Perspectives Blog

U.S. rates – An intriguing six point three

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | June 9, 2014

Fed and consensus unemployment forecasts are likely to come down after last week’s jobs report. It is not obvious what lower unemployment rate forecasts mean for U.S. monetary policy. June FOMC meeting should shed light on Fed’s worldview—in particular, whether the U3 unemployment rate still matters. The latest jobs report may look pretty bland on the surface, but I can assure you that it will generate plenty of intrigue among close observers…

How bad is China’s credit crisis?

Weili Jasmine Huang, Senior Portfolio Manager | February 3, 2014

We look at the scope and impact of China’s credit crisis We believe the possibility of a financial meltdown is low We discuss how resolution of the crisis may unfold News of a trust product on the brink of default has deepened the concerns of increasing instability of China’s financial system. The risk of defaults on trust and wealth management products will likely continue to impact markets. We believe that the shadow banking issue will…

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…

A primer on preferred securities

Carl Pappo, Head of Core Fixed Income | March 10, 2014

Preferred securities can offer an attractive risk-adjusted yield in a low-yield environment. Straddling the line between fixed income and equity, preferred securities can help diversify core fixed-income portfolios. Investors equipped to analyze and trade these structures are able to find attractive relative value opportunities. Co-authored by Willow Piersol, Senior Analyst As financial institutions raise capital and reduce risk, preferred sec…

Holding multiple investments does not ensure better diversification

Columbia Management, Investment Team | April 23, 2014

The degree of risk reduction benefit in diversification depends directly upon the correlation of the portfolio’s assets. Adding just one zero-correlated asset to a portfolio reduces risk 29.5%, while adding a thousand 66%-correlated assets reduces risk by only 19%. Well-designed absolute return products can be meaningful additions to traditional allocations, substantially enhancing diversification. By Todd White, Head of Alternative Investment…

Steady as she goes

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | April 7, 2014

The March labor market report was solid, with the overall private level of employment finally exceeding the pre-recession high. The Household Survey had the unemployment rate holding steady at 6.7%. A recurrent problem is the poor quality of job growth in terms of underemployment/part timers and wage growth. The March labor market report from the BLS can be characterized as solid and showing little weather effects and probably some catch-up fr…

Where’s Waldo? Be on the lookout for rising costs in a low growth world

Paul DiGiacomo, Senior Analyst | August 18, 2014

Broad measures of cost inflation (PPI and CPI) growth rates have remained near 2% for the past three years. Sharp increases have occurred in isolated areas like trucking, but the effect is far-reaching. Investors must be on the lookout for accelerating expense growth within a company or industry cost structure, as high inflation can lead to lower stock returns. Over the past three years, Producer Price Index (PPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI…