Commentaries

Timely market commentaries from leading investment firms

Three Black Swans

I am concerned that another major crisis will ensue by the end of 2018 – though it is possible that a salutary combination of events, aided by complacency, could let us muddle through for another few years. But there is another recession in our future (there is always another recession), and it’s going to be at least as bad as the last one was, in terms of the global pain it causes.

Global Economic Perspective: July

In this month’s Global Economic Perspective, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group dives into diverging central bank policy and weighs in on whether the European Central Bank is likely to be less accommodative—and what its timing might look like.

Automation and Anxiety

With artificial intelligence now trained on more commercial applications, many are wondering what other things machines might eventually do better than people. And that prospect is creating economic unease around the world.

“Mother of All Bubbles” Keeps Gold in Focus

Today I want to discuss reports that global debt levels are at all-time highs, and what this means for your investment decisions going forward.

Schwab Market Perspective: Are Danger Signs Rising…or Will the Bull Run Continue?

Are risks growing or will the bull market continue? We believe the answer to both is yes. Political bumbling, monetary policy shifts, and geopolitical tensions have all escalated, but the bull continues to power ahead, largely unscathed by the tumult that surrounds it.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear about Social Security!

If you’re like many working Americans, you may be concerned about the state of Social Security and whether it will be there for you when you retire. Gail Buckner, CFP, our personal retirement and financial planning strategist, explores some myths about Social Security and eases some concerns about its future.

Quarterly Strategy Update: Structural Rotation

This quarter, we look at two important structural changes that appear to be underway: a normalization in US and European monetary policy and a normalization in crude oil inventories.

Factoring a Gap Year into College Savings

Can 529 funds be used for gap-year expenses? I recently had a parent ask me if their child’s 529 college savings account money could be used to help pay for gap-year expenses. Here’s the short answer: Maybe.

China Surprises

The Chinese economy delivered many surprises in the first half of the year, disappointing (yet again) the pundits who predicted a hard landing. Macroeconomic data published over the weekend is consistent with a healthy economy, driven by impressive wage growth and consumer spending, and supported by strong earnings growth.

Active vs. passive: Should you use both in fixed-income?

The debate between active and passive management in fixed-income continues. We take a look at both sides of the coin for investors.

The Fed May Show Trump No Love

Typically, U.S. Presidents are wary of claiming stock market performance as a referendum on their success. Most have seemed to understand that taking credit also means accepting blame, and no one would want to make the tortured argument that the positive moves reflect well on their presidency but that the negative moves do not.

A Steady Monetary Policy Course, for Now

Fed Chair Janet Yellen covered no new ground in her monetary policy testimony to Congress, but that didn’t stop financial market participants from trying. While the CPI report drew a closer focus, past inflation figures don’t tell us a lot about future inflation.

Housing Finance Reform: First Things First

Why is the U.S. housing sector diminishing when demand for housing remains robust?

How to Get a Better Bargain on Your Investment with Emerging Europe

American equities have been a good place to invest during the current bull market, now in its eighth year. Since the November election, the S&P 500 Index has surged close to 16 percent. 

How the Asian Financial Crisis Reshaped Emerging Markets

Twenty years ago, the world was standing on the brink of the Asian Financial Crisis. Here, Templeton Global Macro CIO Michael Hasenstab looks at how the response of local policymakers in the subsequent two decades has impacted emerging markets in general.