The Economic Insights Channel

The Case for Owning Gold

Thomas Kertsos is a portfolio manager and senior research analyst at First Eagle Investment Management. He is the manager of the First Eagle Gold Fund (SGGSX), which, as of June 30, has returned 5.37% since its inception, on 8/31/93. That is 645 basis points better than its benchmark, the FTSE Gold Mines Index (-1.08%).

There They Go Again...Again

I’m in the process of writing another book, going into great depth regarding one of the most important things discussed in my book The Most Important Thing: cycles, their causes, and what to do about them. It will be out next year, but this memo will give you a preview regarding one of the most important cyclical phenomena.

Some Speed Bumps Slowing the Bull

I continue to believe that the two most important issues receiving inadequate investor attention are productivity and the role of central bank liquidity in the performance of financial markets. Productivity is critical to both earnings improvement and a rising standard of living.

Mid-Year Outlook: Be More Selective in the Second Half

After a strong first half to 2017 for equities, the message for the remainder of the year is to look for returns more carefully in the second half says Neil Dwane, global strategist for Allianz Global Investors. The “country factor” will be key: We believe investors can no longer rely on a rising tide of cyclical data to lift all boats.

2017 Update: Median Home Price and Salary Required in 27 Major Cities

Keith Gumbinger, Vice President at, features a periodic update entitled "The Salary You Must Earn to Buy a Home in 27 Metros". The key question is:

"How much salary do you need to earn in order to afford the principal and interest payments on a median-priced home in your metro area?"

China and Emerging Asia: A New Dawn for the Capital Markets

Asia’s integration into world financial markets may be accelerating.

An Active Look at Small-Cap Investing

Overall, we believe small-cap stocks in emerging markets offer attractive prospects for active managers. A multitude of mispriced securities, market inefficiencies and a paucity of research provide considerable investment opportunities, in our view.

July 2017 Market Commentary

It is stinking hot and steamy on the East Coast these days, as the proverbial “dog days of summer” set in. Historically, this was a time of year when things slowed down, people went on vacation, and it was generally too hot to move fast, but not this year.

Dynamic Asset Allocation for Practitioners Part 1: Universe Selection

In 2012 we published a whitepaper entitled “Adaptive Asset Allocation: A Primer” in which we built upon the simple, robust momentum framework proposed by Mebane Faber in his 2009 study “Relative Strength Strategies for Investing.”

Bronfman Rothschild 2017 Q2 Review

Supply and demand seems to have been placed on the backburner in today’s world of prognosticating inflation, employment, and GDP. The first point is the supply of publicly traded stock in the US. The second point is the supply of money.

June New Home Sales Inches Up

This morning's release of the June New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 610K, up 0.8% month-over-month from a revised 605K in May. Seasonally adjusted estimates for back to March were also revised. The forecast was for 615K.

Fiscal Policy to the Forefront

Despite a risk-friendly market environment and high levels of business sentiment, U.S. gross domestic product continues to struggle to grow about 2%. Pacific Funds portfolio managers discuss the current market environment, fiscal and regulatory policy, and their broad positioning for the second half of 2017.

Home Prices Rose 5.6% Year-over-Year NSA in May

With today's release of the May S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, we learned that seasonally adjusted home prices for the benchmark 20-city index were up 0.1% month over month. The seasonally adjusted national index year-over-year change has hovered between 4.2% and 5.8% for the last twenty-seven months. Today's S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index (nominal) reached another new high.

Richmond Fed Manufacturing: July Composite Index Remains Upbeat

Reports from Fifth District manufacturers improved some in July, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index rose from 11 in June to 14 in July—the result of a slight increase in the measures of new orders and employment. had forecast 7. Because of the highly volatile nature of this index, we include a 3-month moving average to facilitate the identification of trends, now at 9.3, indicates expansion. Seasonal adjustment factors were recalculated to better reflect current economic trends and the entire series was revised.

Consumer Confidence Improved in July

The latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was released this morning based on data collected through July 14. The headline number of 121.1 was an increase from the final reading of 117.3 for June, a downward revision from 118.9. Today's number was above the consensus of 116.5.