Finance

Beyond the US Mid-Term Elections: Emerging Markets Look to Turn the Corner

by Tom Brown on Nov 12, 2018

Investments, Weekly Market Commentary, Finance
Now that the US mid-term elections are behind us, it is a good time to reflect on the potential implications for an asset class that might not spring to mind: emerging markets equity. To appreciate the effect of the US elections on emerging markets, it is necessary to take a step back and review the...

Value, Soon To Be In Vogue?

by Tom Brown on Oct 31, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary, Investments, Finance
Investors continuously look for an edge, seeking to maximize returns relative to risks. Favored strategies change cyclically, or trend during certain market environments, but one has always been in style: value investing. Value investors attempt to find underpriced stocks relative to fundamentals, and often examine valuation ratios or use a discounted cash flow model to uncover them. Despite the popularity of the Efficient Market Hypothesis, purists argued that mispricing ran counter to its underlying theory that asset prices fully reflect all available information, and the only way an investor could receive a higher return would be to take on more risk.

Is Winter Coming for the Bull Market?

by Tom Brown on Oct 22, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary, Investments, Finance
October has stayed true to the historical trend of being the most volatile month for stocks, with choppiness creeping in, the equity market tanking, and the S&P 500 Index dropping by more than 3% last Wednesday, October 10. The sudden spike in the longer end of the curve beginning mid-September is one of the reasons cited for this huge sell off.

August Monthly Recap

by Tom Brown on Sep 10, 2018

Weekly Market Commentary, Finance, Investments

The domestic equity market continued to roll right along in August, driven by the Information Technology, Health Care, and Consumer Discretionary sectors. Given the much higher representation of these sectors in the growth indices, it is no surprise that growth outperformed value across the market cap spectrum. The Energy sector was the worst performer for the month, driven by the falling price of oil from its early August highs. This is the fourth consecutive month of positive returns for the large cap indices and the sixth consecutive month for the small cap indices.

Digital Oil

by Tom Brown on Aug 30, 2018

Finance, Investments, Weekly Market Commentary

Although the cryptocurrency market may not be snagging headlines to the degree it did in late 2017 and early 2018, Venezuela, formerly Latin America’s richest country, has fallen into an economic downward spiral, and now is looking at the crypto market as a source of “de-risking” its economy. This is somewhat ironic, given that demand for cryptocurrencies can be viewed as a proxy for financial risk appetite. However, Venezuela’s goal in adopting cryptocurrency is to help fight the hyperinflation that is devastating this resource-rich country.

Are Emerging Markets Signaling Contagion?

by Tom Brown on Aug 20, 2018

Finance, Investments, Weekly Market Commentary

Emerging markets stocks have declined significantly thus far in 2018, after a solid rally last year that led to the asset class’s best return since 2009. After reaching highs in late January, the space has slumped nearly 20%, stoking fears of further downside and potential contagion. The sharp pullback has caused many investors to question their commitment to emerging markets. Should they be worried, or is this pullback to be expected, given the historical volatility of the asset class?

Have Domestic Equities been De-FAANG’d?

by Tom Brown on Aug 13, 2018

Finance, Investments, Weekly Market Commentary

Oh how the mighty have fallen…or have they? FAANG, an acronym that represents five of the most popularly traded Information Technology stocks, including Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (whose parent company is Alphabet), generally sets the tone of the domestic equity markets. Looking at attribution for large cap growth managers, over and underweights to these stocks in many cases have influenced the returns of their investment portfolios relative to their peers and benchmarks.

July Monthly Recap

by Tom Brown on Aug 6, 2018

Investments, Finance, Weekly Market Commentary

Domestic equity markets posted strong returns in the month of July, with most of the price appreciation coming in the first two weeks of trading. During the month, markets reached highs not seen since the end of January on news of strong economic data. The unemployment rate declined to 3.9%, the second lowest rate in the last 48 years, and second-quarter US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 4.1%, the highest rate in almost four years.

Domestic Fixed Income: Where to Now?

by Tom Brown on Jul 30, 2018

Finance, Investments

Beginning in the second half of 2010, asset managers and economists began forecasting the Federal Reserve’s (the Fed) first postfinancial crisis rate hikes, and higher rates across the curve by the middle of 2011. It would be more than five years before the Fed’s first actual rate hike at the end of 2015, but for most of that period, the belief that higher rates were just around the corner convinced most asset managers to position their portfolios with shorter average maturities to minimize potential losses the higher rates would inflict.

Subscribe to Finance