Perspectives Blog

Special report – Commodity markets outlook

Columbia Management, Investment Team | July 21, 2014

…s possible. Although we have a market weighting overall in base metals, we are significantly overweight lead and nickel and underweight copper and aluminium. We believe lead and nickel face challenges in terms of supply and supply disruption. Lead is often mined as a by-product of gold and silver and as there has been a significant decline in the price of both precious metals, lead production has been under pressure. The price of nickel, meanwhil…

Surveying the landscape for M&A

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | March 3, 2014

Cash-rich corporations are increasingly considering M&A. The market is rewarding acquirers generously (for now). How can investors position in front of potential M&A without paying an excessive premium that leaves room for disappointment? Cash balances at U.S. non-financial corporations have exploded in the post-crisis era, despite a rising return of cash to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases. One other option…

Stairs up, elevator down

Jeffrey Knight, CFA, Global Head of Investment Solutions and Asset Allocation | August 18, 2014

Major asset classes had nice gains through mid-June but have declined as of late. Although we still favor equities, we think it is time to bolster portfolio resilience. We are keeping our eye on Europe as the summer comes to an end. A reputation, it is said, takes a long time to build, but a short time to destroy. One of the most frustrating aspects of investing is the tendency for gains to behave in exactly this way. Investment professionals…

M&A in healthcare – Out with the old, in with the new?

Harlan Sonderling, CFA, Senior Healthcare Analyst | March 31, 2014

Recently the market has been quite optimistic about merger synergy promises. History suggests investors should be diligent about analyzing acquirers’ claims around merger benefits and returns. While attractive acquisitions may lie ahead, it is critical to continue to carefully evaluate acquirers’ strategies and claims. The “old” healthcare M&A In the “old days,” pharmaceutical Company A would announce its acquisition of Company B for stock…

Rising rates and REIT returns

Arthur Hurley, CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager | September 15, 2014

While REITs typically demonstrate some interest rate sensitivity and sometimes have a “knee-jerk” reaction down when rates first move up, performance has often rebounded. An improving economy has the potential to dampen the effects of duration risk and interest rate sensitivity, given the increased earnings and dividend growth REITs can produce. The balance of income and organic growth attributable to REITs can offer an attractive investment op…

What’s the outlook for muni bonds?

James Dearborn, Head of Municipal Bonds | June 19, 2014

Strong YTD performance resulted from falling rates, a dearth of new supply and a resurgent demand by investors seeking attractive taxable-equivalent yields. We believe municipal bonds should continue to perform well in the second half of 2014. Yields on muni bonds are compelling when considering the impact of taxes on non-exempt securities. As we reach the halfway point of 2014, it’s a good opportunity to review our full-year outlook for the m…

The coming divide in state credit quality

Ty Schoback, Senior Municipal Analyst | June 3, 2014

We expect an increased divergence in state credit quality in the coming years, compared with what has been seen over the past two decades. While the overall state sector remains robust, we believe notable credit distinctions are beginning to materialize among several weaker states. Investors should be aware of this divergence and seek to be appropriately compensated for investing in states of varied creditworthiness. State tax revenues typical…