The Specialty Investments Channel

Weighing the Week Ahead: Have Stock Prices Lost Touch with Reality?

It is a big week for economic data and the first address to Congress from the new President. Most of the punditry is engaged in a collective head-shake about overbought conditions. Even if the data flow remains strong.

Shundrawn Thomas on the State of the ETF Industry

Shundrawn Thomas serves as Northern Trust’s executive vice president, head of funds and managed accounts group. I spoke to him about his annual president’s perspective on the ETF industry, which was just released.

Reflation Brewing: Is Your Retirement Portfolio Ready?

For decades, there were two things that workers saving for retirement could count on: falling interest rates and low inflation. Change may be afoot. We think target-date funds should take notice.

The Rise of Passive and Indexed Investing, and its Effect on Market and Liquidity Risk

Dramatic growth offers significant opportunity for the index fund industry, but not without its risks. As assets move from active to passive management, what systemic danger lurks? What market disruptions might occur with a concentration of assets backed by monolithic indexes on autopilot?

On My Radar: Fed Eyes Aggressive Rate Increases

Citing an improving economy and the possibility of more spending and lower taxes from the Trump administration, Fed officials are signaling rising rates immediately ahead.


The term “trend” now has a broader use. Trending is a term used in reference to the buildup of posts on social media. And we find ourselves in a day and age when the leader of the free world is posting using stream of consciousness—annoyingly against a department store that no longer supports his daughter’s line of clothing or worse, tweeting against judges who disagree with his policies. This is a trend we shouldn’t miss.

Life After Beta: Are You Asking the Right Questions About Alternatives?

Investors have had mixed experiences with alternative investments lately, as the market landscape has made it hard for managers’ skills to shine. It’s time to ask some pointed questions to get the right fit.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Trump Policies Extend the Business Cycle?

We have another holiday-shortened week with little fresh data. While there are some Fed speakers on tap, it is not enough to feed the avaricious punditry.

Forecasting Factor and Smart Beta Returns (Hint: History Is Worse than Useless)

In a series of articles we published in 2016, we show that relative valuations predict subsequent returns for both factors and smart beta strategies in exactly the same way price matters in stock selection and asset allocation.

12 Dividend Growth Stocks That Meet My “Magic Formula for Dividend Growth Investors”

When investing for dividend growth there are several key attributes that I consider crucial for long-term success.

2017: A Challenging Year Ahead for Portfolio Allocation Decisions

Surprising many investors and pundits alike, the S&P 500 posted a solid return for 2016, finishing the year up close to 10%. If investors never looked at their statements, one might be naïve to how much markets zigged and zagged throughout the year.

The Myth Of The “Passive Indexing” Revolution

There is little argument that Exchange Traded Funds, more commonly referred to as “ETF’s” have and will continue to change the landscape of investing.

Trump V. Yellen Round One

I expect to see little change in Fed policy. The new President will wind up appointing people with traditional credentials, but perhaps with different policy viewpoints. He will not reappoint Yellen, although people forget that the Fed Chair is often appointed by Presidents of both parties.

On My Radar: Looking for a Good Bargain

Last week I shared a chart with you that’s done a good job at signaling inflation. We tend to react slowly to news and, over time, we wake up. Then we herd in and out. In the “waking up” category, we better keep rising inflation on our radar.

Easing Global Headwinds Point to Higher Equities in 2017: Populism and reflation make easy bedfellow

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen.” —Vladimir Lenin The reflation move since November has been aggressive but appears more right than wrong.