The ETF Channel

Yawn…

Expectations for U.S. growth continue to slow as distractions in Washington D.C. take away from the aggressive legislative agenda.

Our Five Year Forecast for the S&P 500

The vast majority of businesses manage their operations according to a plan. That plan may be as simple as an entrepreneur writing down a few goals on a napkin, or as complex as a massive set of instructions covering the day to day, month to month, year by year, or decade by decade actions required to maximize profits.

Can Smart Beta think (twice)?

Recent introductions of multi-factor Smart Beta products demonstrate causality among its components and an ability to replicate past future pricing. Unclear is the extent to which Smart Beta adequately discerns the directional value of securities at points of inflection to consistently outperform allocated Beta, Index-plus or Alpha portfolio strategies.

On My Radar: Near Term Looks Good, Long Term Looks Scary

This is one of the more important pieces I’m sharing with you. It’s a candid look at where we are in the economic cycle and what that likely means for the global markets.

The Best Fund Managers – As Voted by their Peers

Today’s indexing mania is driving the marketing people at the best active fund complexes completely crazy, but the top portfolio managers – that is, the people who really, truly enjoy investing – are seeing a lot of new opportunities.

Venerated Voices™ 2017 Q1 Rankings

We have announced our Venerated Voices awards for commentaries published in Q1 2017.

The Great Reset: How Should We Then Invest?

This letter will cover the philosophical underpinnings of my thinking. I’ll also introduce some investment tools (which I will give you access to through a link later on in the letter) that express that philosophy, but you could also design a different answer that fits your own (or your client’s) portfolio construction.

S&P 500 Snapshot: Down 0.38% From Last Week

The S&P opened Friday below Thursday's close and rose until about midday when it leveled off. It closed with a 0.68% daily gain and a 0.38% weekly loss after Wednesday's largest daily loss since September.

Will the Fed Change Course?

The Fed story may well command attention. I classify it as an important story, but not an urgent one. I have some strongly-held viewpoints:

  1. The exact timing of rate hikes is not important for long-term investors. The Fed has been following a policy of rate increases in line with economic data. While many do not believe this, the data are supportive. Tim Duy on recent strength.
  2. That said, the rate increases have second- and third-order effects. The perception of the pace of hikes impacts exchange rates. The weaker dollar affects major corporate earnings – in both directions. This makes the Fed news worth watching.
  3. Current data are stronger than widely thought, but much depends upon how one views the Q1 softness—meaningful or aberrant. Recent Fed speeches suggest a moderation in the rate-hike path.
  4. Rates will be increased more slowly, but the balance sheet will be reduced.

Hedge Fund Managers Pour SALT on U.S. Stocks, Look to Europe

Europe is back on the map. That was one of the main takeaways this week from the SkyBridge Alternatives (SALT) hedge fund conference in Las Vegas, where $3 trillion in assets was represented. Speaker after speaker touted European equities for their attractive valuations and as a means to diversify away from the volatile American market in light of rising U.S. geopolitical risk. France’s election of centrist Emmanuel Macron over far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen this month has especially eased investors’ fears that antiestablishment forces would challenge the integrity of the European Union (EU).

FAFSA Deadline: It's Not Too Late to Submit Your Application

Today’s parents are all too aware that higher education comes with a sky-high price tag, but financial aid can offer a real lifeline when it comes to mounting college costs.

Earn $100 by Participating in an APViewpoint Focus Group

An ETF sponsor is looking for 30 advisors to participate in an online focus group to be hosted on APViewpoint. The purpose of this focus group is to gather advisors’ observations on the ETF marketplace. Click for more info.

Interest Rate Outlook: European Markets Return to Fundamentals

Invesco Fixed Income shares its views of rates around the world.

On My Radar — Reagan’s 1981 vs. Trump’s 2017

When Ronald Reagan entered office in 1981, forward return expectations were a high 18.91% (see chart below: green line, left-hand side). Equally important was that risk of loss was a low -4.29% (red line, left-hand side). The prior bear market reached its end, yet few knew it. Scream as one might, clients weren’t buying.

Does China Present Global Risk? The Coming Slowdown in China Could Affect the Reflation Trade

China’s GDP rose 6.9% in the first quarter, but is a slowdown coming? Emerging Markets have been on fire this year, will the rally continue? U.S. GDP is forecast to grow to 3.5% in the second, but could the delay in tax cuts dampen the rebound?