Perspectives Blog

Quality milestone in the European recovery story

March 17, 2014

…ly drive growth in Europe. The eurozone would function more smoothly if the large gap in competitiveness between Germany and other major eurozone economies closes. Thus, wages need to rise in Germany and fall in the rest of Europe and thankfully this is happening, albeit slowly. Cultural and political factors in Germany provide a brake on wage growth, while German industry faces ever-present competitive forces from its neighbors in Central and Ea…

October — It always seems to happen in October!

Ted Truscott, CEO, Global Asset Management | October 20, 2014

Markets are now asking what happens if growth slows again in the U.S. and/or weak and slowing growth in Europe, Russia and China drags down U.S. and U.K. growth? The stock market downturn is a reaction to changes in growth expectations and the volatility of that growth. Market assumptions for steady growth did not necessarily account for all the other risks. While we continue to see equities as an important pillar of longer term allocation stra…

European equities – Should investors care about periphery vs. core anymore?

Dan Ison, Portfolio Manager | January 13, 2014

The more dramatic the economic reforms, the better the stock market performance in the eurozone We expect nominal growth to be the key driver of an improving earnings picture in Europe European equities should show further good returns to investors in 2014 As we enter 2014 there are the usual questions, conversations and strategy pieces extolling the virtues of different regions and asset classes. 2013 saw a phoenix-like resurgence in interest…

Q4 fixed income outlook — External influences

Gene Tannuzzo, CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager | September 22, 2014

While the bond market has generated strong returns so far in 2014, we are positioning portfolios with a shorter duration to protect against rising interest rates. Although we think that corporate bonds look better than their government counterparts, the most attractive bond market opportunities may be outside of the corporate market. Investors should remain flexible in order to protect themselves from some of the policy potholes that may lie ah…

Is Europe heading for Japanese-style deflation?

Martin Harvey, Fund Manager, Threadneedle International Ltd | August 4, 2014

Although there are many differences that should ensure that the eurozone does not follow Japan‘s fate, policymakers will need to act forcefully if the risk of deflation intensifies. While the euro area appears to be on track to avert deflation in the short term, many euro countries are “one crisis away from deflation.” The European Central Bank (ECB) claims to be ahead of the game, but policy needs to be more pro-active. The following is an ex…

Inflation — The usual suspects

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | August 11, 2014

Four factors figure empirically into how and why inflation moves: (1) commodity prices, (2) spare capacity, (3) changes in exchange rates, and (4) monetary policy. These same factors argue for a gradual recovery in U.S. inflation in the year ahead, which could be a headwind for high-quality fixed-income returns. In contrast to U.S. markets, in markets with prospects for a trend lower in inflation expectations (e.g. certain pockets of EM), falli…

Global Asset Allocation Outlook (as of February 24, 2014)

Columbia Management Global Asset Allocation Team, | March 10, 2014

Markets had a difficult start to the year. After experiencing negative returns in January, both U.S. and European equities recovered in February and are now slightly positive for the year. The best returns have come from U.S. small-cap equities along with shares of equities domiciled in the periphery of Europe. These two broad groups are both up mid-single digits. Emerging market equities continue to lag developed market performance. And, Japane…