This Rate Cycle Is Different, but Stocks Should Still Do Well

By Chris Marx (pictured) and Alison Martier Stocks have generally performed very well in rising-rate environments. But the current rate cycle is unlike any other of the past 40 years, keeping investors on edge. A lot will depend on how inflation behaves.

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With Rates Going Up, Give Bonds Some Credit

After the bond market’s stumble last quarter, defending against rising rates has moved front and center for many investors. One approach that has been effective over time has been exposure to credit-oriented sectors and strategies.

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Rising Rates? Keep the TIPS, Leave the Duration

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) have been popular in recent years with investors worried about inflation, and returns have been strong. But TIPS have benefited from a long bull market for bonds and high interest-rate sensitivity. This could be a problem ahead—unless investors do something about it.

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Is Inflation Really Gone Forever?

Recent movements in asset prices suggest that markets have forsaken any possibility of an inflation outbreak in the next decade. We believe that view is far too sanguine.

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Quality Can Deliver in Times of Rising Rates

By Chris Marx (pictured) and Kent Hargis As talk of an early Fed “tapering” triggered a sell-off in bonds, safe-haven equities have also suffered. Can low-volatility strategies survive rising rates and an unraveling of the safety trade, in which investors rushed headlong into safe assets no matter the cost? We say, yes—but you’ll need an [...]

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Managing Equity Risk: Some Rules for the Road

Under the surface of May’s strong equity returns were major shifts in sector leadership, notably a rotation from defensive to traditional cyclical sectors. Given the market’s tendency to change gears, it helps to be flexible in managing portfolio risk. In fact, it should be a daily exercise.

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Sector Distortions Can Be Costly in Passive Investing

Joseph G. Paul (pictured) and Kevin Simms Passive investing strategies that emulate an index have become increasingly popular. But passive investing can go awry when sector concentrations leave investors exposed to unintended risks.

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Cyclical Stocks Appeal After Defensive-Led Rally

This year’s equity market rally was initially led by defensive stocks, as macroeconomic concerns persisted despite improved risk appetite. With valuations in these sectors looking stretched and cyclically oriented stocks starting to rebound in May, is a bigger shift starting to unfold? 

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Japan and the Euphoric Volatility Trap

Michael DePalma (pictured) and Arnab Nilim When equity markets are buoyant and optimism abounds, fears of volatility tend to subside. But recent events in Japan remind us that euphoria itself can generate turbulence.

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Beware of the New Systemic Risk

Michael DePalma It felt like there was nowhere to hide from the market declines last Monday, April 15, when stocks, bonds and commodities fell in unison across the world, well before the Boston bombings that day. We believe that this failure of diversification was instigated by increasingly powerful multi-asset funds, many of which use leverage, [...]

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