Perspectives Blog

What to expect from U.S. midterm elections

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | October 20, 2014

…s their stance on tax reform, and we see common ground for compromise. Next month’s midterm election battle for control of the U.S. Senate is going to be a dramatically close call. Republicans can gain control of the Senate if they win six new seats. Incumbent Democrats are defending 21 seats, and seven of those are in broadly red states won by Mitt Romney in 2012. Conventional wisdom would suggest that President Obama’s low current approval rat…

Capture five tax benefits with a 529 college savings plan

Columbia Management, Investment Team | March 21, 2014

By contributing to a 529 plan, you may benefit from tax advantages — without giving up control of plan assets. As an estate planning tool, 529 plans may allow removal of significant assets from your taxable estate. Investment growth in a 529 plan, as well as distributions, is not subject to the new 3.8% net investment income surtax. Owning a home. A financially secure retirement. A college education for a child or grandchild. These are a…

Five college savings myths set straight

Columbia Management, Investment Team | August 6, 2014

For college savers, 529 plans offer various tax benefits, flexibility and control. 529 account owners have a choice of state plans, regardless of residency or income level. 529 account beneficiaries can use funds at any eligible educational institution and for a number of expenses in addition to tuition. A 529 college savings plan is one of the smartest ways you can save for college, offering tax benefits, flexibility and control. Unfortunatel…

Finding opportunity in Chinese reforms

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | June 16, 2014

We continue to be excited about the opportunities to position in emerging markets ahead of positive change where market uncertainty still exists. Chinese corporate level governance reforms may be fertile ground for undiscovered investment opportunities. The scope and pace of China’s reform will have significant influence on the global economy and should be monitored closely. I spent last week in China, meeting with corporate management teams,…

Harvesting a New Moderation in Asia

Soo Nam Ng, Head of Asian Equities | June 23, 2014

Companies with competitive strengths still intact should have positive profit growth once adaptive change gets underway. The ability to control cost is essential to surviving the growth slowdown in Asia Pacific ex Japan. We do not just need companies to be adapted; we also need them to be positioned for adapting. A New Moderation in Asia In my previous article, I argued that conditions are in place for the slowdown in Asia to evolve into a sus…

U.S. rates – Headwinds

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | March 17, 2014

At this week’s meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee looks likely to rework its forward guidance for short-term interest rates once again. We expect revised forward guidance to lean heavily on the idea of “headwinds”; this is a stand-in term for a low equilibrium real rate. We expect that the new guidance will make three main points: (1) that the FOMC is in no hurry to raise rates, (2) that rate hikes can proceed gradually once…

Antibiotic resistance – What it means for drug manufacturers, hospitals and diagnostic companies

Columbia Management, Investment Team | May 12, 2014

Overuse of antibiotics has led to new classes of “super bugs” that are resistant to current or traditional antibiotic treatments. Legislative and economic incentives are driving innovation and adoption of new technologies in the antibiotic resistance category across the investable healthcare spectrum. We anticipate increased new drug development and improvements in the identification and treatment of bugs and “super bugs.” By Aaron Reames, Wal…