The Factor-Based Investing Channel

Top 5 Investment Themes to Watch for 2019

How might 2019 shape up across the investment landscape? Here’s our take on the key issues to pay attention to.

Getting the First Meeting with a Female Client

Industry leaders tell us what not to say with female clients and what women want in an advisor. What is virtually unanswered, though, is how advisors can meet female prospects. From the perspective of someone who is female and was an advisor, here’s what I would do.

“Bad” Advice Can Add Value

I deal with many advisors. Some of them give advice that could be considered “bad,” but the benefit to their clients is tangible. Here are a few examples.

Agency MBS: Time to Rethink Prepayments

In our view, a combination of positive macroeconomic factors is likely to keep prepayment speeds higher than the market projects.

Fed Will 'Wait & Watch' Before Raising Interest Rates

Fed Chair Jerome Powell used the “patient” word again last week. He also added new words that the Fed can “wait and watch” before raising rates again. And he added another new word, that whenever interest rate increases resume, they will be “gradual.” The stock markets loved it!

Fourth Quarter 2018 - The Year When Nothing Worked

2018 will be broadly remembered as a year when nothing worked and daily stock market volatility spiked. This contrasted with 2017 where seemingly everything pushed higher, and volatility was low. But in 2018, nearly every single asset class and all but one major stock market index (Brazil) around the globe posted negative returns.

How the Mighty Have Fallen

Although the FAANGs were the poster children of the fourth-quarter market rout, losses were broad-based across sectors and countries. These losses were strong reminders of how important it is to pay attention to a company’s stock price in addition to focusing on its fundamentals and long-term growth prospects.

International and Global Markets Commentary and Investment Outlook

Business uncertainty resulting from trade frictions will continue to put downward pressure on economic growth. As a result, investor confidence may remain fragile (recent price declines appear to reflect this). Concerns are unlikely to dissipate soon, but we contend that international growth stocks represent a good investment opportunity.

7-Year Asset Class Forecasts Increase After Steep Market Declines

Steep declines across most asset classes in the second half of 2018 resulted in significant increases in forward-looking returns.

The Five Most Powerful Growth Hacks

Whether you follow a systematic approach to growth or are looking for an “easy button,” growth hacks are a path that any practice, team or individual advisor can leverage.

A Thousand Points of Fiduciary Light

The brilliance of Regulation Best Interest is how it sidesteps the 1940 Advisers Act to marginalize fiduciary duties for retail investors. It proclaims a broker suitability-styled standard to be in the best interests of investors. Industry advocates say it’s a strong investor protection rule. It’s not. It’s the opposite.

Dr. Jekyll Economy Meets Mr. Hyde Markets

In the famous book, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were one human being with a split personality. Dr. Jekyll healed people and Mr. Hyde murdered them. This economic environment and the U.S. stock market have the same kind of split personality.

What’s Next for the Dollar, Gold, Stocks & Bonds?

The quip, “if you aren’t confused, you aren’t paying attention” needs to be replaced: “with the Fed confused, you better pay attention.” You may want to buckle up. Let me explain.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Corporate Earnings Results Change the Message of the Markets?

It is a light economic calendar without any of the most important reports. The government shutdown will command increasing attention as long as it continues. Finally, there is some real competition in financial news – the start of earnings season.

U.S. Policy Outlook for 2019: Trade Risks Continue, But Might Not Escalate

In our outlook for 2019, we believe politics and policy out of Washington will continue to drive – and in some cases, weigh on – markets, much like they did in 2018. Investigations and manufactured crisis are likely to contribute to uncertainty. Trade tensions persist, though on a more positive note, relations between the U.S. and China seem to be improving.