Both political uncertainty and Fed policy changes could contribute to increased volatility, but solid economic and earnings growth—both in the United States and globally—should help the bull market to continue. We suggest looking past the political rhetoric for the most part and focusing on economic developments and the long-term stability the United States provides. Globally, we’re seeing improving growth, but China is a concern that bears watching and emphasizes the need for a globally diversified portfolio.
Subscribing to the "sell in May" theory has not always been financially rewarding, so be cautious about trying to trade around any likely volatility. The U.S. economy is growing, but not too fast, earnings have accelerated sharply, and fiscal tailwinds are still blowing. There is the potential for a retrenchment in the gains in emerging market stocks in the near term, but sticking with a diversified portfolio is important. Pullbacks are possible but stay focused on fundamentals and your long-term goals.
Our analysis of three first-generation smart beta strategies shows factor-replicated portfolios are ineffective substitutes for their smart beta counterparts, exhibiting poorer performance, high turnover, and low capacity.
Although 76% of respondents to FINRA’s 2012 national financial capability study reported not being satisfied with their personal financial situation, very few sought financial advice, with 9% seeking debt counseling and 30% seeking insurance advice. This discrepancy motivated our research paper titled “Who Seeks Financial Advice?” This article summarizes the key findings from that research.
After a party is over, and the host turns on the lights, the picture often looks quite different than it did just a few minutes before. The realities of the U.S. political process are being recognized and the "hard" economic data is not yet living up to the "soft" (confidence/survey-based) data.
The markets have enjoyed a tremendous ride since the election. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced over 2,500 points (a 15.1% total return) since then. Most of this “hope” rally has occurred on enthusiasm for anticipated pro-business policies, such as lower taxes and fewer regulations.
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.
The stock market's rally resumed following the President's comments on tax reform and investor optimism continues to rise. There are solid economic supports for the market's surge, but gains may have gotten a bit ahead of themselves and a pullback should be expected at some point. As lovely as "melt-ups" feel while they're happening, a healthier pattern for stocks is to consolidate gains after significant rallies. Fundamentally, earnings have been solid, supporting the rally, but there are risks there as well as doubt about the "stickiness" of pricing power increases. Stay patient, diversified, and remember the power of rebalancing. We believe this secular bull market still has legs, but discipline is essential.
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.
As passive investing has become increasingly popular, the number of indices that track stocks has exploded. More portfolios are being built to track a wider range of exotic indices. But do investors really know what they’re getting?