Perspectives Blog

Release the doves

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | October 20, 2014

The Fed (and all central banks) is highly sensitive to shifts in inflation expectations by either consumers or the markets. The one-year TIP breakeven appears to be pricing in some deflationary pulse and is also pulling down longer term inflation expectations across the curve. My expectations for growth are unchanged at 2.5%-3.0%, but I am concerned there may be some larger shortfall in demand next year for some reason we do not yet know. Whil…

Labor markets in the new digital age

Columbia Management, Investment Team | April 14, 2014

The downside to technological progress is short-term dislocations and job loss for those displaced by automation. Workers with high skills and advanced education command a wage premium while unskilled and lower-skilled workers are displaced which aggravates income inequality. The winners will be those who have skills complementary to the new emerging technologies and those who discern how best to adapt and gain competitive advantage. By Marie…

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…

Could a 529 plan help you pay less for college?

Columbia Management, Investment Team | May 22, 2014

College savings plans offer an important tool for managing the cost of higher education. Saving in advance could offer a significant cost savings compared to taking loans during college. Use our 529 Savings vs. Loans Calculator to run your own personalized estimate. Saving for college early on can greatly benefit you in the long run. By saving in an investment vehicle such as a 529 college savings plan, you may be able to avoid relying on loan…

Gifting strategies with 529 plans

Columbia Management, Investment Team | December 3, 2013

529 college savings plans allow parents and relatives to implement advanced gifting strategies. Contributions can be prorated over five years without incurring federal gift tax consequences. With a 529 plan the account owner maintains control of the assets in the account even though contributions are considered completed gifts. Parents and relatives can benefit from advanced gifting strategies available only with 529 plans. With the current an…