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

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2016-05-03 00:00:00 Reevaluating Your Investment Philosophy by Teresa Riccobuono (Article)

Many advisors use the beginning of a new quarter as a time to review their investment choices, sometimes called a “pick list.” If you fall into this group, consider including a review of your investment philosophy as part of the overall process.

2016-04-29 00:00:00 Key Environmental Metrics for Investors: It’s not Just Carbon by Neil McIndoe of S&P Dow Jones Indices

Emissions of carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gasses are often foremost in people’s minds when they consider environmental risk. This is understandable as, if we continue on our current path, we are set for four degrees Celsius of warming by 2100, compared with pre-industrial levels. Expected consequences include the flooding of coastal cities, irreversible loss of biodiversity, severe heat waves, and high-intensity tropical cyclones. 2016 has seen Arctic sea ice at its lowest seasonal maximum in satellite records, so warming is already having significant impacts.

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.

2016-04-20 00:00:00 The Newest Threat to Robo Advisors by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Today’s financial planning tools, including the new generation of “robo” advisors, have profound shortcomings, according to Dan diBartolomeo. DiBartolomeo says that the technology most advisors use suffers from serious problems – from prescribing a costly regimen of ongoing portfolio rebalancing to failing to incorporate a holistic balance sheet of assets and liabilities – and these problems are unwittingly depleting their clients’ assets.

2016-04-18 00:00:00 Emerging Markets Q1 2016 Recap: A Turn in Fortunes by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

The first-quarter of the year was marked by a turn in fortunes for emerging markets overall, which saw many investors return to the asset class after a challenging 2015.

2016-04-15 00:00:00 Four Emerging Markets Topics Investors Should Watch by Anthony Cragg of Wells Fargo Asset Management

International markets posed several challenges for investors in early 2016. But if you look past the headlines, you’ll see pockets of opportunity. Here are four international developments that we think investors should focus on: China’s continuing transition from investment-led growth; dividends becoming more important in a slower-growth world; India’s economy showing growth and resilience; and Brazil’s political and economic situations remaining challenged.

2016-04-12 00:00:00 Surging Mining Stocks Point to Big Move Ahead in Gold and Silver by Stefan Gleason of Money Metals Exchange

Spring has sprung for precious metals mining stocks.The HUI gold stocks index surged 6.2% on Monday to close at a 14-month high. The HUI chart shows a strong base was built from last summer through this January, and from that base a new bull market has begun.

2016-04-08 00:00:00 Be on the Right Side of Change by Frank Caruso, Dan Roarty of AllianceBernstein

Companies are having a much harder time producing earnings growth. Those that are positioned on the right side of change should be better placed to increase profits—and deliver investment returns—in a growth-constrained world.

2016-04-07 00:00:00 Harnessing Value in Dislocated Credit by Sai Devabhaktuni of PIMCO

Market volatility, diminishing liquidity and credit imbalances combine to create mispricings and attractive opportunities in leveraged finance.

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.

2016-03-27 00:00:00 25 Years of Investing in Asia by Robert Horrocks, Sharat Shroff of Matthews Asia

Matthews Asia has reached a milestone in its history—25 years of investing in Asia. What have been the biggest challenges? What lessons have been learned? This month’s Asia Insight features Robert Horrocks, PhD, and Sharat Shroff, CFA, who share their thoughts on the investing disciplines they have formed in the two decades since Asia has evolved from “interesting but obscure” to a frontline asset class.

2016-03-27 00:00:00 Here’s the Cost of Global Terrorism by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

We were saddened this week to hear that at least 30 people were killed and many dozens more injured in ISIS-related suicide bombings that targeted an airport and train station in Brussels. The Belgian and European Union capital joins Paris, San Bernardino, Ankara, Jakarta and too many other cities in the past year alone that have come under fire from the Islamic terrorist group.

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.

2016-03-18 00:00:00 In the Know: Clean Power Plan Faces Supreme Challenge by John Kohli of Franklin Templeton Investments

With or without a federal mandate to cut carbon dioxide emissions, carbon reductions are happening throughout the industry for economic reasons. Low natural gas prices and low-cost renewables are driving investment decisions away from higher-carbon sources of energy.

2016-03-16 00:00:00 The Apple Problem by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In December, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife attacked a San Bernardino county facility, killing 14 people and injuring 22 others. The FBI discovered an Apple iPhone that was used by Farook but owned by the county. The encryption built into the device prevented authorities from accessing its data. The government has sued Apple to circumvent its security, but Apple has refused. We discuss the attack, compare and contrast the legal positions of both parties, and frame the issue using the U.S. Constitution, examining the tensions between the Bill of Rights and the conflicts presented by wartime.

2016-03-08 00:00:00 Growth Is the Answer to Everything by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

In this business we spend a lot of time thinking about problems. What if we could wave a magic wand and make them all go away? Maybe we can.

2016-03-06 00:00:00 To Jumpstart Its Economy, China Embraces… Reaganomics? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Chinese President Xi Jinping is about to tell millions of government workers: “You’re fired.”

2016-02-24 00:00:00 The 2016 Election: An Update by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Two years ago we wrote a series on the 2016 election where we suggested rising discontent among the electorate could increase the odds of a president that turns the US away from the superpower role. Some of these trends have come to pass and the underlying cause of discord we identified appear to be the driving force in the current political turmoil.

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.

2016-02-18 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.

2016-02-15 00:00:00 Don’t Count on Your Message to Persuade Prospects by Dan Solin (Article)

I once represented a woman whose farm had been contaminated by oil that leaked from huge tanks across the highway from her property. Opposing counsel was far more experienced in this kind of litigation. But I learned that outcome of the case itself had less to do with the facts than how I conducted myself – a lesson that applies when advisors present to prospects.

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.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Exploring Culture and Companies in Changsha, China by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

It's clear to me that despite the tremendous amount of infrastructure building that has already taken place in China, there is a need for more.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Will Oil Prices and Equities Stay Hitched? by James Tierney, Jr. of AllianceBernstein

Equity markets and oil prices are behaving lately as if they’re glued together. Our analysis suggests that the correlation is unjustified and investors should start thinking about what might happen when they become unstuck.

2016-02-08 00:00:00 Sustainable and Responsible Investing: Is There a Price to Pay? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

Consumers can use their market power to demonstrate their aversion to certain business activities by choosing not to purchase goods or use services from companies that, in their minds, are selling immoral products. Similarly, investors can decide not to invest in such companies. But do those investors sacrifice returns relative to a broad-based index fund?

2016-02-07 00:00:00 Misadventures of Real Economy in Central Banks’ Neoclassical Wonderland by Sebastiao Buck Tocalino of SBTCapital Clube de Investimento

Before you start reading, I want to explain that the term wonderland I used in the title above is much more in the sense of incongruous and defying common sense, than in some cynical reference to the splendid sense of the word.

2016-02-06 00:00:00 Pollution and China's Economic Transformation by Henry Zhang of Matthews Asia

China’s air pollution has made frequent headlines recently, and authorities have implemented various measures to try to alleviate the situation. This week Portfolio Manager Henry Zhang writes about China’s attempts to solve its environmental issues during this critical juncture in its economic development.

2016-01-28 00:00:00 The (Expected) Market Impact of the 2016 Election by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

According to Russ, the outcome of the presidential election will matter for markets and investors, although perhaps not in the way many anticipate.

2016-01-26 00:00:00 Exit, Voice, and Loyalty by Adam Jared Apt (Article)

There are some activists who object to the belief that investing entails merely interpreting the economy; their point is to change it. The activists seem, at first glance, to have nothing in common with traditional investors, and to inhabit a separate conceptual world. What follows is an in-depth look at socially responsible investing.

2016-01-19 00:00:00 Newsletter - Volume 9, No. 1 - January 2016 by Harold Evensky of Evensky & Katz / Foldes Financial Wealth Management

A belated Happy and Healthy New Year! Now for this NewsLetter’s musings…

2016-01-16 00:00:00 One Weird Trick to Forecast Commodity Trends by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Several times in the past, we’ve shown that there’s a high correlation between the global PMI reading and the performance of commodities and energy three months later. When a PMI “cross-above” occurs—that is, when the monthly reading crosses above the three-month moving average—it has historically signaled a possible uptrend in crude oil, copper and other commodities. Our research shows that between January 1998 and June 2015, copper had an 81 percent probability of rising 7 percent, while crude jumped the same amount three-quarters of the time.

2016-01-13 00:00:00 Frontier Markets in Focus: 2016 and Beyond by Carlos Hardenberg of Franklin Templeton Investments

Frontier markets represent exciting long-term investment opportunities for our team. We see favorable fundamentals including strong economic growth, abundant natural and human resources, favorable demographic profiles, the potential for rapid technological progress, and potential benefits from improving infrastructure and improving standards of governance.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 Complex Systems, Feedback Loops, and the Bubble-Crash Cycle by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

Our expectations for a global economic downturn, including a U.S. recession, have hardened considerably in the past few weeks, with a continued expectation of a retreat in equity prices on the order of 40-55% over the completion of the current cycle as a base case. The immediacy of both concerns would be significantly reduced if we were to observe a shift to uniformly favorable market internals. Last week, market conditions moved further away from that supportive possibility.

2016-01-11 00:00:00 Long-Term Thinking in the Midst of Short-Term Volatility by Joe Rodriguez of Invesco Blog

The past year witnessed a significant spike in volatility as the health of the global economy faced uncertainty. Global markets struggled with concerns over growth and stability in China, emerging market weakness and currency devaluation, recession in Japan and the continued need for inflation-targeting policy in Europe. And while the US economy appeared to be the relative picture of health, the equity markets continued to focus on decisions by the Federal Reserve Board (the Fed) and depressed commodity prices.

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 The New Geo-Economics by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

Last year was a memorable one for the world economy. Not only was it one of the most disappointing in a long time; more important, it brought profound changes – both for better and for worse – in global economic governance.

2015-12-29 00:00:00 Can Sustainable Portfolios Offer Sufficient Diversification? by Peter Nielsen of Saturna Capital

Do sustainable oriented portfolios exhibit lower volatility? Sufficient diversification? The data say, "Yes!"

2015-12-29 00:00:00 Congress Lifts Ban On Crude Oil Exports After 40 Years by Gary D. Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

1. Congress Reverses 40-Year Ban on Crude Oil Exports 2. Gasoline Prices Are Low, But Don’t Get Used To It 3. Texas Company to be First to Export US Crude Abroad 4. Oil Bears Bet on $25 Crude Oil Price, Some Even $15

2015-12-22 00:00:00 Robert Gordon, the Special Century, and the Prospects for Economic Growth by Laurence Siegel (Article)

Is the slowdown in economic progress in this new century an aberration or should we have expected it all along? Is it the result of unwise policies or unfavorable demographics, or is it the comedown that naturally occurs after a century-long global economic miracle? How one views the prospects for economic growth will have profound implications for the long-term performance of the capital markets.

2015-12-22 00:00:00 How Does Market Volatility Usually Affect Investing in Small-Caps? by (Article)

The post-Financial Crisis period has been an environment largely characterized by above-average returns with few meaningful corrections. Portfolio Manager Jay Kaplan talks about the importance of stock market volatility and the ways in which he attempts to manage risk by paying close attention to valuation and the expectations of Wall Street.

2015-12-17 00:00:00 Travels in Sri Lanka: The Tourist Trade by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

I encourage travelers to check out Sri Lanka, which has much to offer tourists including warm weather, expansive beaches, and an interesting heritage with many cultural attractions.

2015-12-15 00:00:00 Trade: Taking the Pulse of the TPP by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

What are the pluses, and minuses, of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for the United States? Here’s a look.

2015-12-14 00:00:00 The Slippery Welcome Mat for Rising Rates, by Steven Malin, Ph.D of Allianz Global Investors

The commencement of a policy-rate-hike cycle by the US Federal Reserve has both symbolic and material significance for the US economy and financial system. Gradually unwinding unconventional, ultra-accommodative monetary policies sets in motion the repricing of assets and other long-delayed adjustments in economic, financial and currency markets. Comparing economic and financial outcomes with prior rate-hike cycles provides clues as to the possible outcomes this time around, but they have little predictive power.

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.

2015-12-10 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.

2015-12-03 00:00:00 Malaysia’s Crisis of Confidence by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

While fiscal prudence and stronger commodity prices should help the country, one could argue that Malaysia will need to restore the confidence of its people in its government and of foreign investors in its markets to truly get back on track.

2015-12-01 00:00:00 Getting Smart About Beta by Sponsored Content from Invesco (Article)

Due to its simplicity, market-cap weighting has long been a popular means of calculating the value of market indexes. But as an investment strategy, market-cap weighting has limitations – frequently resulting in outsized proportions of overvalued stocks, and less-than-optimal exposure to undervalued stocks. Smart beta solutions seek to expand investors’ options by providing exposure to objective, rules-based methodologies that harvest returns from specific investment factors or deliver broad market exposure through alternative weighting strategies.

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.

2015-11-24 00:00:00 What Investors Should Know About China's Stock Market Rally by Weili Jasmine Huang of Columbia Threadneedle Investments

China’s government owns a significant share of companies which they need to unwind, and this is going to hang over the stock market in the months and years to come. We expect China’s economy will slow as it transforms from an industrial, manufacturing economy to a consumption-driven, service-focused market. Companies that can take advantage of economic and demographic changes while contending with environmental and social issues will survive and flourish.

2015-11-17 00:00:00 The Paris Attacks by Bob Veres (Article)

Here is a letter you can send to clients in response to the Paris attacks.

2015-11-12 00:00:00 Will Rate Increases Impact Investing in Dividend-Paying Companies? by (Article)

Portfolio Manager Jay Kaplan talks about why he believes a rise in interest rates won't have as high an impact on those strategies that seek long-term total return as opposed to those that mostly focus on high yield.

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?

2015-11-07 00:00:00 The October Jobs Report Gives the Fed a Green Light by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The first Friday of each month is filled with tension for those in my line of work. The U.S. employment data, arguably the most important international economic release that we receive, comes out on those days.

2015-11-06 00:00:00 A Step in China's Economic Journey by Robert Horrocks of Matthews Asia

We emerge from the recent Chinese Communist Party Plenum with sketches of a new “five-year-plan.” Hurrah! There is always much fanfare around these events—not least in the investment community. We will no doubt hear the sentiment that China is a policy-driven stock market and so all the short-term traders are keen to see which sectors and industries are in favor. Then begins the game of who might get a subsidy, a contract or beneficial regulation.

2015-11-01 00:00:00 Your Own Personal Inflation Rate by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

This week’s letter is all about how we create the sausage that is called inflation. The Fed has a target of 2% inflation. Aren’t we almost there at +1.9% CPI? Not really, as the Fed uses something called the PCE, and it is barely at +1.3%. Which is different again from other measures of inflation. Confused? Hopefully, we can make sense of inflation today and have some fun along the way with crazy government statistics.

2015-10-29 00:00:00 China & Fed Lift-Off Dominate Market Trends - Why? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Is it just me, or does it seem like the global markets are preoccupied with two things: China’s economy and when the Federal Reserve will raise US interest rates? Sure, there are other things going on, but these two topics seem to be driving the financial markets more than any others this year.

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.

2015-10-26 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?

2015-10-23 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?

2015-10-19 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 Investing for Impact: A Brief Guide for the Perplexed by Travis Allen, Anne Bucciarelli of AllianceBernstein

Discussions about investment strategies that take values or ethical principles into account can be confusing. Several different terms are used, often interchangeably; in fact, they may be converging. Here’s a brief guide that highlights a few key issues.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Asia Lens on Global ESG by Vivek Tanneeru of Matthews Asia

For Asia’s vast, newly minted middle classes, quality of life issues are increasingly becoming front and center. Governments and regulators are increasingly tackling Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues and taking these problems more seriously. For investors looking to make investment decisions based upon ESG factors, Asia represents one of the best opportunities to gain exposure to companies that can make a long-term difference to the region and the world.

2015-10-17 00:00:00 Will Gold Finish 2015 with a Gain? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After its stellar performance this week, gold might do something it hasn’t done since 2012—that is, end the year in positive territory. You can see past returns for yourself in our perennially popular Periodic Table of Commodities Return.

2015-10-13 00:00:00 5 Things to Know Now by David Ginther of Ivy Investment Management Company

The last four major oil cycles have one thing in common: Falling prices, increasing demand, and pressure on supply. Growing demand and declining supply then tend to push prices higher.

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.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 The ABCs of Impact Investing by John Appleby (Article)

Impact investing is a small but growing segment of the financial landscape. It is coming to the fore as individual investors seek to “do good while doing good.” Groups from wealthy entrepreneurs to the G8, the UN and the Pope are talking about the subject. Here’s what advisors need to know if they want to serve clients who strive for “impact” with their investing.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 The Hidden Cost of Zero Interest Rate Policies by Laurence B. Siegel and Thomas S. Coleman (Article)

Zero interest rates are a massive transfer of wealth from investors and savers to governments and other borrowers around the world. We’ll show how big the scale of the transfer is.

2015-09-28 00:00:00 Private Sector and Investors Have a Role in Promoting the Sustainable Development Goals by John Streur of Calvert Investments

With more than 150 world leaders expected to attend this weekend’s United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, including President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Pope Francis, it is clear that we have achieved a new level of global commitment to a sustainable development agenda.

2015-09-25 00:00:00 How Will These Leaders of 4 Billion People Change the World? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week the U.S. played host to three prominent and illustrious leaders to billions of people: Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pope Francis. Among them, they lead—either politically or spiritually—nearly 4 billion people worldwide, more than half of everyone living on the planet right now.

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 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.

2015-09-19 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.

2015-09-16 00:00:00 New Study: We're Nowhere Near Peak Coal Use in China and India by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Resource investors, take note: By 2025, just 10 years from now, energy consumption in Asia will increase a whopping 31 percent. A whole two-thirds of that demand, driven largely by China and India, will be for fossil fuels, most notably coal.

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.

2015-09-04 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?

2015-08-28 00:00:00 Feeling Old Yet? Incoming College Freshmen Have Always Known Google by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

I use Google every day, and yet I still marvel at how amazing a tool it is. Part of this amazement stems from the fact that most of my life was spent in the dark ages before the search giant changed human knowledge forever. I appreciate it in a way 19th-century, transcontinental travelers must have appreciated steam locomotives’ ability to shave days and weeks from their covered-wagon travel time. Except Google is more like a rocket ship than a locomotive.

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 ESG Investing – do managers invest consistently? by Veronique Botton of Russell Investments

Veronique Botton takes a look at Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing and examines if managers who have tilts towards ESG investing today might have the same tilts tomorrow.

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 Exit from Wonderland: Change Is Now on the Horizon by Ed Easterling of Crestmont Research

Many investors and advisors are unsure about the current financial market environment. They have been wrestling with how to weight equities and whether to include alternative investments. Although equities have performed well in recent years, many alternatives have lagged expectations. This should not be surprising: the financial world is operating just as the Fed has intended.

2015-08-10 00:00:00 An Alternative Asset Class You May Take for Granted, Part 2 by Darin Turner of Invesco Blog

Infrastructure is an integral part of your daily life. You drive on it, depend on it for electricity and water, and use it to communicate on your cell phone. But have you considered investing in it? Infrastructure investment can offer several potential benefits to an overall portfolio.

2015-08-07 00:00:00 Closing the Sausage Factory by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

Anything you do attracts bureaucratic oversight now. We may laugh at “helicopter parents” hovering over their children at school, but we all have a helicopter government looking over our shoulders at work.

2015-08-04 00:00:00 What Drives Risk Tolerance by Daniel Solin (Article)

To be a successful advisor, you need to understand how risk affects the decisions investors make and what you can do to make those decisions more objective and responsible. Demonstrating value at a time when investments are becoming more of a commodity is a popular topic in advisor-industry circles.

2015-08-03 00:00:00 Bridging the Gap in Global Infrastructure Funding, Part 1 by Darin Turner of Invesco Blog

Infrastructure is the backbone of every economy, providing essential public services such as water supply, energy and mobility. And for investors, infrastructure also has the potential to provide unique benefits.

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Ten Quick Topics to Ruin Your Summer by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

Chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham reviews "10 topics that really matter, at least in my opinion. They can all be viewed as problems: potential threats to our well-being"

2015-07-29 00:00:00 Laudato Sí by Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Last week, the Vatican held a meeting of the mayors of some of the world’s largest cities to discuss climate change. This meeting was part of Pope Francis’s efforts to add to the discussion of climate change, which was the subject of a recent encyclical, Laudato Sí. In this report, we will begin with our position on climate change, discuss the encyclical and try to measure its potential impact on the direction of climate change policy. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

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?

2015-07-22 00:00:00 Mid-Year Commodities Update: Is It Time To Buy? by Saurabh Lele of Loomis Sayles

Commodities have been falling, mainly due to concerns over the Chinese stock market crash, economic turmoil in Greece and the recent Iran nuclear deal. So could this be a good time to buy commodities? Not all of them. Here’s my updated forecast.

2015-07-17 00:00:00 China's Rebalancing Continues by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

The rebalancing of China’s economy continued in the second quarter of this year, as services and consumer spending drove more growth than industry and construction. The inevitable deceleration of most year-on-year (YoY) growth rates also continued, but a booming stock market provided a temporary lift to headline GDP growth.

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 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.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Climate Change Lessons for Your Portfolio by Michael Edesess (Article)

Here’s an argument that sheds light not only on the climate change problem, but also on the problem of investing a portfolio. The analogy is not a stretch. It may even tell us as much about the solution to a long-standing investment conundrum as it does about the response to climate change.

2015-07-07 00:00:00 Big Door Opens to Smaller Chinese Companies by Liliana Castillo Dearth of AllianceBernstein

Structural changes in Chinese stock markets are opening up an entire world of smaller-cap stocks to foreign investors. But with valuations high and profitability low, make sure you know what you’re buying before diving in.

2015-06-29 00:00:00 Sallie Krawcheck’s Solution to the Retirement Crisis by Justin Kermond (Article)

Sallie Krawcheck is a woman with a cause. She has a solution to the retirement crisis and a strategy for advisors to grow their female client bases.

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 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.

2015-06-19 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 Federal Reserve, Abenomics, Trans-Pacific Partnership by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Central banks around the world have held interest rates at or near zero for quite a while. This action was justified in the wake of the financial crisis. But there are those who think that zero, in this setting, has become a dangerous concept.

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 China’s Roaring Market by Edmund Harriss of Guinness Atkinson Asset Management

Chinese stock markets have roared in the past year, since May 2014. The Chinese government has announced a $40 billion “Silk Road” fund to build a network of railways and air links to bring China and Central Asia closer together; China launched the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank in October 2014, and since then there has been a rush to join, not only from China’s neighbors, but also five of the G7 leading economies.

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.

2015-06-04 00:00:00 Policy Myths: Reconnecting Investors with Useful Insights by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

There is a great deal of useful investment research that can help make investors better off. Too often, however, it is misinterpreted or misapplied in ways that prevent investors from realizing the benefits. The role of asset allocation in the investment process is one notable example.

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.

2015-05-31 00:00:00 Reflections From a Whirlwind Tour of Asia by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Reflections From a Whirlwind Tour of Asia; Roads and Ports are Pathways to U.S. Prosperity

2015-05-21 00:00:00 Factoring in Politics when Investing by Robert Harvey of Matthews Asia

Factoring in political backdrops typically makes investment decisions more complex. What should investors consider in trying to mitigate political risk?

2015-05-12 00:00:00 Michael Pettis: The Limit to China's Growth by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Faced with an incredibly difficult rebalancing challenge - one which very few developed countries have overcome - Michael Pettis says that the best China can achieve is 3% to 4% GDP growth.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 The Future of Investing ESG Portfolios: Changing Beliefs, Perceptions and Goals by Sponsored Content by ClearBridge Investments (Article)

Investing consistent with environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles can no longer be dismissed as a short-term fad. Assets under management are growing steadily, accompanied by a rise in the number and type of investment options across asset classes. Clearbridge's research explores how institutions are investing with impact today.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Utilities Sector at an Inflection Point by John Kohli, Blair Schmicker of Franklin Templeton Investments

While utilities stocks will likely be impacted by upcoming Fed maneuvers and an eventual rising interest-rate environment, we think lower reliance on dividends and a decent growth rate in dividends received by investors might actually help counter the implied effect of higher interest rates.

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.

2015-05-08 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.

2015-05-06 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.

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Are We the Stranded Asset? by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

In part two of the letter, chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham examines the factors behind declining estimates of U.S. and overseas GDP growth, and offers an outlook for the coming years ("Are We the Stranded Asset? (and other updates)").

2015-04-24 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary: The Eurozone Is Seeing Green Shoots but Isn’t Out of the Woods by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Eurozone Is Seeing Green Shoots but Isn't Out of the Woods; Gauging a Country's Potential for Growth; The Trans-Pacific Partnership Might Actually Happen

2015-04-11 00:00:00 Finding Value in Declining Commodity Prices by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

So what’s the deal with Chinese equities right now? After all, China’s economic growth for the first quarter of the year cooled to a six-year low of 7 percent. The market surge is mostly attributable to monetary easing and government policy changes such as housing stimulus and modernization of the country’s financial structure. But there’s more at work.

2015-04-11 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Today’s Oil Retreat Is at Odds with Long-Term Trends; A New Bank Creates Controversy in Asia; Solving the U.S. Wage Conundrum

2015-04-06 00:00:00 Will China’s Infrastructure Bank Work? by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

With China's creation of the new $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, most of the debate has centered on the futile US effort to discourage other advanced economies from joining. Bu the real question is why multilateral development lending has so often failed, and what might be done to make it work better.

2015-04-04 00:00:00 On The Economy, The Environment & Income Tax Time by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The combination of topics for today’s E-Letter might seem unusual, and it is – the economy, the environment and income tax time. How do those fit together? They don’t really, but I think you will find today’s discussion on each to be interesting.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 The Coming Chinese Crackup? by Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia

Prominent China scholar David Shambaugh has turned bearish on the Middle Kingdom, which offers us the chance to review our own thinking about China’s prospects. As head of the China Policy Program at The George Washington University, Shambaugh is a respected analyst of Chinese Communist Party affairs, so his WSJ op-ed, “The Coming Chinese Crackup,” has received much attention. This issue of Sinology explores how Shambaugh’s view now is an about face from his prior analyses, and why his current arguments may be flawed.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 U.S. Isolated in Opposition to Chinese Bank by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

Over the past few decades while the economic power of the Chinese has grown exponentially, many observers have been surprised by the relative willingness of China to operate within the financial and economic framework established by the dominant Western order. But it should now be blatantly clear that Beijing prefers to act slowly, deliberately and quietly to advance its agenda.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 How Advisors Are Positioning Fixed-Income Portfolios by Bob Veres (Article)

I asked the readers of my Inside Information newsletter service to tell me how they're preparing for an impending Fed rate hike. To date, I've received 178 pages of responses from advisors all over the country and across the spectrum, from indexers to fervent believers in active management, representing large and small firms investing on behalf of wealthy or middle-income clients.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 MLPs Will Weather the Storm by Sponsored Content from ClearBridge Investments (Article)

A significant decline in oil prices has led to increased MLP volatility. However, their fundamentals remain robust. Our latest white paper examines the economics of the U.S. oil and natural gas markets and their impact on the outlook for MLPs.

2015-03-17 00:00:00 Japan: Why Stagnation Is the "Abe Normal" by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Until the prime minister draws the "third arrow"—structural reform—from his quiver, Japan's economic and investment prospects will remain limited.

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.

2015-02-27 00:00:00 Lost in Translation: Navigating the Changing Environment for Investment Information by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

In the best of times, it requires effort and expertise to filter through investment information. Since the financial crisis, however, that challenge has gotten even harder.

2015-02-18 00:00:00 The Most Successful Public Company In The World by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Today we focus on the most successful and profitable company in the entire world. It just happens to be an American company, but many of us have never heard of it. If you had invested $1 in this company in 1968, your investment would have soared to $6,638 at the end of last year. I think you’ll be surprised to see which company this is.

2015-02-11 00:00:00 Will China’s Year of the Goat Bring Out the Market Bulls? by Eddie Chow of Franklin Templeton Investments

According to the Chinese calendar, 2015 is the Year of the Goat (or sheep), creatures that are typically peaceful in nature but can also be stubborn, while exhibiting herd-like behavior. I’ve invited my colleague Eddie Chow, senior executive vice president and managing director, Templeton Emerging Markets Group, to share his perspective on some key themes our team is watching in 2015 for China, and whether we think market bulls, bears or goats can be friends this year.

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.

2015-02-04 00:00:00 Why global currency investing still makes sense by Michael A. Cirami, Eric Stein, John R. Baur, Matthew F. Murphy, Jr., Bradford Godfrey of Eaton Vance

Why global currency investing still makes sense – even amid a strong dollar We believe there are three reasons why many investors should remain committed to a diversified global currency strategy – even if the US dollar remains strong.

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.

2015-01-23 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.

2015-01-10 00:00:00 Bad News Is Good News: A Contrarian View of China Investing by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

I asked Xian Liang, portfolio manager of our China Region Fund (USCOX), to outline a few of the most compelling cases to remain bullish on the Asian giant.

2015-01-09 00:00:00 Shades of APEC Blue by Raymond Deng of Matthews Asia

During last year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Beijing revealed stunning blue skies to replace its normally smog-choked atmosphere?a result of intentional government closings of factories and roads. Producing "APEC blue" as it came to be called was a complicated and expensive task. Asia Weekly explores such initiatives in China.

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.

2014-12-30 00:00:00 The Ten Best Articles You Probably Missed by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Great articles don't always get the readership they deserve. Here are 10 that you might have missed, but I believe merit reading

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.

2014-12-20 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

2014-12-18 00:00:00 Touching Base on the Commercial Real Estate Recovery by Ian Goltra of Forward

Considering the recent upswing in commercial real estate prices and traded real estate stocks, in what inning is the commercial real estate recovery? Could there be extra innings? Prior to the most recent decline in real estate, downturns in commercial real estate cycles have historically been caused by supply shocksdevelopers putting up new buildings until they (or their banks) ran out of money.

2014-12-17 00:00:00 If Corporate America Is Investing in Sustainability, Then Why Arent You? by Michael Marinus Young of AdvisorShares

Unfortunately, thirty seconds in an elevator or hallway is not enough time to build the case for sustainability. But here on AlphaBaskets, were afforded the space and time to better explain why Sustainability should matter to them, and you.

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.

2014-12-15 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.

2014-12-09 00:00:00 Jeremy Grantham's Favorite Book by Michael Edesess (Article)

Jeremy Grantham has long advocated that economic growth is inexorably constrained by physical resources, especially oil and other fossil fuels. Thus, in his quarterly letter, he writes, "I think that the old growth rates in productivity will not come back, at least until we have had a transition away from fossil fuels." But Grantham also gratefully notes that "a new book appears that amazes me by doing the opposite, and by an increasingly well-known economist no less - It is entirely sensible from start to finish - I agree with almost everything he writes."

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

2014-11-19 00:00:00 U.S. Congress: 10 Post-Election Moves to Watch by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Amid the big changes in the U.S. capital, here are the potential legislative actions that could influence financial markets.

2014-11-19 00:00:00 Global Economy Worsening, But America is on Top by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

With President Obama making controversial moves on several fronts this month, it is tempting to go all politics this week. The president is threatening to grant defacto amnesty to five or six million illegal aliens, via Executive Order, even though he knows this is unpopular among the American people. Its as if hes in full denial regarding the landslide midterm election results.

2014-11-18 00:00:00 The Beginning of the End of the Fossil Fuel Revolution (From Golden Goose to Cooked Goose) by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

The quality of modern life owes almost everything to the existence of fossil fuels, a massive store of dense energy that for 200 years had become steadily cheaper as a fraction of income. Under that stimulus, the global economy grew ever larger, more complex, more inter-related and, I believe, more fragile. Then around the year 2000 the costs of finding oil start to rise at over 10% a year, and with the global economy growing at only 4% oil starts to fall behind in affordability.

2014-11-10 00:00:00 Ebola and Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz of Project Syndicate

The Ebola crisis reminds us, once again, of the downside of globalization. And, though governments may not do a perfect job in addressing such crises, one of the reasons that they have not done as well as we would hope is that we have underfunded the relevant agencies at the national and global level.

2014-11-06 00:00:00 Global Economic Overview: September 2014 by Team of Thomas White International

Global economic growth concerns resurfaced during the month of September, as data from the Euro-zone suggested that select large counties yet again face recession. Even Germany, the bulwark that shielded the common currency area during the fiscal crisis, has slowed down as subdued external demand has taken a toll on exports.

2014-11-04 00:00:00 Snail Trail Vortex by Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners

The world is undergoing a radical shift towards lower economic growth at the moment. Some of the dynamics driving growth down are structural in nature (e.g. demographics), and even the most extreme monetary or fiscal policy will not change that. We are in for a period of lower, but still positive, global growth whether we like it or not. Despite the somewhat muted outlook, we continue to expect significant regional variations in growth and therefore also in interest rates and equity returns.

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.

2014-10-14 00:00:00 Bill Sharpe on Retirement Planning by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Bill Sharpe discusses topics at the forefront of financial-planning research: The role of annuities in a retirement portfolio, the proper glidepath for target-date funds, if investors should anticipate mean reversion in market returns and whether ESG- and SRI-oriented portfolios make sense.

2014-10-11 00:00:00 Warning: Market Correction This Week? Did You See the Opportunity? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

While stocks fell around the world this week amid growing concerns over global economic growth, Europes slowdown cant stop emerging market population growth that drives long-term commodity demand. If the short-term market volatility concerns you, a solution is short-term tax-free municipal bonds. Check out the 5 Reasons Why.

2014-10-10 00:00:00 Practical Policy Prescriptions to Help Offset Geopolitical Uncertainties by Scott Mather, Greg Sharenow of PIMCO

We believe Europe should relax fiscal budget constraints to allow for fiscal stimulus to offset any economic drag, while maintaining extremely accommodative monetary policy. The U.S. and its relatively newfound energy renaissance can also play an important role in supporting Europe and the global economy by signaling its intention to compete for energy market share.

2014-10-06 00:00:00 Nontraded REITs’ Dividends Come With Confusion, Controversy by Walter Stabell III of Invesco Blog

Interest rates have been low for quite some time, and investors are searching for ways to generate higher yields. An increasing number of them have turned to non-exchange-traded real estate investment trusts (nontraded REITs). However, nontraded REITs offer high levels of confusion and controversy along with their high yields, and regulators are concerned that these products may not be appropriate for many of the people who invest in them.

2014-09-22 00:00:00 Alternative Approaches for Managing Emerging Market Equity Portfolios by Roger Edgley, Laura Geritz, Andrey Kutuzov, and Ajay Krishnan of Wasatch Funds

The shortcomings of indexing are especially evident in frontier markets, where some very small markets have significant weights. This paper discusses three approaches for targeting inefficiencies in emerging markets. These approaches are designed to fit together and complement each other within an investment portfolio. Overlap is generally minimal, so investors may reasonably employ all three.

2014-09-16 00:00:00 Authoritarianism versus Democracy: The Key Challenge to Chinese Ascendancy by Michael Edesess and Kwok L. Tsui (Article)

An intense debate has been underway for more than a decade about whether the East - China in particular - is in the ascendancy. Some argue this is so and that the West is in decline. Others say China's flawed political institutions will limit its monumental growth and render it precarious. This an especially opportune time to address these questions.

2014-09-15 00:00:00 Why Development Trumps Acquisitions in Our Real Estate Portfolios by Paul Curbo of Invesco Blog

One of the trends affecting real estate markets this year is the increasing difficulty commercial real estate companies are facing as they seek to complete potential acquisitions. Strengthening commercial real estate fundamentals, coupled with the low cost of financing, have resulted in a large increase in the number of bidders for assets in the past several quarters.

2014-09-13 00:00:00 Patiently Waiting for Mean Reversion by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Because small caps tend to have higher beta than blue chips, you would expect them to outperform in a generally rising market?which we?re currently in. So it appears that a major rotation out of these riskier, more volatile stocks has inexplicably occurred, leading to the wide bifurcation between small and large companies. The good news is that, based on 20 years of historical data, stocks in the Russell 2000 tend to rally in the fourth quarter and continue steadily until around the end of the first quarter. Over this 20-year period ending in December 2013, the Russell has generat

2014-09-12 00:00:00 Distressed Corporate Credit: A Tale of Two Markets? by Sai S. Devabhaktuni of PIMCO

Middle market distressed credit may be an attractive source of higher returns in an overall low yield environment for investors able to access these opportunities. However, the higher return potential comes with greater risks. Imbalances in middle markets are building. ?Investors looking toward distressed credit markets should focus on companies that will likely be able to withstand periods of economic inertia, to undertake careful valuation practices and to strictly adhere to the absolute priority rule (in which senior creditors are paid in full before junior creditors).

2014-09-09 00:00:00 Xis Purge by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Since taking power, Chinese President Xi Jinping has implemented a strong program to punish corruption. A large number of the Communist Party of China (CPC) have been under investigation or punished for their failings. We believe these purges are being implemented for reasons beyond the simple exercise in political power. This report will discuss the purge in detail, introduce the concepts of environmental and social capital, and discuss Chinas four stages of growth. We will conclude, as always, with market ramifications.

2014-09-04 00:00:00 U.S. Oil Industry, Economy Feel Effects of Shale Revolution by David Ginther of Ivy Investment Management Company

The term Shale Revolution reflects the booming oil production from shale basins in the U.S. The rapid pace of oil output from these fields is spurring growth across the energy industry, providing a wide range of benefits to the U.S. economy and generating potential opportunities for investors.

2014-09-04 00:00:00 Risk Revisited by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital

In April 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 Ive previously written on the topic.

2014-09-02 00:00:00 Ranking the Top 10 "Differentiators" for Advisory Firms by Bob Veres (Article)

If we have a clear idea of what foregrounds one advisory firm ahead of others, then we can deliberately cultivate those characteristics. The problem is, nobody has ever compiled a comprehensive list of differentiators, much less ranked them according to importance. So, to fill that obvious void, I've ranked the top 10 differentiators that I've personally seen advisors use in their positioning and marketing.

2014-08-23 00:00:00 Managing Expectations by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The third part of this series on managing expectations is devoted to fundamental resource stock evaluation. I?ll discuss some of the statistical tools we use to pick quality stocks during a treacherous bear market, such as what we?ve seen in gold stocks the last three years

2014-08-21 00:00:00 Inspiring Economic Dynamism within Japan by Christopher Gannatti of WisdomTree

WisdomTree has been excited about Abenomics since its genesis in November of 2012. We believe that markets have responded well to the progress made on the first two arrowsnamely decisive monetary policy and increases in fiscal spending.

2014-08-09 00:00:00 Managing Expectations by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Financial markets are influenced by relatively predictable cycles, a lesson we at U.S. Global Investors rely on to help us manage expectations and be effective stewards of your money. This is a theme I've frequently written about and discussed in investor presentations, one of which, Anticipate Before You Participate, is a classic that I often use to remind investors of these timeless principles.

2014-08-02 00:00:00 5 Takeaways from the Vancouver Natural Resources Conference by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Last week I was happy to speak at the Vancouver Natural Resources Conference in beautiful British Columbia. I also had the pleasure of listening to a variety of presentations by some of the most influential names in the investment world, and met a few new faces along the way. Here is what I took away from this years visit to Vancouver:

2014-08-02 00:00:00 Transformation or Bust by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

China continues to be front and center on my list of concerns, even moreso than the latest Federal Reserve press release or fluctuation in the Dow (although you should pay attention). I believe China is the single biggest risk to world economic equilibrium, even larger than Japan or Europe. This week my young associate Worth Wray provides us with a keenly insightful essay on what is currently happening in China. I will admit to not having written about China very much in the past five years, primarily because, prior to Worths coming to work with me I really had no secure understanding o

2014-07-28 00:00:00 Desperately Seeking a Cheaper Kilowatt Hour by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Lets imagine that an aluminum manufacturer is eyeing two locations to build a new factory. In location A, an industrial kilowatt hour (kWh) is priced at 4.21 cents, whereas in location B, it goes for 12.67 cents. The difference is upwards of 200 percent.

2014-07-26 00:00:00 Second Quarter Earnings: Marching Toward a Strong Recovery by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

It?s earnings season once again, and though only a quarter of the Russell 1000 has reported so far, the news is just north of positive. All signs indicate that the market has dusted itself off and is back to its cheerful self after a ho-hum first quarter, which was negatively affected by harsh winter weather.

2014-07-19 00:00:00 Perspectives from the Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group by Christopher Molumphy, Michael Materasso, Roger Bayston, Michael Hasenstab, and John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

In early July, there was a noticeable disconnect between the median forecast of Fed officials for interest rates by end-2015 and the markets forecast, as expressed in the federal funds futures rate. But if unemployment continues to decline and inflation to pick up in the coming months, the danger for bond market participants is that their predictions for interest rates may be too low and will have to be adjusted.

2014-07-18 00:00:00 Summer Essays by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, co-head of asset allocation Ben Inker uses the evolving Boston culinary landscape as a backdrop to examine the tendency of investors to pursue a "free lunch," when they should be looking for the "investing equivalent of an inexpensive and tasty food truck meal instead." In his section, chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham looks back at investing mistakes made over his 47-year career, paying special attention to his formative investing years and the "painful lessons" learned therein.

2014-07-15 00:00:00 Two Top Experts Debate the Outlook for Growth by Laurence Siegel (Article)

Growth may slow, as Robert Gordon contends, at least when measured by GDP - if only because population growth is slowing. But that is not a foregone conclusion. And even if it were to happen, it doesn't mean that global standards of living would face a similar deceleration. Moreover, GDP doesn't fully capture the improvements in the standard of living that come with advanced technology.

2014-07-09 00:00:00 Choosing Winners in Asian Credit: Key Trends and Themes by Raja Mukherji, Ronie Ganguly of PIMCO

Key trends include Asian credit supply, which is on track for another record year in 2014, and China's priority to promote cleaner and more efficient energy. Our bottom-up research and careful risk assessments informed by macroeconomic perspectives have us favoring select investments in several sectors of Asian credit markets, including state-owned enterprises in China and Korea, investment grade new issues and Basel III Tier 2 bank capital bonds. ?

2014-06-27 00:00:00 How Road Construction Can Help With Portfolio Construction by R. Scott Dennis of Invesco Blog

Investors have long looked to real estate to provide income potential, hedge against future inflation and provide diversification to traditional stock and bond portfolios. More recently, an increasing number of investors have been expanding their horizons and including real assets in their portfolio construction as well such as infrastructure and master limited partnerships (MLPs). At Invesco Real Estate, we believe the US and the world is heading for a building boom that would bode well for real assets.

2014-06-21 00:00:00 Ah, the Power of Mean Reversion. by Frank of U.S. Global Investors

The chatter this week has been gold. The precious metal flew up $45 an ounce on Thursday, surprising investors, the media and markets alike.

2014-06-20 00:00:00 A Contrarians View of Value: Pharmaceuticals by Kevin Holt of Invesco Blog

The pharmaceuticals industry is in the midst of a renaissance. Patent expiration concerns, pipeline disappointments and setbacks, and a highly uncertain regulatory backdrop have forced managements to rethink the way they have historically conducted business. In this environment, certain companies stand out to us as deep value opportunities businesses whose stock prices dont reflect our view of their long-term potential.

2014-06-19 00:00:00 Finding Opportunity in Chinese Reforms by Robert McConnaughey of Columbia Management

I spent last week in China, meeting with corporate management teams, government officials and investors in the Chinese markets. One of my motivations for making the trip was to get a better sense of the speed and scope of government reforms. It was a fascinating week, but I cant say that I came away with sweeping, definitive clarity.

2014-06-17 00:00:00 Stiglitz: Europe's View on Inequality by Marianne Brunet (Article)

When you approach a crowd conversing over coffee at an economics conference, you don't normally expect to hear them giddily saying: "He's absolutely adorable! Adorable, and so sweet." But at a recent economics conference in Toulouse, France, participants were raving about Joseph Stiglitz like he was a movie star.

2014-06-13 00:00:00 A Contrarians View of Value: Energy by Kevin Holt of Invesco Blog

This is the second in a three-part series on sector opportunities as seen by a contrarian value investor Senior Portfolio Manager Kevin Holt. The previous post discussed financials.

2014-06-07 00:00:00 China Leads the World in Green Energy, Gaming and Gambling Markets by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Last month, Xian Liang, co-portfolio manager of our China Region Fund (USCOX), attended the 19th CLSA China Forum in Beijing. There he and hundreds of other global attendees were given the opportunity to meet with representatives from Chinese corporations, some of which U.S. Global owns. Xian also managed to get a sense of how the nation?s recent changes in consumer behavior and governmental policy reforms might affect its investment outlook. Although China remains an emerging market, it has lately taken a number of considerable strides to position itself as one of the world?s most

2014-06-06 00:00:00 A Contrarians View of Value: Financials by Kevin Holt of Invesco Blog

In the wake of the Great Recession, and significant regulatory changes, investors are concerned that large banks may not be able to generate the type of profits that they have in the past. We dont disagree with that assessment. However, we do disagree with the current equity valuations of the large banks we believe the market has priced in a too-pessimistic view of profitability.

2014-05-31 00:00:00 From Constantinople to Istanbul, Turkey Has Never Been Better by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Every time he travels to Turkey, portfolio manager of our Emerging Europe Fund (EUROX), Tim Steinle, says the country continues to develop. Although technically classified as an emerging market, one wouldn?t think to label the country as such upon arrival. The population is young and growing, there are improvements to infrastructure everywhere you look, beautiful green parks are more prevalent, and the professional staffs that run many of the shops and businesses are both well organized and thriving.

2014-05-30 00:00:00 The Growing Importance of Natural Gas by Skip Aylesworth of Hennessy Funds

The natural gas industry is experiencing a revolution. Fueled by advances in drilling technology, natural gas has become an abundant energy source and is quickly becoming Americas domestic energy solution. In fact, it is believed that we now have a 100-year supply in the U.S. even with increasing demand.

2014-05-27 00:00:00 After Indias Election, Execution takes Center Stage for Debt Markets by Jack Deino of Invesco Blog

Financial markets in India have already rallied strongly in anticipation of the overwhelming majority win by incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The countrys currency (the Indian rupee) rose 15% from its August peak, while five-year credit default swaps on the State Bank of India (SBI) tightened from a spread of 371 to 207 in the same period.

2014-05-15 00:00:00 Five Things Your Credit Manager Shouldnt Be Doing (But Probably Is) by Christian Stracke of PIMCO

Questionable behavior among credit managers is back, but the good news is that we believe the credit markets still offer plenty of opportunities to potentially generate attractive returns. Smart, rational credit investing that avoids some managers nave reach for yield, and sticks instead to a deep focus on the long-term sustainability of companies balance sheets, may still reap rewards.

2014-05-12 00:00:00 Energy: An Overlooked Bull Market by Ron Sloan of Invesco Blog

Defensive stocks, such as health care and utilities, have led the market for most of 2014. But were starting to see a shift toward cyclical sectors that offer greater exposure to a strengthening economy. In my view, the most overlooked cyclical sector is energy, which has experienced a very strong start this year thats been under the radar of many investors.

2014-05-10 00:00:00 The Good, the Bad and the Opportunity by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Twice a day, in the morning and at lunch, our investment team sits down together to discuss what?s important and what?s immaterial. This past week, in my opinion, the good outweighed the bad. Much of the economic news was a direct result of government policies, both fiscal and monetary. Here are my findings, which I hope will help you filter through the noise.

2014-05-06 00:00:00 The Indian Elections by Kaisa Stuck, Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

We are currently in the midst of the largest democratic election process on earth. Almost 815 million Indian citizens are going to the polls to cast their vote in the general elections. This week we will take a look at the Indian political landscape, the current election cycle and how the political system has brought the country to its current condition. We will pay special attention to the expected winner, Modi, with regard to both his political platform and history of governance in his current post. We will conclude by looking at the possible ramifications of his win.

2014-05-06 00:00:00 Albania?s Fertile Grounds for Oil Opportunities by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Texas is oil country. The state I now call home leads the nation in oil production and would be one of the top oil-producing nations if it were its own country. But that doesn?t stop us from exploring other promising oil opportunities further afield. I recently traveled to Albania to check out a drill site of Petromanas Energy, a Calgary-based international oil and gas company focused on exploration and production throughout Europe and Australia. We own the junior stock in our Global Resources Fund (PSPFX) and Emerging Europe Fund (EUROX).

2014-05-05 00:00:00 The Impact of Interest Rates on Real Estate Securities by Team of Forward Management

Interest rate risk is one of most pressing topics being discussed among advisors, consultants and investors. As of March 2014, we have been through five and a half years of extraordinarily aggressive monetary policy and outright intervention in the capital markets by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

2014-05-04 00:00:00 Albania's Fertile Grounds for Oil Opportunities by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Texas is oil country. The state I now call home leads the nation in oil production and would be one of the top oil-producing nations if it were its own country. But that doesn?t stop us from exploring other promising oil opportunities further afield. Last week I traveled to Albania to check out a drill site of Petromanas Energy, a Calgary-based international oil and gas company focused on exploration and production throughout Europe and Australia. We own the junior stock in our Global Resources Fund (PSPFX) and Emerging Europe Fund (EUROX).

2014-04-22 00:00:00 2016 (Part 3, The Election Situation) by Bill O?Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In this final report, we will analyze why we think 2016 may be a pivotal election and examine the potential that it could bring about a coalition change similar to the 1932 and 1980 elections. We will discuss the various methods of addressing the current high level of private sector debt and offer what we believe to be the three highest probability scenarios of how the current problems can be addressed and their impact on the domestic political scene and on America?s superpower role. Unlike our last two reports, we will conclude with market ramifications.

2014-04-17 00:00:00 Two Major Players Graduate from MSCI FM 100 ? Is it Still Worth Tuning into? by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog

Major changes are coming to the MSCI Frontier Markets 100 Index. Russ K explains the significance and why it reinforces his view that investors should have an allocation to the frontier.

2014-04-15 00:00:00 2016 (Part 2, The Political Situation) by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

As we survey the political landscape for 2016, the next presidential election could be historic. In this report, we will examine the domestic political situation using four different archetypes to describe the U.S. political landscape. We will then offer a history of the interaction between these groups and address the likelihood of various policy outcomes based on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the four political groups. Unlike our usual reports, we will not conclude with market ramifications but instead discuss the transition to Part 3 of this analysis.

2014-04-07 00:00:00 Examining Companies Through the Lens of ESG by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton

No matter where we invest, there?s always some sort of risk. This includes not only geopolitical or macroeconomic factors in a given country, but also issues that are unique to a specific sector or individual security. As bottom-up stock pickers, my team and I must assess the potential risks and returns related to each and every company we invest in. One area that warrants closer examination is environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities, which can play a big role in our stock selection and valuation process.

2014-03-31 00:00:00 March Was A Tough Month for MSCI Europe by Team of GaveKal Capital

The only sector in MSCI Europe with positive performance for the month of March is Utilities, while Health Care stocks took quite a beating.

2014-03-29 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Using energy as a pawn may work to Russias disadvantage in the long run. Chinas 2014 economic outlook is hazy. Lessons from the 2014 stress test.

2014-03-25 00:00:00 Low Rates for a Long Time & Preparing for the Eventual Rise by Sponsored Content from OppenheimerFunds (Article)

Interest rates, in a slow growth and only modest inflation world, are likely to remain low for the foreseeable future. Still, the fears of rising rates persist. We believe these fears may be overstated, and this Q&A covers our views on generating income in a low rate world and protecting portfolios in the event of an unexpected rise in rates.

2014-03-20 00:00:00 Exploration & Production: An Evolving Business Model by Suken Patel of Diamond Hill Investments

The successful development of shale crude oil and gas has led to one of the most rapid and unexpected increases in production in the history of the energy sector. This remarkable turn of events is in complete contrast to the previous popular belief that the country was running out of both resources.

2014-03-18 00:00:00 Market Update by Team of Castleton Partners

With military tensions rising over the Ukraine saga and geopolitical posturing dominating the headlines, Treasury rates rallied across the yield curve last week, with 10 year yields falling 13 basis points to 2.66%. Though Cold War-era rhetoric remains high, there are indications that the threat of military action is becoming less likely. As such, we suspect markets will become more comfortable with the situation and expect it to become less of a focus. Nonetheless, we concede that headline risk remains and the primary influence on the Treasury market this week may well be external.

2014-03-15 00:00:00 Follow the Money to Asia's Tech Hub by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Chinas slower economic data points and a surplus in copper and iron ore drove many commodities lower this week, while gold rose. In the short term, until the copper and iron ore surplus is liquidated, or absorbed at a slower pace, the base metals market will likely be sloppy. As the second-largest economy in the world and a huge driver of commodities demand, its not surprising China provoked such a significant response from world markets. Interestingly, most of the media thought it was geopolitical fears from Ukraine that chopped up the market and lifted gold.

2014-03-12 00:00:00 The Goldilocks Conundrum: A Market Review by Rick Vollaro of Pinnacle Advisory Group

When we decided to ride the central bank liquidity wave in 2013, we knew there was a chance the market could have a pretty good year, but like most investors we were pleasantly surprised with the gains that the U.S. stock market delivered. Including dividends, the S&P 500 Index soared by 32%, well in excess of what even the most optimistic prognosticators envisioned at the start of the year.

2014-03-07 00:00:00 Making Green from Gold, Palladium and Pollution by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Gold is coming back with a vengeance, experiencing a clear recovery and grabbing the attention of market cynics. Analysts from Noruma Securities even upgraded its outlook for gold, expecting bullion to climb over the next three years, according to Barron's.

2014-03-06 00:00:00 Evolution of SRI Leads Investors to a Sustainable Future by Chat Reynders of AdvisorShares

It?s no secret that positive screening as an investment strategy is becoming increasingly popular as advisors seek ways to identify substantive investment opportunities. The practice focuses investors on the elements of a company that can make a positive impact both on the bottom line and on society, pointing to socially progressive companies that generate returns.

2014-02-28 00:00:00 Korea's Changing Consumer Patterns by Michael Han of Matthews Asia

Following a recent research trip to Korea, I was able to spend some time there with my family. Three consecutive weeks away afforded me the opportunity to observe changes in spending patterns among Korean consumers as well as the improving competitiveness of the country?s service industries.

2014-02-28 00:00:00 What Areas of the Market Will Remain in the Limelight? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The current bull market has been five years in the making. Since the bottom on March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 Index has grown an incredible 174 percent. With this spectacular performance, investors are asking if U.S. companies will stay in the limelight or if it is time to draw the curtain on equities.

2014-02-20 00:00:00 Where the Frontier Lies by Robert Harvey of Matthews Asia

My last research trip to Asia included eight flights and nearly 50 grueling hours in the air. During this time, I had the opportunity to ponder a question I am frequently asked, ?How do you define a frontier market??

2014-02-19 00:00:00 Help Your Clients Make a Bigger Impact With Their Investments in 2014 by Jorge Newbery of American Homeowner Preservation

Investing with the hope of gaining a good return is a given. But todays investors are looking for returns that go beyond dollars and cents. Between 2010 and 2012, sustainable and responsible investing (SRI) grew more than 22 percent, reaching $3.74 trillion in total managed assets. To put that number into perspective, think of it this way: more than one dollar of every nine dollars under professional management in the United States is invested according to SRI strategies.

2014-02-14 00:00:00 These Gold Charts Will Make Your Heart Beat Faster by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

So while gold may correct over the next several months as the metal enters its seasonally weak period of the year, this looks promising for gold investors.

2014-02-07 00:00:00 What's the Game Changer for Gold? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

What will break gold of its losing streak? Will inflation, which is a lagging indicator, be stronger than expected? In one of my most popular posts last year, I said that based on the jobs market, the limited housing recovery and regulations slowing down the flow of money, the Fed would have no choice but to start tapering and raising rates very gradually to keep stimulating the economy.

2014-02-06 00:00:00 Year-End Odds and Ends by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

In a new quarterly letter to GMOs institutional clients, chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham offers "Year-End Odds and Ends": Fossil Fuels: Is Tesla a Tease or a Triumph?, Fracking and Yet More Technical Stuff on Fracking, Update on Metals, Fertilizers, and Food, Problems in Forecasting Short-term Prices for Resources, Another Look at U.S. GDP Growth, Investment Lessons Learned: Mistakes Made Over 47 Years

2014-02-06 00:00:00 Divesting When Discomfited by Ben Inker of GMO

Ben Inker explains why, "for our asset allocation portfolios we generally try to trade slowly." He notes, "The slightly odd fact is that moving slowly on value-driven decisions has simply made more money historically than moving immediately would have."

2014-01-31 00:00:00 Not All Emerging Markets Are Created Equal by Robert McConnaughey of Columbia Management

Emerging markets (EM) is a term given to a universe of countries that is extremely diverse across a wide number of variables including geography, levels of industrialization and political systems. Despite this diversity, emerging markets are often discussed as if they are a homogenous block, particularly in the context of broad asset allocation decision making. We think thats a mistake. Instead, we see opportunity from applying a more bottom-up approach to country, industry and security selection amidst growing dispersion in outcomes across the emerging world.

2014-01-29 00:00:00 The Future in Focus: Trade Could Aid an Aging America by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

Goods and services sourced from overseas could help the United States alleviate the effects of future labor shortages - if lawmakers can resist protectionist impulses.

2014-01-28 00:00:00 The TTIP and the TPP by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade and investment treaty being negotiated between the European Union (EU) and the U.S. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a similar pact between the U.S. and various Pacific Rim nations. We will examine overall details of each, focusing on how theyre different from traditional trade agreements. From there, we will present an analysis of the controversy surrounding the proposals, followed by a look at the geopolitical aims and likelihood that these treaties will be enacted. We conclude with potential market ramificatio

2014-01-21 00:00:00 Emerging Markets 2014 Outlook: Shaping the Next Decade by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton

As we embark upon a new year, the Templeton Emerging Markets Group believes 2014 could be an important year for many emerging markets, possibly establishing trends that could play out through much of the remainder of the decade. In particular, Chinese government reform initiatives announced in late 2013 could have far-reaching significance. And, major elections in a number of countries in 2014 could bring dramatic (or not-so-dramatic) changes. Here are a few themes and countries weve got our eye on in the new year.

2014-01-16 00:00:00 Reversal of Fortune - Competitive Advantages Redefining Industrial Investment in the U.S. by Niall O'Malley of Blue Point Investment Management

As an investment manager, I seek investments with sustainable growth. I have the freedom to look anywhere in the world. Quietly, the U.S. has developed a competitive advantage in energy costs that is rewriting the history books. For the first time in generations an abundant energy supply has the potential to improve the air we breathe while creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. It is creating opportunities where just five years ago energy intensive industrial production was being shuttered in the U.S.

2014-01-10 00:00:00 Macro Strategy Review by Jim Welsh of Forward Investing

Heavy emphasis on the fundamentals factors driving the U.S., European Union, China, and Emerging economies, and how the fundamentals are likely to impact markets.

2014-01-10 00:00:00 Exploring Ceylon Tea Country by Jodi Morris of Matthews Asia

Riding by train through the Sri Lankan highlands recently, I found it difficult not to be mesmerized by the views of mountains blanketed in tea plantings and cool mist. My days spent exploring Sri Lankas mountainous interior were among my favorite as a first-time visitor to the country.

2014-01-08 00:00:00 Consumer Confidence Jumped in December, But Why? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Today well look at several economic reports, including a big jump in consumer confidence last month. That seems a little odd given that over 63% of Americans still believe the country is headed in the wrong direction as I reported last week.

2014-01-07 00:00:00 Emerging Markets 2014 Outlook: Shaping the Next Decade by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton

As we embark upon a new year, the Templeton Emerging Markets Group believes 2014 could be an important year for many emerging markets, possibly establishing trends that could play out through much of the remainder of the decade. In particular, Chinese government reform initiatives announced in late 2013 could have far-reaching significance. And, major elections in a number of countries in 2014 could bring dramatic (or not-so-dramatic) changes. Here are a few themes and countries weve got our eye on in the new year.

2014-01-06 00:00:00 Reflections on 2013: What's Important, What's Not, and What's Ahead by Mike Shedlock of Sitka Pacific Capital Management

A tale of 2 halves with lingering questions characterizes what we can say was the story for housing for 2013. In the first half of the year, rates were low as the 10 year note was well under 2%. People were still refinancing, as home prices rocketed. Multiple bids were common, and pundits like Ivy Zelman cheered the improving market with praise like "Housing is in Nirvana".

2014-01-03 00:00:00 Gold Stocks: What to Expect in the New Year by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After three years of pain, can gold stocks break their losing streak and see a gain in 2014? History says chances are good.

2013-12-24 00:00:00 How Much Should We Pay to Emit Carbon? by Michael Edesess (Article)

Many consider emissions of greenhouse gases to be what economists call a ’negative externality,’ meaning that they are likely to impose a cost on society through climate change and ocean acidification. The cost of that externality should, in principle, be borne by the emitters, who should pay a price to emit. But what should that price be?

2013-12-17 00:00:00 Letter to the Editor by Various (Article)

A reader responds to Dan Richards article, How Service Screw-ups Can Create Happier Clients, and a reader responds to Patrick McVeighs article, Low Demand Will Depress Oil Prices, both of which appeared last week.

2013-12-13 00:00:00 One of the Most Notable Stories of the Year: Energy Renaissance in the U.S.A. by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Only a few years ago, we were contemplating the supply constraints facing the petroleum industry, as many major oil fields around the world were facing a decline in production. Now, with the disruptive technology in shale oil and gas, we may be looking forward to decades of drilling.

2013-12-10 00:00:00 Low Demand Will Depress Oil Prices by Patrick McVeigh (Article)

The U.S. - and indeed, the world as a whole - is approaching the threshold of peak oil demand, rather than peak supply. Prices will fall in the coming years, regardless of fluctuations in supply.

2013-12-04 00:00:00 Patience in Asia by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton

Investing in a multitude of markets and companies as we do within the Templeton Emerging Markets Group means that at any given point in time it may appear to some that they are underperforming or outperforming any particular benchmark index or market. Such is the nature of global financial markets. Of course, wed like all of our investments to go straight up, but at the same time continually like to find new bargains for investors.

2013-11-22 00:00:00 Understanding the Rise of China by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

If the sweeping economic reforms planned by Chinese leaders during the Third Plenum can be our guide, it looks to be a promising decade for global investors. Details released this week confirmed President Xi Jinpings concerted efforts to move China toward a market-based economy that mirrors the West.

2013-11-20 00:00:00 Yellen's Testimony Not Surprising: Fed Has More Work to Do by Sam Wardwell of Pioneer Investments

Janet Yellens Senate testimony in last weeks confirmation hearings was very dovish and offered no real surprises. She did not signal or hint at any change in Fed policy (it was a confirmation hearing), but suggested that the best way to achieve an exit from unconventional policy is to deliver a stronger recovery . . . and the Fed has "more work to do" to support that recovery. The risk that she will not be confirmed is considered negligible.

2013-11-15 00:00:00 In the Wake of Disaster by Robert Horrocks of Matthews Asia

As humanitarian organizations scrambled to send relief to the Philippines this week following the countrys battering by Typhoon Haiyan, foreign governments prepared to support the rebuilding and economists looked to assess the tragedys near-term impact.

2013-11-15 00:00:00 Dressed to the Nines with Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

While paper gold is getting the cold shoulder in the West, the Love Trade buyers in the East are wrapping their arms around all the physical gold they can get their hands on.

2013-11-13 00:00:00 GameStop and Our Long-Term, Contrarian Investment Approach by Jay Kaplan of The Royce Funds

Because our contrarian approach emphasizes a long-term time horizon, we tend to invest in companies that we believe have the financial wherewithal to withstand out of favor periods. GameStop used trying times to build conviction and expand its core business rather than abandoning its discipline to meet outside expectations.

2013-11-08 00:00:00 Big Ideas in the Big Easy by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This is likely a contrarian view to the folks in the White House, but I think investors benefit from being contrarian and thinking differently. In preparation for my presentations in New Orleans as well as for the Metals & Minerals Investment Conference in San Francisco and the Mines and Money in London in a few weeks, I?ve been pulling together this kind of research that we can all put to use now.

2013-11-05 00:00:00 Combating Climate Change - And Responding to Skeptics by Michael Edesess (Article)

The climate-change threat is real, even if it is only a matter of probabilities. What action we should take, and how action should be brought about, are knotty problems. Harvard Business School’s Business and Environment Initiative (BEI) says they can be attacked with a business approach.

2013-11-05 00:00:00 Letters to the Editor by Various (Article)

Several readers respond to Bob Veres’ article, Why Deficits Don’t Matter, which was published last week. A reader responds to Adam Apt’s article, Is Gold Overpriced?, which was published Oct. 15, and a reader responds to the commentary, Scrooge McDucks, by Bill Gross of PIMCO, which appeared Oct. 31.

2013-11-04 00:00:00 Sovereign Ambitions to Develop Infrastructure Benefit Emerging Asia's Utilities Sector by Raja Mukherji, Emily Au-Yeung of PIMCO

The scope for infrastructure development in emerging Asia is tremendous, and the utilities sector has potential to contribute to and benefit from that growth. In general, we have found that state-owned utilities benefit from a range of operational advantages, partly as a result of the governments vested interest. PIMCOs bottom-up research allows us to analyze evolving company- and sector-specific factors within the greater macroeconomic picture to identify the best investment ideas in Asias utilities sector.

2013-11-01 00:00:00 What the End of a Greek Tragedy Means for Investors by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After six long years, Greeces economy is finally expected to grow in 2014. GDP expectations of 0.6 percent next year is a remarkable improvement compared to a loss of 4 percent this year. In addition to rising GDP, here are a few other significant changes from Greece lately:

2013-10-29 00:00:00 India's Maoist Problem by Bill OGrady, Kaisa Stucke of Confluence Investment Management

India has fought numerous wars with outside forces in its history and has also had several internal conflicts.The most notorious civil struggle has been the conflict with Kashmir insurgents, a border conflict between India and Pakistan that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.So it generally came as a surprise when the Indian Prime Minister Manmohn Singh declared the Maoist movement in the eastern part of the country to be the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by India.

2013-10-29 00:00:00 We Must Avoid Seeing the New Arctic through an Old World Lens by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

It would be easy to think those with a thirst for exploration were born too late - to assume that humanity has already reached every corner of the earth there is to discover. But one region - the Arctic - still contains uncharted mysteries.

2013-10-29 00:00:00 Weekly Market Commentary by Scotty George of du Pasquier Asset Management

With most of the political wrangling and debate nearly over, one hopes, we are left to deal with the residue of their cacophony. Politically, Im not astute enough to try and unravel the truths and un-truths spoken during the government budget debate and shutdown. But as an economic scientist, the numbers reveal an extraordinary landscape of congruent trendlines, missed opportunities, and plausible strategies for safely navigating the next 3 months.

2013-10-25 00:00:00 Environmental Awareness in Asia by In-Bok Song of Matthews Asia

I traveled to China in September, quite possibly one of the best times of the year to visit in terms of weather. The air quality in both Beijing and Shanghai was actually pleasant and was very different from how it seemed during my previous visits as well as from the typical accounts one usually hears of the notorious smog in Chinas major cities. It made me think about growing up during the industrialization of my home country, South Korea.

2013-10-24 00:00:00 Africa's Glass With Attitude by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton

Africa has been an area of interest to our team, for many reasons. One might say Africas biggest asset is its youthful population. With a median age of under 20 in many countries today, that means a very high portion of Africas population is dependent on the adult workforce. Tomorrow, however, it means that the workforce will be massive, and the ratio of dependents to workers (the dependency ratio) could be among the lowest in the world. This huge and youthful population is a key rationale for our interest there.

2013-10-18 00:00:00 Connecting the DOTs: The Role of North America's Emerging Markets' in Achieving Energy Independence by John Devir of PIMCO

The midstream energy sector is likely to grow more quickly than the overall U.S. economy over the next several years, creating the potential for attractive investment opportunities. North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas, or the DOTs for short, stand to disproportionally benefit from strong growth in onshore U.S. oil and gas shale development. PIMCOs approach is to identify and invest in the companies, including pipeline operating companies, favorably positioned to benefit from prolific oil production.

2013-10-18 00:00:00 Fall is in the Air by Christopher Singleton of Kanawha Capital Management

Autumn has arrived, and many creatures have been making dutiful preparations to survive the winter months. But not all are so inclined, particularly our political leaders. Indeed, along with crisper air temperatures and more vibrant colors, it would just not feel like fall without the annual Washington squabbles to fund the federal government and increase its borrowing authority.

2013-10-15 00:00:00 Is Gold Overpriced? by Adam Jared Apt (Article)

New research, based on an econometric model of gold prices, has attempted to answer the question, “Is gold overpriced?”

2013-10-09 00:00:00 Getting Serious About Investing Responsibly by Luke Spajic, Josh Olazabal of PIMCO

To date, much of ESG-related investing has focused on negative screening, but we believe there is a better approach. This approach rests on three pillars: identifying and analyzing key ESG issues facing a given investment sector, engaging with the issuers of securities, and supporting the development of markets for ESG investments.

2013-10-08 00:00:00 Maybe Mark Twain Said It Best... by Blaine Rollins of 361 Capital

President Barack Obama and his top economic officials appear to be pushing for some market unrest to exert pressure on the GOP to throw in the towel. Asked in his CNBC interview Wednesday whether Wall Street is right to remain calm over the standoff, Mr. Obama replied: No.

2013-09-27 00:00:00 How to Profit from a Changing China by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

We believe Chinas rebalancing is positive for investors who selectively invest in its stocks. As Jim ONeill puts it, When a country is embarking on a significant compositional change to its economy, stock-pickers rather than index-trackers have the upper hand.

2013-09-21 00:00:00 Fifty Shades of Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Unlike many commodities, there are many shades to gold, such as the Love Trades buying gold for loved ones and the Fear Trades purchasing gold as a store of value. An additional shade investors need to be aware of is how the Fed interprets the recovery of the U.S. economy.

2013-09-18 00:00:00 You have crossed into The Twilight Zone... by Blaine Rollins of 361 Capital

In this months episode of The Twilight Zone, Congressional Democrats and U.S. public opinion will organize to thwart a White House attack on Syria and their #1 choice for the next Fed Chairman. To conclude the show, Vladimir Putin will be the front runner for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize and the Financial Markets will soar. You have just crossed over into The Twilight Zone!

2013-09-16 00:00:00 Russia is Tough to Love, Easier to Hate, Hard for Investors to Ignore. Here's Why by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Russian President Vladimir Putin created a stir recently when he shared his thoughts with Americans in an op-ed printed in The New York Times. According to The Times, very few pieces written by heads of state have been published by the paper and very few received the attention Putin attracted.

2013-09-06 00:00:00 Will Gold Follow Its Seasonal Pattern This Year? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

There are factors beyond Syria this week driving gold. Thats the Love Trade. This group gives gold as gifts for loved ones during important holidays and festivals. This is the time of the year that we are in the midst of right now. Historically, September has been golds best month of the year. Looking at more than four decades of monthly returns, the precious metal has seen its biggest increase this month, averaging 2.3 percent.

2013-09-03 00:00:00 How to Find Value in Real Estate With Risk On, Risk Off Off Again by Walter Stabell, III of Invesco Blog

Recent trends, including falling stock correlations, have been strong indicators that the global economy is normalizing and the practice of risk on, risk off investing, in which investors enter and exit perceived riskier investments based on how they feel about the economy, is now off again after becoming a phenomenon in the post-financial crisis years.

2013-08-30 00:00:00 An American Energy Revolution by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In Texas these days, theres a feeling of absolute and unwavering confidence in the concept of an American energy revolution. From the depths of reserves to the richness of the energy, an incredible transformation is taking place.

2013-08-27 00:00:00 How Real is the Recovery in Commercial Real Estate? by Joel Beam, Ian Goltra of Forward Management

How Real Is the Recovery in Commercial Real Estate? A conversation with Joel Beam and Ian Goltra of Forwards Real Estate Portfolio Management Team.

2013-08-24 00:00:00 Hong Kong: A Gateway to Chinese Companies by Dilip Badlani of The Royce Funds

While many investors and businesses in Hong Kong are struggling with Chinas slowed-growth policy, increased rates on commercial rentals, and government intervention to cool the residential property market, we at Royce are looking for opportunities in Hong Kong-listed companiesour primary entrance to gain access to Chinese companieswhose valuations are reflective of the macro challenges facing their economy.

2013-08-23 00:00:00 Embrace Bottom Up by Herbert and Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

With all the conflicting macro news, some good, some not, and with the S&P 500 and the Dow at new highs while many sectors languish, it is preferable to focus on the little picture not the big one. The big one may currently be more unpredictable than the small one, being bottom up investment in undervalued securities. Those may currently be less popular, but we value investors are naturally driven to buy investments low, that are neglected and unpopular, with the view of selling them high when their popularity is enhanced. Buy low and sell high. Not buy high and sell higher as is now in vogue.

2013-08-16 00:00:00 What Happens When You Tell Indians to Stop Buying Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

With the government in India raising its import tax for gold to 10 percent this week, I firmly believe Indians will continue indulging in gold, even if they have to smuggle it in.

2013-08-13 00:00:00 A Better Way to Measure Systemic Risk by Michael Edesess (Article)

The economics profession has faced harsh criticism since the financial crisis of 2007-09 ? not least from its own members?for relying on mathematical models that failed to foresee the crisis and in some cases abetted its onset. Is the criticism justified, and what can be done about it?

2013-08-13 00:00:00 Dog Days! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

The phrase Dog Days refers to the sultry days of summer. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Dog Days of summer are most commonly experienced in the months of July and August, which typically experience the warmest summer temperatures of the year. In the Southern Hemispheres, they tend to occur in January and February, in the midst of the austral summer. Dog Days is also defined as stagnation, so I think Dog Days is the proper moniker for last weeks market action as all the markets stagnated!

2013-08-13 00:00:00 The Gordon Dilemma by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In this report, we will discuss Professor Gordons thesis, examine the geopolitical impact if he is correct and offer some criticisms of his thesis. We will conclude with potential market ramifications.

2013-08-09 00:00:00 Myanmar Rising by Team of Matthews Asia

After three decades under this military junta, Myanmar has thrown open its doors to change. Areas such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism all appear to be bursting with potential.

2013-08-05 00:00:00 Two Charts Illustrate How to ?Follow the Money? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Too often investors get caught up in their political allegiance or parties, focus on the negative and lose confidence in stocks. As a result, they can miss great bull markets. I believe when it comes to finding investment opportunities, it?s not about the political party, it?s about the policies, both monetary and fiscal.

2013-07-30 00:00:00 Revisiting “The Cost of Socially Responsible Investing” by Paul A. Ruud (Article)

Endowments have been warned that socially responsible investing incurs a financial cost, based on research by two prominent academicians. But that research ? which has been presented and debated in this publication ? is based on a tenuous model that is highly sensitive to its assumptions. Change those assumptions reasonably, as I did in my research, and the cost of SRI becomes trivial.

2013-07-30 00:00:00 The U.S. Energy Revolution by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In March 1971, the Texas Railroad Commission (TRC), which allocated oil production for the state of Texas, announced that producers in the state would be allowed a full allocation. This was the first time the TRC had allowed Texas producers to supply an unlimited amount of crude oil since WWII.

2013-07-26 00:00:00 Economic Value Approach to ROIC May Unearth Hidden Value by Team of Jacob Funds

Equity mutual fund managers employ a wide variety of investing approaches in an attempt to outperform the market, but very few stand out from the crowd. The approaches that do work over the long term tend to be very distinctive, focusing consistently on a specific methodology that is executed regardless of the market environment.

2013-07-26 00:00:00 Is Europe Ready to Take Off? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

After the U.S.?s huge run, is it possible the country will be handing off the baton across the Atlantic for the next leg of the relay race? Here are a few areas of strength that could send European stocks higher.

2013-07-16 00:00:00 Letters to the Editor by Advisor Perspectives (Article)

A reader responds to the ongoing exchange of letters regarding socially responsible investing, and a reader responds to Joe Tomlinson’s article, Retirement Portfolios: Fears over Rising Rates are Overblown, which appeared last week.

2013-07-12 00:00:00 China's Very Relative Malaise by Francois Sicart of Tocqueville Asset Management

In his latest piece, Francois Sicart, Founder and Chairman of Tocqueville Asset Management, looks at Chinas Very Relative Malaise, an observation which he describes as a vaguely uneasy feeling that seemed to be shared by most (Chinese) but not always for the same reasons.

2013-07-12 00:00:00 Commodities 2013 Halftime Report: A Time to Mine for Opportunity? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

It was a challenging first half of the year for most commodities, with only two resources we track on our Periodic Table of Commodities Returns rising in value. Natural gas and oil rose 6.5 percent and 5 percent, respectively, while silver lost a third of its value and gold lost a quarter of its price from the beginning of the year.

2013-07-05 00:00:00 Why Oil Has Proven Resilient by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog

Crude oil has proven more resilient and less volatile this year (depending on which benchmark you use, it is either up or down in the single digits) than most other commodities. There are three main factors behind this.

2013-07-05 00:00:00 The Asian Giant Stampeding into Gold by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In this environment, gold should remain attractive. However, as the West flees the precious metal, another set of gold buyers has come forward with the aim to preserve wealth. Take a look at the chart below which shows total gold production compared to the gold deliveries on the COMEX and the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

2013-06-26 00:00:00 2 Ways to Play the US Energy Boom by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog

Russ offers two ideas one perhaps obvious and one perhaps not for investors looking to potentially benefit from the US energy renaissance.

2013-06-25 00:00:00 Letters to the Editor by Various (Article)

Adam Apt responds in the latest exchange of letters on the topic of socially responsible investing. A reader responds to Geoff Considines article, A Better Alternative to Cap-Weighted Bond Indices, which appeared June 11. A reader responds to Wade Pfaus article, Retirement Income Designations ? Which Should You Choose?, which appeared last week.

2013-06-21 00:00:00 Asia Brief: China's Energy Demand by Edmund Harriss, James Weir of Guinness Atkinson Asset Management

China has the worlds largest unconventional gas reserves, but these so far remain untapped despite its growing demand for energy. China is now trying to follow the example of the US, and the government has set aggressive targets for unconventional gas production. As the demand for transportation fuels grow over the next decade, this gas could be a major contributor to meeting that need.

2013-06-21 00:00:00 Outlook for the Global Bond Market by Nic Pifer of Columbia Management

The global economy continues to expand, but seems stuck on a moderate, below-trend trajectory. Lately, the story seems to be more about a growth rotation across regions than a clear-cut acceleration or deceleration at the global level. Looking to 2014, however, we still expect the global economy to accelerate to a more trend-like pace.

2013-06-21 00:00:00 Finding Great Value In The Energy Sector by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This will be the second in a series of articles designed to find value in todays stock market environment. However, it will be the first of 10 articles covering the 10 major general sectors. In my first article, I laid the foundation that represents the two primary underlying ideas supporting the need to publish such a treatise. First and foremost, that it is not a stock market; rather it is a market of stocks. Second, that regardless of the level of the general market, there will always be overvalued, undervalued and fairly valued individual stocks to be found.

2013-06-20 00:00:00 The Best Time to Invest by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

I frequently speak at investment conferences around the world, and get questions ranging from my outlook for a particular market to highly sophisticated investment concepts. One seemingly simple question asked by a young lady years ago at a conference in Canada which I attended with the founder of Templeton Investments, the late Sir John Templeton, was particularly timeless. She asked: Ive just inherited some money from my grandfather. When is the best time for me to invest it?

2013-06-20 00:00:00 Why Wellness Matters: The Real Cost to Employers of Unhealthy Employee Behaviors by Team of Manning & Napier

It is no secret that health care costs have ranked among the top concerns of employers for much of the last decade. There is good reason for this concern, as health care costs have outpaced inflation for years, and employers often bear the brunt of these costs for their employees and dependents. Employers looking for ways to stem the tide of runaway health plan expenses should investigate wellness programs designed to impact the source of the costs unhealthy behaviors.

2013-06-20 00:00:00 Searching for Super Small-Cap Companies Through the Macro Noise by Chris Clark of The Royce Funds

While market pundits tell us to worry about everything from currency concerns and environmental challenges to the ongoing threat of nuclear assault and resource depletion, these ominous obstacles and the endless possibilities of their potential fallout have a tendency to draw attention away from what we believe really matters: the companies that have the ability to survive, adapt, and grow stronger in the wake of uncertainty.

2013-06-19 00:00:00 Will The Fed Tank The Markets Tomorrow? by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The Fed Open Market Committee is meeting today and tomorrow to set monetary policy going forward. The big question is whether or not the Fed will decide to taper its monthly purchases of $85 billion in Treasury bonds and mortgage securities, which have driven stocks and bonds higher over the last few years. The decision depends largely on the Feds view of the economy, so they tell us.

2013-06-18 00:00:00 Letter to the Editor by Various (Article)

Adam Kanzer responds to several letters to the editor that appeared last week. Those letters were in response to his article, Exposing False Claims about Socially Responsible Investing, which appeared June 4. Kanzers article was in response to Adam Apts article, Measuring the Cost of Socially Responsible Investing, which appeared May 21.

2013-06-14 00:00:00 A Sweet Find on an African Adventure by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The heart of Africa has been beating strong in recent years due to elevated commodity prices and resilient domestic demand, despite the global economic slowdown. Among the sub-Saharan African countries, Sierra Leone was the fastest growing country last year, according to the World Bank. Its economy experienced growth that is as rare today as Fancy Red diamonds. GDP increased a whopping 18 percent.

2013-06-11 00:00:00 Letters to the Editor by Various (Article)

A number of readers responded to Adam Kanzer’s article, Exposing False Claims about Socially Responsible Investing, which appeared last week. Kanzer’s article was in response to Adam Apt’s article, Measuring the Cost of Socially Responsible Investing, which appeared the week before. Several readers responded to other articles as well.

2013-06-06 00:00:00 More Than a Feeling by Team of AdvisorShares

Tangible signs of fundamental weakness are appearing everywhere, yet financial market participants are simply choosing to ignore these signs. There remains a significant disconnect between the real economy and financial markets. Read this paper by Peritus Asset Management to learn how to navigate the weak fundamental picture in what they believe to be the beginning of a 15-20 year positive technical backdrop, which will put yield generating assets, such as high yield bonds, in the sweet spot.

2013-06-04 00:00:00 Exposing False Claims about Socially Responsible Investing A Response to Adler and Kritzman by Adam M. Kanzer (Article)

When the Domini 400 Social Index was launched in 1990, the common wisdom said that if you limited your investable universe by anything other than financial factors, you would limit your returns. The performance of the index has proven that assumption to be false. Nevertheless, the assumption lives on.

2013-05-31 00:00:00 What's the Answer to Unprecedented Policies and Ultralow Rates? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

So what?s the answer to unprecedented central bank policies that have been driving stocks higher and ultralow rates? I believe investors need to stick to a strategy that includes dividend-paying stocks that offer the opportunity for both income and growth.

2013-05-29 00:00:00 Filling the Hole We Have Dug by Adam Bowe, Robert Mead of PIMCO

Mining investment contributed more than 60% of the growth in Australias GDP in 2012. The expected decline in mining investment will likely leave a significant economic hole in the short term that needs to be filled. PIMCO expects easier monetary policy will be needed to support other sources of domestic growth, such as non-mining business investment, household consumption and housing construction.

2013-05-28 00:00:00 Letter to the Editor by Various (Article)

A reader responds to Adam Apt’s article, Measuring the Cost of Socially Responsible Investing, which appeared last week.

2013-05-24 00:00:00 Sri Lanka's Victory by Teresa Kong of Matthews Asia

Sri Lanka has begun to reap the fruits of peace. By diverting resources that were previously spent on its military toward things like infrastructure, tourism and education, its economy has experienced solid growth. As our small car sat in traffic on the main road leading to the Colombo airport, my driver told me about the newly planned highway scheduled to open later this year. The Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, he said, would reduce my 1.5-hour trip to about 20 minutes. More importantly, I thought, we wouldnt be driven off the road by rickshaws referred to locally as tuk-tuks.&#

2013-05-24 00:00:00 The Love Trade for Gold is Still On! by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The more important demand for gold, in my opinion, comes from the enduring Love Trade, as countries like China and India buy the precious metal out of love and tradition.

2013-05-24 00:00:00 Bifurcation Blues by Herbert and Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

Bifurcation. A very technical sounding word. It merely means ?a division into two parts?, which is what we are witnessing in many areas related to investment, both macro and micro. And it is exhibiting to value investors those areas to avoid and the most attractive to embrace. And giving rise to a wide range of disparate opinions among economic and investment professionals as to what outcomes are likely. Needless to say, we have our own strong views.

2013-05-22 00:00:00 Asia Brief: China's Car Fleet The Largest in the World? by Edmund Harriss, James Weir of Guinness Atkinson Asset Management

Car sales in China have grown rapidly since 2009 and it is on course to outstrip the US in terms of the size of its car fleet by the end of this decade. This presents a major challenge to the Chinese government, which must balance its peoples happiness and political stability with economic development in an environment which has already been compromised. The momentum of demand for new passenger vehicles is likely to make air quality worse and Beijing has introduced emissions and efficiency standards to address the problem.

2013-05-21 00:00:00 Measuring the Cost of Socially Responsible Investing by Adam Jared Apt (Article)

Quite apart from its motivations, the consequences of socially responsible investing have intrigued analysts. The actual results, as distinct from the desired results, cannot be taken for granted. Mark Kritzman has written about the subject, but his research was little noticed until recently, when SRI achieved renewed prominence in the form of popular demands that institutional portfolios divest themselves of investments in fossil-fuel companies. Kritzmans point, and the conclusion of his analysis, is that SRI, properly understood, incurs a cost to the portfolio.

2013-05-20 00:00:00 Global Real Estate Is Hot Again, but Where Are the Best Opportunities? by Joe Rodriguez of Invesco

In this low interest rate environment, yield-hungry investors have been moving out of bonds, and many are opting for real estate investment opportunities. Combine that with a structural undersupply of institutional quality real estate in many key cities across the globe, and an attractive case for investment starts to emerge. Heres where we see the most attractive and promising opportunities by region this year.

2013-05-17 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Team of Northern Trust

Predictions of an American manufacturing renaissance may be premature. Does the Fed have to worry about deflation? The U.S. fiscal deficit is narrowing rapidly.

2013-04-30 00:00:00 Electric Vehicles: The Devil is in the Battery by Michael Edesess (Article)

Electric cars are part of the vision of a clean energy society, in which Americans would use few fossil fuels, emit limited greenhouse gases and depend less on foreign sources of energy. Will that vision be realized ? and are electric cars even necessarily part of that vision? Are electric cars environmentally friendly? Are they an economical means of transportation now? How likely are they to capture the market in the coming years?

2013-04-26 00:00:00 The Race of Our Lives by Jeremy Grantham of GMO

Our global economy, reckless in its use of all resources and natural systems, shows many of the indicators of potential failure that brought down so many civilizations before ours. By sheer luck, though, ours has two features that might just save our bacon: declining fertility rates and progress in alternative energy. Our survival might well depend on doing everything we can to encourage their progress. Vested interests, though, defend the status quo effectively and the majority much prefers optimistic propaganda to uncomfortable truth and wishful thinking rather than tough action.

2013-04-26 00:00:00 Why The Fed's Balance Sheet Matters Neosho Capital Takes On Alan Blinder by Chris Richey of Neosho Capital

We anticipate the Fed will begin slowing, but not eliminating, its QE purchases later this year, barring another severe downturn in the intervening period. As such, we expect macro-economic factors such as currency, interest rates, growth, and inflation to continue to be a significant influence on stock market returns and that the long-term benefits of active portfolio management and individual company performance will continue to be masked by these macro influences.

2013-04-19 00:00:00 Fast Emerging Asia by Taizo Ishida of Matthews Asia

Over the past 20 years, Asia has come a long way to evolve into an asset class in itself. China and India have famously led the way as symbols of emerging nations. But when I think about seeking growth in Asia, I am particularly drawn to the regions smaller equity markets as attractive hunting grounds for investment opportunities. Asia continues to change at a rapid pace, and this change is not restricted to Chinas ever-changing landscape, but to many other areas that may see fewer media headlines.

2013-04-19 00:00:00 Gold Buyers Get Physical As Coin and Jewelry Sales Surge by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Even with the gold price dropping, why are gold coins selling at a premium? Its Economics 101: The coin supply is limited and the demand is high. This buying trend isnt only occurring in the U.S. In Bangkok, Thailand, for example, crowds of buyers were filling stores, eagerly waiting in multiple lines to purchase gold jewelry and coins.

2013-04-16 00:00:00 Will Germany Lead the World’s Energy Revolution? by Michael Edesess (Article)

Germany’s energy plans lie between Scylla and Charybdis: fossil fuel-generated carbon dioxide emissions on the one hand and potentially catastrophic nuclear energy on the other. With strong motivation to avoid both, Germany has been left with only one alternative. The direction of energy policy in the U.S. ? and the rest of the world ? may rest on whether Germany succeeds in its ambitious plan to embrace renewable sources.

2013-04-16 00:00:00 Letter to the Editor by Various (Article)

A reader responds to Robert Huebschers article, The Downside to Socially Responsible Investing, which appeared on November 13, 2012.

2013-04-12 00:00:00 How a Landslide Shifts Copper Supply by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The U.S. mining industry was dealt a devastating blow as Kennecott Utah Coppers Bingham Canyon Mine experienced a pit wall failure causing a massive landslide with rocks and dirt covering the bottom of the mine pit. Its a miracle no one was hurt due to the vigilance of its owner, Rio Tinto. The landslide is just one example of how quickly and unexpectedly the supply and demand factors facing the red metal can shift, which underscores the need for nimble active management.

2013-04-08 00:00:00 The Theology of Inflation by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

We begin this week with a simple pop quiz. Is inflation good or bad? Answer quickly. I?m sorry your answer is wrong. Or rather, we can?t know if your answer is right or wrong because we are not sure what is meant by the question. We may think we know and we may be right but we can?t be sure, because the word inflation has different meanings for different people in different places and different times. In fact, even the same people in the same place and time can?t agree on a precise definition.

2013-04-03 00:00:00 Why This Economic "Recovery" is So Weak by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

We start today with an excellent editorial I read last week written by Mort Zuckerman, Editor-In-Chief of U.S. News & World Report. My goal every week is to do a lot of reading and summarize what Ive learned in these pages week in and week out. But every now and then I run across something so good that it just makes sense to reprint it in its entirety, even if its not my own work. Not many of my contemporaries are willing to do that, as they think it makes them look less scholarly. I dont have that problem.

2013-03-29 00:00:00 China on the Move by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

After six years of weighing the options, China is now firmly committed to implementing a new growth strategy. But it will take courage and sheer determination to tackle the biggest obstacle of all deeply entrenched local and provincial power blocs.

2013-03-28 00:00:00 On the Fed, the Keystone Pipeline & the War On Jobs by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) met as scheduled last Tuesday and Wednesday to review monetary policy and its massive quantitative easing effort. The official policy statement released at the end of the meeting on Wednesday was little changed from those in previous months.

2013-03-28 00:00:00 What Maslow and Rand Would Tell Investors Today by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

While gold?s performance in the short term has been counterintuitive, I plan to stick to my own advice. I simply feel safer with a small weighting in gold as insurance.

2013-03-25 00:00:00 Energy: Perilous Present, Promising Future by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

For oil and gas, an era of abundant supplies and lower prices awaits. But investors will have to weather a tricky geopolitical situation before it arrives.

2013-03-22 00:00:00 Power of Positive Screening: Pursuing Strength of Social and Financial Returns by Chat Reynders, Patrick McVeigh of Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management

Market volatility and sweeping changes to mainstream views of investing are catalyzing acceptance of tactics that combine fundamentals with a progressive outlook on social issues. Positive screening brings balanced companies to the fore of the investment landscape: this practice isolates sound equities that demonstrate strength of balance sheet, dependability of management, and a commitment to act as part of a global community focused on positive change.

2013-03-22 00:00:00 In Gold We Trust by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Poorly thought out government policies hurt the formation of capital and destroy people?s trust in paper money. Leaders may have good intentions, but some of their actions show disrespect for private property and individualism. This only reemphasizes gold as an important asset class.

2013-03-20 00:00:00 Chinas Next Stop by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Would it surprise you to discover that China is planning to add 800 miles to its subway system over the next two years? Thats the distance equivalent to building a network from Dallas to Chicago in less time than the U.S. Congress can resolve a budget!

2013-03-15 00:00:00 Chinas Next Stop by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Would it surprise you to discover that China is planning to add 800 miles to its subway system over the next two years? Thats the distance equivalent to building a network from Dallas to Chicago in less time than the U.S. Congress can resolve a budget!

2013-03-08 00:00:00 Spasmodic Stupidity: The Wile E. Coyote Congress by Cliff Draughn of Excelsia Investment Advisors

I predict the Ides of March will find us in a continued sequestration, and Congress will use the time between now and the debt ceiling deadline on March 27th to debate the merits of true tax reform as opposed to governing by crisis. In the end, though, the reform conversation will revert to governance by crisis, with another stop-gap measure to avoid government shutdown during Holy Week and Easter, which will tide us over to the elections of 2014. Do you expect any different?

2013-02-27 00:00:00 Pew: Americans Have Little Will to Cut Spending by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

The Pew Research Center released a new national poll on Friday and the results are quite surprising. As the March 1 deadline for a possible budget sequester approaches, the new Pew survey finds limited public support for reducing spending for a wide range of government programs, including defense, entitlements, education and health care.

2013-02-27 00:00:00 The Great Migration by Herbert Abramson, Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

We are value investors dedicated to creating portfolios for clients, whether growth (equities), income or a balanced blend of both, of undervalued securities with meaningful upside potential and a margin of safety to guard against permanent loss. For us, the bottom-up factors are the most compelling, but we are also mindful that we need to take account of the top-down macro factors. We know how the Crash of ?08 and the accompanying recession created havoc for investors, including us, no matter how undervalued stocks were.

2013-02-22 00:00:00 Only Do What Only You Can Do by Satya Patel of Matthews Asia

Sri Lanka is a tiny country of approximately 21 million people, with roughly the same population as the city of Mumbai and a total land mass nearly as big as Ireland and slightly bigger than the U.S. state of West Virginia. Despite being diminutive relative to other Asian countries, exports are an important part of Sri Lanka's economy, just as they are for its neighbors.

2013-02-19 00:00:00 Ducks, Swans and Old People by Mariko Gordon (Article)

Today we talk about experience. Specifically, why it's overrated and how an understanding of history helps you, as an investor, spot inflection points and exploit misunderstandings on the part of other investors.

2013-02-16 00:00:00 When It Comes to Gold, Stick to the Facts by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

During short-term gold corrections, its much more important to focus on the facts, including the fact that gold is increasingly viewed as a currency. Rather than buying real estate, lumber or diamonds, central banks around the world are buying gold. According to the World Gold Council (WGC), over 2012, central bank demand totaled 534 tons, a level we have not seen in nearly 50 years.

2013-02-16 00:00:00 In the Year of the Snake, Where Will Copper Head? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

With an improving global economy and Chinas new leadership ramping up projects, will base metals, such as copper, head higher?

2013-02-16 00:00:00 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The recent energy dividend is not likely to last. Crafting a single monetary policy for Europe is challenging.

2013-02-14 00:00:00 Is Inflation Around the Next Corner? Then What? by Pete Sorrentino of Huntington Funds

As the Federal Reserve Board reiterates its intention to keep interest rates near zero into 2015, it appears that the markets and many investors are growing complacent about inflation. Ever since the Financial Crisis of 2007-08, "headline inflation," as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), has stayed low so far. Although it has threatened to break out at times, economic weakness has restrained the price growth that underlies inflation.

2013-02-08 00:00:00 Out With the Dragon In With the Snake by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Over 2013, we expect the Chinese government to continue its accommodative efforts, which should reinforce the equity rally. In addition, the new pyramid of power is focused on growth, as it seeks to improve and reform policies that will provide its residents with opportunities and social security, increase incomes and raise standards of living, which should encourage domestic consumption. Growth is set to be considerable over the next several years.

2013-02-07 00:00:00 Commodities: Correlating Trends with Opportunities by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Commodity price inflation is both a social and an economic issue. In emerging markets in particular, food and energy costs take a deeper slice out of consumers' income, which can lead to the type of unrest that causes governments to topple. In addition to the potential impact of extreme weather on food supplies, central banks around the world are printing a flood of money, which could lead to inflated prices for other goods and services.

2013-01-31 00:00:00 Elliott's Paul Singer On How Money Is Created ... And How It Dies by Team of TimeCapital

When we launched our series into the US Shadow Banking system in the summer of 2010 we had one simple objective: to demonstrate just how little the process of modern (and by modern we mean circa 2004 not 1981) money creation was understood.

2013-01-18 00:00:00 2013 International Outlook by Colin Moore of Columbia Management

We continue our outlook for 2013 with a review of select international economies and financial markets. Similar to the U.S. the road to recovery will be bumpy and we expect financial markets to continue being affected by macroeconomic uncertainties. While the overall environment remains uncertain, some of the significant headwinds in 2012, e.g. the Chinese leadership transition and a complete disintegration of the eurozone, are perhaps less concerning for markets than they were a year ago.

2013-01-15 00:00:00 Letters to the Editor by Various (Article)

Readers respond to two of Dan Richards' columns, Six Lessons for Advisors from the Mayo Clinic, which appeared last week, and, How to Turn Acquaintances into Clients, which appeared on December 4. A reader responds to Richard Vodra's article, Is Fracking a 'Happy Solution' to our Energy Needs?, which appeared on January 2.

2013-01-10 00:00:00 Market Perspectives Q4 2012: Politics vs. Economics by Richard Michaud of New Frontier Advisors

The major news of the quarter was that a fiscal cliff deal passed in the final hours of the 112th Congress and was signed by President Obama. The deal averts tax increases on most Americans and prevents large indiscriminate cuts in spending in many government programs. It also averted, by nearly universal consensus among macroeconomists, tipping the American economy into recession with attendant global implications.

2013-01-08 00:00:00 Energy and the End of Growth by Michael Edesess (Article)

Is economic growth coming to an end? That's been a hot topic of discussion, thanks to a paper by Robert J. Gordon. It had a simple but striking thesis: 'There was virtually no growth before 1750, and thus there is no guarantee that growth will continue indefinitely.' But before 1750 there were no fossil fuels either. Only once humans tapped the large deposits of coal and oil did economic growth truly awaken. The history of economic growth is, so far, the history of fossil fuels. This causes us to wonder whether economic growth will end when it is no longer powered by fossil fuels.

2013-01-02 00:00:00 Is Fracking a ?Happy Solution? to our Energy Needs? by Richard Vodra, JD, CFP (Article)

A few weeks ago, John Mauldin called fracking a 'happy solution' that will produce jobs, potentially solve our trade deficit and generate new tax revenue, though energy prices may rise in the process. But how excited should we be about the 'shale revolution'?

2012-12-28 00:00:00 Readers' Golden Nuggets Focused on Gold, Resources and Overcoming Negativity by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The past few days Ive been counting down the most popular commentaries over the past year. China, commodities and bond fund popularity were big hits; so were the Surprises in Gasoline, Oil and Resources Stock Prices. Here are the top four.

2012-11-27 00:00:00 A Critique of Grantham and Gordon: The Prospects for Long-term Growth by Laurence B. Siegel (Article)

The vigorous global economic growth of the last two centuries is over, according to Jeremy Grantham and Robert Gordon. That prediction, if correct, has profound and worrisome implications for investors. And the short-term trend is indeed disquieting: Growth has been close to zero over the last decade in advanced countries. But the most likely outcome is that per capita GDP growth going forward will approximate its U.S. historical average of 1.8%, and it will grow faster in developing markets.

2012-11-20 00:00:00 Letters to the Editor by Various (Article)

Readers respond to our articles, The Downside to Socially Responsible Investing, which appeared last week, and, Lacy Hunt on Our Economic Future, which appeared on November 6.

2012-11-13 00:00:00 The Downside to Socially Responsible Investing by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Who wouldn't want a cleaner environment or a more just society? We can all agree these are worthy goals. But it's an established fact that pursuing them through one's investing is costly; environmental-, social- and governance-based investing (ESG) does fine on a gross basis, but loses money net of fees. Now, a recently published paper argues that that ESG is basically a waste of time.

2012-09-25 00:00:00 Investing in a Resource-Constrained World by Richard Vodra, JD, CFP (Article)

The potential consequences of stagnant oil production and climate change for society are written about frequently, but here is a simpler question that is important to our community: How are these and related facts likely to affect investment returns going forward? How can we even frame such questions usefully?

2012-09-18 00:00:00 Campaign Rhetoric and Our Energy Future by Michael Edesess (Article)

At their respective conventions, both President Obama and Mitt Romney spoke to a centrally important topic for America and the world: energy. Their positions ? political posturing aside ? are broadly similar. But rather than a coherent, sustainable vision for the energy future of the United States, both men's rhetoric reflected the usual exercise in political base-touching, apple pie-polishing, and third-rail avoidance. And two important, perhaps crucial, pieces of the energy puzzle were hardly mentioned at all.

2012-08-29 00:00:00 Reconnaissance: Strategy Notes by Douglas Clark Johnson of Codexa Capital

The Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran is probably the most important conference hosted there since the 1979 revolution. Iran is doing its best to use the forum as an opportunity to assert its position in world affairs. In market activity, we think fundamentals in India call for less exuberance in gold than some would suggest. Our outlook for South Asia meanwhile recognizes valuation opportunities in the smaller markets of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

2012-07-11 00:00:00 Green Consumption: Its Not All Positive by Dan Ariely of Predictably Irrational

There was a time when farmers markets, eco products, recycling, and renewable energy were squarely in the tree huggers domain. Then, somewhere along the line, green went mainstream, turning environmental awareness into a socially desirable trait and a mark of morality.

2012-06-26 00:00:00 A Top Analyst: North America Heading to Energy Independence by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Ed Morse, a managing director of Citigroup Global Markets, said last week that by the end of this decade the US and Canada will have a surplus of oil, leaving it with 'no room for imports.' But the longer-term picture is far less certain, as extraction moves from conventional wells to newer sources, such as deepwater fields and shale-based oil.

2012-06-12 00:00:00 The End of Economics by Michael Edesess (Article)

If Australian economist Steve Keen's book, Debunking Economics, doesn't end, once and for all, the terminally convoluted discourse that afflicts mainstream economics, nothing will. Although the book's purpose is to show that neoclassical economics is all bunk, however, it is also, remarkably, as good an introduction to neoclassical economics as any you're likely to find.

2012-06-05 00:00:00 Energy and the Wealth of Nations by Richard Vodra, JD, CFP (Article)

It is time for a new and different approach to understanding the economy, according to ecologist Charles Hall and economist Kent Klitgaard, who together are pioneering the discipline of biophysical economics. They advocate a novel methodology that properly accounts for the realities of global energy supplies and consumption.

2012-04-24 00:00:00 Why a 60/40 Portfolio isn?t Diversified by Alex Shahidi (Article)

Maintaining a balanced portfolio is critical, especially when predictions of growth and inflation vary as widely as they do today. Investors are always better off spreading risk than aggressively betting on one economic outcome, and that's especially true when the range of possible economic outcomes is so wide.

2012-04-10 00:00:00 HBS Research: The Role of Business in Society by Michael Edesess (Article)

Many people believe that society needs to change for market capitalism to be sustainable - and it turns out a surprising number of business leaders are among them. That's the finding of a recent series of forums, organized by three Harvard Business School professors. Based on these discussions, the HBS professors advance a bold proposal - that business itself - not government, or even public-spirited nonprofits - should lead the charge to make the necessary changes to our capitalist system.

2012-04-03 00:00:00 Fewer, Richer, Greener: Why Jeremy Grantham is (Partly) Wrong by Laurence B. Siegel (Article)

Is the human experience getting better or worse? This is a big question investors are rarely asked to confront, yet its answer has profound consequences for market returns.

2012-03-20 00:00:00 Jeremy Grantham: This Time is Different by Michael Edesess (Article)

Jeremy Grantham is a paradox. A man who has said many times, 'This time it's different are the four most dangerous words in the English language,' is now saying - loud and clear - this time it really is different.

2012-03-20 00:00:00 A Look Back at the Performance of the Holy Grail by Theodore Wong (Article)

Back-tested results often look good on paper because stellar performance could have come from curve-fitting. If that were the case, then my 'Holy Grail' model would not have withstood the test of time. But in the 32 months that have passed since its publication, investors who heeded its advice would have outperformed the market on a risk-adjusted basis.

2012-03-13 00:00:00 Europe Needs a Good Crisis by Michael Edesess (Article)

When it comes to economies in general and financial crises in particular, it's remarkable how little we actually understand. While global financial actors struggle to restructure Greece's debt and to avoid contagion throughout Europe's periphery, we should recall the lessons of the Asian-Russian crisis 15 years ago. As the writings of Joseph Stiglitz and Martin Wolf remind us - and those events illustrate - crises are part of an evolutionary process, and the afflicted economies often emerge with surprising vigor.

2012-02-07 00:00:00 Letters to the Editor by Various (Article)

Readers respond to past articles, including Robert Huebscher's article, The Misreading of Reinhart and Rogoff, our interview with Lacy Hunt, and Wade Pfau's article, Safe Withdrawal Rates: A Do-It-Yourself Approach.

2012-02-03 00:00:00 Sri Lanka's Story by Taizo Ishida of Matthews Asia

Ever since Sri Lanka ended more than 25 years of civil war in early 2009, its economy has been on the upswing. The countrys stock market has quadrupled in the two years since the end of its long and bitter conflict, helped by strong, pent-up domestic demand. Among Sri Lankas top priorities has been a rebuilding of its tourism industry, and officials have set a target of attracting 2.5 million visitors by 2016. They may well get there if they keep pace with their 2011 annual growth rate, which saw a 30% increase to 856,000 visitors.

2011-12-20 00:00:00 Letters to the Editor by Various (Article)

Readers respond to several articles: GLWBs: Retiree Protection or Money Illusion?, Did Congress Cash In on Insider Stock Trading?, and Can this be Serious?, all which appeared last week, and to John Mauldin's commentary, The Center Cannot Hold, which appeared on Saturday.

2011-12-20 00:00:00 The Three Scrooges by Team of Dana Investment Advisors

Lawmakers are lining up to play Ebenezer Scrooge in the seasons production of A Christmas Carol. The backdrop for this years production is energy and the key players trying for the lead role are the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the Department of Energy, and Congress. They are each doing their best to stifle energy development thereby keeping gas prices high and curtailing job growth.

2011-11-26 00:00:00 With Rising Wages, Will China Remain a Manufacturing Hub? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

In 2010, countries such as Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Germany depended on China for data processing, apparel, and iron and steel exports. Chinas largest import partners in 2010 were Japan, South Korea, the U.S., Germany and Australia. For those companies not already doing business in China, theres one dominant factor that shows they should start: the vast domestic market. Companies may be able to find a cheaper workforce in Bangladesh, India or Sri Lanka, but being located in China allows convenient access to what is rapidly becoming the worlds largest consumer market.

2011-11-15 00:00:00 It's All Greek to Me by Michael Lewitt (Article)

As one who has written that there is little chance of a long-term solution to Europe's problems without a radical rethinking of global economic policy, the Europeans still have little choice once they peer over the cliff to realize other than to step back and buy some time before taking the inevitable leap. For, in the end, they have no other options than to jump.

2011-10-04 00:00:00 The Energy Expert You Shouldn?t Trust by Richard Vodra (Article)

Daniel Yergin, a self-described 'leading energy expert,' has written The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, designed to provide information that policy-makers can rely upon in shaping energy policy for the decades ahead. This could be a dangerous reliance, for Yergin is an advocate for the fossil fuel community, not an honest broker of information.

2011-05-24 00:00:00 The WikiLeaks of the Economics Profession by Michael Edesess (Article)

What Caused the Financial Crisis presents the most comprehensive account I have seen of the regulations that, when considered as a whole, have incentivized unprecedented self-delusion and risk-taking in the subprime mortgage market. To put it in a manner that financial advisors will understand, the book shows that the policies and regulations greatly increased the Sharpe ratio of the financial industry - they increased the return for taking risk.

2011-04-12 00:00:00 Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me by Michael Lewitt (Article)

"The budget crisis is a crisis of leadership," writes Michael Lewitt in the latest issue of the HCM Market letter. "There is no intellectual mystery involved in cutting the budget - entitlement spending must be reduced through the adoption of tighter eligibility standards... The markets will also have to evaluate whether Congress and the Obama administration can make any meaningful progress on budget reform, which will mean tackling the entitlement issue. The failure to rein in federal deficits remains a profound threat to the dollar and interest rates."

2011-03-15 00:00:00 The Latest, and Most Devasting Supply Shock by Louis-Vincent Gave of GaveKal

It has been a rough year so far in Asia, with unprecedented floods across Queensland, droughts in Sri Lanka, southern India and northern China, the Christchurch earthquake and now, most devastating of all, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Of course, there is already no doubt that in terms of human suffering and economic cost, this latest tragedy dwarfs all the others; at times like these, it is very hard to not feel either highly emotional, or completely despondent. As such, in an attempt to gain clarity, it is normal to fall back on history, and rely on it as a guide.

2011-01-25 00:00:00 Beyond the Efficient Market Hypothesis by Michael Edesess (Article)

John Cassidy's 2009 book, "How Markets Fail," drives the final nail in the coffin of the Efficient Market Hypothesis. Well, perhaps the penultimate nail - as I'll explain. It is the most compelling argument I have read that we need a new and improved theory of markets, a theory that subsumes the efficient market hypothesis, much as Einstein's relativity theory subsumed Newtonian physics.

2010-12-17 00:00:00 Postcard from Bangladesh by Taizo Ishida of Matthews Asia

While some foreign investors may consider Bangladesh a ?frontier? market, its market capitalization already surpasses that of Pakistan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. I believe there is a good chance that this market will be a more integrated part of the Asian investment landscape soon.

2010-12-14 00:00:00 Letter to the Editor by Various (Article)

A reader responds to our article, Black Gold, Texas Tea, which appeared on November 30.

2010-11-30 00:00:00 Why Bubbles Inflate and How to Avoid Them by Robert Huebscher (Article)

In this interview, Meir Statman discusses the psychological underpinnings behind the creation of bubbles in the financial markets, why some bubbles are good and others are not, and how investors should frame their decisions when facing a potential bubble.

2010-11-16 00:00:00 Reducing Portfolio Risk through Sustainable Investing by Jon Quigley (Article)

By incorporating a broad swath of extra-financial data as a risk factor and tilting a portfolio away from companies with poor environmental, social and governance policies, we can better reduce that portfolio's risk of extremely negative outcomes.

2010-10-21 00:00:00 Readers' Questions Answered Part IV by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton

Mark Mobius responds to reader questions on initial public offerings, non-listed entities, China's 20-year prospects, and markets in Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

2010-09-27 00:00:00 Hemlines and Investment Styles by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital

High quality, large cap stocks have good potential over a range of possible scenarios, and are more attractive than bonds, which will do well in periods of economic weakness or deflation but poorly during periods of market strength or inflation. Treasury bonds and other high grade bonds currently have all environmental factors in their favor, but are priced rich. For them to do well from here, with yields so low, everything has to work out the way the bond bulls hope. Given current yield spreads, high yield bonds should outperform high grade bonds in most foreseeable long-term environments.

2010-09-21 00:00:00 America?s Demographic Advantages by Art Patten (Article)

Joel Kotkin's inherent optimism is a welcome antidote to the gloom and doom that's taken hold of so many in the wake of the great recession. In The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, he uses copious reference material and broad strokes to paint a relatively cheery vision of America's future, which he believes will be driven largely by people, place, and national character.

2010-07-13 00:00:00 Chronicle of the Quarter by Bob Veres (Article)

Bob Veres provides one of his Client Articles, which is a service for advisors to send to their clients; it's a daily blog about what it felt like to watch the market during the past fiscal quarter. It communicates several points: perhaps most importantly, that what seems clear in hindsight (the markets gave back their first quarter gains) is not at all clear as it is experienced.

2010-06-29 00:00:00 Chinese RMB: Much Ado About Nothing! by Komal Sri-Kumar of TCW Asset Management

Komal Sri-Kumar comments on US China relations, looking at how both sides view the appreciation of the RMB. Washington has lectured and Chinese officials have retaliated with their own diagnosis that the crux of the problem was lack of adequate regulation of U.S. financial institutions, and have suggested that the Obama administration should reduce the fiscal deficit rather than focus on the exchange rate. What Sri-Kumar believes is missing from this conversation is an understanding of the role played by exchange rates in balancing international trade.

2010-06-17 00:00:00 Consumer Metrics Institute's Growth Index by Doug Short of Doug Short

Doug Short provides charts comparing the Consumer Metrics Institute's growth index with gross domestic product and the S&P 500 since 2005. Thus far the growth index has been an effective leading indicator of GDP. As such, a double-dip recession appears to be a distinct possibility amidst the end of the various government stimulus efforts, the potential contagion of the financial stress in Europe, the ongoing environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico and another round of consumer belt-tightening.

2010-06-08 00:00:00 The First Thing We Do, Let?s Kill All the Quants by Michael Lewitt (Article)

In the latest issue of the HCM Market Letter, Michael Lewitt draws the parallels between the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and financial reform - both, he says, demonstrate our inability to learn from our mistakes. Lewitt also comments on quantitative trading strategies, economic recovery and the capital markets.

2010-06-01 00:00:00 Equity Income Targets Utilities by Philip Sundell, CFA (Article)

Natural gas local distribution companies are appealing utility business models to conservative equity investors. They tend to have stable earnings and stronger balance sheets. Philip Sundell of American Century Investments discusses his overall outlook for utilities in this interview. We thank American Century for their sponsorship.

2010-05-10 00:00:00 Think U.S. Double-Dip: Again by Komal Sri-Kumar of TCW Asset Management

Even though the National Bureau of Economic Research, the unofficial arbiter of the start and end of U.S. recessions, has not yet decided that the most recent recession has ended, the consensus view is that the economy recovering. Positive developments notwithstanding, Komal Sri-Kumar expects signs of a renewed economic downturn to manifest themselves during coming months. The slingshot effect of monetary and fiscal stimuli has still been less than stellar given the steepness of the economic decline during 2008-2009.

2010-04-30 00:00:00 A Green Brazil by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton

Brazil?s export and domestic markets are booming, and economic growth could be as high as 5.5% this year. Brazilians have become more sensitive to environmental issues, particularly since the nation?s extensive natural resources in iron ore, oil, steel, coffee, oil, soybeans, sugar and beef have historically been a source of both export and domestic consumption on a major scale.

2010-04-27 00:00:00 China: House of Cards or Emerging Superpower? by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Few topics are as contentious as the fate of the Chinese economy. The bulls argue that its growth will propel the global economic recovery and that China will ultimately supplant the United States as the leading world superpower. According to the bears, the Chinese economy has been fueled by unsustainable fiscal stimuliand is a prototypical bubble poised to burst. Five panelists at the Strategic Investment Conference debated this question.

2010-04-13 00:00:00 Shameless by Michael Lewitt (Article)

The fiscal train wreck in the United States has not been set back on the tracks, and the global imbalances that led to the financial crisis have not gone away. Quite to the contrary, writes Michael Lewittin Shameless, the latest edition of his HCM newsletter. In fact, if progress isn't made with respect to these issues, and if intelligent financial reform is not enacted, future instability is guaranteed.

2010-03-30 00:00:00 Seven Tips for a Successful Family Foundation by Nancy Opiela (Article)

Managing a foundation's assetswins you the cachet of being seen as helping your clients fulfill their philanthropic goals, and it is extremely lucrative work that can create a practice-building bridge to the next generation.The administrative aspects, as Nancy Opiela writes, can be daunting and she offers seven tips for a successful family foundation.

2010-03-13 00:00:00 Postcard from Southeast Asia by Sharat Shroff of Matthews Asia

Asian entrepreneurs are confident about their long-term prospects. Despite this confidence, however, some countries still need to develop stronger institutional frameworks. Billions of dollars worth of new projects for an industrial zone in the Gulf of Thailand have been halted since an environmental lawsuit was filed two years ago. And failings associated with the 2008 government bailout of Indonesia's PT Bank Century point to institutional weaknesses in that country. Failure to address these institutional issues could cost Asian economies crucial capital from foreign investors.

2010-03-02 00:00:00 Asset Allocation Perspective by Scott Wittman, CFA (Article)

Scott Wittman, Chief Investment Officer for American Century Investments, provides his quarterly review of macro-economic factors and trends which influence the tactical weighting decisions for American Century's asset allocation funds. In the article, Wittman reviews and comments on recent events, trends and expected short-term future changes in monetary, fiscal, industrial, trade, regulatory, political and financial macro economic factors. We thank them for their sponsorship. This is sponsored content.

2010-01-26 00:00:00 Punctuated Equilibrium by Dan Richards (Article)

Dan Richards says we're dealing with a more fundamental issue than the recent market turmoil. "We're going through one of those rare periods of ground-shaking change that have taken place throughout history, something that was in the works well before last fall's market excitement," he says, and explains how advisors should deal with more demanding customers, new technology and global competition.

2010-01-05 00:00:00 Paul Krugman on Deficits, Taxes, Inflation, and Recovery by Dan Richards (Article)

Dan Richards' interview with Paul Krugman, the 2008 Nobel prize winner in Economics, covers his views on the size of the next stimulus package, how high marginal tax rates should go, and lessons from the Japanese experience. Whether or not you agree with him, Krugman is highly influential and his views may presage future policy decisions.

2009-10-20 00:00:00 Finance After Auschwitz by Michael Lewitt (Article)

We are again privileged to provide an excerpt from Michael Lewitt's HCM Market Letter. In this installment, Finance After Auschwitz, Lewitt examines the dangers posed by Iran, whether the market is overvalued, the future of securitization, and what should be done about the private equity industry.

2009-09-22 00:00:00 The Financial Market Solution to Carbon Emissions by Robert Huebscher (Article)

While health care remains the hot topic on Capitol Hill, another piece of legislation is poised to gain similar attention. Regulating carbon emissions to address the threat of global warning is a top priority of the Obama administration, and its favored approach is to create a "cap-and-trade" market. John Parsons, an expert in the field, explains how this financial market solution might work.

2009-09-01 00:00:00 Politics and Fund Managers by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Those readers who would like to know whether to invest with Democrat or Republican fund managers finally have some guidance, thanks to a new academic study. We report the results, along with a host of reasons why you shouldn't read too much into this data. We also provide the names of the top fund manager donors to each party over the period from 1992 to 2006.

2009-06-16 00:00:00 High-Yield Bonds A Potential Opportunity for the Risk Tolerant by Northern Trust Investments (Article)

High-yield bonds have recently offered investors historically high spreads relative to Treasury and investment-grade corporate bonds, presenting attractive current income potential in today's low-rate environment. The current recessionary environment also poses a heightened risk of default, underscoring the importance of security selection and intensive analysis of underlying fundamentals. We thank Northern Trust Investments for this contribution and their sponsorship.


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