Is It Time to Get Back into Stocks—or Too Late?

After five years of fleeing stocks for the perceived safety of bonds, US mutual fund investors became net buyers of stock funds in January. While some see the return of the retail investor as a negative indicator for stocks, we say, “Better late than never.”

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Finding Value in Australian Equities

Investors in Australia have piled into defensive stocks since 2010, amid a global flight to safety. As a result, many cyclical companies are now unusually cheap, despite strong balance sheets and cash flows, and this has created a compelling opportunity.

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To Reduce Your US Tax Bill, Keep Dividends Qualified

Paul Robertson and Tuppence Russo The recently passed American Tax Relief Act (ATRA) raised the top tax rate for qualified dividends, but it scarcely affected the benefit this rate provides to investors. That’s because ATRA also raised the top tax rate on ordinary income—the rate investors have to pay for nonqualified dividends—by nearly as much.

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We Expect High-Yield Defaults to Remain Low

High-yield bond defaults are historically low today, even for troubled companies. Despite the worries we hear in some corners about looming high-yield defaults, we think default rates will stay low for at least the next few years.

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UK Equities Reach Inflation Tipping Point

Jon Ruff and Patrick Rudden As UK inflation surges ahead, equity investors should be concerned. With yields on inflation-linked bonds at extreme lows, we think real assets offer a better way to combat the risk of rising prices.

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Gauging the Mortgage Trade Today

Doug Peebles and Matthew D. Bass Is the mortgage trade over? No, and in some ways, it’s just beginning.

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Fed Must Tune in to Changing US Economy

With each passing month, more questions are being asked about the sluggish US economic recovery. Why has growth been subdued since the recession ended in mid-2009? What’s changed in the economy? How long can loose monetary policies persist before promoting more inflation or creating a new bubble?

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Cracks Appear in the French Economic Model

Today’s PMI data point to a deepening recession in France at a time when Germany is showing tentative signs of life. Is the euro crisis exposing the weaknesses of the French economic model?

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Where SMID-Caps Get Their Performance Muscle

Bruce K. Aronow and James MacGregor  SMID-cap stocks, which bridge small- and mid-cap indices, have performed almost as powerfully as small-caps historically, but haven’t been as erratic. The “mid” in SMID is largely why.

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In Defense of Commodity Futures

Seth J. Masters and Jon Ruff Several prominent pension funds have slashed their commodity futures investments for delivering poor returns with higher volatility than usual, while failing to diversify equity exposures as expected, The Wall Street Journal recently reported. If inflation rises, they may regret it.

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