The International Channel

Second Quarter Hedge-Fund Strategy Outlook: K2 Advisors

In their second-quarter (Q2) 2018 outlook, K2 Advisors’ Research and Portfolio Construction teams share their views on why investors should not fear the return of market volatility—and why it may unlock opportunities for active managers. We believe offering these insights will help investors better understand the rationale for owning retail mutual funds that invest in hedge strategies.

How Washington Will Spend Your Taxes in 2018

Today we’re going to look at how Washington spends our tax dollars. Specifically, we’ll look at a new report which shows how the federal government spends the income tax paid by the average family – and how they spend even more than what’s collected to create massive budget deficits year after year after year.

America’s Weak Case Against China

The US Trade Representative appears to have made an ironclad case against China in the so-called Section 301 report issued on March 22. But the report – now widely viewed as evidence justifying the Trump administration's recent tariffs and other punitive measures against China – is wide of the mark in several key areas.

April 2018 Economic Outlook

Conditions we are seeing today are more normal than recent years, when investors grew accustomed to record low interest rates, a near-absence of inflation and the subdued volatility. We expect coordinated global economic expansion will continue through 2018, although improvements in some economic fundamentals may have peaked.

Two Ways Tax Reform Is Impacting Muni Bonds

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 included a number of changes that have directly impacted the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market.

Yes. It's a Bubble. So What?

With sky-high valuations in the US stock market, and what we believe is a tech bubble that has dangerous implications for other areas of the market, we suggest four actions investors can take now to avoid the inevitable bursting of the bubble, and which will likely benefit their portfolios’ long-term performance potential.

Health Savings Accounts: The Intersection of Retirement and Health Care

The increasing costs of health insurance borne by employees and employers alike has spawned a variety of plans and strategies to help manage the expenses. Among these are health savings accounts (HSAs), which first came onto the scene in 2003.

World Markets Update

Three of eight indexes on our world watch list have posted gains through Monday, April 23, 2018. The top performer this year is France's CAC 40 with a gain of 2.37%. In second is India's BSE SENSEX with a gain of 1.89%. In third is Hong Kong's Hang Seng with a gain of 1.12%. Coming in last is Shanghai's SSE with a loss of 7.23%.

 

Artificial Intelligence: What Is It, and Why Are Companies Adopting It?

Technology companies are known for innovation, and it doesn’t take long for a revolutionary new technology to take hold and become a part of people’s daily lives. In my view, investors shouldn’t be threatened by technology. Rather, they should be skeptical of companies not utilizing technology to its fullest potential.

Do Equity Hedge Funds Really Generate Alpha?

Hedge funds, as represented by the Barclay index, can effectively be viewed as equity replacements. Further, the proper benchmark for equity hedge funds is target volatility strategies.

Bank of England: Is History Repeating Itself?

The Bank of England has had to navigate a difficult set of circumstances in its attempts to raise interest rates. As far back as 2014, Governor Mark Carney suggested that rate rises could come “sooner than markets currently expect,” only for those aspirations to be dashed. Indeed, the next move in interest rates turned out to be a rate cut, in the aftermath of the June 2016 Brexit vote.

Volatility Is Back—And That’s a Good Thing for Active Management

It’s been a rocky start to 2018 for equity markets globally—volatility has returned with a bang and February saw the first 10% market correction in a while. So, why are active managers smiling?

Value Factor - Improving the Tax Efficiency

The tax efficiency of the Value factor can be improved by reducing exposure to dividend-yielding stocks. Improving the tax efficiency reduces the performance in Europe and Japan, but not in the US. Reducing turnover can be considered for minimising capital gains and stamp duty taxes.

China Plays It Cool

This year, China is in the headlines because President Trump wants better trade terms. That’s important, but it’s only one piece of a much larger Chinese story that has been unfolding slowly for decades. Periodically, I check in on the latest developments. Today, we’ll see where we are, with the help of my trusted sources.

Ireland's Anxiety

In this issue, the Northern Trust economics team explores the challenges facing Ireland in Brexit, the continuing demand for eurozone debt, and wage growth within U.S. states.