Perspectives Blog

Emerging Markets: Waiting on exports

Anwiti Bahuguna, Ph.D., Senior Portfolio Manager | March 31, 2014

…nslate into EM export acceleration or whether other forces are at work. The ongoing weakness in EM exports has led some to question whether EM economies have lost relative competitive advantage and market share. In late 2012, Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research, argued that one should not dismiss the relative strengths of U.S. competitiveness. Low cost production from emerging Asia was a threat to U.S. businesses, but American busine…

Special report – 2014 mid-year review and outlook

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 16, 2014

…ill not produce strongly positive excess returns. In short, if the first half of 2014 produced “coupon plus” returns for taxable fixed-income investors, the second half of the year may generate “coupon less” returns. Equities Robert McConnaughey, Global research director Review: Year to date through May, the U.S. major market indices are up low-to-mid single digits. Overall market volatility has been very low by historic standards and has trended…

Finding opportunity in Japan’s recovery

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | September 29, 2014

In Japan, there is general optimism for a steady economic recovery, with a prevailing sense of confidence in reasonable valuations and a low bar for incremental improvement. Companies that can take advantage of global business opportunities look far more attractive than those simply waiting for a rising national tide to lift their boats. A re-allocation towards riskier assets from the national pension funds and insurers would create very large…

Take an active approach to selecting your active manager

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | April 7, 2014

Be sure the manager takes enough risk Be sure the manager takes intentional, well-informed risk Be sure the manager has delivered returns for that risk taken across multiple backdrops For some time, we have written about the challenges active equity managers face from a market with unusually high cross-correlations. We have also stated our belief that the correlation pendulum would swing back to more normal levels (at least) as the aftershocks…

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,…

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…