This morning's release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 150.1, up 0.9 from the previous week. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 3.71%, up from 3.36% last week. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 3.1, also up from the previous week.
Traditional index funds match market performance and have negligible trading costs with low tracking error—or do they? Not actually—they routinely buy after high price appreciation and sell after high price depreciation. They also have significant trading costs from adding and deleting stocks. We show how index providers can construct better-performing indices that are less prone to performance chasing and have lower turnover.
Team performance matters more than star players or a large resource base. And in a rapidly changing world, Totaalvoetbal can help teams adapt.
This memo covers three ways in which securities markets seem to be moving toward reducing the role of people: (a) index investing and other forms of passive investing, (b) quantitative and algorithmic investing, and © artificial intelligence and machine learning.
We have used this quip from the book Why You Win or Lose: The Psychology of Speculation by Fred C. Kelly many times in our missives over the past nearly five decades because the wisdom of its message is timeless. We recalled it last week in many of our meetings in New York City when we heard certain individual investors, as well as portfolio managers (PMs), say “I should have!”
The U.S. inflation story made further inroads this month, with year-over-year price growth for consumers and producers alike hitting multiyear highs. U.S. consumer prices expanded at their strongest pace in more than six years, climbing to an annual change of 2.8 percent in May. Prices for final demand goods, meanwhile, grew 3.1 percent, their strongest annual surge since December 2011.
Investors and their advisors must be alert to managing both pre-tax and after-tax alpha in order for investors to realize the highest possible return from their taxable portfolios. Increasingly, the opportunities to accomplish both goals are within reach of investors through, for example, tax-advantaged smart beta strategies and tax-efficient vehicles such as ETFs.
At a time of low expected returns, low current yields and economic uncertainty, individual investors are demanding new options. Recent advances in product design enable investors to access less liquid and illiquid institutional-caliber alternatives in a “user-friendly” format which preserves the integrity of the underlying strategy. These new product designs contrast mutual funds which may contain watered-down liquid versions of the original.
New thinking about liquidity, its role in a portfolio and improved access to a wide spectrum of alternatives enables investors to deploy less liquid strategies and capitalize on liquidity premiums.
Risk to the euro resurfaces in an unlikely governing coalition and challenging economic agenda, but Italy’s top stocks don’t face the same perils as its government bonds.
Bob Browne is an executive vice president and chief investment officer for Northern Trust. He is a member of Northern Trust's operating group and management group. He is also co-portfolio manager of the Northern Global Tactical Asset Allocation Fund (BBALX), a top-performing, multi-asset fund.