:00 Behind Arnott's Strategy for PIMCO's All Asset Funds by John Coumarianos (Article)

If you thought a stretch of subpar performance would shake a fund manager's confidence, you'd be wrong in the case of Rob Arnott. Through Research Affiliates, his Newport Beach firm most famous for its fundamental indexing strategies, Arnott manages PIMCO's All Asset funds. These include PIMCO All Asset (PAAIX) and PIMCO All Asset All Authority (PAUIX).

2015-04-07 00:00:00 A Q1 Letter to Clients: Ben Bernanke on Interest Rates by Dan Richards (Article)

Every quarter since 2008, I have posted a template for a client letter. This letter can be used as a starting point to provide an overview of the period that just ended and thoughts looking forward. This quarter's letter addresses questions from clients about why interest rates are so low and when they are likely to rise.

2015-04-07 00:00:00 How to Profit When Rates Rise: Negative Duration Bond Strategies by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

As the debate rages surrounding the timing of the first Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike, we continue to discuss the potential tradeoffs surrounding this inevitable shift in policy. While some investors may be content to ride out the waning bull market in bonds, others may seek to position more tactically.

2015-04-06 00:00:00 Brobdingnagian Top? by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

According to Wikipedia, “Brobdingnag is a fictional land in Jonathan Swift's satirical novel about Gulliver's Travels whose land is occupied by giants. Lemuel Gulliver visits the land after the ship he is travelling on is blown off course and he is separated from a party exploring the unknown land.” I thought of Brobdingnag as I stared at a chart of the D-J Transportation Average ($TRAN/8605.31) last week, which looks like it is making what a technical analyst would term a giant broadening top, or in my terms a “Brobdingnagian Top?”

2015-04-06 00:00:00 Improving Growth Should Eventually Push Equities Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

On the heels of a somewhat rough first quarter, many investors are questioning the state of economic growth and wondering if equities still hold value. Our view is that an improving global economy should (eventually) allow for a renewed upturn in earnings prospects, and in equity markets. As such, we believe investors should remain patient.

2015-04-06 00:00:00 Stock-Flow Accounting and the Coming $10 Trillion Loss in Paper Wealth by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The failure to recognize that stock-flow consistency must hold in the economy and the financial markets is the basis for an enormous amount of misunderstanding in both fields. That omission of clear thinking about the link between economics and finance contributes to misguided policies that ignore the impact of financial distortions on the real economy, and invite speculation, malinvestment, and ultimately financial crisis.

2015-04-04 00:00:00 Lack Of Oxygen Causing a Feeding Frenzy? by Jerry of Flexible Plan Investments

Yesterday I awoke to a scene right out of a WWI or WWII aviation epic. The sky was filled with hundreds of flying objects, circling, swerving, and maneuvering for the best position. No human airport could possibly have dealt with the number of minute-by-minute, repeated takeoffs and landings, stretched in a panorama before me. Adding to the chaos, every few seconds one of the white-and-grey projectiles would crash into the lake with a vengeance.

2015-04-04 00:00:00 High-Yield Bonds: Equity-Like Returns Without Equity-Like Volatility by Michael Weilheimer, Steve Concannon, Will Reardon of Eaton Vance

Can an allocation to high-yield bonds help moderate the volatility in your portfolio without having to sacrifice return potential?

2015-04-04 00:00:00 Overview of the Fixed Income Market by Tim Gramatovich, Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

As we look at the high yield bond market, it is important to have an understanding of the fixed income marketplace and the investment options within it. The first thing to note is the sheer size, which is massive (just under $40 trillion).1 Somewhat surprisingly, mortgages represent the second largest single subcategory of the bond market; this helps to explain why problems in the mortgage market nearly took down the entire financial system in 2008. The largest subcategory is U.S. Treasury debt.

2015-04-03 00:00:00 Less Than Zero: The Implications of Negative Interest Rates by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

Many bonds, mainly in Europe, are trading with a negative yield, meaning creditors are paying in order to lend money. Russ K explains, providing three implications for investors.

2015-04-03 00:00:00 Central Bank Dominance by Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

The policies of the central banks are theoretically aligned in that they all have the objective of managing private economies with modern monetary macroeconomic principles. But, all four major economies are in different stages of recovery and disruptions are nearly inevitable. However, a positive view is that central banks are all focused on managing growth and that significant investment opportunities may be available for thoughtful investors and managers.

2015-04-02 00:00:00 Henderson Strategic Income Fund (HFAIX) 1st Quarter 2015 Review by Jenna Barnard, CFA, Co-Head of Retail Fixed Income (Article)

Jenna Barnard, CFA, co-lead portfolio manager of the Henderson Strategic Income Fund (HFAIX) provides a 1st quarter 2015 update on the performance and positioning of the Fund. She notes that the Strategic Income Fund has seen strong relative performance on the back of an overweight to the European fixed income market in particular favored themes such as legacy banking bonds, investment grade insurance and the convergence of the European telecommunications sector. As of 2/28/15 the Fund held the following securities: Liberty Global 2.6% of NAV, Vodafone 0.0% of NAV.

2015-04-02 00:00:00 The Perfect Storm for Risk-Conscious Active Managers by (Article)

Principal and Portfolio Manager Steve Lipper discusses three specific conditions that have shaped the current small-cap market and how, after five years, these developments all showed signs of reversing in the latter part of 2014.

2015-04-02 00:00:00 The ECB's QE program: Don't judge a book... by Paul Grillo and Wen-Dar Chen of Delaware Investments

The European Central Bank’s (the ECB’s) historic quantitative easing (QE) program, which commenced operations on Monday, March 9, is a unique animal. Despite the temptation for onlookers to draw similarities, the program is not quite like the rounds of easing undertaken by other major central banks since the end of the global financial crisis.

2015-04-02 00:00:00 Convertibles Address Multiple Investor Needs by John P. Calamos, Sr. of Calamos Investments

I began investing in convertible securities during the 1970s, and since then, I’ve seen an exciting evolution of the asset class—from little-known securities to a global asset class totaling approximately $342 billion USD today, including issues from household-name companies worldwide. Clearly, what began as an “alternative investment” has become much more mainstream.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Will the UK Election Derail the Recovery? by Mike Amey of PIMCO

While the economic outlook for the UK is not without risk, most notably if there is an extended period of political paralysis, the UK recovery is much better shape than during the last general election in 2010 and should stay its course. We believe the benign inflationary backdrop will aid economic growth that saw GDP gains of 0.6% for the final quarter of 2014. In an environment of subdued underlying inflationary pressures and sterling appreciating relative to its major trading partners, the Bank of England can afford to wait to tighten monetary policy.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Well, you know this is a bull market [in government bonds]! by Team of GaveKal Capital

Those familiar with "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" will recall several scenes in which young traders are gathered at a brokerage house exchanging ideas and contemplating every tick on the tape as if marked some monumental episode for owners of the stock. Then one of the young traders would ask a quiet veteran trader, who was sitting in the corner paying little or no attention the topic de jure, what he thought of the recent price action of some issue, to which the veteran would reply, “Well, you know this is a bull market”.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 In the Know: Europe’s Capital Markets Union by Norm Boersma of Franklin Templeton Investments

Templeton Global Equity Group’s Norm Boersma discusses the European Commission’s newly unveiled proposals for Capital Markets Union.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 China to Take the Reins in Funding Regional Infrastructure Projects by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This Tuesday marked the last day that countries could submit their applications to become founding members of the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). As of this writing, a little over 40 nations have either already been approved or have applied for membership, including strong U.S. allies such as Britain, Germany and Australia.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 How Europe’s QE Could Be a Stimulus for U.S. based Investors by Heidi Richardson of BlackRock Investment Management

Heidi Richardson sees several catalysts that point to strong investment opportunities in Germany and the broader eurozone.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Euphoria and Reality in European Stocks by Michele Patri of AllianceBernstein

Euro-area stock markets have rebounded as the ECB has launched its QE program. In our view, investors should take a pragmatic approach that aims to capture the gains—but with eyes wide open to reality.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 That’s So Overrated: How Credit Ratings Do Damage by Jeff Skoglund of AllianceBernstein

Credit rating agencies are a capital-markets fixture; the ratings they assign to the debt of corporations and governments are widely used by investors as a standard measure of credit risk. But agency credit ratings aren’t perfect—and shouldn’t be a substitute for investors doing their own analysis.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 For Canadian Pension Funds, It’s Time to Go Global by Erin Bigley of AllianceBernstein

Pension funds in Canada have long relied on a simple fixed-income strategy: buy Canadian. And for a long time, this worked wonders. But times are changing, and our research suggests that swapping a Canada-only approach for a more globalized portfolio will provide better risk-adjusted returns in the future.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Finding an Oasis in a Bond Liquidity Drought by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

Let’s not mince words: Liquidity is draining out of global corporate bond markets, and we doubt it’s coming back. But that doesn’t mean investors have to take their chips and go home. In fact, with the right approach, less liquid markets can offer some attractive opportunities.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 Why Fed Patience on Rate Hikes Is Likely to Continue by John P. Calamos, Sr. and Gary Black of Calamos Investments

John and Gary discuss how lackluster economic data and low inflation could influence the Fed’s timetable for raising short-term interest rates.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 The Final Say on Spending Rules by Laurence B. Siegel (Article)

After decades of focused research, why can't finance experts decide on a safe withdrawal rate for retirement? It is time to refocus this debate by asking a slightly different question: Is there a spending rule that retirees can use over a fixed time horizon? There is and I call it "the only spending rule you will ever need."

2015-03-31 00:00:00 The Not-So-Hidden Risks in REITs by Keith Jurow (Article)

With most investors confident that equity REITs are a sure bet to continue their upward momentum, now is an excellent time to carefully examine whether this ebullience is justified. Let's see what the conditions in the real-estate market mean for valuations in several of the largest REITs, as well as two of the ETFs that hold them - IYR and VNQ.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Convertibles Address Multiple Investor Needs by John Calamos, Sr of Calamos Investments

I began investing in convertible securities during the 1970s, and since then, I’ve seen an exciting evolution of the asset class—from little-known securities to a global asset class totaling approximately $342 billion USD today, including issues from household-name companies worldwide. Clearly, what began as an “alternative investment” has become much more mainstream.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Duration: To Hedge or Not to Hedge? by Jeroen van Bezooijen, Berdibek Ahmedov of PIMCO

Because duration tends to be an important component of the return profile in a bond portfolio, adjusting exposure rather than hedging it away may make sense for many investors. Low duration strategies may provide a level of interest-rate duration that provides a better trade-off between a full market beta (with interest-rate duration) and a fully duration-hedged beta.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Beware Momentum Stocks in Sheep’s Clothing by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses the risks in the so-called momentum stocks—as well as some that have been acting that way.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Should Liquid Alts Be Part of the Core Allocation? by Michael Winchell of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

Many advisors may view alternative investments as diversifiers in portfolios: satellite investments added to a portfolio of stocks and bonds in an attempt to “hedge,” or counterbalance a specific risk the advisor believes is not completely addressed by the stock/bond core. For example, real assets such as gold and real estate are alternatives that may be added to portfolios for inflation protection because advisors expect real assets to rise in value with any overall increase in wages and prices.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 On My Radar: Going Forward with Great Purpose! by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

The Fed tried to talk down the dollar last Wednesday. Essentially firing a warning shot (downgrading estimates for growth, inflation and short-term interest rates). The ultra-low rates in Germany and Japan vs. the U.S. favor the dollar. Anything that points to the Fed raising rates enhances the attractiveness of U.S. bonds and attracts further capital flows.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Corporate Bonds Offer Opportunities in the Slowing Economy by Tracy Chin and Aaditya Thakur of PIMCO

Lack of corporate leveraging and investment among Australian companies may provide a macro headwind to economic growth and, hence, future prospects for equity investors, but from a creditor's perspective, this should keep credit metrics relatively healthy. PIMCO's bottom-up analysis has helped identify several opportunities, even within the resources sector, where strong balance sheets, competitive industry positions and sound management build a compelling case for credit investors despite the challenging period ahead.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 Fit & Focused by Mark R. Kiesel of PIMCO

Many powerful forces are driving markets and asset prices; chief among them are global monetary policy, technicals and fundamentals. We use rigorous top-down and bottom-up analysis to identify the best sectors and companies around the world. We see opportunities in the U.S. (cyclical consumer and housing sectors), Europe (equities, bank capital securities, high yield bonds and corporate hybrids), China (property, technology and Macau) and Japan (cyclical industries, exporters and financials).

2015-03-30 00:00:00 Further Equity Gains Await Earnings Recovery by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Downward pressure on U.S. equities returned last week, with the S&P 500 Index falling 2.2%. This marked the second-largest weekly downturn of the year and the fourth negative week in the last five. Some of the decline can be attributed to fading positive sentiment that came in the wake of the recent Federal Reserve meeting. Ongoing negative earnings forecasts have taken their toll as well. All market sectors were in negative territory last week, with financials, technology and industrials losing the most ground and consumer staples and energy holding up the best.

2015-03-30 00:00:00 Federal Funds Rate Expectations: It’s October 2014 All Over Again by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

After a series of stops and starts, comments from a variety of Fed speakers and a slight pickup in some U.S. economic data, the Fed took the opportunity to deliver a dovish surprise at its March 18 policy meeting.

2015-03-30 00:00:00 Should Liquid Alts Be Part of the Core Allocation? by Michael Winchell of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

Many advisors may view alternative investments as diversifiers in portfolios: satellite investments added to a portfolio of stocks and bonds in an attempt to “hedge,” or counterbalance a specific risk the advisor believes is not completely addressed by the stock/bond core. For example, real assets such as gold and real estate are alternatives that may be added to portfolios for inflation protection because advisors expect real assets to rise in value with any overall increase in wages and prices.

2015-03-30 00:00:00 Equity Option CEFs by (Article)

If you’re looking for a fixed income alternative, you may want to consider equity option CEFs, also known as covered call funds, says Gregory Mino of Nuveen Investments.

2015-03-29 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for an Economic Spring Thaw? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

In the absence of real data it is easy and tempting to speculate. Unlike last week, the week ahead features an avalanche of data – more in both quantity and importance than we have seen in a month. With some recent significant reports showing economic improvement we expect a change of focus.

2015-03-28 00:00:00 Living in a Free-Lunch World by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

I believe the fundamental imbalances we are seeing in the world (highlighted in the two papers mentioned above) are the result of the massive increases in global debt and misunderstandings about the use and consequences of debt. Too much of the wrong kind of debt is going to be the central cause of the next investment crisis.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Liquidity by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management

My wife Nancy’s accusations of repetitiveness notwithstanding, once in a while I think of something about which I haven’t written much. Liquidity is one of those things. I’m not sure it’s a profound topic, and perhaps my observations won’t be either. But I think it’s worth a memo.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 In a Challenging Environment, Policy Easing Sweeps Through Asia by Adam Bowe, Tomoya Masanao, Isaac Meng of PIMCO

The key change to our cyclical outlook for Asia: We have further downgraded our growth forecast for China to the low-6% range as real borrowing rates remain elevated. In Japan, we expect growth to recover from last year's technical recession, following the delay in the next value-added tax (VAT) hike and the increase in the Bank of Japan's easing program.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Global Asset Allocation Shifts by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

A couple of days ago BIS (Bank of International Settlements) released a seminal research piece “Global Asset Allocation Shifts” in which authors explain that weekly institutional and retail portfolio reallocations (not just fund flows) of U.S. investors are 90% driven by two factors easily identified as Yen (Risk On/Off) and Dollar factors hence reaffirming our Global Macro Framework. They also explore systematic predictability of these factors in great details.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 A Deeper Look at Smart Beta in Fixed Income by Sara Shores of BlackRock

While most tend to think of smart beta as a tool for stock portfolios, there are ways to apply it to bonds. Sara Shores shares a smart beta approach to balancing interest rate and credit risk.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Japanese 10-Year Rates Double in 2015, Rise Above German Bunds by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

Since reaching historic lows in mid-January, Japanese government bond (JGB)yields have doubled over the last several weeks. In the process, they have eclipsed German 10-year bund yields for the first time in over 20 years.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 REITs in a Rising Interest-Rate Environment by Wilson Magee of Franklin Templeton Investments

Wilson Magee, director of global real estate and infrastructure securities, Franklin Real Asset Advisors®, believes this environment is causing many investors to search for alternative investments that can add an income-oriented asset to their portfolio as well as gain exposure to global economic growth potential. He outlines why he thinks it’s an opportune time for many investors to consider diversifying into global real estate through an actively managed investment vehicle.

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

After Slow Start, the U.S. Should Regain Steam; Greece: The Debt Elephant in the Room; How Can Governments Keep Borrowing Under Control?

2015-03-27 00:00:00 Will a Spring Thaw Lead to a Stock Surge? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

US economic data has been soft, repeating a trend we’ve seen in recent first quarters. But we believe growth will again bounce back as some of the temporary weights drop off. US stocks should continue to grind generally higher—but with heightened volatility—aided by better data and a still-dovish Federal Reserve. But investors shouldn’t ignore international opportunities. Global growth generally appears to be improving and foreign central banks are largely easing monetary policy, potentially benefiting risk assets.

2015-03-26 00:00:00 The Relationship of Suds and Bubbles by Matt Lloyd of Advisors Asset Management

The proliferation of news, information, opinion and fact (which all come across in the same way) has had an overwhelming effect on the common investor and the instructional as well. Attempting to delineate the crowded trade from the minority viewpoint is a far greater task currently. Though this increased dissemination of information is beyond the recognition of the investor’s psyche, it does have a more pronounced positive impact.

2015-03-26 00:00:00 Why This Airline Just Landed in the S&P 500 Index by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

For the first time in its 84-year history, American Airlines was cleared for landing in the S&P 500 Index.

2015-03-26 00:00:00 Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The high-yield energy sector has kept pace with the broader high-yield bond market in 2015 even as oil prices weakened, a notable difference from 2014. Although we don’t believe the high-yield bond market will return to the June 2014 peak, the current yield spread may still represent good value given still strong corporate fundamentals and low defaults.

2015-03-26 00:00:00 Rates and Bonds by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

So at long last we know whether the word “patient” stays or goes: it’s gone and Treasury yields have actually declined as a result. So far this year we have seen rates go from a 2015 low of 1.19% on the 5-year and 1.68% on the 10-year on February 2nd, and then spike a month later at 1.70% and 2.24%, respectively, on March 6th. So an over 50bps move in a month all over the worry about the word “patient” and whether rates will rise as early as June. Only for rates to fall after the statement was released and the key word removed.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 US Economy Badly Disappoints Analysts' Expectations by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Today we will talk about an economic indicator that I have not written about before, which is compiled and reported monthly by CitiGroup, the American multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Manhattan.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 Five Reasons Why Interest Rates Will Stay Low by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Last week we focused on investors’ waiting game with the Federal Reserve. Would their policy statement following last Wednesday’s meeting, like last month’s Groundhog Day sighting, suggest more weeks of winter in the form of rising interest rates?

2015-03-25 00:00:00 Can ECB Policy Heal Europe’s Ills? by Mike Amey, Andrew Bosomworth, Lorenzo Pagani of PIMCO

In this interview, Managing Directors Mike Amey, Andrew Bosomworth and Lorenzo Pagani discuss the conclusions from PIMCO’s quarterly Cyclical Forum in March 2015 and how they influence our European investment strategy. They also delve into the impact of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) balance sheet expansion on growth and inflation and reflect on Europe’s improving economic health.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 The Dollar's Ripple Effect by Burt White of LPL Financial

In technical analysis, “intermarket analysis” looks at the way in which various markets interact. Intermarket analysis primarily looks at four market sectors: currencies, commodities, bonds, and stocks. From a technical analyst’s perspective, focusing our attention on only one market without considering what’s happening in the others leaves us in danger of missing vital directional clues and potential profits. The dollar, which has appreciated 24.4% since June 30, 2014 (as of March 19, 2015), has had an unusually strong intermarket effect of late.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 How do Deferred-Income Annuities Stack Up Against Rival Products? by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

Deferred-income annuities (DIAs) have received a lot of attention with new Treasury Department regulations encouraging their use. Many tout them as providing the most cost-effective way to generate retirement income. But retirement products are not one-size-fits-all. I'll show where DIAs fit among the products and investment solutions available to advisors.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 The Economic Outlook by George Mokrzan of Huntington National Bank

The United States forecast is for solid average annual economic growth of 3.1% in 2015 -- fastest in the economic recovery to date overall, although areas of the economy with high energy or international exposure will likely encounter headwinds. Strengthening employment conditions, continual improvements in consumer finances and steadily rising housing markets are likely to reestablish the consumer’s lead role in the U.S. economy in 2015.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 March Economic Update by Kevin Moloney of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

With the unemployment rate dropping to 5.5% in early March, the economy has reached the upper limits of the Federal Reserve’s estimate of long-run normal unemployment (5.2% - 5.5%). GDP growth remains stable, with a current estimate of 2.2% growth for the fourth quarter of 2014. The housing market recovery continues at a slow-but-steady pace, with prices rising twice as much as inflation during 2014 (+4.5%) according to the 20 city Case-Shiller Index. The most uncertain aspect of the economic recovery in the U.S. remains the consumer.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 A Relatively Dovish Fed Statement Helps Equities Recover Ground by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Last week featured some disappointing economic data and further downward revisions of corporate earnings estimates, but investors focused heavily on last week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting. The Fed’s statement was more dovish than expected, and investors interpreted the comments as an indication that rate increases would not happen as soon as some anticipated.

2015-03-24 00:00:00 Give'em the Old Razzle Dazzle by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Janet Yellen channels Billy Flynn? Last week the Fed Chairwoman treated us to a master class of rhetorical misdirection which produced some memorable examples of doublespeak, including the soon to be classic "Just because we removed the word 'patient' does not mean we're going to be 'impatient."' But perhaps more surprising than her new heights of verbal dexterity was the market's euphoria at being so blatantly manipulated. Never has the financial world enjoyed a lie so thoroughly.

2015-03-23 00:00:00 Central Bank Policies And Market Distortions by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

Recurrent countercyclical monetary policies have given way to several distortions in the economy. It is believed that printed dollars have inflated both stocks and bonds in the US, but that is a misunderstanding! Still attractive, US Treasury Bonds may provide the basis for a sustained appreciation of the US dollar against foreign currencies. Once more, the widely anticipated interest rate hike by the FOMC may get postponed… further into oblivion!

2015-03-23 00:00:00 How Should Advisors Evaluate Alternative Strategies? by Michael Winchell of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

Because modern portfolio theory emphasizes the value of holding instruments having low cross-correlations, we’ve heard many advisors describe the search for alternative investments as a search for assets with low correlations to either equities or bonds. This leads advisors too often to consider nontraditional assets over alternative strategies. We believe that perspective is too narrow and misses the larger point. It is our opinion that clients primarily desire reasonable returns with low volatility, and that there are many ways to achieve that goal.

2015-03-23 00:00:00 Time to Ratchet Up Risk Management? Volatility is Back in Vogue by Patty Quinn McAuley of Clark Capital Management Group

Considering the full spectrum of risk management tools available when building asset allocations can help ensure that clients make the right decisions about their money regardless of market conditions. A personalized risk management approach will adjust and adapt to the changing markets based upon the desired outcome or goal of the client.

2015-03-21 00:00:00 Five Reasons to Hold High Yield in 2015 by K. Sean Clark of Clark Capital Management Group

We believe that the high yield market may reward investors who adopt a tactical approach. Here are five reasons we anticipate a reemergence of opportunities in the high yield space in 2015.

2015-03-21 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

What Is Full Employment, and Are We There Yet?; Negative Interest Rates Are Spreading Across Europe; The Return of the U.S. Debt Ceiling

2015-03-21 00:00:00 Optimism, Pessimism and Opportunity by Ed Perks of Franklin Templeton

Given that the S&P 500 has been on a tear since 2008, logging double-digit returns in five of the past six years, and US Treasury rates remain near historical low levels, many investors are questioning their prospects for long-term total return. Ed Perks, chief investment officer and portfolio manager, Franklin Equity Group®, offers his views on why he remains optimistic about the US market’s prospects, and where he’s looking for investment opportunities today.

2015-03-20 00:00:00 Northern Trust Perspective by Team of Northern Trust

The long-telegraphed launch of quantitative easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) has added some accelerant to financial market trends in place so far this year. European stocks, which had been strong performers in local currencies, have continued their strong performance while European bond yields have declined even further.

2015-03-20 00:00:00 Navigating Interest Rate Cycles with the Laddered Bond Portfolio by Josh Gonze of Thornburg Investment Management

The purpose of fixed income for most investors is to generate income and serve as ballast in their broader portfolios. It’s not meant to be the fastest boat in the water, but rather the most seaworthy. Since the global financial crisis, major central banks have kept interest rates at rock-bottom levels and provided abundant liquidity through asset purchase programs more commonly known as quantitative easing.

2015-03-19 00:00:00 De-risking Goes Beyond Interest Rate Risk: The Case for Dynamic Asset Allocation in an LDI Solution by Catherine LeGraw of GMO

In this piece, we introduce a measure of valuation risk, and demonstrate how rotating growth assets into a valuation-aware dynamic strategy can help to reduce risk, improve long-term returns, and help improve funded status in the case of a reversion to the mean.

2015-03-19 00:00:00 Muni market – Favorable environment remains in place by James Dearborn of Columbia Management

Municipal bond market volatility in early '15 may have investors wondering if they should sell today and lock in their gains from 2014. After 13 consecutive months of positive returns, the muni market turned negative in February and the first two weeks of March as interest rates rose. After such a long and strong run, it is not surprising that the muni market has taken a step backward. That said, we do not see reason to panic and continue to believe that the muni market remains on sound footing due to supportive market fundamentals and technicals, as well as our entrenched high tax environment

2015-03-19 00:00:00 Patiently Waiting by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

The Fed faces a number of obstacles now and may require greater justification to suggest raising interest rates as soon as June. Bond market reaction to recent Fed meetings has been initially bearish but muted overall. Maintaining the word “patient” could have different implications for segments of the bond market.

2015-03-18 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: March by Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group® of Franklin Templeton Investments

IN THIS ISSUE: United States Prepares for Interest-Rate Hikes; But Much of the World Is Still in Monetary Easing Mode; European Outlook

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Gundlach - Don't Bet on Higher Rates by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Even if the Fed raises short-term interest rates as many expect it to, longer-term bond investors won't face a decline in prices, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. Indeed, the market may have already priced in the effect of rate hikes, he said.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Do Liquid Alts Justify Their Costs? by Robert J. Martorana, CFA (Article)

Liquid alts are complex and expensive, so it is natural for advisors to ask if they worth the time and trouble. In this article, I answer this question. I evaluate returns with special emphasis on 2014, when managed futures (notably the AQR Managed Futures Strategy Fund - AQMIX) soared and the largest global macro fund, MainStay Marketfield (MFLDX), stumbled.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Monetary Policy Concerns Continue to Weigh on Markets by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Investors continued to focus on global monetary policy last week. The divergence between the start of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program and the pending shift in the Federal Reserve’s policy stance caused the euro to fall, the U.S. dollar to rally and acted as a drag on U.S. equities. Concerns over a weakening corporate earnings environment acted as an additional headwind for stock prices. the S&P 500 Index declined 0.8% for the week.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 FOMC Preview: When, How Often, and How Much by John Canally of LPL Financial

What the FOMC says, if anything, about the rising dollar and its implications, could have ramifications for monetary policy over the next several quarters and beyond. In addition to “when,” market participants may start asking “how much” and “how fast” rates may increase once the Fed begins to raise the rates. We are watching several factors to gauge when the Fed may begin to hike rates, including wages, the output gap, inflation, and inflation expectations.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 The 11-Year Itch: Waiting for the Fed to Act by Jon Denfeld of AllianceBernstein

It was 2004: the New England Patriots won their second Super Bowl, Facebook was launched and the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in four years—the start of a two-year cycle of rate hikes. To markets, it seems like a distant memory.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Should You Buy in to Oil’s Secular Bear Market? by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

March 10th is one of my favorite days of the year. The tech bubble of the late 1990's burst on March 10th of 2000 and the biggest bear market of my career (2007 peak to 2009 low) bottomed on March 10th of 2009. There is a great deal to learn from those two dates in history as it pertains to the way secular bear markets work and how long it takes to move from the most popular investment in the world to being completely out of favor.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 How Scary Is the Bond Market? by Robert Shiller of Project Syndicate

With the bond market appearing ripe for a dramatic correction, many are wondering whether a crash could drag down markets for other long-term assets, such as housing and equities. But when an event has never occurred, it cannot be predicted with any semblance of confidence.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 This Too Shall Pass by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Behavioral finance reminds us that ignoring daily volatility roiling the market is wise. Instead, investors should focus on the positive, fundamental outlook for equities and fixed income.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 An Overview of Nontraditional Assets by Michael Winchell of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

We review a collection of nontraditional assets and acknowledge the growing attempts to offer more liquid instruments with market exposure to these assets. However, it is our opinion that these assets will ultimately represent a small portion of the overall allocation to alternative investments.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 Ingredients Missing for a Turnaround in Brazil by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Brazil has struggled in the past years, bogged down by unfavorable economic conditions including a collapse in growth. A recovery would hinge upon some much needed structural reforms.

2015-03-16 00:00:00 Brazil: Macro Headwinds Are Strengthening by Sean Newman of Invesco Blog

Invesco Fixed Income’s outlook on Brazil as a sovereign credit is deteriorating. Downside risks to growth have increased given the country’s deteriorating fiscal position, rising interest rates, lower commodity prices, global growth headwinds, water and electricity shortages, among other challenges. The key for markets, in our view, will be the administration’s ability to deliver on promised fiscal adjustments.

2015-03-14 00:00:00 Ingredients Missing for a Turnaround in Brazil by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Brazil has struggled in the past years, bogged down by unfavorable economic conditions including a collapse in growth. A recovery would hinge upon some much needed structural reforms.

2015-03-14 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

China Moves Cautiously Toward a New Normal; Deleveraging Is Unfinished in the Industrialized World; Will Lower Borrowing Costs in Europe Be a Boon for U.S Firms?

2015-03-14 00:00:00 The Airline Industry Ascended to New Records in 2014 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Just as the U.S. economy is in full-recovery mode, so too is the airline industry. It’s lately made an impressive about-face from only a decade ago and, in 2014, soared to several new benchmarks. This industry is flying high again.

2015-03-14 00:00:00 The U.S. Dollar: Is Strength a Weakness? by Jim McDonald of Northern Trust

The U.S. dollar has seen strong upward moves in the past 9 months. What would continued dollar strength mean for economic growth, earnings and asset class performance? Find out more in Jim McDonald's latest strategy piece.

2015-03-13 00:00:00 Could the Search for Income Lead to Instability? by Daniel Loewy, Morgan Harting of AllianceBernstein

Years of quantitative easing has pushed yields on government bonds down to record lows, and income-starved investors are being pushed out the risk spectrum, forced to choose between more volatile assets to find income. Finding acceptable levels of income exposes portfolios to greater instability ahead—we believe a multi-asset approach can help.

2015-03-13 00:00:00 Keep it Short? The Limited-Term Fixed Income Market by Mark Otterstrom, Susan Regan of Ivy Investment Management Company

Concern about interests rates has made fixed income investors more aware of the potential for interest rate risk – or the risk that a rise in rates will reduce the value of their longer-maturity securities. This risk, which is often expressed as a bond or bond fund’s “duration,” has led some investors to consider investments believed to have less potential risk. These securities, which are considered to have a lower duration, are seen as less vulnerable to market volatility.

2015-03-12 00:00:00 Global Macro Framework by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

Global Carry, Yen and Dollar are irrefragable drivers of Global Macro. As we explain equities and bonds are just derivatives of these factors. We expose how the big picture asset dynamics worked since the GFC, brief on what happened over the last year and conclude with comments on dollar blowout over the past week.

2015-03-11 00:00:00 Worries about the Looming Fed Hike Spill Over by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Many investors are anxious about a possible bubble in stock markets, but those fears seem overblown to us. The greater near-term danger may be a more aggressive Federal Reserve.

2015-03-11 00:00:00 Optimal Diversification Portfolio for Upcoming Interest Rate Environment by Chuck Self of iSectors

Historical patterns in interest rates leading to the current trend; Macroeconomic activity supporting future rising interest rates; Recommendations for optimizing client portfolios in such an environment

2015-03-10 00:00:00 The Hidden Peril in Sequence of Returns Risk by Wade Pfau (Article)

Should retirees place greater faith in stocks' ability to outperform bonds over reasonable holding periods or in insurance companies and bond issuers' ability to meet their contractual guarantees? Your position on this fundamental question will determine how you choose to build retirement income strategies for your clients.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Curiouser and Curiouser... by Sponsored Content from Legg Mason (Article)

Though historically low, U.S. interest rates are actually high in comparison to the rest of the developed world. U.S. bonds appear overpriced on domestic fundamentals, but they are a bargain based on global valuations.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 'Cheating' for Alpha with Beta by Ryan J. Lehman (Article)

In a recent white paper, our colleagues at GMO very appropriately asked, "Is Skill Dead?" In this paper they examined the results of the large-cap blend peer group, and offered an optimistic outlook for active managers despite recent underperformance. In this article, I expand upon their work and our own by discussing how managers "cheat" for alpha by taking positions in out-of-benchmark risk premia and beta exposures, and how those bets have compromised recent results.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 On My Radar: Rut Ro Rastro by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

At the beginning of each month, I like to look at a series of valuation metrics: Median PE, Price to Sales and Price to Operating Earnings. Let’s look at them today. The logic, of course, is simple. When expensively priced, reduce exposure and reduce return expectations. When inexpensively priced, overweight exposure and increase return expectations. Let’s also take a look at what has been driving the market higher. Some argue that individual investors are still on the sidelines. I don’t think so and I show evidence that they are almost as fully invested as they were at the 2000 and

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Stock and Bond Funds Grow with the Flows by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

No redistribution here: Even as equity fund flows have turned positive, bond funds continue to see inflows. Here’s a closer look at the trend—and what it means for investors.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Happy Birthday Bull Market by Burt White of LPL Financial

The current bull market celebrates its sixth birthday today (March 9, 2015). Bull markets do not die of old age, they die of excesses, and we do not see evidence of excesses emerging today. Some of our favorite leading indicators suggest the economic expansion and bull market may continue through the end of 2015.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Q&A with Jeff Knight: What’s in store for 2015? by Jeff Knight of Columbia Management

I believe we are still going through a process that is flattering to financial market returns. But after six years and a tripling of the stock market, recognize that we're getting late in the game. Does Europe hang together? Do events in the Ukraine or Greece disrupt the economic recovery in Europe? Is the Fed’s tightening appropriate, or does it represent a threat to financial markets? Will those who come out on the short end of oil’s dramatic repricing emerge as a threat to capital markets either through default and bankruptcies, or worse through geopolitical tensions?

2015-03-10 00:00:00 Why Holding Cash May Mean Losing Money by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

There are many reasons to hold cash in your portfolio, but sometimes it can be too much of a good thing. Russ Koesterich explains the risks of a large cash position and offers some alternatives.

2015-03-09 00:00:00 What Does That Difference Mean? by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The difference between actual market returns over a given time period, and the returns that one would have projected earlier based on reliable valuation measures, is extremely informative about where current valuations stand, and about where future market returns are headed.

2015-03-09 00:00:00 An Overview of Alternative Investments by Michael Winchell of Larkin Point Investment Advisors LLC

If you have been thinking about adding alternative investments to your clients’ portfolios, it’s important to step back and analyze the various types of investments available to you—which, despite being lumped together in the same category, have become increasingly varied.

2015-03-09 00:00:00 The Dollar isn’t the Peso anymore (Part II) by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

The US dollar rally is in its seventh year and we expect this trend to continue. Many observers, including the Fed, continue to worry about inflation. However, we think a strong USD and disinflation/deflation seem more likely than inflation so long as global overcapacity forces nations to fight for market share and depreciate their currencies.

2015-03-07 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Quantitative easing comes to the eurozone; U.S. job growth is strong, but wage growth is not; The California port strike has troubled trade... and economists

2015-03-07 00:00:00 The Search for a Low Expense Ratio Ends Here by Rob Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

The investment of the decade is not mutual funds or ETFs. It is individual stocks. You may just not realize it yet.

2015-03-07 00:00:00 After a Dismal 2014 Business Development Companies Poised to Outperform in the New Year by Grier Eliasek of Prospect Capital Corp.

After a dismal performance in 2014 business development companies are enjoying a reversal of fortune, floating to the top of the leaderboard in the New Year. They’re outpacing their interest-rate sensitive brethren, utilities and REITs, bonds and the S&P 500 alike amid widespread anticipation that the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates mid year. As the stock market grows ever more expensive and profit margins are reaching record highs, the catalysts that should drive outperformance in BDCs grow stronger and stronger considering that most BDCs are trading at single-digit multiples.

2015-03-06 00:00:00 Hot and Cold Bonds by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

January 2015 was the best month for high-quality bonds since December 2008. In February 2015, high-quality bonds posted their worst monthly performance since June 2013 and the taper tantrum sell-off. High-yield bonds experienced ups and downs thus far in 2015. After a muted January, high-yield bonds returned 2.4% in February, the largest single month gain since October 2013. After a wild first two months, we expect more muted returns over the remainder of 2015.

2015-03-06 00:00:00 Opportunities in Global Financial Disintermediation by Dave Gallagher of Calamos Investments

Increasing financial disintermediation is a strong secular theme providing tailwinds in several financial industries, but a likely arduous and complicated process warrants the need for a disciplined focus on both risk and reward. The financial system essentially performs one basic function—the direct or indirect movement of funds from savers to borrowers or investors. Although financial disintermediation is formally defined as the shifting of funds from indirect to direct financing, the term is more commonly used to describe the increasing role of non-bank intermediaries.

2015-03-06 00:00:00 China’s Reforms: Will They Work? by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

The internationalization of China’s currency is proceeding hand in hand with the liberalization of the country’s capital markets. If China can surmount its short-term challenges, the impact of these reforms on global economies and markets should be profound.

2015-03-05 00:00:00 Don’t Audit It: Reign It In by Brian Wesbury of First Trust Advisors

Some in Congress want to “Audit the Fed.” But an audit, unless the word is used in a very broad sense, would be redundant and basically irrelevant. The Fed is already audited, by Deloitte & Touche LLP and it releases an annual report that includes the auditor’s opinion, each year.

2015-03-05 00:00:00 A Fair Hearing for Sovereign Debt by Joseph Stiglitz, et al. of Project Syndicate

Last July, when US federal judge Thomas Griesa ruled that Argentina had to repay in full the "vulture" funds that had bought its sovereign debt at rock-bottom prices, the decision reverberated far and wide, affecting bonds issued in a variety of jurisdictions. Do US court rulings really apply to contracts executed in other countries?

2015-03-05 00:00:00 The High Yield Default Outlook by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

We see default risk as the most prominent risk for credit investors. As we look forward, a benign default environment is projected over the next few years.

2015-03-04 00:00:00 Municipal Market Perspectives by Fixed Income Team of SMC Fixed Income Management

A much colder than normal winter throughout the United States has impacted daily activities. Folks are remaining indoors and waiting for the March thaw. Not only are there fewer pedestrians, but runners are a rare sight. The logical inference is that many dedicated exercisers have retreated to the warmth of their basements or local health clubs for exercise, and are instead logging miles on stationary treadmills.

2015-03-04 00:00:00 January Inflation Turns Negative - Is Deflation Upon Us? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Consumer prices fell in January for the third straight month, while inflation over the past 12 months turned negative for the first time since 2009, largely because of cheaper gasoline. In January, the Consumer Price Index sank by a seasonally-adjusted 0.7%, the biggest one-month drop since the end of 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

2015-03-04 00:00:00 Tigers in Africa by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

This month's Absolute Return Letter is about unrealistic expectations which is something we are all guilty of from time to time. We look at why it is unrealistic to expect equity returns to be in the double digit range over the next several years, why central banks are not printing money like many believe, plus a few other topics.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 Howard Marks on Luck and Skill in Investing by Justin Kermond (Article)

When Howard Marks graduated from the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago, he was turned down for the one job he really wanted. That, he said, was the luckiest moment of his career. The firm that turned him down was Lehman Brothers.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 Dan Fuss - The New Factor in the Bond Markets by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Dan Fuss' career in the bond market has spanned over 50 years. During that time, Fuss has spoken regularly at CFA luncheons. Last week in Boston, he began by warning that what he had to say would be markedly different from any of his previous talks.

2015-03-03 00:00:00 Is Japan Zimbabwe? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Is Japan Zimbabwe? How preposterous: Japan is an advanced economy that cannot possibly suffer the same fate as Zimbabwe. Right? Or could Japan get hyperinflation? Below I explain why Japan, and with it investors’ portfolios, might be at risk.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Going to the Dogs by Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group

If you were a dog, what kind would you be? I can’t say I’ve thought about it a lot myself, but it is an interesting, possibly introspective question considering the theory that many dog owners pick a breed that looks or perhaps acts like themselves.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Value Oriented Bond Management by Jerry Paul, Zach Jonson of ICON Advisers, Inc.

Equity investors can be categorized into a broad range of equity strategies, including valuation-based approaches, whereas bond investors generally think in terms of interest rates and duration management. Professional investment managers have been taught that the market is efficient and while this may often be true, we believe there are a number of select areas within the bond market that exhibit less efficient behavior. This paper will discuss these potential inefficiencies and how “value oriented” bond management looks to exploit the inefficiencies. First we need to define “traditi

2015-03-02 00:00:00 On My Radar: Equity Valuations, Recessions and Market Declines by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Today let’s take a look at the hard evidence signaling slowdown. My personal view is that slowdown would not be as much of a problem if valuation measures were low. They’re not: by just about every measure the market is overpriced, overbought and over believed. What can you do? I share a simple and disciplined rules based way for you to stay invested in the market’s primary trend.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Markets Pause While Awaiting Federal Reserve Activity by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities were mixed last week, with the S&P 500 declining -0.2%. The Federal Reserve (Fed) had a busy week, as the nuanced debate continues around when to begin policy normalization. The global policy divergence grabbed headlines, but the focus was mainly on negative yields in Europe and inflows to non-U.S. equities.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Today’s Floating Rate Loan Market by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Together the high yield bond and floating rate bank loan market total over $3 trillion.1 This has evolved into a significant, and growing asset class. With high yield bonds and loans now representing about 30% of corporate credit2, this market deserves not only our attention, but we also feel is ripe with opportunity for investors.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Why Puerto Rico may now be stuck in “no man’s land” by Municipal Insight Committee of Eaton Vance

Our Municipal Insight Committee examines the island’s significant short- and long-term liquidity challenges, and what they mean to muni bond investors.

2015-03-01 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Economic News Alter Fed Policy? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

The exact timing of the first Fed rate increase does not matter. There is a difference between tight monetary policy and slightly less accommodative policy. Markets do quite well in the early stages of rising rates, especially when starting from a low initial point. This will be ignored by many who will invoke “Don’t fight the Fed.” This will be the fundamental battleground between traders and investors, bears and bulls, and various political types – perhaps lasting for years. The end of the business or stock market cycle is not imminent. Bull markets do not die of old age.

2015-03-01 00:00:00 Plan to Exit Stocks Within the Next 8 Years? Exit Now by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Unless we observe a rather swift improvement in market internals and a further, material easing in credit spreads – neither which would relieve the present overvaluation of the market, but both which would defer our immediate concerns about downside risk – the present moment likely represents the best opportunity to reduce exposure to stock market risk that investors are likely to encounter in the coming 8 years.

2015-02-28 00:00:00 The Negative Way to Growth? by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

Monetary policy has become increasingly unconventional in the last six years, with central banks implementing zero-interest-rate policies, quantitative easing, credit easing, forward guidance, and unlimited exchange-rate intervention. But now we have come to the most unconventional policy tool of them all: negative nominal interest rates.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Macro View Rate Hike Rally by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The lead-up to the first rate hike by the Federal Reserve is historically a favorable environment for U.S. equities and credit.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 With the Bank of Canada, Is the Canadian Economy in Good Hands? by Ed Devlin of PIMCO

A disorderly decline in energy prices could spill over into consumer and business sentiment, which would worsen any drop in Canada's economic output. More rate cuts this year are likely a part of the Bank of Canada's base case scenario. Investors may be able to improve their returns by buying bonds with high-quality credit spreads, including Canadian bank senior debt and Ontario bonds.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 On the Long Bond and Why the Widow Maker is Alive and Well by Team of GaveKal

Perhaps one of the most important questions investors need to answer today is whether we've seen the low in the long bonds yields or whether the trend lower is firmly intact. The recent spike in the 10-year bond yields from 1.65% at the end of January to 2.14% just two weeks later has no doubt complicated the situation. In this piece we'll try to layout one case for lower yields still.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Hasenstab on Global Growth: Headwinds or Tailwinds? by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton

While some forecasters predict gloomy global growth this year, the contrarian-minded Dr. Michael Hasenstab, chief investment officer, Templeton Global Macro Group (formerly known as Templeton Global Bond Group), has a different view. He aims to counter what he sees as “excessive pessimism” surrounding the global economy and outlines why he believes the recent plunge in oil prices could prove a tailwind, not only for economic growth in the United States, but also in Europe. He also offers his scorecard regarding Japan’s monetary policy experiment dubbed “Abenomics.”

2015-02-26 00:00:00 Investing in Volatility: Is Asian Volatility Poised to Rise? by David Jubb of Invesco Blog

Volatility is cheap these days. That may sound strange at first. But, the Invesco Multi Asset team views volatility as an investable asset type that can be included in our investment strategy. Why might this make sense? We believe volatility can provide additional diversification and return benefits when combined with our portfolio’s other asset exposures. For example, when volatility is low, markets may benefit. But when it rises, markets can come under pressure.

2015-02-26 00:00:00 Monetary Policy Matters by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

This year we expect the divergence in monetary policy among the world’s central banks to be a key theme and a likely driver of asset flows. For now, the scorecard seems to be tilted toward monetary easing since in the first month of 2015 alone, 14 central banks engaged in some form of monetary policy loosening, generally in the form of interest rate cuts or asset purchases.

2015-02-26 00:00:00 Viewer Discretion Advised by Dan Walker of Heartland Advisors

Rich valuations for Utility stocks and current low bond yields point to a dim future for the sector.

2015-02-26 00:00:00 Rate Hike Rally by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The lead-up to the first rate hike by the Federal Reserve is historically a favorable environment for U.S. equities and credit.

2015-02-25 00:00:00 The Strange World of Negative Interest Rates by Lowell Yura of BMO Global Asset Management

This article examines explanations for negative bond yields. The article argues that central bank policies may be one of the causes. The article also suggests that to make sense of low Treasury yields, investors should be mindful of global yield correlations.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 Gundlach to the Fed: "Dont Raise Rates" by Robert Huebscher (Article)

The Fed should reject its inclination to raise rates, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. It's rare that he agrees with Larry Summers, but in this case the two believe that the fundamentals in the U.S. economy do not justify higher interest rates.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 On My Radar: A $9 Trillion Dollar Crisis by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Here is the main point of today’s OMR: According to the Bank of International Settlements, non-bank borrowers outside the U.S. have borrowed, in dollars, $9 trillion. This is an increase of $4.5 trillion since the financial crisis and it places that $9 trillion on the wrong side of the dollar bet. The dollar debt is an example of how the Fed’s tightening will impact the world economy. This is a pressure cooker and the pot is starting to boil.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 Municipal bonds in 2015: Time to get back to basics by Municipal Insight Committee of Eaton Vance

In this insight, our Municipal Insight Committee examines why munis remain compelling in 2015 after a year of robust performance.

2015-02-24 00:00:00 Is Gold Risk Free? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

I’ve long argued that there may not be any safe asset anymore and that investors may want to take a diversified approach to something as mundane as cash. But what about gold? When I mentioned in a recent interview that not even gold is ‘risk free,’ it raised some eyebrows in the gold community. Let me elaborate.

2015-02-23 00:00:00 Exploring for High Yield Energy Opportunities Amid Ailing Oil Prices by Scott Roberts of Invesco Blog

Energy is a popular topic of conversation in the high yield bond space, with many observers warning of a wave of defaults to come due to the plunge in oil prices. While there will likely be some defaults in the sector, we believe that the market’s pessimism has been overly broad, and we view energy as a potential source of opportunity in 2015. Having a clear understanding of macro drivers in energy, paired with careful security selection, will be key to successfully navigating this volatile space, in our view.

2015-02-23 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Help for the Economy from Housing? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

The economic calendar includes much more housing data than we normally see in a single week. With Fed Chair Yellen’s Congressional testimony and the GDP revisions also on tap, I expect many observers to be linking these topics. They will ask:

2015-02-23 00:00:00 Why the Bond Market Is Yielding Negative and What Negative Yields Mean for You by Vineer Bhansali, Ben Emons of PIMCO

Negative yields on bonds are no longer unicorns. In Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and several other European countries, government bonds are trading at negative nominal yields. There are four potential reasons that can explain the negative yield conundrum and can also illustrate the trade-offs between different investment strategies.

2015-02-20 00:00:00 High Yield in a Rising Rate Environment: Duration and Yield by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

We began February with a yield on the 10-year Treasury of 1.68% and today sit at 2.14%.1All the concerns and talk of maybe even no rate rise this year that we saw in January, have turned to frequent mention of a rate rise beginning in June. So what are bond investors to do? Is this finally the year of rising rates and what impact does that have?

2015-02-20 00:00:00 Mardi Gras Market by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

Geo-political concerns in the Middle East and Ukraine don’t seem to be able to keep the market down, nor do the tepid economic growth numbers coming from Europe and China. Finally, corporate earnings expectations have been moderated significantly for 2015 and that doesn’t seem to matter to stock prices either. Perhaps the explanation is in the sentiment.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Loan Fund Primer by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Last week the Riksbank (the Swedish central bank) dropped its benchmark interest rate to -0.10 and as of earlier this week Sweden’s ten year sovereign debt was yielding 0.50%. So Sweden is now the latest country to make headlines about extreme central bank policy to stimulate growth.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 2015 Annual Forecast by Clyde Kendzierski of Financial Solutions Group

It’s already February, but for many readers this is the first communication of 2015 so, Happy New Year! It’s been a great 6 weeks so far and we’re looking forward to many more to come. Let’s get into it…

2015-02-19 00:00:00 February 2015 Economic Update by John Richards of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

Consumers in the U.S. are showing their optimism by pushing a key consumer sentiment indicator to its highest level in over a decade. Despite a drop-off in Q4 GDP to a 2.6% annualized growth rate and three consecutive months of slowing manufacturing expansion, the U.S. economy still seems to be on strong footing.

2015-02-18 00:00:00 On My Radar: Schumpeter’s Creative Destruction by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

This week let’s take a look at debt around the globe. I share a great piece from McKinsey & Company that shows just how much more debt, county by country, has been piled on since the 2007 debt induced financial crisis. Evidence is apparent in the commodity market and I also share a few ideas how you may risk manage those allocations.

2015-02-18 00:00:00 Global Carry Game Over? by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

The world has changed on the 2nd of February after US Personal Income and Outlays report or maybe more importantly ISM Manufacturing Index report got released. The Global Carry trade and Dollar trade got broken and have been broken since. Is it a passing correction or the time is up and the game is over?

2015-02-18 00:00:00 Africa Could Mine Its Way to Prosperity if It Addressed Instability by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Last week I attended the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, as both a presenter and a student seeking opportunities. One of the highlights of the conference was former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s keynote address, during which he offered some crucial advice to African governments: To attract and foster a robust mining sector, a commitment to fiscal stability must be made.

2015-02-18 00:00:00 Demystifying - and Defeating - Deflation by Donald Taylor of Franklin Templeton Investments

Consumers who have been raised to fear inflation may find it hard to understand why falling prices could ever be negative. Like many things in life, however, too much of a seemingly good thing sometimes can spell trouble. Donald Taylor, president and chief investment officer, Franklin Equity Group®, US Value, explains why, much like a football or basketball, an economy grappling with deflation is not in its optimal condition.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Why We’re Cautious on Credit by Rob Waldner of Invesco Blog

In the current environment of rising global volatility and potentially weak US corporate earnings growth, Invesco Fixed Income is cautious on US and European credit. While European investment grade credit may be supported by the European Central Bank’s (ECB) program of quantitative easing (QE), we believe US investment grade would likely underperform US Treasuries in the current environment, although we would expect it to perform better than riskier assets.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Gary Shilling - Why You Should Own Bonds by Robert Huebscher (Article)

If you followed Gary Shilling's advice for the last 30 years, you would be very wealthy. Since 1981, Shilling has consistently advocated owning long-dated Treasury securities. In a talk last week, he reiterated that advice as one piece of his three-part asset-allocation strategy for the coming year.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Search for Strength: EM Downturn Puts Focus on Fundamentals by Sponsored Content by Invesco (Article)

  • Corporate earnings deterioration and a decline in return on capital have held back emerging market performance.
  • Reversing weak performance depends on a return to stronger corporate earnings.
  • Downside risks could lead to disappointing earnings growth, but positive fundamentals are unfolding.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 The Devastation Awaiting Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities by Keith Jurow (Article)

Real estate investment euphoria is widespread. An asset class for which Wall Street has provided little useful information - residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) - is especially vulnerable if this euphoria is misplaced.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Repression, Compression, Expression by Rick Chan of PIMCO

Cumulative financial repression has led to compressed and recently highly correlated yields in most developed countries, while markets have been volatile as investors react and adjust to the new environment. Recent short-term spikes in volatility belie likely damped volatility at these low rates over time, suggesting a potentially attractive opportunity to sell longer-term volatility at current premiums.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Is Modern Portfolio Theory Dead? by Vern Sumnicht of iSectors

A response to an article titled, “Modern Portfolio Theory is Dead.” The point is to simply ask which of the principles of Modern Portfolio Theory are no longer true. I think it’s more than obvious that these sound principles of investing that have been with us for more than 50 years will be here 50 years from now.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Wide Disparity in 2014 Stock Returns Shows the Importance of Diversification by Team of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

With another calendar year in the books, investors can look back to 2014 and see the vast disparity between asset classes, with the U.S. markets leading the way for a second consecutive year. Why not just invest in the S&P 500 Index? The answer is that we don’t know which asset class will be the top performer from year to year. Looking back on the past 15 years, the U.S. has only led three times, with all three coming since 2011, hence the reason for the initial question.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Extreme Overvaluation and the Inventory Problem by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Current equity markets are no place for long-term investors, and even a resumption of risk-seeking investor preferences would demand a considerable safety net.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Shut off the Noise, Hear the Risks by Gibson Smith of Janus Capital Group

Janus Fixed Income CIO Gibson Smith believes volatility in the fixed income market may represent a greater risk than a sustained increase in rates.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Keynesian Contrarianism: Where is the Minority Today? by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

To get a good feel for where the largest pools of money are invested around the world and to identify the minority, we draw from the NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments in North America. This year’s survey included $516 billion in investable assets. The results for the fiscal year ended June 30th of 2014 are listed below. Pay particular attention to the largest endowments, because we believe they represent the asset allocation of the largest worldwide institutions.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 High Yield Bond CEFs Featuring John Cole Scott by (Article)

High yield bond closed-end funds may be “overdone” by investors, says John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 What Does the Current Low Interest Rate Environment Mean for Agency MBS? by Mike Cudzil, Daniel Hyman of PIMCO

After the agency MBS market in 2014 was dominated by low volatility, limited prepayment risk and strong performance, the strong rally in U.S. Treasuries in January resulted in just the opposite. With the Fed ending net purchases of MBS in October 2014, it seems unlikely for the private investment community to take the Fed’s place in the MBS market at this level of interest rates and spreads. PIMCO expects the environment for MBS in 2015 to be quite the opposite of 2014, resulting in higher volatility, cheaper valuations and more attractive excess return opportunities for the active manager.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Investor Sentiment Is Strengthening by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities finished higher for a second straight week, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 2.1% as it ended the week at a record high.1 Investors largely shrugged off disappointing retail sales figures and chose to focus on the positives.

2015-02-15 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Energy Stocks Support the Market Breakout? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

I do not know whether we have reached a bottom in energy prices, but I have identified two important themes.

2015-02-15 00:00:00 Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Pension Fund Managers by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

We do not have to look to Greece to find massively underfunded obligations. Here in the US we can find hundreds of examples, willingly created by politicians and businessmen who proclaim they are working for the public good. We call them pension funds, but they’re just another form of unfunded debt. A sovereign bond is a promise to pay a certain amount of money over time.

2015-02-14 00:00:00 Alternate Current: The Power of Diverse Return Sources by Christine Johnson of AllianceBernstein

After a long period of calm, global markets now face tumbling oil prices, geopolitical risks and monetary policy changes. Investors looking for new ways to diversify in this uncertain environment should take a long look at investments that don’t take their cues from stock or bond market movements.

2015-02-14 00:00:00 When Patience Disappears by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Advance notice of the timing of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve may hinge on the removal of just one word, warns St. Louis Fed President Bullard.

2015-02-14 00:00:00 Bonding with Diversification by Rick Rieder of BlackRock

With the fixed income landscape poised for a makeover, Rick Rieder discusses the importance of diversification.

2015-02-13 00:00:00 DC Managed Accounts: Shining a Spotlight on Investment Advice by Steve Ferber, Michael Esselman of PIMCO

?Nearly one in three defined contribution (DC) plans offers managed account and automated advice services that attempt to enhance investment outcomes with personalized advice. As the Government Accountability Office has reported, however, plan sponsors often have had limited or insufficient information to evaluate and monitor automated advice engines, despite having fiduciary responsibility over advice provided to participants.

2015-02-12 00:00:00 On My Radar: Go Ahead Angela, Make My Day by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

I spend a great deal of time writing about valuations, probable future returns (near record lows today), portfolio construction and risk management. Reflecting on four days of non-stop sessions, media interviews and meetings at the Inside ETFs Annual Conference this past week, I thought I’d share several key takeaways with you.

2015-02-12 00:00:00 Scott Mather Discusses PIMCO’s Total Return Strategy by Scott Mather of PIMCO

Bonds have continued to rally so far this year, even as the Federal Reserve contemplates raising interest rates. In the following interview, Scott Mather, CIO U.S. Core Strategies, discusses recent developments in the bond markets, the outlook for the year ahead and the investment implications for PIMCO’s Total Return Strategy. Mather co-manages the strategy with Mark Kiesel, CIO Global Credit, and Mihir Worah, CIO Real Return and Asset Allocation.

2015-02-12 00:00:00 Alpha Generation for Active Managers by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

As we discussed in our recent blog (see “The Opportunity in Volatility”), we are currently seeing a lot of attractive opportunities in the high yield market—discounts and yields that we haven’t seen in some time. And while we have seen the yields in the high yield indexes and the products that track them increase over the last six months, they don’t really seem to reflect the true opportunity we are seeing in the market.

2015-02-11 00:00:00 The Bond Market in 2015: Mind the (Price) Gaps by Kathleen Gaffney of Eaton Vance

In this insight, Kathleen reviews her outlook for the bond market and explains how a multi sector bond approach could turn rate hike volatility into opportunity for patient investors.

2015-02-11 00:00:00 Did the 2014 Volatility Create a 2015 Opportunity? The Outlook for High Yield by Chad Gunther of Ivy Investment Management Company

The tumbling oil market put junk bond prices On a slippery slope in late 2014. Total returns on high-yield bond indexes tracked by Barclays fell into negative territory in mid-December for the first time since 2011, as investor fear about downside risk associated with energy-related junk bonds spilled over into the rest of the high-yield market. While the slide in high-yield valuations may have disappointed some investors, Ivy High Income Portfolio Manager Chad Gunther believes it created some potentially attractive opportunities in the high-yield credit market. Below he shares his views.

2015-02-11 00:00:00 The Sectors Now on Shaky Ground by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Bond yields surged last week, putting some dividend-rich stocks (utilities, REITs) in a very vulnerable position. Could this be the end of their rally?

2015-02-11 00:00:00 Don’t Count High Yield Out in 2015 by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

Fears about higher US interest rates, rising defaults and a multi-month decline in the price of oil have injected a dose of high anxiety into the high-yield market. But we still think investors will be better off this year if they stand their ground and stay invested.

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Curiosity-free Research by Michael Edesess (Article)

You come across an article that won the Financial Analyst Journal's award for best paper of 2013. You tracked it down from something you saw recently in The Economist. It is written by two Yale professors and two researchers at investment management firms - a good mix of academics and practitioners. Is it safe to assume that it provides reliable information about how to invest one's savings?

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for “Risk On?” by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

With a modest schedule of data releases, we can expect more analysis of last week’s news. Trading in several markets changed course rather abruptly. With traders poised to spot any change in trend, the question will be whether this shift is for real.

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Greek Games by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

After the Syriza party won 149 of the 300 seats in the Jan. 24th Greek elections, European markets have been roiled by worries over another crisis developing. In this report, we use game theory to describe the situation between Greece and the EU/Germany/ECB. This method shows how misunderstandings can develop and how catastrophic mistakes are made. Using this structure, we will outline the positions and perceptions of both sides and describe how this situation could lead to another crisis. As always, we will finish with market ramifications.

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Currencies: What to Watch for after the Swiss Surprise by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Switzerland’s decision to scrap the franc-euro peg has grabbed the headlines, but the bigger story remains the continued dominance of the U.S. dollar.

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Riding An Aging Bull (Market) by Rick Vollaro of Pinnacle Advisory Group

The year has begun in roller coaster fashion, and our team has been busy reading and digesting the many 2015 outlooks that come across our desks. But reading is the easy part, and now it’s our turn to distill the many facets of our process into a workable thesis that allows us to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns in this maturing market cycle.

2015-02-09 00:00:00 Bonds or Jeter? by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

In baseball, batters choose to either swing for the fences in hopes of a home run or go for more consistent base hits. These same principles are highly relevant to the current market environment and long-term investment success. So, see if you really want home run hitters in your portfolio?

2015-02-09 00:00:00 The International Ramifications of ECB QE by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

By engaging in quantitative easing, the European Central Bank is pursuing its inflation mandate with a vengeance. Overall, we think the combination of quantitative easing, investment and lower oil prices will help eurozone growth reach approximately 1.3% in 2015. Global central bank balance sheets continue to expand: Although the Federal Reserve stopped purchasing assets in 2014, the Bank of Japan and now the ECB have stepped up buying bonds where the Fed left off.

2015-02-09 00:00:00 All the Children Are Above Average by Harley Bassman of PIMCO

Many investment strategies are centered upon discovering a long-term (average) valuation framework to help in asset allocation and security selection. The term surface of various risk parameters often moves in such a manner that the discounted forward value will point toward this long-term average. If a secular shift has taken place - if all the children are above average, so to speak - then maybe the “average” has changed.

2015-02-08 00:00:00 The Eurozone: Collateral Damage by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Now we're watching another Greek drama that could have significant unintended consequences – far beyond anything the market has priced in today. Then again, maybe not. Maybe the market is right this time. When we enter unknown territory, who knows what we will find? Fertile valleys and treasure, or deserts and devastation? Today we look at the situation in Europe and ponder what we don't know. Greece provides a wonderful learning opportunity.

2015-02-08 00:00:00 Expect a Decade of 1.7% Portfolio Returns from a Conventional Asset Mix by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The problem for investors here is that risk premiums are compressed in equities at a time when bonds offer no way out. When risk premiums are compressed across the board, conventional asset allocations are very much like trying to squeeze water from a stone. We project a 10-year nominal annual portfolio total return averaging only about 1.7% annually for anything close to a standard portfolio mix of equities, bonds and cash, regardless of how much diversification one has within each of those asset classes.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Global Opportunities: The Next Leap Forward for Defined Contribution Investment Menus by Charles Roth of Thornburg Investment Management

Under ERISA, fiduciaries are obligated to ensure plan menus provide diverse investment options to help minimize the risk of long-term losses in account values. Global, non-traditional equity and fixed income options are sorely lacking in Defined Contribution (DC) plan menus. These op-tions can offer both lower correlation to U.S. markets and potentially strong returns, which par-ticipants increasingly need given the uncertainty surrounding Social Security’s future benefit levels.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Quarterly Letter by Team of Grey Owl Capital Management

Over the past seven months the price of oil has plunged from a peak above $100/barrel to the mid-$40s today. This is just the most extreme version of the market volatility and divergence we began highlighting in our second quarter letter. A cautious investment stance remains the prudent choice.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Metaphors and the message: Searching for deeper understanding of investment information by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

Metaphors have a powerful influence on how we think about things and even on the evidence we consider important. Investors should be aware of this influence and how it shapes the way we perceive various messages and data points. An important application is to focus on metaphors that are consistent with your investment goals and philosophy.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Not everyone is happy about the dollar’s recent strength; Debt negotiations between Greece and its creditors are off to a rocky start; Wages may finally be reflecting the strong U.S. employment picture

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Outcome Investing: Blending Index and Active Strategies by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

There is a lot to consider when building a portfolio. First and foremost, what is the end goal? Beyond that, investors need to also consider how much risk to take and over what time horizon? Another question that frequently comes up and is the source of many contentious debates: Should I consider indexed or active products? The simple and important answer is: both.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 A Contrary Opinion On The US Employment Report by Team of GaveKal

One of the main features of the current recovery is the drop in the potential growth rate. In every other recovery since WW2, real GDP has risen back to potential as the recovery got going, thereby closing the output gap. This time around, the output gap has narrowed because potential GDP has been revised down. This is an important point to understand when looking at today's jobs report.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Active Opportunities in a Passive World by Norman J. Boersma, Cindy L. Sweeting and Heather Arnold of Franklin Templeton

Investors have heard the drumbeat for years that the days of actively managed mutual funds are numbered. After all, some experts maintain, the performance of active funds, especially after fees are removed, typically fall short of those of passive index funds, especially when the stock market is on an upswing. But the authors contend, with apologies to Mark Twain, that reports of the demise of actively managed funds have been greatly exaggerated. And, with the help of some prominent academics, they make the case for staying active.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 Detroit Reorganizes. The Muni Market Takes Notes. by Joseph Rosenblum of AllianceBernstein

Stockton. San Bernardino, California. Jefferson County, Alabama. Over the past few years, municipal bankruptcies (Chapter 9) have captured headlines. Detroit’s case, the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, was recently settled. What have we learned? Here are four key take-aways for muni market investors.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 High-Yield ETFs: Don’t Get Fenced In by Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein

Few high-yield investors have weathered the recent plunge in energy prices without experiencing at least a few bumps and bruises. But those who relied on broad market exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to gain market exposure are nursing the most serious wounds. Coincidence? We don’t think so.

2015-02-06 00:00:00 After the Perfect Storm in US Smaller-Cap Stocks by Bruce Aronow of AllianceBernstein

Last year was a tough one for US small- and mid-cap stocks, but there’s reason to think 2015 may be different. For investors who trimmed their smaller-cap allocation last year, we think it may be time to consider taking it back to its long-term target.

2015-02-05 00:00:00 Your Alpha is My Beta by Adam Butler, Mike Philbrick and Rodrigo Gordillo of Butler|Philbrick|Gordillo & Associates

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of a short correspondence with Lars Kestner, a well known quant and derivatives trader, and creator of the thoughtful K-ratio as a measure of risk adjusted performance. We connected on the definition of alpha, and how the term has been so abused in media and marketing as to become almost meaningless.

2015-02-05 00:00:00 Why own bonds? by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

A soft start for the U.S. stock market in 2015 once again illustrates the diversification benefit of high-quality bonds even at very low yields. Even in a low-yield environment, bonds provide a cushion as price movements, not yields, are the primary buffer to equity movements. An allocation to core bonds, in addition to more attractively valued high-yield bonds, may make sense for investors.

2015-02-05 00:00:00 The 2015 Economic Outlook: Opportunities and Risks by Derek Hamilton of Ivy Investment Management Company

In 2014, the global economy grew at roughly the same pace as the prior year. However, the composition was notably different. Developed market economies grew at a faster pace, while growth slowed in emerging market economies. The dollar strengthened and commodity prices weakened. Overall, we expect these trends to continue in 2015.

2015-02-05 00:00:00 Germany's "Time Pressure" Thesis; Noose Tightens on Europe by Mike Shedlock of Sitka Pacific Capital Management

Today German Chancellor Angela Merkel proclaimed Greek Diplomatic Offensive Is Failing. Merkel’s Christian Democratic-led bloc in parliament has agreed not to give in to any “bad compromise that “defacto adds up to a debt writedown,” Hans-Peter Friedrich, a deputy leader of the caucus, said in an interview today.

2015-02-05 00:00:00 Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities: Approaching the Later Innings of a Recovery by Bryan Tsu of PIMCO

With the U.S. recovery as a supportive backdrop, PIMCO expects commercial real estate prices to rise 4%-6% in 2015. Commercial mortgage-backed securities issuance has increased for five years, and projections for 2015 are for growth of 20%-30%, driven largely by an increase in maturing loans on the supply side and the continued search for yield on the demand side. The growth in issuance does not come without concern: CMBS underwriting standards will likely continue to slip.

2015-02-05 00:00:00 The Long View: Is The Bull Market In Bonds Almost Over? by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

There has been much debate about the current low levels of interest rates in the economy today. The primary argument is that the "30-year bull market in bonds", due to consistently falling interest rates, must be near its end. Of course, this debate has devastated the "bond bears" who have consistently been frustrated by lower interest rates despite their annual predictions to the contrary. However, just because interest rates are currently low, does this necessarily mean that they must rise?

2015-02-04 00:00:00 The Opportunity in Volatility by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

While 2014 was characterized largely by the lack of volatility for most the year, and active management suffered as a result, we see those tables turning in 2015 as we expect this volatility to continue. As we sit today, we see an attractive entry point into the high yield market for active managers who can parse through the space to determine where there is value to be had, and where there are value-traps.

2015-02-04 00:00:00 The Absolute Return Letter - January 2015 by Team of Absolute Return Partners

In large parts of the financial community there is a strongly held belief that the problems which caused the credit crisis back in 2008-09 have never been properly addressed, causing many to suspect that it is only a matter of time before the ‘end game’ is upon us – the credit crisis Mk. II so to speak. I will in the following pages look at various ways the end game might unfold but, before I do so, I shall return to one of the subjects I discussed in the January letter – the end of cheap oil – which caused a flurry of comments and questions.

2015-02-04 00:00:00 Global Carry Rock ‘n’ Roll by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

Global Carry (known as Risk Parity to some) got a bit of a headwind in December (as we proclaimed it to do on Black Friday) but went straight back to Rock ‘n’ Roll as this year started, good to great. And while the other utterly famous star – the Yen is patiently await, shocked and subdued by her competitor act, all the eyes are on the King of Rock – the Dollar. Some still have his last year stellar performance tune on the mind, but is he about to sing “The times they are a changin’”?

2015-02-04 00:00:00 What's Up? Quantitative Easing and Inflation by Chris Brightman of Research Affiliates

The Fed has ceased its program of quantitative easing (QE) and may soon begin to raise interest rates. Japan has embarked on an even more aggressive program of QE. The European Central Bank (ECB) has just begun QE. In a related development, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) recently stopped pegging the Swiss franc to the euro. Many investors are asking, “What does all this monetary turmoil mean?”

2015-02-04 00:00:00 Greek Drama by Chris Brightman of Research Affiliates

Alexis Tsipras, the new prime minister of Greece, was elected because he and the Greeks who voted for him oppose the austerity imposed by Greece’s creditors. Apparently, markets were shocked by this turn of events: Greek bond yields spiked and bank stock prices plunged as euros began flowing out of the country. But should this scene have been a surprise?

2015-02-04 00:00:00 There's Diversity in Value by Brent Leadbetter and John West of Research Affiliates

A portfolio comprising long positions in individual fundamentally weighted country indices and short positions in cap-weighted country indices might prove to be the Boris Diaw of a diversified portfolio. Investors would be unlikely to meet their return targets by concentrating all their assets in such a strategy. However, given its high Sharpe ratio and low correlation with widely used asset classes, it seems a suitable addition to a robust asset mix.

2015-02-04 00:00:00 Don't fret about January effect by Burt White of LPL Financial

The stock market fell in January, causing some to ask whether the so-called January effect means that stocks will fall this year. Recall less than four weeks ago the “first five days” indicator sent a positive stock market signal for 2015. We always put fundamentals first when forecasting stock market direction—and on that score, we believe stocks still look good.

2015-02-03 00:00:00 How to Link Retirement Strategies to Sustainable-Spending Rates by Wade Pfau (Article)

Last week, my article introduced the Retirement Accumulation and Retirement Affordability indices, which help clients determine if they are retiring at a good time. In this article, I will present my new Retirement Dashboard. More specifically, I will explain how advisors can determine the appropriate sustainable-spending rate based on their client's desired spending pattern.

2015-02-03 00:00:00 A Greek Morality Tale by Joseph E. Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

When the euro crisis began a half-decade ago, Keynesian economists predicted that the austerity imposed on Greece and the other crisis countries would fail. Now that it has, what is needed is not structural reform in Greece so much as a fundamental reform of the eurozone's design and policy frameworks.

2015-02-03 00:00:00 Americas Economy Trends Update January 2015 by Team of Thomas White International

Thomas White International seeks superior performance by identifying undervalued securities in the U.S. and nearly 45 markets worldwide. Its flagship product is the Thomas White International Fund (TWWDX).

2015-02-03 00:00:00 PIMCO Introduces the PIMCO Multi-Strategy Alternative Strategy by of PIMCO

In a New Neutral environment that anticipates muted returns and heightened volatility, many investors have looked to liquid alternatives in an effort to boost returns and lower overall portfolio risks. Our approach seeks to efficiently combine a range of complementary liquid alternative strategies, offering the potential for diversification and higher return per unit of risk than a single strategy could achieve on its own. This strategy can play a central role in liquid alternatives allocations or be used as a stand-alone complement to traditional stock and bond allocations.

2015-02-03 00:00:00 Municipal Market Perspectives by Team of SMC Fixed Income Management

Pick your poison: weaker oil and copper prices; increasing gold demand; Swiss Franc and Canadian Dollar devaluations; another possible Greek tragedy; launch of European Central Bank (“ECB”) bond buying program; waning emerging markets; weakening U.S. stock prices; global deflation worries. It appears to us that the broadening global weakness could be beginning to negatively impact the U.S. expansion. Given the current state of global events, we see no reason for the Fed to prematurely move ahead with its rate normalization plan as many anticipate occurring by mid-year 2015.

2015-02-03 00:00:00 Woody Brock on Why to Own Stocks Now - Video by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Dr. Horace 'Woody' Brock is the founder Strategic Economic Decisions and the author of American Gridlock. In a recent talk, he explained why investors should own stocks ? particularly those with stable dividends ? and why bonds are very risky in today's environment. This is the video; a transcript of this talk is also available.

2015-02-03 00:00:00 Seeking Value Amid Volatility by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Stocks struggled last week, and once again the losses were most pronounced in the United States. Financial markets remain highly volatile, with violent swings in the oil price and interest rates adding to the angst. With the Fed likely to start removing monetary accommodation, 2015 was bound to be a more volatile year than last.

2015-02-02 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the data deluge signal economic weakness? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

This is a landslide week for economic data, and earnings season is in full swing. Last week’s Q4 GDP report and overall market tone has revived deflation concerns. I expect market participants to be watching each economic release closely, asking: Are there signs of incipient economic weakness?

2015-02-02 00:00:00 What Is Plan B for Greece? by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

Though the far-left Syriza party’s recent election victory has sent Greek equities and bonds plummeting, there is little sign of contagion to other distressed countries on the eurozone periphery. The question is how long this relative calm will prevail.

2015-02-02 00:00:00 Why the Rest of 2015 May Not Look Like January by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

January was a rough month for equity markets. Volatility increased and stocks endured some notable setbacks. For the month, the S&P 500 Index fell 3.0% after declining 2.8% last week. We believe, however, that the same factors pushing stock prices lower will actually support longer-term economic growth. We expect markets will stabilize and recover in the coming months, and believe that by the end of 2015 equity prices will be at a higher level than where they began the year.

2015-02-02 00:00:00 Portfolio Strategies 2015: Investing in an Age of Divergence by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Everyone is worried about being blindsided by a significant downdraft in the markets when maybe we should be thinking about making sure we don’t miss a bull market somewhere. These and several dozen other topics were on the table when the Mauldin Economics writing team gathered here in Dallas for 3½ days of intensive talk, interviews, and planning. Today we’ll go over a few of the highlights of this last week, and I’ll share a few reasons to be optimistic about 2015.

2015-01-31 00:00:00 The Super Bowl of Investing by Robert Isbitts and Vincent Esposito of Sungarden Investment Research

Here is our list of official National Football League penalties — as applied to investors. Don’t get penalized, think your way through today’s environment, or find a money management specialist who can.

2015-01-30 00:00:00 PIMCO Extends Its Dividend Suite With Two New Regional Strategies by Brad Kinkelaar, Adam Muller of PIMCO

As is the case with our other dividend strategies, we are unconstrained by benchmarks and focused on generating yield and capital appreciation by finding attractively valued companies that pay appealing dividends today and have an ability and willingness to grow dividends over time.

2015-01-30 00:00:00 The Next Act in the Greek Drama by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The outcome of Greece’s election suggests a prolonged period of heightened tensions and difficult negotiations with the troika. Compromises are possible, but reform efforts could fall by the wayside.

2015-01-29 00:00:00 Commodity Outlook 2015: Watching the Supply Response Across Markets? by Nicholas Johnson, Greg Sharenow of PIMCO

Today?s low oil prices should allow for supply and demand to come back into alignment by year-end, led by a decline in the U.S. output growth rate and a modest increase in global demand. We expect continued oversupply to weigh on natural gas prices this year, but some semblance of balance may return to this market in 2016. Grain prices may experience pressure in 2015 as low oil prices pass through to corn prices, which may cause producers to switch to higher-priced crops. With production growth likely having peaked, we expect metals prices to stabilize this year.

2015-01-29 00:00:00 What's Up? Quantitative Easing and Inflation by Chris Brightman of Research Affiliates

In a recent piece from Research Affiliates, Chris Brightman, chief investment officer, provides "Central Banking 101," noting that just within the last several months the Fed has ceased its program of quantitative easing (QE) and may soon begin to raise interest rates, Japan has embarked on an even more aggressive program of QE and the European Central Bank (ECB) has just begun QE. In a related development, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) recently stopped pegging the Swiss franc to the euro. Many investors are asking, ?What does all this monetary turmoil mean??

2015-01-29 00:00:00 The Strange Case of the Current Small-Cap Cycle by Team of The Royce Funds

For much of the past five years, small-cap stocks have generated returns well above their monthly rolling five-year averages. In addition, lower-than-usual volatility within the asset class and a decline in the cost of capital spurred by the Fed?s monetary stimulus programs have created an unfriendly environment for active stock pickers such as ourselves. Our latest research, however, suggests that some of these conditions were abating late in 2014, which might benefit those investors who focus on fundamentals and try to use volatility to create longer-term opportunities.

2015-01-29 00:00:00 A Year to Think Small by Ted Baszler of Heartland Advisors

The current economic environment here and abroad could be setting up to benefit small-cap equities.

2015-01-29 00:00:00 Games People Play by William Gross of Janus Capital Group

My mother taught me how to play Monopoly ? the game ? and the markets over 40 years past have taught me how to play Monopoly ? the financial economy. Financial markets and our finance-based economy are actually quite similar to the game in terms of the rules and strategies it takes to win. Monopoly?s real-time bank (the Fed) distributes money to players at the beginning and then continues to create more and more credit as the economy passes go.

2015-01-29 00:00:00 U.S. Long Bond: Panic Buying by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

The demand for long-term Treasury bonds has reached panic proportions. A casual inspection of price history suggests that the rally since December 2013 is too steep, too fast. An alternative measure of intensity, the ratio of 30-year to 10-year bond prices is also flashing red. The price of 30’s relative to 10’s is rising at a pace not seen since the panic of 2008. Can an important top be far ahead?

2015-01-29 00:00:00 Advice for Investing in Today's Volatile Markets: 5 Points by John Calamos of Calamos Investments

In my view: (1) Volatility will likely continue at an elevated level. Falling commodity prices, global growth fears and political uncertainties in the euro zone are among the factors that will add to volatility in the markets over these next months. (2) The U.S. stock market can continue to advance for 2015. (3) Investors need to look through the short-term volatility and position their portfolios proactively and strategically. (4) Diversification is important?but bonds aren?t necessarily the right answer.

2015-01-29 00:00:00 Municipal Market Update: What's Ahead in 2015 by Joseph Deane, Julie Callahan, Sean McCarthy of PIMCO

Municipal bonds ended 2014 as one of the best-performing asset classes - buoyed by investors’ search for yield in a low interest-rate environment. For 2015, we are positioned cautiously for greater volatility in the fixed income markets. We currently prefer revenue-backed bonds over most general obligation (GO) debt, as these sectors typically benefit from dedicated revenue streams and do not have the pension challenges that many state and local governments face.

2015-01-29 00:00:00 3 Things - Fed Mistake, ECB QE, Housing by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve made their latest monetary policy announcement. Janet Yellen, the current Chairwoman, made several statements that led the markets to believe that they remain on course for increasing the overnight lending rate this year.

2015-01-29 00:00:00 Momentum X 2: Unleashing the True Power of Momentum by Gordon Nelson of Keystone Wealth Advisors

Momentum is one of the most researched market anomalies and has become widely accepted and used in a variety of ways for investment management. When used in practice is it most commonly referred to as relative strength or relative momentum. What happens if we combine the power of relative momentum with absolute momentum?

2015-01-29 00:00:00 Contrarian View: A More Balanced Approach to Rate Risk in 2015 by Scott Eldridge of Invesco Blog

The threat of higher interest rates is dominating many 2015 outlooks for investors and professional forecasters alike. Consensus expectations call for the Federal Reserve (Fed) to begin tightening in the second half of the year, with market rates to rise in concert and bond prices to fall. But the changing composition of voting members on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is a looming variable that I believe will likely impact the pace and severity of Fed action.

2015-01-28 00:00:00 Sell-off in Corporate Credit Creates Income Opportunities for 2015 by Payson Swaffield of Eaton Vance

In this insight, Payson puts last year?s bond market volatility and performance in perspective and points out potential investment opportunities across market sectors in 2015.

2015-01-28 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: January by Christopher Molumphy, Michael Materasso, Roger Bayston, Michael Hasenstab, John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

After a much better-than-expected annualized growth rate of 5% in the third quarter of 2014, the stars would seem to be fairly much aligned for continued US growth in the months ahead. Job growth has continued apace, interest rates and energy prices have remained low, and consumer and business confidence has been buoyant. As we start the new year, the main areas of uncertainty would seem to be the pace of growth and the implications of recent price and employment trends for the timing of monetary tightening by the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

2015-01-28 00:00:00 Why European Euphoria Isn?t Likely to Last by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The ECB took definitive action against deflation fears with a broad asset purchase program that impressed the markets. Here is a quick analysis of its impact on stocks and bonds beyond the short term.

2015-01-27 00:00:00 Key Issues for 2015: The View from Western Asset by Sponsored Content from Legg Mason Investor Services LLC (Article)

The U.S. represents a bright spot in a global recovery best characterized as "two steps forward, one step back." Sector and issue selection remain crucial in this environment, but so do macroeconomic strategies, which may help provide ballast when the pace of recovery slows.

2015-01-27 00:00:00 Introducing the Retirement Wealth and Affordability Indices by Wade Pfau (Article)

How can you help clients determine if they are retiring at a good time? I aim to answer that with my recently developed Retirement Accumulation Index and Retirement Affordability Index. Let me explain how those two indices work and how you should use them with clients.

2015-01-27 00:00:00 How Monkeys and Peanuts Can Help You Gather AUM by Daniel Solin (Article)

Monkeys love peanuts. To understand how that relates to gathering assets under management (AUM), let's revisit a study demonstrating that emotions drive decisions.

2015-01-27 00:00:00 Should Clients Select Lump-Sum Pension Payments? by Neal Angel (Article)

Employers are increasingly offering lump-sum pension payments. Should your client take the money? Or should they take the monthly paycheck for life?

2015-01-27 00:00:00 No Deflating the U.S. Dollar by Burt White of LPL Financial

The latest leg up for the U.S. dollar has been driven by anticipation and arrival of QE by the ECB. The dollar has been strong for a number of reasons, all of them good things. Though not the end all and be all, currency is an important consideration when determining asset allocation.

2015-01-26 00:00:00 How Global Interest Rates Deceive Markets by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

When it comes to interpreting what current interest rates are telling us about the markets in various countries, I have to say that I do not think they mean what the market seems to think they mean. In fact, buried in that list of bond yields is ?false information? ? information so distorted and yet so readily misunderstood that it leads to wrong conclusions and decisions ? and to bad investments.

2015-01-26 00:00:00 Unknown Unknowns by Michael Kayes of Willingdon Wealth Management

How accurate are annual predictions about the market? What are the key drivers for stocks this year? Read on to find out..

2015-01-26 00:00:00 The Consumption of Davos by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Europe?s central bank took bold action this week, consuming the conversation at the World Economic Forum?s Annual Meeting, but will it be enough?

2015-01-26 00:00:00 Global Economic Growth Should Gradually Begin to Improve by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets reacted to both positive and negative forces last week, but the positive factors won out in the end. Corporate earnings sentiment was lackluster and investors continued to focus on the negative effects of falling oil prices. However, markets experienced a significant tailwind from a more aggressive-than-expected quantitative easing announcement from the European Central Bank (ECB). For the week, the S&P 500 Index climbed 1.6%, snapping a three week losing streak.

2015-01-25 00:00:00 No Need to Fear Low Oil Prices by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Oil markets are starting 2015 in a very different position than a year ago. It may be time to review your portfolio as cheaper oil may change the investment landscape and become the new reality.

2015-01-25 00:00:00 There?s More to the Gold Rally than European Market Fears by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Even though gold was down last year, it still ranked as the second-best-performing currency, following the U.S. dollar. The metal has risen about 10 percent year-to-date, and on Tuesday, for the first time since mid-August, it broke through the $1,300 mark.

2015-01-25 00:00:00 Fixed Income Investment Outlook: 2014 is Over. Long Live 2014! by Team of Osterweis Capital Management

We believe that at current yields there is no investment grade ?fat pitch? at this time. Our focus remains on keeping duration short and layering-in higher yielding paper, especially on sharp corrections in markets like we have seen recently. We believe that the appropriate time to take a swing at investment grade bonds will be when yields are much higher and the economy is teetering towards recession.

2015-01-25 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The ECB Faces Fact; United States: Federal Budget Check-Up; Are Risk Management Techniques Adding to Market Risk?

2015-01-25 00:00:00 Decoding The ECB?S QE Paradox by Jeffrey Rosenberg of BlackRock

The ECB?s launch of its one trillion euro rescue plan this week has implications for investors everywhere. Jeffrey Rosenberg dissects two critical comments Mario Draghi made after the announcement.

2015-01-25 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

It's safe to say that US indices have been acting very differently over the past two months than they have at any other time in the past 3 years. This oscillating pattern of sharp falls and rebounds suggests equities are searching for direction. In the past 5 years, this has been a prelude to a change in trend.

2015-01-23 00:00:00 Despite Hitting an Oil Slick, Evidence Underpins a Positive Outlook on MLPs by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

The fall in energy prices has raised concerns that the dramatic hydrocarbon volume growth we have seen from the new shale plays in the U.S. in the past few years is over or might even reverse. We believe these concerns are overblown. We think the current dislocation in the commodity markets is a case of supply temporarily getting ahead of demand.

2015-01-23 00:00:00 3 Things - The Fed, Rig Counts And Employment, ECB by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Yesterday, I wrote a fairly lengthy discussion on the biggest fear of the Fed is deflation. As I stated: "The biggest worry of the Federal Reserve, and frankly every Central Banker on the planet, is deflation. The reason is that deflation, as an economic pressure, is dangerous and once entrenched becomes difficult to break."

2015-01-23 00:00:00 U.S. Lodging: The Recovery Checks In for an Extended Stay by Ray Huang, Amit Arora of PIMCO

Relatively high occupancy levels should drive room rate growth in the hotel sector over the next several years, despite some supply entering the market. We see opportunities in certain segments, such as premium hotels and C-corporations, due to high barriers to entry and pricing power.

2015-01-23 00:00:00 Winter Quarterly Commentary by Team of Knightsbridge Asset Management

Last year, Legos hit the big screen. In ?The LEGO Movie?, as those of you with children are more likely to be aware, a Lego mini-figure named Emmet Brickowski and his allies save the universe from the clutches of the evil Lord Business. Victory in hand, our Lego friends then party, to the tune ?Everything is Awesome?. And indeed, here too in our more mundane real world...everything is awesome!

2015-01-23 00:00:00 ECB Review: Blowing on the Embers of a Reflationary Fire by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

?Not to pursue our mandate would be illegal? is how Mario Draghi ended his last press conference of 2014. Mr. Draghi?s first press conference of 2015 began with the announcement of a quantitative easing (QE) programme that pursues the European Central Bank?s (ECB) inflation mandate with a vengeance. And rightly so, for the disinflationary trends in the eurozone had become all the more precarious as economic output and the price of oil continued to fall.

2015-01-23 00:00:00 High Yield Bonds versus Equities by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Investors are often led down the path that they must invest in equities in order to generate a decent return, and that the high yield market is too risky and speculative. However, reality and the data points suggest otherwise. Looking over the past couple decades and various periods in between, you can see that high yield has outperformed the equity market (as measured by the S&P 500 Index) on a risk adjusted basis (return/risk) over the past 5, 10, 15 and 25 years, and performed equivalently over the last 3 years.

2015-01-23 00:00:00 Tsunamis Most Often Come Without Warning by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

On Thursday, January 15th, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) discontinued its three year effort to maintain its minimum currency floor of the Swiss franc. In a single day the move sent the Swiss Franc (SWF) climbing a massive 21% against the U.S. dollar and 41% against the euro. The move sent shockwaves of unprecedented ferocity through the massive foreign exchange (FX) market, which is by far the largest, and most highly levered, trading market in the world.

2015-01-22 00:00:00 Wait and See at the Bank of England by Mike Amey of PIMCO

UK growth looks to be sustainable, with encouraging domestic demand, though we need to see business investment continue to pick up. Although inflation hovering below the 1% lower tolerance band of the Bank of England (BOE) remains a concern, we think it actually gives the central bank welcome breathing room during a period of uncertainty for the global economy. Looking ahead, we see compelling investment value in the intermediate part of the UK yield curve, namely five- to 10-year bonds, as the BOE plays the waiting game.

2015-01-22 00:00:00 Fixed Income in 2015: Lower for Longer? by Jonathan Heckscher of Pennsylvania Trust

2014 surprised many bond investors as interest rates fell dramatically on the longer end while they rose as expected on the short end. The result was another solid year of returns for investors that remained in longer-duration bonds, and was adequate for most investors that shortened their duration.

2015-01-21 00:00:00 Swiss Franc's Surge = Chaos In Global Currency Markets by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Last Thursday, the Swiss National Bank stunned the financial world by decoupling the Swiss franc from the euro. This surprise move sent the franc up almost 40% against the euro in one day, although it didn?t close that high (up 19%). Nevertheless, many currency traders, banks and brokerages were left with devastating losses.

2015-01-21 00:00:00 What We Are Hearing From Asia-Pacific Investors: Five Themes for 2015 by Eric Mogelof of PIMCO

Amid lower forward-looking returns, investors are focusing on multi-asset solutions, enhanced beta, income and alternatives in Asia-Pacific. PIMCO is prepared to address these themes, drawing upon our time-tested investment process that combines high-level macroeconomic views with thorough on-the-ground research.

2015-01-21 00:00:00 Investor implications of QE by the ECB by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Is European Central Bank (ECB) head Draghi?s determination to purchase government bonds turning Europe into a banana republic? What are the implications not only for the euro and U.S. dollar, but gold, stocks and bonds? Our analysis shows that conventional wisdom may be proven wrong in more than one way.

2015-01-21 00:00:00 Tocqueville Gold Strategy Investor Letter: Year End 2014 by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

John Hathaway, manager of the Tocqueville Gold Fund (TGLDX), looks back at the performance of gold over 2014, noting that: "in dollar terms gold declined 1.7 percent, but?it posted solid gains against all other currencies," and that "the dollar?s strength relative to other currencies has camouflaged the strength of gold."

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Gundlach's Forecast for 2015 by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Despite a fragile economic recovery - now threatened by falling oil prices - and the likelihood that the Fed will raise short-term rates, the prospects for the U.S. bond market in 2015 are good, according to Jeffrey Gundlach.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Retiring in a Low-Return Environment by David Blanchett, Michael Finke and Wade Pfau (Article)

Low bond yields and high equity valuations suggest lower spending for retirees. Prior research forecasted the impact on safe-withdrawal rates (SWRs), but a more sophisticated model can improve the accuracy of those predictions. We show just how low the SWRs should be for today's retirees.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 A Year-End Letter to Clients: How the World's Wealthiest Families Invest by Dan Richards (Article)

Here are the components of the year-end letter for 2014: An overview of 2014 performance; Some context on market valuations and how wealthy families are investing today; and brief thoughts for the period ahead.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Albert Edwards - "Markets to Riot" by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Albert Edwards admits that his "bear" reputation is well deserved, at least with respect to equities, an asset class he has dismissed for the last 10 years. His bearishness has not abated, and for the coming year, he fears that "deflation will overwhelm the west." Markets, he said, will riot.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 The Swiss Release the Kraken! by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In an era when central bankers are supposed to be more open, collaborative, and communicative, what would make the Swiss National Bank decide to turn on a dime and shock the markets ? to release the Kraken, as it were? Note that in fact all hell did break loose. Rather than delivering hints accompanied by a few well-placed leaks, the Swiss decided it would be best to completely surprise the markets. It will be a long time before we get the full story on what must have been going through their heads as they reached the decision.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

US equities have now fallen three weeks in a row. At its low on Friday, SPX was 5% off its high on December 29.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Economic Update by Kevin Moloney of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

The drop in energy prices dominates global headlines and the economic implications on a global scale are somewhat mixed, with major oil importers benefiting the most. Beyond energy, the backdrop for the U.S. economy continues to be strong, with a third quarter GDP estimate of 3.9% and a labor market that continues to plod along; although improvements are still needed. The strong close to 2014 is providing a robust tailwind for the domestic economy entering the New Year, whereas many countries overseas continue to cope with slower growth and potential deflation.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Despite Escalating Volatility, U.S. Fundamentals Remain Sound by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities declined for a third straight week, with the S&P 500 Index dropping 1.2%. Defensive areas such as utilities and telecommunications were the best-performing sectors, while the financial sector was hit the hardest. Notwithstanding last week?s decision by the Swiss National Bank to remove its currency peg, the fundamental backdrop has not changed much in recent weeks. We attribute the fall in equity prices to ongoing worries about the collapse in oil prices and the ripple effect on the global financial system.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Swiss Surprise: National Bank Ends Currency Cap by Rob Waldner, Nicholas Wall, Ray Uy of Invesco Blog

On Jan. 15, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unexpectedly abandoned its policy to cap the value of the franc at 1.2 euros.1 Over the past few years, the SNB has had to sell billions of francs to buy euros to prevent an excessive appreciation of the domestic currency - a too-strong currency could dent the country?s export business.

2015-01-20 00:00:00 Navigating the Oil Slick by Team of Calamos Investments

GDP growth for 2015 is likely to be 2.0%-2.5% globally and 2.5%-3.0% in the U.S. Oil prices may fall further but are likely to stabilize over the next several months. The ECB is likely to ramp up QE in the first quarter. These next months are likely to be volatile, but equities have more room to run. Low corporate borrowing costs and high dividend yields should encourage continued M&A and buyback activity, providing support to equity valuations. With the U.S. in the middle innings of the recovery, the case for secular and cyclical growth companies remains strong.

2015-01-18 00:00:00 QE and the ECB: "Authorize" is a Slippery Word by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The ECB will authorize a large QE program this week, but my impression is that the details will leave the ECB itself responsible for executing only a fraction of the announced program, with the remaining majority of the program (perhaps 60-75%) being nothing more than the option for each national central bank to purchase its own country?s government bonds, at its own discretion, and its own risk. Moreover, that option is likely to be limited to something on the order of 25% of the outstanding government debt of each respective country.

2015-01-17 00:00:00 Clock Will Be Ticking for Greece?s New Government by Darren Williams and Dennis Shen of AllianceBernstein

Greece is holding early parliamentary elections on January 25. A victory for the anti-austerity Syriza party would probably trigger tense negotiations with the country?s official lenders and fresh volatility in Greek government bond markets. But the expected launch of ECB QE should mitigate contagion to the rest of the periphery.

2015-01-17 00:00:00 Looking Ahead: What the ECB Might Do by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The next European Central Bank policy setting meeting could bring about a new quantitative easing program. Would it be able to keep the eurozone from falling into a deflationary trap?

2015-01-17 00:00:00 Palladium Was the Winner in 2014 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Palladium, 2014?s top commodity, performed relatively according to script. For the year it was up 11.35 percent, compared to its 10-year annualized returns of 14 percent. Much like nickel, palladium was spurred by extenuating circumstances. Between January and June, a labor strike in South Africa, the world?s second-largest producer of the metal following Russia, halted production, which depleted reserves and sent palladium to a three-year high of $850 an ounce.

2015-01-17 00:00:00 What Did We Learn About Bonds in 2014? by Douglas J. Peebles of AllianceBernstein

After a less-than-stellar 2013 for bonds, many investors were ready to turn their backs on the asset class. But many didn?t?and were rewarded for their long-term perspective.

2015-01-16 00:00:00 3 Things - Employment, Interest Rates & Retail Sales by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

There has been much discussion as of late about the "longest string of employment gains since the 90's." There is certainly no argument that employment has improved since the financial crisis, however, with the economy six years into a recovery we should certainly expect as much.

2015-01-16 00:00:00 QQE2: Japan?s Monetary Banzai Charge by Chris Richey of Neosho Capital

In this Age of Monetary Policy, it is impossible to ignore the macro. As much as we would like to focus only on individual enterprises, the mind-boggling scale of $5 trillion of monetary intervention in the U.S., Japan, and Europe renders such cloistered thinking imprudent. Not only must Benjamin Graham?s enterprising investor understand individual stocks, but they must also be keenly cognizant of the role the world?s largest central banks actively play in the value of currencies, bonds, stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and derivatives of all kinds.

2015-01-16 00:00:00 Yesterday?s Gone: Year-End Capital Markets Commentary and Expectations by Chris Brightman, Jim Masturzo of Research Affiliates

With updated return expectations, we estimate that the performance of U.S. stocks and bonds over the next 10 years will be significantly lower than long-term historical averages. Other asset classes may produce moderately better returns.

2015-01-16 00:00:00 The Swiss National Bank?s Unpleasant Experience of Sleeping Next to an Elephant by Sachin Gupta, Thomas Kressin of PIMCO

On 15 January 2015, the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unexpectedly exited its minimum exchange rate regime, which it had adopted back in September 2011 when it was fighting sharp appreciation of the Swiss franc in the midst of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.

2015-01-15 00:00:00 5 Charts For Fully Invested Bears by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

While the mainstream media continues to misalign individuals expectations by chastising them for "not beating the market," which is actually impossible to do, the job of a portfolio manager is to participate in the markets with a predilection toward capital preservation. It is the destruction of capital during market declines that have the greatest impact on long-term portfolio performance.

2015-01-15 00:00:00 Seizing Credit Opportunities When Oil Prices Are Sliding by Mark Kiesel, David Linton of PIMCO

?We believe we are moving into an extended period of lower oil prices, and we are actively managing our clients? energy exposure with an eye toward benefiting from recent events. Differentiation between the winners and losers across countries, sectors and individual companies is essential. We currently favor subsectors and companies with strong asset quality, high barriers to entry, solid production profiles and strong balance sheets and liquidity profiles.

2015-01-14 00:00:00 Are Macroeconomists Rebuilding a Wall of Worry? by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

Those of you who follow us at Smead Capital Management know that we believe in the idea that good markets die on too much affection and continue due to a lack of affection. You also know that we want to own wonderful companies for a long time and do so through regular stock market corrections/bear markets over the years. Since the stock market bottom in March of 2009, this secular bull market has climbed on a wall of worry and on a lack of optimism.

2015-01-14 00:00:00 Is The US Treasury Market Rigged? Some Say Yes by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The last time federal regulators took a hard look at how Wall Street banks and brokers trade US Treasury securities ? the largest bond market on the planet by a longshot ? a little company called Google Inc. was just starting out.

2015-01-14 00:00:00 Bond CEFs Featuring Robert Shaker by (Article)

Bond-focused closed-end funds may help your portfolio even in rising rate environments, says Robert Shaker of Shaker Financial Services.

2015-01-14 00:00:00 2014 Review Featuring Mike Taggart by (Article)

US equity and long-duration municipal bond sectors fared well in 2014, while senior loans and MLPs disappointed, says Mike Taggart of Nuveen Investments.

2015-01-13 00:00:00 The Advantages of a Dynamic Retirement Income Strategy by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

Retirees will adjust their spending depending on investment experience. But most research uses withdrawal strategies that are fixed at inception, such as the 4% rule. I'll show that when spending can adjust each year, retirement outcomes will improve. I'll also show the gains that can be achieved by adding annuities.

2015-01-13 00:00:00 Volatility and Uncertainty in the Energy Market by Kathleen Gaffney of Eaton Vance

What?s causing the decline in oil prices? Kathleen Gaffney, co-director of investment-grade fixed income weighs in.

2015-01-13 00:00:00 Market Outlook 2015: Double Digit Gain...Thank You, May I Have Another? by K. Sean Clark of Clark Capital Management Group

The U.S. stock market finds itself in rare territory as we enter 2015. For only the sixth time in the past 150 years, the U.S. stock market has registered a double-digit gain for three consecutive calendar years from 2012 to 2014. We will try to answer the question: ?Can the U.S. stock market post a fourth year of double-digit gains??

2015-01-13 00:00:00 High-Yield and Bank Loan Outlook by Team of Guggenheim Partners

Investment-grade and high-yield spreads widen as energy plunges.

2015-01-12 00:00:00 Markets May Be Choppy, but Equities Should Advance in 2015 by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The year started off with equity markets experiencing volatile trading. Stock prices dropped sharply in the first few trading days before recovering, while oil prices plummeted and bond yields fell. Last week, U.S. equities lost ground and the S&P 500 Index declined 0.6%.

2015-01-12 00:00:00 A Five-Year Global Financial Forecast: Tsunami Warning by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

It is the time of the year for forecasts; but rather than do an annual forecast, which is as much a guessing game as anything else (and I am bad at guessing games), I?m going to do a five-year forecast to take us to the end of the decade, which I think may be useful for longer-term investors.

2015-01-11 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: A Message from the Bond Market? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

There are many reasons for some to own bonds, but the extremely low interest rates suggest something beyond that. I suggest a leveraged arbitrage with Europe and Japan. Please note: This is basically the opposite of the 1998 carry trade.

2015-01-11 00:00:00 A Better Lesson than "This Time is Different" by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The near-term outcome of speculative, overvalued markets is conditional on investor preferences toward risk-seeking or risk-aversion, and those preferences can be largely inferred from observable market internals and credit spreads. The difference between an overvalued market that becomes more overvalued, and an overvalued market that crashes, has little to do with the level of valuation and everything to do with investor risk preferences. Yet long-term investment outcomes remain chiefly defined by those valuations.

2015-01-10 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

After hitting new all-time highs in the days after Christmas, US equities have now fallen two weeks in a row, an auspicious way to start the new year.

2015-01-10 00:00:00 Five Things To Ponder: What This Way Cometh by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

This week's reading list is a smattering of reads about 2015. As a contrarian investor by nature, it was interesting to note how hard it was to find views that were NOT bullishly biased. It seems we may have now entered a market realm where Unicorns and Bears are only things of legend.

2015-01-10 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Greece's renewed drama is more noise than signal; U.S. job growth rolls merrily along

2015-01-09 00:00:00 Nonrandom Patterns by Keith McCullough of Hedgeye Risk Management

What an excellent start to 2015! It?s been years since I?ve seen so many great long and short ideas across the Global Macro universe. If your portfolio mandate is diversified and flexible (across asset classes), I think you can have a crusher of a year!

2015-01-09 00:00:00 Recovery Gaining Momentum? by Ed Devlin, Mike Cudzil, Lupin Rahman of PIMCO

U.S. growth will remain robust over the cyclical horizon due to increasing consumption driven by the narrowing unemployment gap and increase in disposable incomes. The Canadian recovery should continue, though divergent forces ? including the U.S. recovery and oil price declines ? could have significant implications for the economy. Growth will be muted across Latin America, with some economies benefitting from U.S. growth, and others dragged down by the slowdown in the eurozone and China.

2015-01-09 00:00:00 Investment themes for a ?Groundhog Day? world by David King of Columbia Management

Wall Street strategists and ?financial media pundits have spent much of the last several years foreshadowing a dramatically changing investment environment and telling people what to do about it.

2015-01-09 00:00:00 Pie in the Sky? by Team of Absolute Return Partners

January each year brings with it a host of forecasts, many of which are 'pie in the sky' - silly predictions on equity markets, interest rates and currency movements. We are not in that game, but this is the first time we have written a letter in January. Why? Because we think investors should be focusing on longer term structural trends when analysing the future.

2015-01-08 00:00:00 Consensus Macro Memes by Keith McCullough of Hedgeye Risk Management

Do Global Macro Themes propagate themselves into consensus narratives? You bet your Madoff they do. But timing them matters. You really get paid by front-running them by 3-6 months.

2015-01-08 00:00:00 Global Economic Outlook by Team of Northern Trust

Re-entry to the workplace after the holiday season isn't exactly like a satellite descending from earth's orbit.

2015-01-08 00:00:00 TIPS Adjust to the Financial Market Environment by Stephen Percoco of Lark Research, Inc.

U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities had a solid year in 2014, bouncing back from losses in 2013. Yet, except for the losses in 2013, TIPS returns were the lowest since 2008.

2015-01-08 00:00:00 3 Things - Volatility, The Fed and Yield Spreads by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Since the end of the Federal Reserve's latest QE program, market volatility has picked up markedly. Since October, as QE came to its final bond buying conclusion, the drain of liquidity begin to financial market activity. As shown in the chart below, there have been three fairly sizable selloffs last quarter of 7.9%, 5.0%, and 4.3%.

2015-01-08 00:00:00 Averages Won't Keep You Warm...or Wisely Invested by Jack Tierney of Invesco Blog

When investors build their portfolio allocations, they correctly look at long-term average returns for the asset classes they?re considering, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, cash and alternatives. After looking at the returns for asset classes below, though, an investor may be tempted to invest everything in emerging market securities and real estate investment trusts (REITs), as they have the highest average annual returns over the last 10 years.

2015-01-07 00:00:00 How Can The Bond Bull Keep Going? by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

In our Weekly Market Update we have made an effort to track the deflationary story being told in the global fixed income markets, specifically sovereign yields have continued to trade lower defying what most investors thought was possible; Swiss 10 year debt recently yielded 25 basis points. A while back I quoted a Seth Klarman Tweet about German debt trading at multi-century low yields.

2015-01-07 00:00:00 Action and Reaction by Team of Heartland Advisors

A summary of Newton?s third law may best describe the effects of the macro events that surrounded 2014 and brought it to a close: Nothing happens in a vacuum. The trick is to anticipate what the consequence of any action might be.

2015-01-07 00:00:00 Is Your Portfolio Ready for 2015? #crash by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Is the recent bout in volatility yet another ?buy-the-dip? opportunity or a sign of worse to come? Investors struggle to both keeping up with the markets while protecting themselves against a severe correction. By taking a step back, investors might be able to see the forest for the trees to gauge whether their portfolio is ready for what lies ahead.

2015-01-07 00:00:00 A Quick Look at the World Economy by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

An assessment of where the different world economies stand, including a look at the United States, Europe and Asia.

2015-01-06 00:00:00 An In-Depth Look at Two Dodge & Cox Funds by Larry Swedroe (Article)

For investors looking to choose a U.S. large-value fund, The Dodge & Cox Stock Fund (DODGX) is an excellent candidate. Given its outstanding record, let's take a look at the fund's performance.

2015-01-06 00:00:00 The Shiller P/E Enters Rarefied Air by Keith Goddard, CFA (Article)

The domestic stock market cannot deliver a sustainable double-digit return without entering a speculative bubble, based on historical data reflecting correlations between the level of the Shiller P/E and subsequent outcomes in the stock market over the past 134 years. Conditions are ripe for a speculative bubble in the domestic stock market in 2015, and investors should reduce risk in their portfolios in stages during the coming year.

2015-01-06 00:00:00 As We Enter 2015, "Bulls" Should Consider by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

As we enter into 2015, analyst calls for a continued "bull market" advance have never been louder. There have been a litany of articles written recently discussing how the stock market is set for a continued bull rally. The are some primary points that are common threads among each of these articles.

2015-01-06 00:00:00 Oil, Currencies, and the Fed by Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

Fourth quarter headlines included volatility spikes, dramatic declines in oil prices, and positive views of the economy by the Fed. Oil declined 41% this quarter and 46% for the year. The dollar continued to gain against some major developed global currencies. For the year, the dollar gained 13.6% against the euro and 13.8% against the yen while gold was down 2%.

2015-01-06 00:00:00 Ides by William Gross of Janus Capital Group

Beware the Ides of March, or the Ides of any month in 2015 for that matter. When the year is done, there will be minus signs in front of returns for many asset classes. The good times are over.

2015-01-05 00:00:00 Tips for Navigating The Market in 2015 by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

As the calendar turns to 2015, its time to assess the investing landscape and your investment portfolio to ensure youre well positioned for the New Year. The BlackRock List can help.

2015-01-05 00:00:00 Pills for Cognitive Dissonance in a Speculative Bubble by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Several years of persistent yield-seeking speculation provoked by zero-interest rate monetary policies have created a fertile ground for cognitive dissonance.

2015-01-04 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for the January Effect? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

I am not a big fan of seasonal effects unless there is a logical underlying reason. The Presidential cycle logic rests upon taking unpopular actions early in the term while emphasizing economic stimulus later. That does not have much relevance in the current environment. The January tax loss effect is more persuasive, especially in years where there are some clear losers to sell. That was true in many sectors this year.

2015-01-04 00:00:00 Why the World Needs the US Economy to Struggle by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In this weeks letter, my associate Worth Wray explores what a rising dollar means for emerging markets and what central banks are likely to do in response. Can they smooth the ride, or will it be the worlds scariest roller coaster? This letter will print long because of the number of fabulous charts Worth provides. I might make a brief comment or two at the end. Heres Worth.

2015-01-03 00:00:00 Flying High in the Sky, Looking for Opportunities in 2015 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Savvy investors know to be patient with their holdings and not easily give in to the prevailing culture of instant gratification. Ive run multiple marathons over the years and am intimately familiar with the personal rewards of going the distance. A similar investing strategy can come with the same rewards.

2015-01-02 00:00:00 Inflation Is Not Traveling in the Right Direction by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Inflation is something that those of us in the investment community have been talking about for a while now. While some economists worry that the easy monetary policy of recent years will eventually lead to significant inflation, it is possible that too little inflation is on the horizon, not too much.

2015-01-02 00:00:00 2015 Investment Outlook: EuropeThe Saga Continues by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income and portfolio manager, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, gives his perspective on what he thinks may lie ahead as the eurozones drama continues into 2015.

2015-01-02 00:00:00 Rounding Third and Heading for Where? by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

These past few weeks, with the year winding down and investment strategy decisions to think about (always), I spent a lot of time with my research team analyzing historical stock market index data as far back as 1871. First conclusion: I am sick and tired of analyzing historical stock market index data! We did this to see what todays investor might learn from market history.

2014-12-31 00:00:00 2015 Investment Outlook: EuropeThe Saga Continues by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

Like television fans deciphering a season-finale cliffhanger, investors have been left with unanswered questions about the eurozone as 2014 draws to a close. Will the European Central Bank unleash full quantitative easing? Will the eurozone fall into a recession? David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income and portfolio manager, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, gives his perspective on what he thinks may lie ahead as the eurozones drama continues into 2015.

2014-12-31 00:00:00 2015 Global Market Outlook: Exploring the Growth Landscape by Simon Fennell, Olga Bitel of William Blair

For much of 2014, the financial press was filled with dire headlines warning of global stagnation and deflation. These demoralizing reports seemed to paralyze policy makers. The facts behind the headlines, however, suggested the reality was not nearly as gloomy or pessimistic as it seemed. This paper outlines a more optimistic outlook for 2015 where the world economy is expected to remain resilient and where the outlook for sustainable corporate returns remains strong.

2014-12-30 00:00:00 The 10 Most-Read Articles of 2014 by Various (Article)

As is our custom, we conclude the year by reflecting on the 10 most-read articles over the past 12 months.

2014-12-30 00:00:00 2015 Investment Outlook - Stay Tactical! by Stephen Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

I wrote often throughout 2014 about the danger signals flashing from an excessive run up in debt and derivatives. We have a repeat of the scenario we suffered in 2008, only much worse. The budget recently passed by Congress put taxpayers on the hook for a 2008-like derivatives failure. The potential losses could exceed the previous financial meltdown as other world market conditions exacerbate a bad situation.

2014-12-29 00:00:00 Chicken Little Economics by Brian Wesbury, Robert Stein of First Trust Advisors

Its now been more than six years since the failure of Lehman Brothers when the sky fell in and economic panic seized the land. Since then, Chicken Little Economics has inflicted fear and loathing on many investors.

2014-12-29 00:00:00 The Lessons of Oil by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital

I want to provide a memo on this topic before I and hopefully many of my readers head out for year-end holidays. Ill be writing not with regard to the right price for oil about which I certainly have no unique insight but rather, as indicated by the title, about what we can learn from recent experience.

2014-12-28 00:00:00 The Line Between Rational Speculation and Market Collapse by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Current equity valuations provide no margin of safety for long-term investors. One might as well be investing on a dare. If we observe an improvement in market internals and credit spreads, it would not make valuations any less obscene, but it would significantly ease our immediate concerns about market losses. A safety net would be required in any event, but there is a range of possible outlooks between hard-negative and constructive with a safety net.

2014-12-27 00:00:00 Epic Price Reversal for Commodities in 2014 by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

If you want to know what happened in 2014 with regard to gold and oil, it?s important to appreciate the inverse relationship between the U.S. dollar and commodities.

2014-12-27 00:00:00 Perspective on 2015: Maintain Yours by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

In 2014, interest rates remained low, U.S. equities stayed strong, mid-year geopolitical events barely shook the markets, and a sudden, late-year drop in oil prices took many by surprise. What should investors expect in 2015?

2014-12-27 00:00:00 Sungarden's 2015 Investor Preview by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

2014 is nearly behind us. And since we tend to not want to do things the way the Wall Street herd does, our 2015 outlook is formatted this way: we list a group of potential scenarios, and then assign our best guess probability that they will happen next year. This is about considering the possibilities, not making outright predictions.

2014-12-27 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: December by Christopher Molumphy, Michael Materasso, Roger Bayston, Michael Hasenstab & John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

With 321,000 jobs added, the initial US nonfarm payroll report for November was much stronger than markets expected and brought job growth this year close to levels last seen in the late 1990s. Added to upward revisions in September and October jobs data, the nonfarm payrolls data reinforces the view that whatever is occurring in the rest of the world, the US economy appears to remain firmly on track to record reasonably strong growth in the months ahead. And while fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth this quarter for the United States is expected to be lower than the third-quart

2014-12-24 00:00:00 Municipal Market Perspectives by Fixed Income Management Team of SMC Fixed Income Management

"Constructive but cautious is our 2015 mantra. Price appreciation has been a major contributor to portfolio performance as evidenced by the yield curve shift from the beginning of the year. 2015 market performance should largely be determined by income, with less support from declining yields.

2014-12-24 00:00:00 Early Look: Who is the Author? by Keith McCullough of Hedgeye Risk Management

While I can try to explain why the SP500 can drop 103 points in a straight line (in 7 days), then ramp 106 points in 4 days, I dont think thats where I add value. There are legions of pundits on the #OldWall that use 1-factor moving averages than can help you with that.

2014-12-24 00:00:00 Credit Spreads: Relative vs. Absolute Levels by Bob Andres of Andres Capital Management

Following a yearlong environment of relatively stable corporate bond spreads, we are beginning to see increased market volatility and a widening of these credit spreads. The plunge in oil prices, the rise in the U.S. dollar, and geopolitical uncertainty all contribute to wider spreads as they represent a proxy for market risk.

2014-12-24 00:00:00 Government Spent $29,000 Per US Household in 2014 by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

A new study from The Heritage Foundation found that out-of-control spending in Washington amounted to more than $29,000 per household in fiscal year 2014. Today, I will reprint the highlights of that excellent report. As you will see below, government spending has topped $3.5 trillion in each of the six years that President Obama has been in office.

2014-12-24 00:00:00 2015 Outlook: Watching Our Overweights by Team of Northern Trust

Asset class returns were much more differentiated this year than last, with yield-oriented assets and U.S. equities being the standout performers. We entered 2014 overweight risk tactically, but made several changes as the year progressed.

2014-12-23 00:00:00 U.S. Equities: Overvalued or Undervalued? by Baijnath Ramraika, CFA® and Prashant Trivedi, CFA® (Article)

Market participants have devised tools to value overall equity markets: the cyclically adjusted price to earnings (CAPE) ratio, Tobin's Q-ratio, the regression trendline, market capitalization-to-GNP (Buffett's valuation indicator) and the trailing price-to-earnings ratio. We summarize each one of these valuation tools and its implications for investors.

2014-12-23 00:00:00 Convertible Bonds: The Rodney Dangerfield of Liquid Alts by Robert Martorana (Article)

Historical returns have been outstanding for convertible-bond strategies. Moreover, low drawdowns during bear markets give these products an attractive risk-return profile, especially when compared to other liquid alternatives.

2014-12-23 00:00:00 Could an Energy Bust Trigger QE4? by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

In a normal economic times falling energy costs would be considered unadulterated good news. The facts are simple. No one buys a barrel of oil to display above the mantle. No one derives happiness from a lump of coal. Energy is simply a means to do or get the things that we want

2014-12-23 00:00:00 Setting the Scene for 2015 by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Market prospects in the coming year would seem to hinge on four major considerations. One is geopolitics, inherently unpredictable but potentially disruptive, especially these days. Another is the Federal Reserves plan to raise interest rates along a gentle path beginning sometime in the middle of the year. Third is the perennial question of where value lies within and between markets. Fourth is the state of the U.S. economy.

2014-12-23 00:00:00 Canary in a Coal Mine? by Dennis Rhee of AdvisorShares

With the collapse of oil, market participants are logically discussing which assets are vulnerable to more selling and which are value buys.

2014-12-22 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for the 2015 Pundit Forecasts! by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

With little fresh news during the holidays and many pros on vacation, I expect a time of reflection and prediction. Publications hungry for content and TV producers needing to fill slots will highlight forecasts of any and all flavors. This happens every year, but the mid-week holidays are pushing it a little earlier than usual,

2014-12-22 00:00:00 Could an Energy Bust Trigger QE4? by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

In a normal economic times falling energy costs would be considered unadulterated good news. The facts are simple. No one buys a barrel of oil to display above the mantle.

2014-12-22 00:00:00 Completing the Alternative Investments Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together by Walter Davis of Invesco Blog

In my previous blog, I discussed why I believe advisors and investors should approach alternative investments much like a jigsaw puzzle and offered an organizing framework that can help. When putting together a puzzle, the first step is to sort and organize all the pieces. For alternatives, the first step is to organize and align the various alternative strategies with specific investment objectives. This step is critical because it helps investors decide whether alternatives can help them meet their needs, and, therefore, whether they should invest in them.

2014-12-22 00:00:00 A Look Back at 2014 (and a 2015 Preview) by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

At the beginning of this year, we had three broad thoughts about what it would look like. First, we expected U.S. economic growth would accelerate moderately. Second, we believed Federal Reserve tapering would occur slowly and that global monetary policy would remain accommodative. And third, we forecasted that the U.S. equity market would grind higher due to central bank liquidity, modest economic acceleration, solid corporate earnings, contained inflation and an improving fiscal situation. These views formed the basis for the predictions we made in January. And at this point, we can offer a

2014-12-22 00:00:00 The US Dollar and the Cone of Uncertainty by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

For the past two letters weve been looking at the global scene and trying to figure out which issues will help us outline scenarios for 2015. We finish the series today by looking at the impact of the dollar bull market on the probabilities for various 2015 developments.

2014-12-21 00:00:00 2014 In Review: A Good Year to Avoid Performance Envy by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

2014 has been an odd year in many ways. Easy money has continued to be the rule for central governments across the world, and this has created false sense of security that is going on six years (following the end of the financial crisis-induced stock market decline that ended in March, 2009). To us, it was a year of waiting: for an end to the suppression of interest rates to aid retirees, for the U.S. Congress to do something productive, and for investors to start taking risk more seriously and stop falling for Wall Street come-ons.

2014-12-21 00:00:00 Rising Insurance Premiums: A New Impetus for Voluntary Funding of Corporate Defined Benefit Plans by Markus Aakko, Rene Martel, Kate Tan of PIMCO

?The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will hike variable-rate premiums on unfunded liabilities in corporate defined benefit plans in 2015 and 2016. The increases along with muted return potential on stocks and bonds and aging plan demographics could make borrowing to reduce or eliminate funding shortfalls less expensive than paying PBGC variable-rate premiums. For efficient execution, we believe it is important to consider appropriate investment strategies before any funding decisions are made.

2014-12-21 00:00:00 The Second Wind of Abenomics? by Sachin Gupta, Tomoya Masanao of PIMCO

Mr. Abe now has up to four more years in power. While investors are likely to be patient in the near term, unless Abenomics gains a second wind the way a tired athlete finds the will to pick up the pace and finish strong there is a risk that this post-election market euphoria could be short-lived. The time for him to act is now.

2014-12-21 00:00:00 The 2014 Festivus Airing of Grievances by Paul Kasriel of Econtrarian

Well, its that time of the year again for the airing of grievances. And Ive got a lot of problems with you people! First of which are those of you (PK, NYT?) who insist that the Feds QE did not result in any inflation. It all depends on your definition of inflation. If your definition is restricted to the prices of goods and services, you are right.

2014-12-21 00:00:00 Iceberg at the Starboard Bow by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Market history, including the series of bubbles and crashes over the past 15 years, does not teach that valuation is irrelevant, but instead that a key distinction affects whether stability or instability is likely to prevail. When rich valuations are coupled with tame credit spreads and uniform strength across a broad range of market internals and security types, one can infer that investors remain tolerant toward risk. In that environment, risk premiums may be low, but theres no particular pressure for them to normalize, even if the speculation is driven by mindless yield-seeking.

2014-12-21 00:00:00 European QE Draws Attention to Irish Bonds by John Taylor and Dennis Shen of AllianceBernstein

Europes bond markets are starting to focus on the potential impact of ECB sovereign-bond purchases. While we expect QE to prompt a further narrowing of peripheral European sovereign-bond spreads, its important to stay focused on country fundamentals when selecting exposure.

2014-12-20 00:00:00 The $330 Billion Global Tax Break by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

According to an article by Jon Markman titled The Saudi Stimulus, the global economy is looking to save hundreds of billions of dollars on an annual basis: "According to EIA data, consumption of crude oil during the latest 12 months was 6.9 billion barrels. So the price drop from $107/barrel at the June 2014 high to $59 today represents a total presumptive savings of $332 billion per year." In a time when China, the European Union and other major markets are trying to jumpstart their economies, a $330 billion tax break can only come as good news. It should help in stimu

2014-12-20 00:00:00 The Lessons of Oil by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital

I want to provide a memo on this topic before I and hopefully many of my readers head out for year-end holidays. Ill be writing not with regard to the right price for oil about which I certainly have no unique insight but rather, as indicated by the title, about what we can learn from recent experience.

2014-12-19 00:00:00 Tempting TIPS by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Lower inflation expectations as a result of falling oil prices have weighed on TIPS prices during the second half of 2014. TIPS underperformance has led to the lowest market-implied inflation expectations of the past four years. We do, however, find TIPS an attractive high-quality option and certainly more appealing than Treasuries as a result of recent underperformance.

2014-12-19 00:00:00 A Rising Tide Lifts Most Boats by Saumil Parikh, Daniel Ivascyn of PIMCO

PIMCO expects global growth to accelerate in 2015, reaching about +2.75% year-over-year, with the majority of this improvement due to the (predominantly supply-driven) decline in oil prices. However, there will be large differences in growth dynamics among countries. While fiscal and monetary policies in most developed countries will stimulate growth in 2015, the U.S. Federal Reserve will attempt to break from the pack.

2014-12-19 00:00:00 Testing the Limits of Monetary Policy Without Fiscal Union by Andrew Balls, Andrew Bosomworth, Lorenzo Pagani of PIMCO

Over the next 12 months, we expect eurozone growth to accelerate from the current annualised run rate of 0.5% to a still-very-weak pace of approximately 1%, while the ultra-low inflation tells us there is a demand problem. With the ECB set to expand its balance sheet over the cyclical horizon, the biggest risk to growth is if the ECB buys large quantities of government bonds but the governments do nothing. We expect to remain overweight European peripherals and overweight European corporate credit, with the focus on financials.

2014-12-19 00:00:00 Outlook for the Global Credit Markets in 2015 by Mark Kiesel of PIMCO

The combination of fundamentals, technicals, valuations and global central bank policies drives our overall constructive outlook for global credit in 2015. Economic growth dynamics, including an improving outlook in the U.S., along with likely changes in global central bank policies, continued energy price volatility and the potential for more shareholder-friendly actions by companies inform our credit views and strategies.

2014-12-19 00:00:00 Valuation estimate of SP500 2015 returns : 2,246 target by Dwaine Van Vuuren of RecessionALERT.com

The RecessionALERT Valuation Index (RAVI) is a multifactor valuation model that examines cyclically adjusted trailing SP-500 earnings (various multi-decade horizons), the SP-500 total-return index level, total stock market capitalization, Gross Domestic Product, non-financial corporate equities and liabilities, non-financial corporate business net-worth and percentage of investors allocation to stocks versus cash and bonds to determine 10, 5, 3, 2 and 1 year forecasts for the SP-500 Total Return Index (dividends re-invested).

2014-12-19 00:00:00 5 Things To Ponder: Variegated Contemplations by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Yes, it is that magical week leading up to Christmas and the subsequent low volume push into the new year. For individuals, it is "magic time" as hopes are high that "Santa Claus" will come to WallStreet.

2014-12-18 00:00:00 Tempting TIPS by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Lower inflation expectations as a result of falling oil prices have weighed on TIPS prices during the second half of 2014. TIPS underperformance has led to the lowest market-implied inflation expectations of the past four years. We do, however, find TIPS an attractive high-quality option and certainly more appealing than Treasuries as a result of recent underperformance.

2014-12-18 00:00:00 2015 Investment Outlook: US Credit Cycle Tiptoes into Middle Age by Eric Takaha of Franklin Templeton Investments

Eric Takaha, SVP, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, discusses how far the US economy is in the credit cycle and the potential effects of rising rates.

2014-12-18 00:00:00 Why We Expect Japan to Regain Favor with Investors by Robert Sharpe of Heartland Advisors

Despite the consensus view that Japanese stocks are inexpensive, investors have generally avoided the space, perhaps because Japan has disappointed in the past. We think the tide is about to change, and Portfolio Manager of the Heartland International Value Fund Robert C. Sharpe explains why.?

2014-12-18 00:00:00 A Tale of Two Markets by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

A solid run of domestic data has set the United States apart from a beleaguered world.

2014-12-18 00:00:00 Senior Loan CEFs Featuring John Cole Scott by (Article)

“Unloved” senior loan closed-end funds may appeal to CEF investors concerned that interest rates may rise, says John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors.

2014-12-17 00:00:00 Plunging Oil Prices Spark Fears of Global Recession by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Today, we touch on several bases. No doubt everyone reading this noticed that stocks tanked last week, and now seem to be moving in lockstep with oil prices. While consumers welcome cheaper gas and heating oil prices, there is a growing fear that the collapse in oil prices may be a harbinger of a global recession.

2014-12-17 00:00:00 Are Bonds Really Less Risky than Equities? by Patrick Rudden of AllianceBernstein

Its practically an investing axiom that government bonds are much less volatile than equities. But that depends on how you look at it. In fact, our research suggests that income streams from stocks are actually much less volatile than those of government bonds.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 Oil, Employment, and Growth by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Last week we started a series of letters on the topics I think we need to research in depth as we try to peer into the future and think about how 2015 will unfold. In forecasting US growth, I wrote that we really need to understand the relationships between the boom in energy production on the one hand and employment and overall growth in the US on the other.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 Gundlach: Don't Fear Fed Tightening by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Throughout the post-crisis period, collective wisdom among market forecasters has held that interest rates would rise. But low rates have persisted, proving those prognosticators "dead wrong," in Jeffrey Gundlach's words. Gundlach, correctly contrarian in his interest-rate predictions, now believes the Fed will raise rates in 2015 but investors should not fear Fed tightening.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 How Much Risk Should Clients Take? by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

Determining the degree of risk that is appropriate and tolerable in clients' financial plans is central to an advisor's role. I will show how advisors should deconstruct risk into six components and then integrate them using a framework to provide the best recommendations for clients.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 Financial Planning for an Uncertain Energy Future by Richard E. Vodra (Article)

Advisors hearing optimistic forecasts of plentiful new supplies of oil that may last for decades may be encouraged to make aggressive projections for their clients. It is critical to understand the role oil plays in the economy and the factors that will affect future supplies. Advisors should "drill down" beneath the slogans to see both risks and opportunities upon which to base their recommendations.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 Why I'm Concerned about Stock Market Valuation Levels by Ron A. Rhoades, J.D., CFP® (Article)

Looking at a range of valuation metrics, long-term investors have good reason to worry about the U.S. equity market. They can take comfort, however, in the fact that certain asset sub-classes are less overvalued that others.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 Allocating to Alternative Investment Strategies by Nathan Rowader of Forward

Following the market declines in 2008 and 2009, many investors have shown interest in alternative investment strategies such as hedge funds and mutual funds that employ hedge fund-like strategies. These types of strategies have been around a long time, but until recently their use among individual investors has been somewhat limited.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 Strategy Spotlight: An Update on PIMCO'S Fundamental Index-Based Product Suite by Sabrina Callin, Robert Arnott of PIMCO

The Fundamental IndexPLUS AR strategies combine the best of what passive indexing and active management aim to deliver: broadly representative, transparent equity exposure plus the potential for meaningful equity market outperformance.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 Busting the Myth About Size by Vitali Kalesnik, Noah Beck of Research Affiliates

Many market participants (including investors, product providers, and analysts alike) assume that, just as value stocks on average outperform growth, small-cap stocks on average outperform large-caps. Unlike value, however, and contrary to popular opinion, there is little solid evidence that stock size affects performance.

2014-12-16 00:00:00 An Interest Rate Hike? Check Out Long Bonds, US Dollar Index, Demographics And Money Multiplier. by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

Inflation is out of sight in terms of Treasury bond yields, dollar exchange rates and demographic outlook lets not even mention energy costs! Much of the FEDs monetary base expansion did not flow into consumption or, more importantly, entrepreneurial productive investments! Money multiplier is more like a fractional now, since not even credit increased the money available for Main Street the way it used to.

2014-12-15 00:00:00 How to Approach the Alternative Investments Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together by Walter Davis of Invesco Blog

Every summer my family and I go on a vacation to the beach. While there, my wife buys a big jigsaw puzzle for us to work on. Every year, we feel overwhelmed immediately after she dumps out all 1,000 pieces.

2014-12-15 00:00:00 A Sensible Proposal and a New Adjective by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The FOMC is well-served by Richard Fishers proposal to consider terminating the current policy of reinvesting proceeds from Fed balance sheet holdings as those securities mature. That shift would not imply any rush to raise the federal funds rate or otherwise normalize policy rates.

2014-12-15 00:00:00 Falling Oil Prices Cause Jitters, but the Economy Stays on Track by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The dominant financial story last week was the concern over the continued slide in oil prices, which have dropped close to 40% so far this year.1 Worries about the growing power of the Greek opposition party Syriza, and the potential effect on European policy should it assume control over the government, also contributed to investor unease.

2014-12-15 00:00:00 Black Gold Loses Glitter by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

The stunning 40% drop in the price of oil over the past few months has scrambled global economic forecasts, changed the geo-political landscape, and has severely pressured many energy sector investments. Economists are scratching their heads to determine if the drop is good or bad for the economy or whether cheap oil will add to or decrease unemployment, or complicate the global effort to "defeat" deflation.

2014-12-14 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Crashing Oil Prices Change the Feds Course? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

The investment conclusion is opportunity in non-energy cyclical stocks, including basic materials, technology, and consumer discretionary. There are also energy names that are part of the knee-jerk reaction, but which do not necessarily suffer from lower oil prices. These include refiners and some of the large integrated oil companies that need to replace reserves. (Barrons also suggests oil tanker stocks storage needed!)

2014-12-13 00:00:00 China Wants to Conduct the World's High-Speed Rail Market by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The Chinese want to return to the railroad business. This time, however, they strive to become the world?s leading go-to provider of high-speed rail and exporter of mass transit technology.

2014-12-12 00:00:00 Measuring Tactical Alpha by Adam Butler of Dundee Goodman Private Wealth

We are big fans of active asset allocation, which is sometimes called tactical alpha. Our enthusiasm stems from the following observations from our own research, and from other published sources.

2014-12-12 00:00:00 Oil, Roil, and Turmoil by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The free fall in oil prices is roiling markets. There are near-term benefits of lower energy prices, but darker clouds are gathering for the global economy.

2014-12-12 00:00:00 Asia, Looking to 2015 and Beyond by Robert Horrocks of Matthews Asia

Over the next decade, I expect Asias econo-mies to continue to raise living standards and to narrow the income gap between its own citizens and those in the U.S. or Europe.

2014-12-12 00:00:00 Europe: Look for Value, Expect Volatility by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Greeces ruling coalition is at risk of losing its grip on power, which sent the countrys stocks and bonds dramatically down. Is this the beginning of another Greek crisis?

2014-12-12 00:00:00 Measuring Tactical Alpha Part II: Examples and Analysis by Adam Butler of Dundee Goodman Private Wealth

When we left off in Part 1, we promised to examine how select Global Tactical Asset Allocation products stack up against the Global Market Portfolio from the perspective of several performance measures particularly Sharpe ratio, alpha and information ratio. Without further adieu:

2014-12-10 00:00:00 2015 Year Ahead: Continuing to Deflate the Global Credit Bubble by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Stock market leadership virtually always changes when volatility significantly spikes, and the 2008 bear market was no exception. Credit-related asset classes led the markets for the decade prior to 2008 as the global credit bubble inflated. Since 2008?s bear market, however, leadership has significantly changed and credit-related asset classes have generally underperformed plain, old-fashioned stocks.

2014-12-10 00:00:00 Interest Rates Have Nowhere To Go But Up? by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Earlier this week Daniel Druger and Liz McCormick wrote an article for Bloomberg entitled: "One Hundred Years Of Bond History Means Bears Destined To Lose." The premise here is simple. With interest rates near their lowest levels on record, they have nowhere to go from here "but up." This is the consensus of virtually all of the analysts and economists on Wall Street which currently suggests that rates will rise to 3.88% next year on the 30-year treasury.

2014-12-10 00:00:00 Dealing with Divergence by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

From the Age of Recovery to the Age of Divergence, we look forward to 2015 with an overview of the investment world and explore the different themes that will matter in the New Year.

2014-12-10 00:00:00 Follow the ECB Compass by Eve Tournier of PIMCO

As the European Central Bank continues to expand its balance sheet to counter low growth and ?low inflation, we believe European duration should remain relatively well-anchored and European assets should be well supported. Looking ahead, in a world of low yielding European core rates, we believe credit will continue to attract investors. We continue to see spread compression opportunities in peripheral sovereign, fundamentally improving banks and high yield.

2014-12-10 00:00:00 Lessons Learned in 2014 by Seth Masters of AllianceBernstein

In 2014, US stocks forged ahead, international developed and emerging-market stocks lagged, bonds did better than expected, and the IRS took a bigger bite. Here are some lessons for US investors to carry forward into 2015.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 Capital Gains and Losses - Timing Is Everything! by Glenn Frank (Article)

This article will lend insight into one of the few areas that investors actually can control in our new American Taxpayer "Relief" Act environment.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 Designing Balanced DC Menus: Considering Equity Investments by Stacy Schaus, Ying Gao of PIMCO

Defined contribution investment lineups typically provide numerous equity choices but still may lack adequate diversification and return potential. Participants may benefit by accessing high-growth markets such as emerging markets and tapping in to dividend-paying stocks. Retirement outcomes could improve further by including portfolios structured using fundamental measures rather than market capitalization.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 2015 Fixed Income Outlook: Handle with Care by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

With sustained improvement in economic growth, slowly rising inflation, and the approach of the Feds first interest rate hike, bond prices are likely to decline in 2015. High-yield bonds and bank loans can help investors manage this challenging bond market.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 Stocks: Going with the Flows by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Mutual-fund data show that retail investors remain reluctant to commit money to equities. That actually could help extend the rally in the months ahead.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 Who Should Go to the Bowls? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

When I was a kid there were just four year-end college football bowl games. Today there are 39. Perhaps the title of this piece should be Do we need holiday football bowls at all? But I guess they wouldnt produce them unless there was a demand for them from the cities, hoping to get some travelers, to the sponsors, hoping to get some attention, to the teams, seeking to cap a successful season, and to the fans, who are just looking to have some fun and experience a last hurrah for this years heroes.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 An Improving Economy Justifies a Pro-Growth Investment Stance by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

U.S. equities advanced again last week with the S&P 500 Index climbing 0.4%, extending its winning streak to seven weeks. Investors responded well to improving economic data and focused on the positive aspects of declining oil prices. In China, equities moved sharply higher and notched their best weekly performance in seven years as investors speculated that Chinese officials were on the verge on enacting additional policy support.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 Room to Run for the Stock Market by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Last week Bill Gross and the former co-CIO of PIMCO, Mohamed El-Erian, were advising clients to lighten up on stocks. You may agree that these are certainly two people with a passion for what they do. To that end, we all benefit.

2014-12-08 00:00:00 The Big Squeeze Begins by Michael Story of PIMCO

Current European Central Bank policies, along with the regulatory environment, are constricting the two primary investment vehicles available to store cash. As many money market funds have maxed out the risk they can take and some regional European banks have started to charge the equivalent of negative rates on deposits, large cash investors are left to ponder how to avoid the potential loss of capital. We believe PIMCO's approach to balancing three key cash management trade-offs may provide an attractive solution for investors.

2014-12-08 00:00:00 The All Everything Portfolio? No Such Thing by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Barry Ritholtz has had some good fun torching Tony Robbins All Weather Portfolio for having too much in bonds and commodities as well as being to backward looking and being put forth as a one size fits all. The latest was in his WaPo column dated December 5, 2014.

2014-12-08 00:00:00 Ramping Up Reform in Brazil by Rick Harper of WisdomTree

On November 27, President Rousseff shook up her cabinet through the appointment of Joaquim Levy as finance minister. In our opinion, this marks a positive first step by the administration in its attempt to re-establish its credibility with the market.

2014-12-08 00:00:00 A Long-Term View for China by Nick Niziolek of Calamos Investments

When I meet with clients, one of the most frequent questions Im asked is, What do you think about China? With Chinas rate cut this past Friday helping to fuel a global equity rally, we were reminded of how relevant the China question is to the overall health of the global markets and economy. In this post, Ill discuss the lens through which we view China and how we interpret the daily flood of policy-related headlines coming out of the country to determine what is noise and what is actionable.

2014-12-08 00:00:00 Are You Prepared for Short-term Rates to Rise? by Craig Brandon of Eaton Vance

In this timely Q&A, Craig Brandon, portfolio manager of Eaton Vance Floating-Rate Municipal Income Fund, offers his thoughts on the asset class, how he manages the Fund and which investors may find the strategy attractive.

2014-12-08 00:00:00 Go for the Gold: Commodities and Inflation by Denis Chaves of Research Affiliates

Unexpected inflation would be especially damaging to portfolio returns when asset class yields are low, but a modest amount of inflation protection can substantially mitigate the risk. Commodities can be effective hedges against inflationary shocks.

2014-12-07 00:00:00 Macroeconomics Finally Gets Interesting by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

2015 may be the year that macroeconomics really becomes interesting again, if it hasnt already. After a long period of relatively coordinated central bank policies and remarkably low volatility, the macro scene is becoming more dynamic. Thats great for those who live and die by dramatic long-term shifts in global markets, but it should be terrifying for emerging-market policymakers, currency carry traders, Texas oil men, and, frankly, the average investor. King Volatility is back on his throne.

2014-12-06 00:00:00 Dont Let Market Motion Sickness Keep You From Missing the Boat by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Despite all of the good news, the recent threat of market volatility, which weve seen plenty of in commodities and emerging markets, seems to have pushed close-to-retirement folks away from equity securities. The August and October downturns, not to mention the decline in gold and oil prices, have understandably heightened consumer fears.

2014-12-06 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Oil isn't the only commodity enduring a significant correction; The European Central Bank moves closer to QE; The U.S. is nearing full employment, but inflation holds the key to monetary policy

2014-12-06 00:00:00 Will Two Key Sectors Survive Chinas Long Landing? by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

Based on insights from our teams recent trip to China, we noted that the country is likely headed for a long economic landing. What does that mean for its infrastructure and commodity sectors?

2014-12-06 00:00:00 Five Ways to Tackle Risk in Emerging Equities by Nelson Yu and Morgan C. Harting of AllianceBernstein

Emerging-market (EM) equities are far more turbulent than their developed-world peers. But there are several things investors can do to capture the attractive return potential while reducing volatility. Staying active is the lynchpin for success.

2014-12-06 00:00:00 Chinas Economy Gliding into Long Landing by Hayden Briscoe of AllianceBernstein

Chinas economy isnt headed for a hard or soft landinginstead, its more likely to be a long landing. Thats our perspective, based on our teams recent visit to China to get an up-close look at the economic landscape.

2014-12-06 00:00:00 Revisiting a YouTube Classic by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

Back in the summer of 2011, a short animated film was built using a website called XtraNormal. The site allows anyone to create a film and chose animated characters and voices. This one particular film sought to educate (with the creators strong opinions included) the audience on the Federal Reserves Quantitative Easing (QE) program, which then was in its middle stages. And boy, did it find an audience, with over 5 million people viewing it!

2014-12-06 00:00:00 Five Things To Ponder: Unstoppable Force Paradox by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

As we enter the final month of the year, the markets advance got me thinking about something known as the "Unstoppable Force Paradox." While you may not be familiar with the name, you will certainly know the definition which questions "What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?"

2014-12-06 00:00:00 Draghi Crosses the Rubicon while Juncker Peddles "Europhemisms" by John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

The announcement by newly installed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker of a package designed to secure 315 billion of investment for the eurozone garnered a lot of press interest in late November. However, John Beck, director of Fixed Income, London, and portfolio manager, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, believes a speech by European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi at a bankers conference in Frankfurt earlier in the month offers more practical insight for investors. Here he outlines lessons to take from Draghis speech in the lions

2014-12-05 00:00:00 Outlook 2015: Multi-Manager by Marcus Brookes, Robin McDonald of Schroders Investment Management

Investors need to prepare for lower returns in the next few years, with a focus on capital preservation appearing prudent in the current environment.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 Getting More From Your Equity and Bond Benchmarks by Ryan Blute of PIMCO

Benchmarks have long served as a starting point, or anchor, for investors, representing the neutral point for an investment decision. They serve as the basic ingredients that combine to form an investors asset allocation and result in a desired risk/return profile.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 Right for the Wrong Reason by Tim Gramatovich of AdvisorShares

It has been a poorly kept secret that I am among the biggest skeptics in the planet as it relates to this whole US energy independence fantasy. As a credit investor, I have been no bid on the entire US E&P business. This was not an easy thing to sidestep as energy as a sub-set is by far the largest component of the various high yield indexes representing around 18%1.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 Three Reasons Why Municipal Bonds May Offer More Than Just Tax-Exempt Income by Stephanie Larosiliere of Invesco Blog

Tax-exempt income historically has been the main reason why investors buy municipal bonds. As a result of newer tax laws, including several provisions that expired at the end of 2013, tax bills for high-income earners have increased in recent years.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 A Mix of Central Bank Action and Oil by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Central bank action and plunging oil prices have been wielding big influence over market movements in recent months. Russ K explains why the impact is likely to continue.

2014-12-05 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Featuring Rennie McConnochie by (Article)

2014-12-04 00:00:00 Outlook 2015: Japanese Equities by Shogo Maeda of Schroders Investment Management

Strong corporate earnings growth and a weak yen should continue to provide support to Japanese equities in 2015.

2014-12-04 00:00:00 Exchange Rate 101: A Primer For International Investors by Bryce Fegley of Saturna Capital

A solid grasp of exchange rates and how they impact various asset classes can help international investors make better-informed decisions. The asset class most likely to be impacted negatively by a strengthening dollar is non-dollar fixed-rate bonds.

2014-12-04 00:00:00 What's Next for the Dollar and Gold? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Who would have predicted oil prices in the sixty-dollar range a year ago? Something is not right about these markets. Our take: dont get burned when markets add fuel to the fire. Heres what to watch out for as we head into 2015; ignore at your own peril.

2014-12-04 00:00:00 How Could They? by William Gross of Janus Capital Group

Punch and Judy fought for a pie. Punch gave Judy a sock in the eye. Said Punch to Judy, "Would you like any more?" Said Judy to Punch, "No my eye is too sore." Mother Goose nursery rhyme. Ah, nursery rhymes! Intended for kids no less! The above little ditty could serve as a modern day NFL domestic playbook, I suppose, while a century ago it was but one of many lesson plans on what not to do when you grow up.

2014-12-03 00:00:00 Unintended Consequences of Staying Early Termination Rights by William De Leon, Tracey Jordal, Libby Cantrill, Courtney Walker of PIMCO

The topic of too big to fail has been an intense area of focus for policymakers and market participants, and for good reason: Everyone has a vested interest in avoiding a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis and its corresponding aftershocks.

2014-12-03 00:00:00 Can Stocks Deliver the Goods in 2015? by Burt White of LPL Financial

We believe stocks will deliver mid- to high-single-digit returns in 2015. We expect earnings, and not valuations, to do the heavy lifting in producing potential stock market gains for investors in 2015. Monetary policy is in transit in 2015, when stocks will face a shift from the very loose monetary policy of the Federal Reserves (Fed) quantitative easing (QE) program to an environment in which the Fed begins to hike interest rates.

2014-12-03 00:00:00 A Brave New World by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

In the the last two Absolute Return Letters I have argued why one should expect global GDP growth to be below average over the next decade or so, why interest rates should, as a consequence, remain low and why equity returns should also disappoint. Not as in negative returns but below the levels we have grown accustomed to over the past 30 years. If you have read those two letters, none of this should come as a surprise.

2014-12-03 00:00:00 Outlook 2015: Convertible Bonds by Martin Kuehle of Schroders Investment Management

The equity market is likely to be the main driver of convertibles in 2015, when diligent research will once again be crucial.

2014-12-03 00:00:00 The ECBs Shifting Regimes by Andrew Bosomworth of PIMCO

The European Central Bank (ECB) is likely to commence a broad-based asset purchase programme, i.e., quantitative easing (QE), in the first quarter of 2015. As it stands, the eurozone is stuck in a liquidity trap, the risk of deflation is rising and inflation expectations are deviating from their long-term anchor. With the private sector deleveraging and the policy rate near zero, additional easing will require expanded asset purchases.

2014-12-02 00:00:00 The Tooth-Fairy Economics of Jeff Madrick by Laurence B. Siegel (Article)

Incentives don't matter, tradeoffs don't exist and there are no limits to what the government can give you. Those who believe this dogma are likely to still have faith in the tooth fairy. In Seven Bad Ideas, a critique of the neoclassical revival in economics that surrounded Milton Friedman and that affected policy and politics worldwide for more than a generation, Jeff Madrick emerges as tooth-fairy economics' chief exponent.

2014-12-02 00:00:00 Response to Larry Swedroe's Article, "How AQR's New Fund Adds Value" by Michael Edesess (Article)

In our November 18 issue, Larry Swedroe published an article titled "How AQR's New Fund Adds Value." His article was followed by a lively debate on APViewpoint. Michael Edesess took one side of that debate, in opposition to Swedroe, and his position is stated here.

2014-12-02 00:00:00 Strangers Passing in the Night by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

The economies of China and the United States appear to be headed in the opposite direction. Chinas economy is decelerating fast and the U.S. looks right on the cusp of having its economic growth accelerate, as evidenced by the revised quarterly GDP number of 3.9% released on November 25th, 2014.

2014-12-01 00:00:00 Quantitative Easing, Interest Rates, Real Yield Curves And Fedspeak...Get A Load Of That BULL! by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

People got it wrong, Quantitative Easing did not lower long-term interest rates. The Federal Reserves money printing actually halted the plunge of yields and cheapened bonds. Yields fell when other institutions showed their hunger for long bonds, and that suggests trouble ahead.

2014-12-01 00:00:00 Monetary Tectonics by John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management

John Hathaway, manager of the Tocqueville Gold Fund (TGLDX), examines in his latest piece "the very meaningful difference between the dollars relative and absolute strength, and look(s) at the widening fissures beneath the faade of strength fissures that, as yet, appear to have had little impact upon the investment consensus."

2014-12-01 00:00:00 Hard-Won Lessons and the Bird in the Hand by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

The S&P 500 is more than double its historical valuation norms on reliable measures (with about 90% correlation with actual subsequent 10-year market returns), sentiment is lopsided, and we observe dispersion across market internals, along with widening credit spreads. These and similar considerations present a coherent pattern that has been informative in market cycles across a century of history including the period since 2009. None of those considerations inform us that the U.S. stock market currently presents a desirable opportunity to accept risk.

2014-11-29 00:00:00 Giving Thanks to the Innovators and Creators of Capital by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Im grateful to live in a society that monetarily rewards such innovation and problem-solving, in addition to the intrinsic rewards entrepreneurs receive for improving the lives of others.

2014-11-27 00:00:00 Pick and Mix: Fresh Ideas for Diversifying Bond Exposure by John Taylor of AllianceBernstein

Policy backdrops and growth trajectories around the world are showing increasing signs of divergence. Yet many bond investors continue to congregate in a few selected pockets of the fixed income universe. In our view, its a perfect time to reconsider diversification tactics.

2014-11-26 00:00:00 The Tortoise and the ECB by Harley Bassman of PIMCO

It is curious that the ECB continues to slumber while the eurozones trading partners move steadily ahead. While not a certainty, it seems highly unlikely that the ECB will indefinitely allow its main trading partners to competitively devalue versus the euro. And since there is no reason to reinvent the wheel, Europes policymakers will likely unveil a familiar-looking and expansive QE policy designed to accelerate asset velocity and, in turn, reflate their equity market.

2014-11-26 00:00:00 Global Economic Perspective: November by Christopher Molumphy, Michael Materasso, Roger Bayston, Michael Hasenstab & John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

Steady improvements in US employment and relatively good economic growth figures mean that debate over when the US Federal Reserve (Fed) will begin to tighten policy continues to be the order of the day. US job growth increased at a fairly brisk pace in October, and numbers for the previous two months (already good) were revised higher. Since the start of 2014, US employers have added more than 220,000 workers on average each month, which should be sufficient to sustain economic momentum after an initial reading showed annualized gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3.5% in the third quarter

2014-11-26 00:00:00 2014 U.S. Midterms: A Win for Stocks? by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet

With the 2014 U.S. midterm elections behind us, investors wonder what the political gridlock will mean for the markets. If we consider historical trends and recent earnings, we could actually see a prolonged bull equity market.

2014-11-25 00:00:00 Gross versus Gundlach: Who Has More Skill? by Robert Huebscher (Article)

If rocket science has a counterpart in financial analysis, it is in the quantitative analytics from companies like Boston-based Northfield Information Services. Last week, I spoke with Dan di Bartolomeo, founder and CEO, to see if he could detect skill or luck among the two biggest fixed-income managers: Bill Gross, when he managed the PIMCO Total Return Fund (PTTRX), and Jeffrey Gundlach, manager of the DoubleLine Total Return Fund (DBLTX).

2014-11-25 00:00:00 The Dangers of Euphoria in Real Estate Investments by Keith Jurow (Article)

There is widespread consensus that the real estate crisis is over. Because of this complacency, wealth management firms and RIAs widely believe that you do not need to talk about risks at all.

2014-11-25 00:00:00 Five Steps to Networking Success by Dan Richards (Article)

Few things are more frustrating than when the time you spend networking with prospective clients produces no results. But I will share some good news: A few simple steps to rethink your expectations and change your approach will dramatically improve the outcome from networking activity.

2014-11-25 00:00:00 Fed "Mystified" Why Millennials Still Live at Home; My Answer May Surprise You by Mike "Mish" Shedlock of Sitka Pacific

A New York Fed research paper wonders Whats Keeping Millennials at Home? Is it Debt, Jobs, or Housing?

2014-11-25 00:00:00 Active Investing: Opportunity in Gold by Tim Gramatovich of AdvisorShares

As active managers, we embrace both a top down and bottom up investment philosophy as we look for opportunities for investment. One such potential opportunity we are seeing from more of a top down, thematic approach is in gold.

2014-11-25 00:00:00 Developed Europe: Regional Economic Review - Q3 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Developed Europe remained bogged down by deflationary conditions all through the third quarter. Annual inflation in the regions 18-member single-currency bloc, the Euro-zone, slipped from 0.4 percent in July to 0.3 percent in September, its lowest level since October 2009.

2014-11-25 00:00:00 In Energy Revolution, Bond Investors Must Keep Their Heads by Ivan Rudolph-Shabinsky, Petter Stensland of AllianceBernstein

A surge in capital expenditures and leverage in the energy industry could end badly for some companies and their creditors. While select opportunities exist, we think bond investors should think carefully before they blindly bankroll todays North American energy revolution.

2014-11-25 00:00:00 3 Things to Think About, Including the Disconnect between Data And Surveys by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Last Friday, I discussed the growing gap between economic reports particularly when they measure the same basic areas of the overall economy. For example, how can the Markit Manufacturing PMI Index be negative for three months while the ISM PMI has surged higher during the same period. Both cannot be right.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 On the Verge of Chaos by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In this weeks letter were going to explore some of the ramifications of the currency war that Japan is precipitating. It is more than just Germany, Korea, and China having issues and needing to contemplate their own competitive devaluations. If the yen goes too far too fast, there will be geopolitical repercussions far beyond the obvious first-order connections.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 Risk Parity: Comparing the Objections With Reality - Part 2 by Scott Wolle, Michael McHugh, David Gluch of Invesco Blog

As the use of risk parity has grown, so have criticisms against the approach. In this blog series, I look at objections Ive heard about risk parity, and explain why we believe they do not apply to our risk-parity approach - the Invesco Balanced-Risk Allocation strategy.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 Time to Look at Long Credit? by Mohit Mittal of PIMCO

?Tactical decisions regarding the scaling of an LDI allocation cannot be based solely on Treasury market dynamics. Given recent underperformance of long credit relative to intermediate credit, LDI investors should consider increasing long credit exposure. A structured approach that combines rigorous top-down macroeconomic-analysis to take views on duration and credit sectors with equally thorough bottom-up credit research to identify companies where fundamentals are improving may deliver alpha that can help clients reduce their funding mismatch over time.

2014-11-24 00:00:00 Equities Benefit as U.S. Growth Solidifies by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

The dominant news story last week was President Obamas announcement of new executive actions on immigration policy, but investors chose to look past any political risks and focused on the positives. Specifically, markets reacted well to signs that the European Central Bank would expand its monetary easing and to a surprise interest rate cut in China.

2014-11-21 00:00:00 3 Things Worth Thinking About, Including the Message from Commodities by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Following the October swoon, stocks have vaulted to all-time highs. As I discussed previously in "Sentiment Is Off The Charts Bullish," there have only been few occasions where investors have felt so "giddy" about the financial markets. Such periods of exuberance have never ended well for investors as they were deluded by near-term "greed" which blinded them to the building risks.

2014-11-21 00:00:00 The Right Fit: Global Bonds and DC Plans by Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

At a time when US defined contribution plans are seeking to control risk and enhance returns, hedged global bonds can improve outcomes for participants and sponsors. But how do plans incorporate global bonds in core menus and target-date funds?

2014-11-21 00:00:00 The Implications of Easing by Mark Mobius, Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

Just as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) announced the conclusion of its long-running quantitative easing (QE) program, the Bank of Japan surprised markets by announcing the expansion of its own easing regime. Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets Group, and Michael Hasenstab, Chief Investment Officer, Global Bonds, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, weigh in on the implications of these central bank actions, as well as current European Central Bank (ECB) policy, and what they could mean for investors on both the equity and fixed income side.

2014-11-21 00:00:00 Is Your Portfolio Truly Diversified? by Eric Stein of Eaton Vance

In this Insight, Eric Stein, co-director of Eaton Vance Global Income Group, discusses the potential benefits of absolute return strategies, what they invest in and the role they can play in investor portfolios.

2014-11-21 00:00:00 Asia's Deepening Capital Markets by Robert Horrocks of Matthews Asia

The drivers of economic growth, the region's small- and medium-sized enterprises, are finally gaining access to capital through alternative funding sources outside of just banks. Retail investors are accessing increasingly diverse products in which to store their savings and build wealth. Institutions are demanding long-dated assets to match their liabilities? Are we finally seeing more stable local demand in Asia's local capital markets?

2014-11-20 00:00:00 The Abenomics Death Spiral by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

As Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe has turned his country into a petri dish of Keynesian ideas, the trajectory of Japans economy has much to teach us about the wisdom of those policies. And although the warning sirens are blasting at the highest volumes imaginable, few economists can hear the alarm.

2014-11-20 00:00:00 The "Other" Problem for Bond Investors by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

For a while now, my firm and I have been devout in alerting our clients and blog subscribers to the issues that will confront them as investors if/when the more than three decades of generally falling U.S. interest rates reverses itself. But what if they dont rise much for a while, and instead stay around where they are?

2014-11-20 00:00:00 Muni CEFs Featuring John Cole Scott by (Article)

After last year’s difficulties, closed-end funds with municipal bonds now appear relatively attractive for discount-seeking investors, says John Cole Scott of CEF Advisors.

2014-11-19 00:00:00 Credit Markets Signaling Near-Term Caution by Chris Puplava of PFS Group

Since the S&P 500 bottomed at 1820 on October 15th, it is up roughly 12.5% and has seen only 6 down days in the last month. According to trading desks, steady growth in the U.S. and China, better-than-feared European economic data, and accommodative global central banks are the main causes for driving the market higher. Other bullish supports are an increase in foreign buying of U.S. equities and corporate buybacks.

2014-11-19 00:00:00 Examining the Divergence between Equities and Credit by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

Over the last year, U.S. equities rallied, and credit spread generally tightened. However, in recent months, this winning formula has started to diverge. Concerns about global growth, potential changes in monetary policy and uncertainty from geopolitical risk weighed on investor sentiment.

2014-11-19 00:00:00 Investment Implications for UK DC Schemes in Light of Tax and Regulatory Changes by William Allport of PIMCO

With greater flexibility and choices available to DC savers in the latter stages of their career, we believe DC schemes need to reconsider their traditional pre-retirement approach to providing low-risk, income-orientated and pre-retirement investment portfolios. The primary immediate challenge for UK DC schemes is navigating the need for capital stability versus a portfolio that can generate a sustainable income stream for DC savers in retirement.

2014-11-18 00:00:00 Tinkering with the Core Bond Recipe by Alison Martier of AllianceBernstein

This is the time of year when, in almost every American household, the tinkerer in the family eyes the recipe box. Certain venerable traditions will make it to the Thanksgiving table intact. A cousin or an in-law is sure to bring an entirely new dish. And some traditional plates could use some freshening up. Thats the case with core fixed income.

2014-11-18 00:00:00 Is This Purgatory, Or Is It Hell? by Ben Inker of GMO

GMO is often accused of being a glass half empty investor, and I admit that in a year that has seen the S&P 500 rise 8.3%, MSCI All-Country World rise 3.7%, and the Barclays U.S. Aggregate rise 4.1% through the third quarter, the words Purgatory and Hell are unlikely to come to mind to most investors when opening their brokerage statements. It has been a dull year, perhaps, but certainly not a hellish one. So what is bringing Danteesque visions of damnation into our slightly warped minds?

2014-11-18 00:00:00 Bubble Watch Update by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

As you may remember, the January Rule serves as a kind of barometer for the behavior of the market in the coming year. Historically, when January was down, the rest of the year had over twice the declines than one would expect randomly, far more mediocre months, and a very sub average return. But it is far from perfect and it had the unusual problem this year of bumping into the positive signal from the Presidential third year, which started for us on October 1.

2014-11-18 00:00:00 How AQR's New Fund Adds Value - An Alternative Approach to Alternatives: Investing with Style by Larry Swedroe (Article)

The conventional justification for alternative investments has been their ability to effectively diversify against core equity and fixed-income allocations. But, in many cases, the empirical data doesn't support that view. A new fund provides a different way to obtain returns from sources that have low to negative correlation to stocks and bonds, as well as each other - an alternative to alternative investment vehicles.

2014-11-18 00:00:00 Why the Risk-Reduction Benefits of Bond Ladders Have Been Overstated by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

Proponents of bond ladders argue that they will significantly improve the security of financial plans. Others contend that the risk reduction benefits are merely a mirage. I side with the latter view and will explain why.

2014-11-17 00:00:00 Navigating the Credit Markets by Bob Andres of Andres Capital Management

Both the corporate and municipal bond markets continue to be shrouded in decades old business practices, provincial in nature and unfamiliar to many independent advisors and retail investors.

2014-11-17 00:00:00 On My Radar: Stocks Remain Richly Valued by Steve Blumenthal of CMG Capital Management Group

Shortly after each month end (after the most recent reported earnings numbers are posted), I like to run through a few of my favorite valuation charts to gauge level, asses risk and to get a sense for what the probable forward return may be. Fortunately, there is a great deal of historical data that can help us.

2014-11-17 00:00:00 Risk Parity: Comparing the Objections With Reality Part 1 by Scott Wolle, Michael McHugh, David Gluch of Invesco Blog

Over the last several years, risk parity has gained prominence as a general asset allocation approach as well as a specific strategy. Rising adoption rates of the approach have invited scrutiny from both practitioners and academics. We agree with some of the challenges identified by critics and have addressed them over time through our research agenda. Others, however, either do not apply to our version of risk parity or, at least to our knowledge, the approach in general.

2014-11-17 00:00:00 Economic Data Continues to Impress, Driving Equities Higher by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Once again, a combination of solid economic data, decent earnings results and receding fears of global deflation pushed stock prices higher. The S&P 500 Index rose for a fourth consecutive week, gaining 0.4%. The telecommunications and technology sectors showed particular strength while utilities and energy lagged.

2014-11-16 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Buy Commodities? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

It may not be the exact bottom for energy stocks, but they are among the cheapest on a P/E basis. There is a lot of bad future news in current commodity prices, so the risk/reward balance has shifted. Many seem to start with the commodity prices and infer future economic weakness. This method is unreliable with a lot of false signals. I prefer to begin with economic data and then find the most attractive stocks. I provide more detail in Circular Reasoning about Commodities, including why I favor ESV and FCX.

2014-11-15 00:00:00 Explore and Discover the Winners When Gas Prices Fall by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil for December delivery is currently priced at $75 per barrel, Brent for January delivery at $78 per barrel. Many investors, publications and news sources focus only on the drawbacks to falling oil and gas prices-don't get me wrong, there are many-but today we're going to give the spotlight to the biggest winners and beneficiaries.

2014-11-15 00:00:00 Volatility and Risk by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Volatility has seemed to be the trend in markets over the past couple months. It was just a few weeks ago that we saw equity markets getting crushed, only to roar back and actually finish up for the month of October and back near all-time highs. It makes no sense to us that investors have no problem dealing with volatility in stocks, investing for the long run, as the stock market has historically gone up, but with the high yield asset class, we often see the risk on or risk off mentality, meaning investors think they should either be fully invested

2014-11-15 00:00:00 Hard to Hit Two Targets at Once: The ECB ABS Asset Purchase Programme by Felix Blomenkamp of PIMCO

We believe that reviving the asset-backed securities (ABS) market is a better near-term goal, and the primary target of the European Central Banks (ECB) buying programme should be the new issuance market. Sizeable purchases by the ECB in the European ABS market carry the possible risks of crowding out established investors and suppressing interest in this asset class. By not crowding out existing investors while making the asset class more attractive to issuers and investors alike, the ECB has an opportunity to reach its ultimate goal to spur lending.

2014-11-14 00:00:00 High-Yield Bonds & Oil Prices by Team of LPL Financial

The decline in oil prices and its impact on the high-yield market has been cited as a concern for investors. This week we stay on the topic of high-yield bonds and take a closer look at the potential impact of oil prices on the high-yield bond market and whether recent concerns are justified.

2014-11-14 00:00:00 Investment Update October 2014 by James Klein of Meritage Portfolio Management

Coming off a strong second quarter, stocks turned in a mixed performance for the three months ending September 30. The fundamental backdrop for stocks remained relatively stable, with interest rates drifting slightly lower and generally supportive news flow around corporate earnings, economic growth, inflation and Fed policy. While this familiar combination of factors has been hospitable for stocks, this past quarter reflected a growing unease about the prospects of further upside.

2014-11-14 00:00:00 Contemplating Stocks without QE by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Some influences on the stock market are casual, subtle or open to interpretation, but the catalyst behind the current stock market rally really shouldn't be controversial. As far as stocks go, we have lived by QE. The only question now is, whether we will die without it.

2014-11-14 00:00:00 How the Long Bond Stole the Trophy by Gibson Smith of Janus Capital Group

The aggressive bet many investors made on long-end rates in 2014 was the equivalent of betting on a Hail Mary pass to win the game. It has been rewarding, but is it repeatable? Probably not. Janus Fixed Income CIO Gibson Smith reflects on why he believes consistency beats the long shot, in sports and in investing.

2014-11-14 00:00:00 Bad #Deflation by Keith McCullough of Hedgeye Risk Management

Obviously times, technologies, and mostly everything other than the Old Wall have changed. But the very basic difference between what Ill call good vs. bad #deflation has not.

2014-11-13 00:00:00 Municipal Market Perspectives by Team of SMC Fixed Income Management

The most surprising and impressive asset class performance has been generated by long-term municipal bonds. Most pundits were calling for negative market performance again this year following the sharp 2013 sell-off; no one we know of (ourselves included) foresaw the stellar returns achieved through the years first ten months.

2014-11-13 00:00:00 The ETF Trader Interview Series: Ken Dolan, Jefferies & Company by David Abner of WisdomTree

In this edition, Dave Abner, Head of Capital Markets at WisdomTree, speaks with Ken Dolan, Senior Vice President on the ETF trading desk at Jefferies & Company, Inc. Ken joined the desk in 2011 after spending nine years at LaBranche & Co. as a Managing Director and Head of ETF Trading. In addition to his ETF trading experience, Ken has nine years of trading experience across equities, fixed income and emerging markets at Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers. He received a BS from Providence College and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

2014-11-12 00:00:00 Our Investment Beliefs by Chris Brightman, Jonathan Treussard, Jim Masturzo of Research Affiliates

The public launch of Research Affiliates interactive Asset Allocation website this month gives us an opportunity to describe the investment beliefs underlying our models, expected returns, and investment strategies. To be clear, our beliefs are constructs that help us make sense of the capital markets.

2014-11-12 00:00:00 Is Levering Bonds a Losers Game Today? by Michael DePalma, Arnab Nilim of AllianceBernstein

Multi-asset strategies like risk parity owe much of their popularity to their ability to navigate the global financial crisis. Lately, critics have cited levered bond returns as the driverand as a looming headwind. We think theyre missing a key point.

2014-11-11 00:00:00 The Last Argument of Central Banks by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In this weeks letter I have for you a brief essay on the topic of deflation. Depending on your view, you might find some of my thoughts controversial, but I will try to make my case clear, at least. Please note this is the 30,000-foot view and is nowhere close to definitive.

2014-11-11 00:00:00 Capital Raising in the MLP Sector Remains Active by David Chiaro of Eagle Global Advisors

We continue to see evidence that underpins our long term positive outlook on MLPs and midstream energy infrastructure companies. The need for new midstream infrastructure remains significant and announcements of large projects continue to be made. New export markets for U.S. hydrocarbons continue to develop and offer new profit opportunities for MLPs.

2014-11-11 00:00:00 The Continuation of QE by Bob Andres of Andres Capital Management

October 30, 2014 ended the third and final round of Quantitative Easing. Right? The announcement was couched in a hyperlinked document at the end of the FOMC statement. Those who made it through the statement and still felt like reading, realized that the end of QE was not as finalized as one may have expected.

2014-11-11 00:00:00 The 5 Es for Equity Investors by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

As we move closer to the end of 2014, there are some key considerations that will wield significant influence over the stock market, writes Kristina Hooper.

2014-11-10 00:00:00 Eurozone 2015 Economic & Capital Market Outlook by Gregory Hahn, Marco Carvajal of Winthrop Capital Management

Five years after the financial crisis, the Eurozone is facing major challenges in restoring economic growth. The Eurozone is faced with numerous structural problems, high unemployment, excess capacity, stagnant wages, slow banking reform, declining manufacturing, low level of capital investment and the uncertainty of Russian foreign policy. The result is that member countries are struggling to comply with the original terms of the European Union and running budget deficits in order to stimulate growth within their countries.

2014-11-10 00:00:00 Do the Lessons of History No Longer Apply? by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Without permanent changes in the way the world works, on valuation measures that are best correlated with actual subsequent market returns, stocks are wickedly overvalued here. Meanwhile, the stock market re-established overvalued, overbought, overbullish conditions last week that mirror some of the most precarious points in the historical record such as 1929, 1937, 1974, 1987, 2000 and 2007. Notably, that syndrome is now coupled with continued evidence of a subtle shift toward more risk-averse investor psychology, primarily reflected by internal dispersion and widening credit spreads.

2014-11-10 00:00:00 Three Reasons Why Commodity-Related Debt May Hold Value Under Pressure by Kathleen Gaffney of Eaton Vance

In this timely Insight, Kathleen Gaffney discusses how a flexible multisector bond strategy can be a great way to gain exposure to, and take advantage of, potential value opportunities in hard-hit commodity related debt.

2014-11-10 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Trends: Whats Negative for One Market May Boost Another by Steve Cao of Invesco Blog

Economic conditions have continued to deteriorate in emerging markets, and corporate earnings forecasts have fallen. Overall, emerging markets were down 4.3% in the third quarter, underperforming the developed world. In the midst of this negative news, however, were seeing a few bright spots start to emerge, and weve been able to add holdings that, in our view, became mispriced during market volatility.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 Knowing What You Can't Know, Knowing What You Don't Know, and Staying Disciplined in Your Investment by Team of Litman Gregory

In our investment analysis and decision-making, we try to focus on what is knowable with a reasonable degree of certainty or within a reasonable range of outcomes. We also recognize the importance of staying within our circle of competency, which means not investing in things we don't fully understand. And while our investment discipline requires us to adapt and change our views if the facts and circumstances change, it also protects us against getting swept up in the short-term noise and emotions of the markets.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 Japanese Equities Look Better and Better by Nick Niziolek of Calamos Investments

Based on an intersection of bottom-up and top-down criteria, we've become increasingly constructive on Japan's equity market over recent months. Last week, the BOJ made a surprise announcement that it would increase its monetary target by 80 trillion and also purchase stock assets. Also significant was the BOJ's statement that it would consider buying exchange traded funds that track the Nikkei 400 Index, which should promote higher dividends, buybacks, and/or capex spending-all positive for equity markets and potentially for Japan's economy as well.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 It's The Economy, and They're Not Stupid by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

The sharp rebuke to the Obama administration delivered by the mid-term elections should not be construed as an endorsement of the GOP, which remains as unpopular as ever. Rather, as has been the case in the last few election cycles, voter revolts have hinged on continued dissatisfaction with the strength of the economy and the diminishing financial prospects of ordinary citizens.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 Retirement Planning: Millennials vs. Boomers by Noah Beck of Research Affiliates

Rob Arnott and Lillian Wu recently wrote that young workers are more likely than older ones to lose their jobs in an economic downturn.They are also prone to draw on their 401(k) plan to meet basic living expenses while they are unemployed. Given these facts, the early-phase concentration in equitieswhose market prices are roughly correlated with the business cyclemakes target-date funds inordinately risky for young investors. In this article, Noah Beck considers TDFs in the broader context of workers total assets, including their own human capital.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 Central Planners Are In A State of Panic by Chris Martenson, PeakProsperity.com of PeakProsperity.com

By the time a central bank is behaving as recklessly as Japan, it's time to edge towards the exit, because the chance of a flash fire in the building has grown uncomfortably high. That is, instead of providing comfort, these most recent moves should invoke greater worry for those of us alert enough to see them for what they are: acts of panic:

2014-11-07 00:00:00 Gold in Yen Calm in the Eye of a Storm by Ade Odunsi of AdvisorShares

Since the beginning of August there has been a striking divergence in the relative performance of gold priced in US dollars versus gold priced in yen. Gold in yen has outperformed its dollar cousin by just over 10% over a period of three months. In fact year-to-date gold priced in yen has returned +5.3% with a 10.7% annualized standard deviation while gold in dollars has returned -2.6% with a 12.5% annualized standard deviation.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 Reconsidering Asia's Currencies by Gerald Hwang of Matthews Asia

The Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-1998 looms like a ghost over any attention to Asian currency risk. But what new considerations are needed now? Given the robust performance of the regions currencies since 1999, Portfolio Manager Gerald Hwang, CFA, explores this topic in a modern context that takes into account the diverse monetary systems, business cycles and development stages of Asias economies.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 The ETF Trader Interview Series: Aaron Kehoe, Cantor Fitzgerald by Anita Rausch of WisdomTree

In this edition, Anita Rausch, Director of Capital Markets, speaks with Aaron Kehoe, Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income ETF trading at Cantor Fitzgerald. Aaron joined Cantor in September 2013 and focuses primarily on managing and trading the firms book of fixed income ETFs. In addition, Aaron was instrumental in the product launches of many new fixed income ETFs and all senior loan ETFs.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 Weekly Market Summary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The mid-term elections: A new cast faces old problems; Japan: Kuroda's Halloween surprise; The U.S. has very solid job growth but not much wage growth

2014-11-07 00:00:00 The Investing Evolution: How We Got Here by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

One of the main themes of the Schwab Impact conference was the urgency the industry feels to go beyond traditional asset allocation. I could not agree more with that concept. But as for the execution of it, I see what I have seen so many times beforea good idea to help investors, which the industry then bludgeons to death with complexity, excessive fees and a bunch of me-too products. I will devote much more space in this blog to this in the coming weeks and months.

2014-11-07 00:00:00 'Risk On' for Now by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

U.S. high-yield bonds, leveraged credit, and equities will likely outperform in the coming months, but there are obstacles ahead.

2014-11-06 00:00:00 Will Rates Rise, Stay Steady or Fall Further? by Steve Rumsey of Optimus Advisory Group

As interest rates fell over the past 30 years, bond investors enjoyed substantial gains due to the subsequent rise in bond prices.

2014-11-06 00:00:00 Emerging Europe: Regional Economic Review - Q3 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

While Russia has been experiencing a slowdown for quite some time, the new round of sanctions imposed by the West has hit the economy even harder.

2014-11-05 00:00:00 Japan's Kaput?! by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Japans economy is down but not yet out. The worlds third largest economy wont go quietly. Both these statements are merely my opinion, but if you believe theres a risk that Im right, you may want to pay attention to what the implications may be.

2014-11-05 00:00:00 QE Worked, But Not As Advertised by Zach Pandl of Columbia Management

Last week the Federal Reserve announced the end of its bond-buying program, which has been running with only brief interruptions for the last six years. Besides its ultimate size and duration, the striking thing about the Feds experiment with quantitative easing (QE) is that there is still not a firm consensus on exactly how it worked. Academic economists will be busy with this question for years. But from a bond investors point of view, theres enough evidence to make a few tentative conclusions.

2014-11-05 00:00:00 A Look behind the GDP Numbers: The Search for Organic Growth by Bob Andres of Andres Capital Management

As with many investors, we looked anxiously to the U.S. GDP release on Thursday morning after viewing the FOMC statement on Wednesday. When the headline number for GDP came out at the top range of the forecast at 3.5%, we began to ask ourselves whether the analysts projecting 3% inflation by year end may actually be on to something. However, upon reading the report, we became less enthralled with the prospect of above trend growth, which would signal rising inflation.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 The Six Biggest Washington Myths by Justin Kermond (Article)

If you think Washington is hopelessly broken or that the Federal Reserve is bitterly divided between hawks and doves, you're wrong, according to Greg Valliere. These were two of six common assertions Valliere challenged in a talk last week.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Martin Wolf on the Financial Crisis: The Fire Next Time by Michael Edesess (Article)

If you think the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 was a one-time event caused by lax regulation and a financial industry run riot, then Financial Times chief economics commentator Martin Wolf has some bad news for you. Wolf, one of the world's most respected economists, says these circumstances were only part of its proximate cause and that the financial crisis was the inevitable product of the global economic system. If that system does not undergo radical change, says Wolf, financial crises may keep on recurring until the world economic order collapses.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Cameron Uses EU Fine to Bolster Support by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

Last week, the unelected European Commission demanded that the United Kingdom pay an additional $2.8 billion to fund the European Union. The new charges resulted from the fact that the British economy had grown faster than had been expected in the past year. The demand sparked outrage from Great Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, and media, particularly as France and Germany would receive rebates, financed largely by the new funds being demanded from the UK.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 The Race by Brian Andrew of Cleary Gull

While some may wish for a Democratically controlled Congress because we have a Democrat in the White House, the reality is that some dysfunction between Congress and the Administration is welcome by markets. Near-term, many believe that the regulatory environment created by a Democratic Senate and Administration creates uncertainty and restricts corporate growth. While that may be true, it is hard to argue with the stock market returns over the last several years. The reality is that markets appreciate some dysfunction in Washington.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Bear Markets, Corrections, and Benchmarks by Kendall Anderson of Anderson Griggs

Since the last day of 1926 through today, the S&P 500 has had a total of eight bear markets. This is assuming a bear market is one with a decline of 20% or more. Since it has been eighty-five years since the first of these great bear markets, and five since the bottom of the last one, it might be interesting to see some details on each. Lets take a trip down memory lane.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Double Dose of Stimulus Sending Japan Stocks Up, Yen Down by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

On October 31, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) unleashed a surprise round of further stimulus to its monetary policies. This additional monetary easing occurred the same week that the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) completed its monetary policy program, showing a transition in global central bank accommodation leadership.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Consumer Confidence Hit a 7-Year High in October... But by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The two most widely-followed indicators of consumer confidence jumped to the highest levels in seven years last week. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index climbed to 94.5 in October, the strongest reading since October 2007 before the economy entered the Great Recession.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Rhyme and Reason by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

We?ll revisit the phenomenon of October as a month of negative market surprises. It actually has its roots in the interplay between farming and banking.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 International Equity Commentary: September 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

International equity prices corrected in September as investors became concerned about slower global growth and the continued withdrawal of monetary stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Stronger than expected U.S. growth could support the global economy in the coming quarters, but has made investors anxious of early interest rate hikes. The Euro-zone economic recovery is faltering yet again as growth has slipped in most large countries.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Americas: Regional Economic Review - Q3 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

The clear divergence in economic growth trends between the developed economies in North America and Latin America widened during the third quarter. The U.S. is now the fastest growing developed country in the world, and has lifted the outlook for Canada and Mexico, two of its major trading partners in the region.

2014-11-03 00:00:00 Worried About the Unknown? Focus on the Business Cycle Instead by John Greenwood of Invesco Blog

Lately, Ive been fielding questions about the possible unknowns that could bring about the end of the current economic expansion. While I understand investors trepidation about the unknown, I believe this concern is misplaced. Business cycles do not generally end because of unforeseen accidents. They normally end because central banks, in an effort to bring down inflation, raise interest rates, which creates an inverted yield curve and slows money and credit growth. We are clearly a long way from this scenario at present.

2014-11-03 00:00:00 Losing Velocity: QE and the Massive Speculative Carry Trade by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

What central banks around the world seem to overlook is that by changing the mix of government liabilities that the public is forced to hold, away from bonds and toward currency and bank reserves, the only material outcome of QE is the distortion of financial markets, turning the global economy into one massive speculative carry trade. The monetary base, interest rates, and velocity are jointly determined, and absent some exogenous shock to velocity or interest rates, creating more base money simply results in that base money being turned over at a slower rate.

2014-11-03 00:00:00 Economy, Earnings and Policy Push Equities to New Heights by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

A combination of receding global growth fears, strong corporate earnings results and continued monetary policy support helped U.S. equities rise for a second week, with the S&P 500 Index climbing 2.7%.

2014-11-01 00:00:00 The Single-Engine Global Economy by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

The global economy is like a jetliner that needs all of its engines operational to take off and steer clear of clouds and storms. Unfortunately, only one of its four engines is functioning properly, the pilots must navigate menacing storm clouds, and fights are breaking out among the passengers.

2014-11-01 00:00:00 Dont Be Spooked by Market VolatilityOpportunity Is Still Knocking! by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

One of the greatest fears this Octoberpossibly the most volatile month of the yearhas been the correlation between the S&P 500 Indexs ascent in the first three quarters of the year and the possible ramifications of the end of quantitative easing (QE).

2014-10-31 00:00:00 Small Cap leverage by Jun Zhu of The Leuthold Group

Small Caps' balance sheets and debt servicing capacity are not in the healthiest state to weather higher interest rates (relative to Large Caps). This could be part of the big picture of weakening Small Cap performance. Small Cap investors should place an emphasis on companies with relatively stronger balance sheets, and higher earnings power in order to accommodate an environment of rising interest rates. With the Fed mulling over a rate increase, investors may have already started to avoid companies with excess leverage. Unfortunately, Small Caps, on average, are in this camp.

2014-10-30 00:00:00 Got Loans? by Mark R. Kiesel, Elizabeth (Beth) MacLean, Rudy Pimentel of PIMCO

?We believe select investors looking to reposition portfolios may benefit from a move to senior secured floating rate loans. CLOs have been an important source of demand in the market, and even with more strict risk retention rules just announced under Dodd Frank, we think demand will remain strong. While the Fed has criticized some banks for not following their leveraged lending guidelines, Fed members themselves, in our view, do not appear concerned about loans having a major impact on financial stability.

2014-10-30 00:00:00 The ETF Trader Interview Series: Kathryn Sweeney, Goldman Sachs by Anita Rausch of WisdomTree

In this edition, Anita Rausch, Director of Capital Markets, speaks with Kathryn Sweeney, the Global ETF Product Manager and Head of U.S. ETF Trading for Goldman Sachs.

2014-10-30 00:00:00 Europe Must Act Now by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Things in Europe are bad and policymakers appear already to have fallen behind the curve. The reality is the ECB will need to purchase at least another 1.5 trillion in assets, and even that may not be enough to avert a severe slowdown.

2014-10-29 00:00:00 On Top of the Market by Team of AMG Funds

The third quarters seventh straight gain for the S&P 500 did not come easy. Investors wrestled with geopolitical turmoil in Ukraine and the Middle East, and the eventual end of the Federal Reserves (the Fed) bond buying program. U.S. small-cap stocks were volatile and fell into negative territory, year-to-date.

2014-10-28 00:00:00 Third Quarter Review 2014 by Clark M. Blackman II (Article)

The following is a letter to clients that readers may adapt for their own use.

2014-10-28 00:00:00 Will the Ebola Scare Haunt the Stock Market? by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper prescribes four key takeaways from the Ebola epidemic and what it means for investors.

2014-10-28 00:00:00 Rising Rate Strategies by Rick Harper, Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

While the ultimate evolution of the path of U.S. interest rates remains uncertain, we believe our new strategies for risk management give investors a powerful tool kit for refining their fixed income exposure.

2014-10-27 00:00:00 Four Investor Takeaways from the Recent Volatility Spike by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Last week market volatility spiked to the highest level since 2011. To some degree, this should not come as a shock; weve been in an unusually quiet period that was due to end at some point and now has.

2014-10-27 00:00:00 Equities Recover Some Ground and Still May Have Room to Run by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

With global deflation and growth fears fading, U.S. equities snapped their four-week losing streak last week with the S&P 500 Index gaining 4.1%. This advance marked the largest weekly gain since January 2013. Following the correction from the mid-September to mid-October, the S&P 500 has now rallied 8%, leaving it only 3% from its all-time high.

2014-10-27 00:00:00 Why The Fed Will End QE On Wednesday by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

This week we will find out the answer to whether the Federal Reserve will end its current quantitative easing program or not. Today is the last open market operation of the current program, and my bet is that it will be the last, for now. Here are my three reasons why I believe this to be the case.

2014-10-27 00:00:00 Fall Quarterly Commentary by John Prichard, Miles Yourman of Knightsbridge Asset Management

Born in the city of Lemberg in the Austrian-Hungarian empire (present-day Ukraine) (future-day Russia?), Ludwig von Mises would be a familiar figure to those interested in the intellectual underpinnings of economic libertarianism. He was an important contributor to the Austrian school of economic thought, which, while ultimately losing mainstream support to the Keynesians and their followers, has still remained influential in certain circles as an alternative.

2014-10-26 00:00:00 A Scary Story for Emerging Markets by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The all-too-predictable effects of a rising dollar on emerging markets that have been propped up by hot inflows and the dollar carry trade will spread far beyond the emerging markets themselves. This is another key aspect of the not-so-coincidental consequences that we will be exploring in our series on what I feel is a sea change in the global economic environment.

2014-10-25 00:00:00 As the Eurozone Stalls, China Cuts the Red Tape by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

France and Germanys industrial production has turned down recently. Their purchasing managers index (PMI) numbers are below the 50-mark line, indicating contraction. This trend is especially worrisome because Europe is a bigger trading partner with China than the U.S. is. So whats the solution? The EU would do well to look east, specifically to China.

2014-10-24 00:00:00 Short-Term Optimism, Longer-Term Caution by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

U.S. stocks will likely move higher as pension fund managers go bargain hunting in an effort to put seasonal cash inflows to work.

2014-10-24 00:00:00 Investing by Duration by Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

It was hard to ignore the call in the fixed income space for short duration investing over the last couple years. Duration is a measure of interest rate sensitivity (the percentage change in the price of a bond for a 100 basis point move in rates), so the lower the duration the theoretically less sensitive those bonds are to interest rate movements.

2014-10-23 00:00:00 When Will Rates Potentially Rise? by Team of Osterweis Capital Management

When 2014 started, some Wall Street strategists predicted a continuing rise in interest rates as U.S. economic growth accelerated and the Federal Reserve (the Fed) reduced its monthly stimulus. Instead, it has been a one-way street in government bond markets as they continued to deliver low yields at higher prices. In August, the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Note fell to 2.3%, back down to June 2013 levels.

2014-10-23 00:00:00 Is This the Beginning of a New Bear Market? Important Signs to Watch by Chris Puplava of PFS Group

How the markets behave in the coming weeks will go a long way to help determine if the September-October correction was the start of a new bear market or just a normal correction in a bull market. Chris Puplava provides a detailed outlook

2014-10-23 00:00:00 Quarterly Review and Outlook by Team of Hoisington Investment Management

The U.S. economy continues to lose momentum despite the Federal Reserves use of conventional techniques and numerous experimental measures to spur growth. In the first half of the year, real GDP grew at only a 1.2% annual rate while real per capita GDP increased by a minimal 0.3% annual rate. Such increases are insufficient to raise the standard of living, which, as measured by real median household income, stands at the same level as it did seventeen years ago

2014-10-23 00:00:00 How Consensus Thinking Works Against Investors by Bob Andres of Andres Capital Management

Over the past several years we have used this newsletter to voice our concerns regarding the macro-economic landscape, while attempting to provide practical solutions for investors. Since our venture into financial commentary, we have questioned the veracity of consensus opinion and how it tends to be wrong, especially in regards to interest rates.

2014-10-23 00:00:00 Equities: Is the Bull Market Under a Threat? by Keith Wade of Schroders Investment Management

Equity markets have experienced a setback recently and this has led many strategists to question the longer term case for the asset class. However, we remain positive on shares and believe that equities can still generate an attractive premium for investors.

2014-10-22 00:00:00 The Eighth Default of Argentina by Kaisa Stucke, Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Very few countries have seen as spectacular of a decline in its economic standing over the past 100 years as Argentina has. Argentina has been in the international headlines recently due to its sovereign debt default, the eighth default in the history of the country. This week we will look at Argentina, its long history of economic booms and busts, its political background, and its extensive chronicle of sovereign debt defaults. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2014-10-22 00:00:00 Retirement: How To Avoid Outliving Your Savings by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

With over 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day, a pattern that will continue for the next 20 years, retirement savings continues to be one of the most important issues of our day. With 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 the Baby Boom Generation saving enough for retirement is critically important.

2014-10-22 00:00:00 Despite Volatility, This Bull Is Likely to Charge Higher by John Calamos, Gary Black of Calamos Investments

As the fourth quarter begins, the market has found itself engulfed in anxiety. Volatility has surged in the equity markets while the 10-year Treasury yield has dropped to 2%-leading some to question whether this bull market is breathing its last breath. We believe: * Global GDP growth will likely be in the 2.0%-3.0% range. * The U.S. is in the 5th or 6th inning of recovery, with slow but improving growth. * Despite the surge in volatility, this bull market has more room to run. * A balance of secular and cyclical growth companies presents the most attractive portfolio for this mid-cycle phase.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 Loomis Sayles Core Plus Bond Fund: Navigating Dynamic Markets with Tactical Flexibility by Sponsored Content from Loomis Sayles (Article)

The global economic cycle is a perpetual force influencing interest rates, credit availability and capital markets. For core plus managers who seek to generate total return by balancing liquidity and risk, these undulations pose a clear challenge.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 The Economy: October Viewpoint by Robert Cron of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild

The U.S. economy continues to move forward in its slow but steady recovery. Despite the Federal Reserve ending their bond buying program in October, demand for U.S. fixed income continues to be robust. The recent downward movement in the stock markets has some investors talking correction once again, and growth concerns overseas finally seem to affecting the performance of the domestic markets. We believe there is still more room for improvement for foreign economies, while the U.S. seems to be a more stable environment.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 The Skinny on Fatter Tails for Fed Policy by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper comments on escalating fears that a slowdown in global growth could hamstring the US recovery and what that means for monetary-policy outcomes in the United States.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 A Life-Cycle or Lifestyle Fund? A Critical Investment Decision by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Just because two people are the same age does not mean that they have the same investment needs or risk tolerances.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 Opportunities Amid Divergence by Michael Gomez of PIMCO

As in developed markets, the trends of increasing growth and policy dispersion will be borne out in emerging markets over the next 12 months. Brazil has some of the highest interest rates in the world, which presents an opportunity for investors, and we expect the next four years will be marked by a better mix of fiscal and monetary policy. Because our outlook for China has moderated somewhat, we are focusing attention on trade and financial linkages and how the ripple effects of a slower China might unfold.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 Can You Panic and Still be an Investor? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Quite a week we just had, regardless of asset class. By Wednesday the Dow had fallen 688 points by mid-day, thanks to a 480-point morning decline. The problem was a lack of liquiditya buyers strike (no buyers in the market)as we used to call it. In response, stocks fell, as did commodities (with the exception of gold) and yields plunged on bonds.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 Rising Rates Implementation Plan: Core Plus & Risk Management by Rick Harper, Bradley Krom of WisdomTree

While our view on rising rates has yet to meaningfully materialize this year, our underlying thesis has not changed. In our view, it may be time for investors to think about how a bond portfolio may perform as a result of changes in Federal Reserve (Fed) policy.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 The Flat Debt Society by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Since at least the beginning of 2006, the most asked question I get after a speech is Do you think we will have inflation or deflation? In an attempt at humor, my answer has been Yes.

2014-10-21 00:00:00 Advising Clients about When to Retire by Joe Tomlinson (Article)

Clients are often surprised to learn that delaying retirement can increase retirement income by a lot. Although each case will be different, I'll present an example to provide some general insights.

2014-10-20 00:00:00 Equity Losses Continue, but This Correction May Be Ending by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Markets endured a sharp pullback and higher volatility, but technical factors suggest we may be nearing the end of the current correction. Long-term, we believe fundamentals remain sound, the U.S. economy should continue to grow and equities should be able to grind higher.

2014-10-20 00:00:00 A Treasury Market Disconnect by Roger Bayston of Franklin Templeton Investments

As the US economy continues to show signs of strength and the US Federal Reserve (Fed) continues to wind down its quantitative easing (QE) program, one would think the US Treasury markets would start reflecting a potential rise in inflation, and the eventuality of Fed monetary policy tightening. However, there has been a bit of disconnect in terms of behavior on the long end of the Treasury yield curve.

2014-10-20 00:00:00 Five Ways to Keep Out of the Bond Liquidity Trap by Douglas Peebles of AllianceBernstein

Bond investors are used to managing interest-rate risk and credit risk. But the financial crisis should have taught us that there are times when liquidity risk can be just as important to manage. Now is one of those times.

2014-10-19 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Team of Northern Trust

The markets correction has many scratching their heads. Russias economy is feeling a pinch but not real pain. Long-term remedies will be needed to secure U.S. budget health.

2014-10-19 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: Is the Correction Over? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

Was that the bottom? Nearly everyone is trying to time the market, so the financial media will focus on remaining risk versus signals of a bottom.

2014-10-17 00:00:00 Disinflation Infatuation by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Inflation expectations have fallen sharply in recent weeks, driven by European disinflation, lower energy prices, and overall growth concerns. The persistence of low inflation expectations may intensify the lower for longer theme via lower growth expectations and delays to potential Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rate hikes.

2014-10-17 00:00:00 Seasonal Factors Ready to Turn Positive by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

After a volatile week in markets, U.S. equities are now oversold and investors should be alert for seasonal factors that should soon turn positive.

2014-10-17 00:00:00 Why High Yield, Why Now by Tim Gramatovich, Heather Rupp of AdvisorShares

Here are some of the reasons we believe that the high yield bond market looks attractive at current levels.

2014-10-16 00:00:00 Global Worries (And Some Benefits) by Scott Brown of Raymond James

In the latest update of its World Economic Outlook, the IMF revised lower its expectations of global growth in 2014 and 2015. None of that should have surprised anyone. At this point, the IMF expects that European GDP will be relatively weak in 2014 (+0.8% 4Q14/4Q13) and should improve in 2015 (+1.6% 4Q15/4Q14). However, risks are weighted predominately to the downside. Weaker European growth and a stronger dollar will have a significant impact on many U.S. firms, but may have some benefits for the economy as a whole.

2014-10-16 00:00:00 Europe: Draghi's Deflation Desperation by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The specter of falling prices in the eurozone is making the ECB chiefs job even harder.

2014-10-16 00:00:00 Global Carry a.k.a. Risk Parity by Alexander Giryavets of Dynamika Capital L.L.C.

It is customary to think of Risk Parity Asset Allocation and Carry Trading Strategy as two different things. We explain that the Risk Parity after the Global Financial Crisis is nothing else but a hugely successful Global Carry Trade funded in Japanese Yen, Dollar and Euro. The performance of this trade is fantastic, the allocation is huge (100s of blns of $) and the risk of crash that will precipitate the next financial crisis is growing day by day. But for now the music is still playing.

2014-10-15 00:00:00 The Sell-Off Continues, But an Opportunity Appears by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

In recent weeks, investors have been contending with two trends: anxiety over a change in Fed policy and evidence of a slowdown in the global economy. While global growth is likely to remain below historic norms, it is not collapsing. This suggests that investors should be positioned for a slow growth environment, not another recession. This, in turn, implies taking some selective risk in asset classes that have become less expensive as a result of the sell-off. One example of an asset that warrants another look: U.S. high yield bonds.

2014-10-15 00:00:00 What Are We Doing to Our Young Investors? by Rob Arnott, Lillian Wu of Research Affiliates

In the latest piece from Research Affiliates, Rob Arnott, chairman and CEO, and Lillian Wu, researcher, look at the growing use of target date funds by young workers, and how their defined contribution (DC) portfolios are therefore increasingly concentrated in stocks. However, young workers are more likely to cash out their DC assets to meet living expenses during a recession or other hardship, and equity volatility could leave them in a bind. Arnott and Wu offer a potential solution: less risky starter portfolios.

2014-10-15 00:00:00 Who Will Blink First? by Portfolio Management Team of SMC Fixed Income Management

While tax-exempt yields did follow Treasuries higher during September, the snap-back has been fast and significant; yields have recently established new twelve-month lows. Meanwhile, investors appear to be repositioning from equity and other asset classes into fixed income. The move to bonds includes municipal securities, as evidenced by strong flows into tax-exempt funds, which is forcing cash-laden portfolio managers to buy at the highest prices of the year.

2014-10-14 00:00:00 APViewpoint TODAY: The Bond Market: How to Play it in 2014 and Beyond by Doug Short (Article)

Our next APViewpoint Event gives you the opportunity to gain investment insights and engage in Q&A with nationally recognized investment manager Jeffrey Gundlach.

Mark your calendar: TODAY, October 14th at 4:15pm EST. To register before the event...

2014-10-14 00:00:00 The Ultimate Income Portfolio: 7.1% Yield with Low Risk by Geoff Considine (Article)

I analyze the performance of last year's Ultimate Income Portfolio and generate the one for 2014-15. The result is a portfolio that yields 7.1% with a risk level equivalent to a 70/30 stock/bond index fund. I also explore some of the lessons learned from four years of tracking and revising the portfolios.

2014-10-14 00:00:00 Sea Change by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

The final chapter and conclusion pretty much end as you would expect: the demise of monetary policys ability to soothe the soul of the markets and the return of volatility. We hopefully get a full-fledged restructuring of the sovereign debt markets. The Fed and sister central banks will try the same tired tools they have been using. Except they have already been to the zero rate boundary and have wasted the opportunity they had to increase rates so that they could lower them later. Another round of quantitative easing?

2014-10-14 00:00:00 The Eurozone Plots Its Long Road to Recovery by David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments

Growth in much of Europe is slow - some observers even say the economy is moving sideways. Lately, the eurozone seems to have more in common with Japan, whose economy has been idling for years, than it does with the UK or the United States.

2014-10-14 00:00:00 Finding Value in the Municipal Market Today by Bob Andres of Andres Capital Management

With the Feds recent remarks regarding their near term plan or lack thereof for short term rates, investors continue to be surrounded by uncertainty as to the timing and velocity of future interest rate movements. This uncertainty creates the question of how one can protect ones capital base, while earning decent returns.

2014-10-14 00:00:00 You Ain't Seen Nothin Yet by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

Someone recently asked a group of us which band we saw at our first rock concert. My answer was the Canadian band, The Guess Who, in 1975. With hits like No Time, Undun and These Eyes, The Guess Who hit the perfect balance between my 17-year old testosterone driven aggressiveness and my urge to romance the woman of my dreams. The key members of the band in the 1960s and 1970s were Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman.

2014-10-14 00:00:00 Can The Market Make A Comeback? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Although Im a Detroit Lions fan and thoroughly enjoyed my teams rare, 19-to-7 triumph over Green Bays football team last month, Ive always respected the Packers. (Maybe because as a Lions season ticket holder since the 80s, I probably have seen the Lions lose to them more than anyone else.) They epitomize what football is all about.

2014-10-13 00:00:00 Air-Pockets, Free-Falls, and Crashes by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Once overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes are joined by deterioration in market internals and trend-uniformity, one finds a narrow set comprising less than 5% of history that contains little but abrupt air-pockets, free-falls, and crashes.

2014-10-13 00:00:00 Is the UK Getting Back to Business as Usual?? by Mike Amey of PIMCO

In light of the generally buoyant economy, we may start to see more normal conditions returning to the UK labour market and, importantly, upward movement in wage growth over the cyclical horizon. In turn, these developments are critical for the conduct and timing of monetary policy and t