Commentaries

Timely market commentaries from leading investment firms

Path To Higher Yields In 2018 Unlikely To Be Straight Forward

Macro economic data is good. It seems likely that rates will be higher in a year and that suggests treasury yields will also be higher than they are now. But the path between here and higher yields is unlikely to be as straight-forward as is currently believed.

Still Laboring

The trend is global: most countries are experiencing a relative increase in workforce participation among older workers.

Our Message to Congress: Save Our Savings!

One of President Donald Trump's campaign promises was to overhaul the US tax code. The administration recently released its tax proposal, and the pundits have been weighing in on how it will affect us all. As Congress continues to debate the latest version of the plan, which passed through the House of Representatives on November 16,

Synchronized Global Growth May Have Arrived

Nearly 10 years after the financial crisis brought the global economy to its knees, conditions have finally improved enough to crystallize my conviction that synchronized global growth is currently underway. Revenue and earnings growth are up year-over-year, not just in the U.S. but worldwide. Despite President Donald Trump threatening to raise tariffs and tear up trade deals, global trade is accelerating. World manufacturing activity expanded to a 78-month high of 53.5 in October, with faster rates recorded in new orders, exports, employment and input prices.

Bonfire of the Absurdities

This week’s letter will take a look at the growing number of ridiculous, inane, and otherwise nonsensical absurdities that fill the daily economic headlines. I have gone from the occasional smile to scratching my head now and then to “WTF” moments several times a week.

Firming U.S. CPI Supports Forecast for 2% Inflation in 2018

Core U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 0.22% month-over-month in October, broadly in line with expectations for firming price trends but notably stronger than the 0.14% average monthly pace this year.

Should I Pay Down My Debt?

One of the most common questions we hear from people who have suddenly acquired wealth is, “Should I pay down my debt?” In our view, you should only pay down debt if the costs exceed the benefits.

Solar Energy Boom Could Heat Up the Global Energy Sector

By 2040, the world will need to add the equivalent of India and China’s current energy system to meet the demands of a surging global population and rising incomes.

The Fundamental Case for Japanese Stocks

We’ve been arguing for the last year that US-based investors would be well served to overweight foreign versus domestic equities. In this post we’ll dig into that topic a little deeper to try to convey a few of the company specific fundamental drivers of our foreign vs domestic call, especially as they relate to one of our favorite markets: Japan.

Structural Growth Drivers Behind Emerging-Market Economies

My colleagues and I have been championing the message that emerging markets have changed—they are no longer just commodity plays. Old economic models are undergoing a transformation in many cases, opening up exciting new investment opportunities.

Aflac: A Valuation Conundrum? Fairly Valued Dividend Aristocrats: Part 1 of 7

Aflac (AFL) is a Dividend Aristocrat that has increased its dividend for 35 consecutive years. However, it is only one of seven Dividend Aristocrats that I consider attractively valued in light of the current bull market. Therefore, this will be the first in a series of seven articles where I will cover these seven attractively valued Dividend Aristocrats.

China's Slow Recovery from Debt Hangover Begins

Growth in the country's corporate debt load has finally leveled off this year as financial conditions and regulatory oversight tighten. That's good. But rebounding returns on incremental assets and common equity are even better.

Benefiting From Flexibility: Opportunities in Multi‑Sector Credit

As many traditional credit sectors begin to approach full valuations, credit investors may want to look in new directions for attractive returns with manageable downside risk. In diversified credit portfolios today, de-risking and building liquidity are important, but we also see attractive relative value opportunities in a couple of (sometimes overlooked) sectors.

Six Tips to Take DC Plans to the Next Level

Tax reform. Interest-rate hikes. Regulatory questions. Inflation. There’s always a reason to put off making changes to your company’s defined contribution (DC) plan. But some improvements will be good for your plan and participants no matter what happens.

Knowledge Leader Spotlight: Microchip Technology Inc., a Fundamental Analysis

From time to time we illustrate our analysis of highly innovative companies in a Knowledge Leader spotlight. Today we look at Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP), a highly innovative semiconductor manufacturer that produces programmable microcontroller products used in autos, computing and lighting, among many other applications.