ACTIONABLE ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS: Newsletters and Commentaries Focused on Investment Strategy

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2014-01-28 The TTIP and the TPP by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade and investment treaty being negotiated between the European Union (EU) and the U.S. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a similar pact between the U.S. and various Pacific Rim nations. We will examine overall details of each, focusing on how they’re different from traditional trade agreements. From there, we will present an analysis of the controversy surrounding the proposals, followed by a look at the geopolitical aims and likelihood that these treaties will be enacted. We conclude with potential market ramificatio

2013-12-17 The 2014 Geopolitical Outlook by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

As is our custom, we close out the current year with our outlook for the next one. This report is less a series of predictions as it is a list of potential geopolitical issues that we believe will dominate the international situation in the upcoming year. It is not designed to be exhaustive; instead, it focuses on the "big picture" conditions that we believe will affect policy and markets going forward. They are listed in order of importance.

2013-10-23 Economic & Capital Market Summary by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

It has been five years since the Financial Crisis wreaked havoc on the economy and capital markets. With equity markets trading near record highs and new issue corporate bonds coming to market regularly, the capital markets have largely recovered. However, we are concerned that the economic recovery is just an illusion that exists in spite of the efforts in Washington D.C. to kill it.

2013-09-27 Weekly Economic Commentary by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Merkel’s win is unlikely to lead to any changes in the Eurozone. Extra lift from exports is not guaranteed. Robust growth is a challenge in India, Brazil and Indonesia.

2013-08-06 China's Slowdown by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

Over the past three decades, China has seen its economy grow significantly.

2013-06-04 Vincent Reinhart on Debt and Growth in the U.S. and Japan by Robert Huebscher (Article)

High debt levels translate to slower growth, according to Vincent Reinhart. That conclusion will be disheartening to those who jumped on the errors several University of Massachusetts scholars found last month in Carmen Reinhart (Vincent’s wife) and Ken Rogoff’s research. But Vincent Reinhart is the author, along with his wife and Rogoff, of a study published in 2012 that documented the degree to which high debt-to-GDP levels correlate with slower economic growth in developed countries.

2013-03-20 Global Real Estate StocksTime to Get Out? by Eric Franco of AllianceBernstein

Real estate stocks have now rebounded from the crash during the global financial crisis. But we think valuations are still reasonable, especially as property fundamentals continue to improve in key markets.

2013-02-22 Emerging Markets Outlook: Will Emerging Markets Continue Their Run in 2013? by Scott Klimo of Saturna Capital

A number of times we have been asked whether emerging markets will continue their run in 2013. Our response typically begins with the following clarification: "Emerging markets" may be a handy way to refer to the countries that constitute a generally recognized asset class, but this group is far from monolithic. Widely differing levels of development, economic drivers, opportunities to invest, and returns exist under the emerging markets umbrella. For this reason it's not entirely correct to imply that "emerging markets" had a run in 2012.

2012-11-15 Russia and China's Neighborly Interests by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

Whether our neighbors are as close as the airplane seat next to us or across a national border, most would probably agree that while we may not see eye to eye, peaceful cooperation makes more sense than tense relations. China and Russia share some 4,000 miles of common border, and their neighborly relationship has certainly had some ups and downs. But it's clear to me that the opportunities for cooperation between these two nations have enormous potential mutual benefits, particularly in the trade of natural resources.

2012-08-09 Viva Reforma en Mxico by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton

Elections come and go, but the real test of a candidate might be whether the promises made on the campaign trail are actually put into place. Enrique Pea Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) emerged victorious in Mexico's July 1 presidential election on the promise of reform and the end to old, "undemocratic" ways.

2012-07-03 The 2012 Mid-Year Geopolitical Update by Bill OGrady of Confluence Investment Management

As is our custom, we use this early July report to offer our outlook for the next six months. In this issue, we will discuss what we see as the key geopolitical issues that will affect the markets for the rest of 2012. This list is not exhaustive but highlights our greatest concerns.

2012-06-15 Speed Up or Slow Down--Don't Exit the Commodities Highway by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A positive signal received this week came from Goldman Sachs, when the firm recommended stepping back into the markets in its latest Commodity Watch. Goldman is anticipating a 29 percent return for the S&P GSCI Enhanced Commodity Index over the next 12 months and suggests investors might want to increase their position in commodities.

2012-04-03 Beyond Bonds: The Role of Risk Assets in Liability-Driven Investing by Sebastien Page of PIMCO

In liability-driven investing, unless the plan is fully immunized or significant leverage is employed, the bond portfolio only hedges part of the liabilities. Overall, when diversifying across risk assets, there are choices that may be more attractive to pension plans than they are to liability-agnostic investors, such as risk assets with exposure to duration. Plan sponsors who choose to maintain a short duration stance on a total portfolio basis should consider alternative sources of diversification beyond equities.

2011-09-16 APEC Forum Convenes by Robert J. Horrocks of Matthews Asia

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, representing 21 Pacific Rim countries, kicked off a summit this week in San Francisco. The summit will address issues including energy, transportation and womens economic participation in preparation for an APEC heads of state meeting in Hawaii this November. The topics being addressed during the summit are of great interest to those seeking to understand some of Asias long-term growth trends. Female participation in Asias labor force can be quite low.

2011-08-05 A Framework for the Equity Market Correction by Michael Dana of Dana Investment Advisors

Corrections of 5-10% are fairly common, even in bull markets. The major indexes usually experience corrections of this magnitude two to three times a year. As investors, we certainly fear them while they are happening, but tend to forget about them once they have passed. The current 11% correction has heightened fears due to the compressed time frame in which it has occurred.

2010-05-12 A Typical European Response To An Atypical European Problem by Victoria Marklew of Northern Trust

Markets heaved a sigh of relief this week after European Union officials announced their $1 trillion rescue plan to save the euro. European states, however, will still have to face medium-term problems concerning fiscal deficits and economic restructuring. Demands that Spain make a renewed commitment to fiscal austerity suggest a new level of cross-country intervention. And the big issue has been swept under the carpet: how to ensure prudent fiscal policy-making across the 16 members of a monetary alliance with strong national identities and prickly memories of past hostilities.

2010-03-26 Global Market Management by Monty Guild and Tony Danaher of Guild Investment Management

Investors should focus on exporting companies, food-related companies, raw materials producers, iron ore, oil, coal, technology, and on stocks of other countries, especially countries that can export to fast-growing areas such as India, China and Southeast Asia. Even U.S. financial stocks are enjoying a rally as uncertainty ends. Japanese, European and U.S. stocks that produce products for domestic consumption offer poor prospects. Gold is in a trading range, and investors may want to acquire gold shares as it approaches the bottom of that range.

2010-02-25 As Greece Goes, So Goes the U.S.? by Paul Kasriel and Asha Bangalore of Northern Trust

Greece's debt crisis may not make much of an impact on U.S. economic growth. In the third and fourth quarters of 2009, total U.S. exports increased at annual rates of 24.6 percent and 28.1 percent, respectively. South America and the Pacific Rim accounted for a combined 31.7 percent of U.S. exports in the fourth quarter of last year, while Europe accounted for just 23.1 percent. Kasriel and Bangalore also comment on the likely prospects for a low federal funds rate in the long term, and record lows for new home sales.

2010-01-28 Q1 2010 Market Commentary by Monty Guild of Guild Investment Management

?We expect world markets to be volatile but trade sideways or rise slightly through early spring. After that time, we expect a correction in world markets. We believe that the stock market correction

2009-12-22 Staggered Return to Global Growth by Paul Kasriel of Northern Trust

2009-12-21 Q4 2009 May Be as Good as It Gets Until Q4 2010 by Paul Kasriel of Northern Trust


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