Research Note - October 2016

October 04, 2016 | Market Commentary

Slow growth and volatility have been the status quo throughout most of the current expansion. Our indicators suggest these features are likely to remain in place for now, but it is still important to consider what could threaten this outlook.

Country in Focus: Brazil

October 03, 2016 | Emerging Markets

Brazil’s natural advantages are clear — a young and expanding population, a growing middle class, abundant fertile land, a modern agricultural industry, a plethora of natural resources, and beautiful beaches that are tourist magnets.

Country in Focus: Indonesia

August 31, 2016 | Emerging Markets

Emerging markets tend to intrigue investors and policymakers alike, if for no other reason than they are typically quite dynamic economically and politically. For investors, the changing landscape can represent a plethora of opportunities to sniff out sustainable trends early and profit from what are often dramatic swings in market expectations.

Research Note - September 2016

August 29, 2016 | Market Commentary

Once again equity markets have demonstrated their ability to bounce back from a flare up in volatility. The market shock from the unexpected victory for the “Leave” camp in the United Kingdom’s referendum on membership in the European Union has faded, and the VIX is once again near multi-year lows.

Country in Focus: European Union

August 15, 2016 | International Markets

There has been an enormous amount of ink and intellectual capital deployed in recent weeks in the wake of the United Kingdom's (UK) historic referendum decision to leave the European Union (EU).

Research Note - August 2016

August 10, 2016 | Market Commentary

A recurring topic in our Research Notes in 2016 has been the importance of being prepared for market volatility against a backdrop of slow economic growth and relatively full valuations.

Checking in on the Consumer

June 30, 2016 | Active Management

The U.S. consumer is widely known to be the major contributor to domestic economic activity. In fact, the American consumer’s share of the U.S. economy (over 68%) ranks among the highest in the world.

Country in Focus: Argentina

June 13, 2016 | Emerging Markets

Argentina is a country with plentiful natural resources, a well-educated labor force, and some of the highest income levels in Latin America. It has a rich, diverse culture and heritage, as well as a very turbulent past. Argentina’s story essentially centers on the questions of ‘what’ and ‘why.’ The former is less contentious, while the latter remains quite vexing.

Research Note - March 2016

April 15, 2016 | Market Commentary

The performance of the S&P 500 in the first quarter of 2016 was ordinary and rather extraordinary at the same time. This proxy for U.S. large-cap stocks closed the quarter up 0.77% (exclusive of dividends), which is a little light in terms of the historical average return but well within historical norms. This is only part of the story, however.

Country in Focus: Italy

April 06, 2016 | Emerging Markets

Italy is the third largest economy in the eurozone. It is the second most visited country in Europe, and has become a pillar of modern design for everything from high-fashion clothing to luxury sports cars. With its famous culture, architecture, and palatial landscapes on one hand, and its state-of-the-art, high-end auto industry on the other, Italy often represents an intersection of old and new.

Research Note: February 2016

March 11, 2016 | Market Commentary

Volatility can provide opportunities for investors to add value through active management. Embracing volatility is inherently uncomfortable, because it forces you to step in when the crowd is running for the exits or to walk away when the crowd is still piling in. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words, “People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.”

Country in Focus: China

February 26, 2016 | Emerging Markets

As long-term investors, we aim to see the big picture globally and keep our focus on the structural characteristics that should affect a country over time. China remains one of the countries where we see scope for continued outperformance in terms of economic growth, as well as a destination for many profitable investment opportunities.

Research Note: January 2016

February 09, 2016 | Market Commentary

2016 has made quite an entrance so far with the S&P 500 experiencing the worst beginning to a calendar year (through the first 10 trading days of the year) in history. The financial press has attributed the recent volatility to a variety of suspects, including concerns about Chinese economic growth, falling oil prices, fears of a U.S. recession, and the possibility of a policy mistake by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Focusing on Long-Term Return Objectives in a Low Return World

January 22, 2016 | Active Management

Assumptions about future returns are made every day by a wide variety of investors. Defined benefit pension plans rely on return assumptions to calculate funding status and necessary contributions while individual investors use them as a guide to determine if they are properly saving for retirement.

Country in Focus: India

December 21, 2015 | Emerging Markets

India is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world, in addition to being one of the largest. It is likely to surpass Italy and Brazil in nominal GDP within a year or so, and it will almost certainly surpass China as the fastest growing major economy in 2015.

U.S. Labor Market Monitor

December 15, 2015 | Domestic Markets

As the Fed announces December 16 whether a hike in interest rates at this stage of the economic cycle is appropriate, a major consideration of policy officials will be the current state of U.S. labor markets. For an in-depth perspective into the various indicators we monitor to assess the health of labor market activity, we offer our updated chartbook, the United States Labor Market Monitor.

The U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance: Weathering the Storm

November 23, 2015 | Domestic Markets

We first explored the U.S. manufacturing renaissance in 2012, when our perspective was that a resurgence of domestic manufacturing activity would be a silver lining—not a silver bullet—for U.S. economic growth. This assessment has proved to be correct over the past three years, and we believe that the trend is likely to continue going forward.

Country in Focus: Russia

September 16, 2015 | Emerging Markets

Russia has claimed its fair share of news media headlines in the past two years, starting with allegations over the country’s covert involvement in the initial uprising in Ukraine and subsequently its annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

Country in Focus: South Korea

August 07, 2015 | International Markets

South Korea is a country which tends to get bounced back and forth between being thought of as an emerging market or a developed one, depending on who you talk to. In terms of the investment risk profile of the country, we tend to think about it as a developed country, since it has many developed country characteristics.

Accounting for the U.S. Consumer’s Gas Savings Windfall

July 23, 2015 | Market Commentary

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) have increased throughout the recovery as incomes have grown and confidence has improved. This needs to be taken into account when analyzing growth in PCE linked to the fall in energy prices in order to avoid confusing growth that would have occurred regardless of the change in energy prices.