Every quarter, we summarize the main economic events and trends of the previous quarter as well as our expectations about the future, and send it to all of our clients in the form of an Economic Commentary.
Our chief investment officer, director of investment analytics and investment analysts research the equity and fixed income marketplace as well as the broader economy to better understand the trends affecting our clients’ portfolios.
We look at data from multiple sources including government, investment management and private economic forecasting firms as well as academia and use it to make adjustments to the discretionary portfolios we manage. Our sources include BlackRock, The Economic Cycle Research Institute, Loomis Sayles, Nuveen Asset Management, Payden & Rygel, PIMCO and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Investment Perspectives Third Quarter 2017
The third quarter was a good one for investors. The global economy expanded at the fastest pace in a decade, and virtually all asset classes saw positive performance. Riskier asset types (e.g. equities) outperformed their less risky counterparts (e.g. fixed income). Additionally, from our vantage point, there is little evidence that the economic expansion is likely to end in the near future. Read More
Investment Perspectives Second Quarter 2017
First the good news: first quarter GDP was revised upward to 1.9% (from an original 1.2% initial estimate) due to higher consumer spending and a bigger jump in exports than contained in the original projections. Consumer spending (an important driver of economic growth) is poised to continue its current growth trend (due to high employment, increasing wages, low inflation, and positive consumer sentiment). With the dollar stabilizing (after its 20% run-up versus a trade-weighted basket of foreign currencies) and global economies improving, exports should hold up well. The global protectionist sentiment that was ushered in by Brexit and reinforced by the Trump candidacy/victory has not (yet) resulted in any meaningful protectionist actions. Read More
Investment Perspectives First Quarter 2017
GDP continued its modest growth trend with an upwardly revised GDP growth estimate for the fourth quarter of 2016 to a still lackluster 1.9% (vs. 1.6% for the entire calendar year of 2016 – the worst performance since 2011). Growth last quarter was driven by a large increase in consumer spending (which was, in turn, driven by rising consumer sentiment), offset to some degree by reduced business investment. We’re still a few days away from the official release of first quarter 2017 growth numbers, but our expectations are for somewhat muted results. Read More
Investment Perspectives Fourth Quarter 2016
The biggest event of the 4th quarter for us here in the U.S. and probably for those overseas as well, was the surprise election of Donald Trump as President. This is the second (or possibly the third) surprise election in 2016, the first being the Brexit vote that occurred back in June. As with the Brexit vote, the electoral victory of Donald Trump was greeted by a short-lived market swoon which was quickly retraced. Here in the US, the retracement was followed by a jump to new record highs in the markets, in what is now being called “the Trump rally”. But what’s behind this rally? Is it supported by economic growth, growth in earnings, or simply the hope that (now President) Trump’s economic policies will be enacted and effective? Read More