The Specialty Investments Channel

On My Radar: Handle with Extreme Care

“As I was waiting to be introduced, I got the latest headline from the North Korean government saying ‘a super preemptive strike will reduce the United States to ashes.’ So we have that to look forward to.” Ian Bremmer said as he began his presentation yesterday afternoon at the iShares Multi-Asset Summit in New York City."

Rising Rates and the Impact on Investment Advice

Since the early 1980s, bond investors have benefitted from declining interest rates. But we may be turning to a future of rising rates and clients suffering bond losses. Advisors need to be prepared both in terms of investment strategy recommendations and communication with clients.

Market overview Q117: The calm before the storm?

The persistence of exceptionally low volatility has created a perception that it will be “smooth sailing” for stocks. Evidence suggests just the opposite, however; now is the time to focus on protection.

The Incredible Shrinking Factor Return

In 2016, Research Affiliates published a series of articles challenging the “smart beta” revolution. We pointed out that, while there is merit in many factor tilt and smart beta strategies, performance chasing in these strategies—buying the popular outperforming strategies whose relative valuations are at extremely high levels—can be just as dangerous as performance chasing in other realms of asset management.

On My Radar: The Causes and Consequences of Fewer U.S. Equities

I’m going to try to tie two related themes together today. The first, and I have to admit I was surprised when I saw the research, is the incredible shrinking universe of stocks. Think corporate share buybacks, mergers and acquisitions and fewer companies going public. The second is the popularity of index investment products...

Can Your Target Date Fund Provide Lifetime Income?

For Target Date Funds (TDFs), the focus has always been on reaching retirement day with little consideration as to what comes next. Now, on the brink of a baby boomer exodus from the workforce, Glenn Dial, Head of Retirement Strategy in the US with Allianz Global Investors, says TDFs should aim way past the target date to focus on retirement income, and lots of it.

Dividend Stocks, Munis, MLPs and other News in Income Investing

Dividend stocks and closed-end MLP funds are two options for income-oriented investors in an uncertain market, while bonds offer retirees less equity risk and additional income.

The Math of a Big Loss

Too many investors fail to realize that it’s not only about the loss of monetary resources, but also the loss of time in which to make them back. An investment portfolio subject to market returns would therefore be negatively impacted, and the potential outsized effect could come as a shock.

How to Educate Clients about Alternative Investing – and other alts-related news

With new data emerging showing consumers lack an understanding of alternative investments, we explore different alternative strategies investors can use to help educate their clients.

How Do Alternative Investments Perform in a Rising Interest Rate Environment?

The proliferation of liquid alternative mutual funds happened in response to the 2008-2009 recession, which was followed by an extended period of unusually low interest rates.

(Mis)Defining Quality: Counting When It Cannot be Counted

This article will limit itself to a specific component of yet another boom – the boom in the involvement of PhDs and quants in financial markets and the newly discovered quality factor.

Beware The Wu Wei of Passive Bond Investing

Passive “doing-by-not-doing” is no way to run a bond portfolio today.

When It Comes to Target-Date Funds, You Better Shop Around

Many plan sponsors are shifting away from recordkeepers’ target-date funds to nonproprietary versions. But others are still using yesterday’s model. We think it’s time to take a look around.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Will a More Aggressive Fed Derail the Stock Rally?

The economic calendar is light until the Friday employment report. Most of the punditry are still digesting the more aggressive talk in the recent speeches from Fed participants. With many observers expecting a correction and looking for a catalyst, pundits will be asking: Will a more aggressive Fed derail the rally in stocks?

Investors Need to Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Advisors should define risk as the probability that clients won’t meet their financial goals. Advisors should have the singular objective of minimizing this risk. This definition profoundly shifts the conversation away from volatility and losses, and toward strategies that achieve minimum required returns.