Perspectives Blog

Gifting strategies with 529 plans

Columbia Management, Investment Team | December 3, 2013

…e note that the donor must survive to the fifth calendar year after the contribution or a prorated amount will be included in their estate. Let’s look at some examples. Gifting 101 Meet the Johnston family. They have one son, Matt, who they hope will attend a highly regarded university one day. They have made modest contributions to a 529 plan for their son in prior years but know they need to do more to meet their full savings goal and ensure th…

Understanding the power of alpha

Matt Scales, CFA, Head of Product Development and Strategy | January 27, 2014

Sources of return – such as quality alpha – that are not structurally tied to the direction of markets can be a valuable tool for diversifying portfolios Market betas have a positive expected return but can be subject to long periods of poor performance Finding sources of return that do not rely on markets going up to make money is not easy, but it is worth the effort The term “alpha” (which until recently was relatively unknown) has become pa…

Tri-state pension reforms result in improvements

Matt Stephan, Analyst, Tax-Exempt Fixed-Income Research | April 11, 2014

The New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state region is dependent upon New York City. The strength of state pension systems varies. Improvements are being implemented. The New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state region is, in large part, economically rooted in New York City — access to diverse, high-paying jobs throughout the metro area drives state property wealth and income metrics that rank among the top in the country. However, diff…

Predatory trading – Just how big an issue is high-speed trading?

Matt Waldner, Head of U.S. Equity Trading | April 7, 2014

In recent years, U.S. equity markets have become far more complex, competitive and fragmented. Against that backdrop, high-frequency trading was born. With faster connections to exchanges, high-frequency firms are able to get faster signals, and “jump ahead” of slower orders, reaping huge profits. Columbia Management will continue to implement tools to protect our clients’ best interests. High-frequency trading (HFT) is a topic institutional i…