Our lives often seem to be dominated by numbers. Social Security numbers, drivers’ license numbers, account numbers… an unlimited number of 0’s and 1’s residing in thousands of databases, many of which are designed to keep track of our every move. Most of these numbers used to identify us are not necessarily wanted.
Analysis of environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) is particularly important for bank investments because the confidence of their depositors and borrowers largely drives banks’ valuations.
The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has been grabbing headlines recently, and with good reason: the Fed’s three massive bond buying programs, used to stimulate the US economy during and after the 2008 financial crisis, have left the central bank holding trillions of dollars worth of Treasury and agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS).
The CFA Institute’s second quarter 2017 Financial Analysts Journal included a research article penned by Martijn Cremers, professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame, entitled “Active Share and the Three Pillars of Active Management: Skill, Conviction, and Opportunity.”
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.
When evaluating investment strategies it’s critical to understand the nature of the leverage being used.
Now that I am an honored member of the “gray-beard club” of investment managers, I can reminisce fondly back to the time when I first entered this business and began learning my trade with the utmost confidence of the “cute, fuzzy, teddy bear” youngster I was.
One of the greatest strengths of American capitalism is how it addresses the problems faced by its citizens. The greater the problem, and the more lives impacted by the problem, the more entrepreneurs, academics and government officials there are seeking solutions.
Three decades ago Sir John Templeton provided 22 rules for investment success to William Proctor who then shared these rules in his book, The Templeton Touch. Templeton’s first rule was: “For all long-term investors, there is only one objective – maximum total real return after taxes.”
We all know that our government and its agencies are very good at reacting to a real or perceived crisis with new laws and regulations designed to reduce the chances of another similar event occurring. The most recent example of this concerns the cost and availability of health care.