The Active Management Channel

Craftsmanship in Smart Beta

While somewhat at odds with today’s big-data, warp-speed approach to life and work, thoughtful craftsmanship—the product design and implementation elements that are tangible, measurable, and impactful—can create positive, persistent results in portfolio performance.

Gold and the Global Ticking Debt Bomb

Looking long-term, there are mounting risks involving debt that make gold appear very attractive right now as a safe haven and portfolio diversifier.

Defined Contribution: Four Themes for 2018 and Beyond

In our view, the prospective low-return environment calls for a capital-efficient approach that pairs actively managed bonds with passive or enhanced equities in target-date, core and retirement-income allocations.

Inflationado? Muni Investors Should Seek Cover

US inflationary pressures are developing that could be destructive. Investors need to seek protection quickly. But how? For municipal investors, some inflation strategies fall short, leaving portfolios at risk.

Why Rising Rates Aren’t a Disaster for Bonds

Bond investors get anxious when rates rise suddenly, as Treasury yields have recently. But if your investment horizon is longer than a few months, rising rates are nothing to be afraid of.

What’s Next for Investors in the Bond Market

Recent market volatility suggests that investors are questioning whether the post-crisis subpar pace of economic growth, which we dubbed The New Normal, is subsiding, to be replaced by more traditional late-cycle outcomes – in particular faster inflation and tighter monetary policy.

Why Uncomfortable Investing May Be the Way Forward

The ability to withstand the next market correction may require making investment decisions that go against the grain. Can a multi-asset approach help?

Minority Report

In the movie, Minority Report, Tom Cruise plays a policeman in a world where crimes are predicted ahead of time. Cruise’s character gets accused of a future murder and he is forced to work incredibly hard to acquit himself of the anticipated crime.

Good News Is Bad News: Deconstructing the Market Sell-Off

Stocks globally have experienced more than a week of tumultuous trading, with the US stock market officially in correction territory. And after being relatively sedate for years, the VIX Index has risen dramatically in recent days, indicating rising volatility.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Is the Coast Clear?

The economic calendar is very light, and it is a holiday-shortened week. With the quadrennial CNBC switch to Olympic curling coverage after the market close, there is a little less air time to fill. What time and space remains will invite pundit opinion about last week’s stock rebound and the question: Is the coast clear?

Passive Investing Hurts Emerging-Market Debt Investors

Think emerging-market debt might as well be managed passively? Think again.

World Markets Update

Three of eight indexes on our world watch list have posted gains through Friday, February 16, 2018. The top performer is Hong Kong's Hang Seng with a gain of 4.00%. In second if our own S&P 500 with a gain of 2.19% followed by India's BSE Sensex with a gain of 0.59%.

GMO Quarterly Letter

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, head of asset allocation Ben Inker considers the hypothetical question posed by chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham in his third-quarter 2017 letter, "What should you do if you are tasked with managing Stalin's pension portfolio?" ("Don't Act Like Stalin! But maybe hire portfolio managers that do?").

Investors are Paying the Price for the Fed’s Experiment

Just as the well-meaning economists of the Soviet Union didn’t know the correct price of sugar, nor do the good-intentioned economists of our global central banks know where interest rates should be. Even more important, they can’t predict the consequences of their actions.

5 Things Investors Should Know About China this New Year

Today marks the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, China’s most important holiday. The fire rooster struts off-stage, clearing the way for the loyal earth dog. According to CLSA’s tongue-in-cheek Feng Shui Index, health care, consumer and paper products are favored to outperform early this year, followed by internet, utilities and tech leading into the summer.