Perspectives Blog

Slack and inflation

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | July 21, 2014

Today’s low unemployment rate indicates modest slack in labor market, which implies earlier Fed rate hikes and/or more inflation risk. The decline in labor force participation in recent years now looks mostly structural. Investors should remain cautious around U.S. interest rate risk despite a solid first half of 2014. Excerpted from Zach Pandl’s newest whitepaper Structural weakness in labor force participation means there is less slack in th…

Duration for diversification

Columbia Management, Investment Team | November 19, 2013

…tion exposure comes through diversification. Because of the negative correlation between duration and the returns of riskier assets, high-quality fixed income will still be a cornerstone of any disciplined portfolio. By Zach Pandl, Senior Portfolio Manager, and Gene Tannuzzo, Senior Portfolio Manager We often hear investors say something like the following: “I own stocks for growth and bonds for income.” But in practice, of course, that is not h…

Inflation — The usual suspects

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | August 11, 2014

Four factors figure empirically into how and why inflation moves: (1) commodity prices, (2) spare capacity, (3) changes in exchange rates, and (4) monetary policy. These same factors argue for a gradual recovery in U.S. inflation in the year ahead, which could be a headwind for high-quality fixed-income returns. In contrast to U.S. markets, in markets with prospects for a trend lower in inflation expectations (e.g. certain pockets of EM), falli…

Is a stock market correction coming?

Jeffrey Knight, CFA, Global Head of Investment Solutions and Asset Allocation | December 16, 2013

…ues for ongoing equity market strength. What might bring a correction? 1) Recession. Interestingly, in the absence of recession, the stock market tends to perform fairly well. Neither Marie Schofield (our chief economist) nor Zach Pandl (our chief interest rate strategist) assigns a material probability to recession in the United States next year. 2) Financial accident. Of course, you can never know for sure, but we believe this is not likely in…

Special report – 2014 mid-year review and outlook

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 16, 2014

Key investment professionals review the first half of 2014 and share their insights into what may be ahead for the second half of the year. Interest rates Zach Pandl, Portfolio manager and strategist Review: Government bond yields declined in early 2014, both in the U.S. and in other developed market economies. This surprising change in course after increases in 2013 caught many investors off guard. In our view, declining interest rates reflect…

U.S. rates – Forward guidance taxonomy

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

The Fed’s communication for 2014 looks like the strongest type of forward guidance, one that clarifies the existing policy approach and backs up statements with some type of commitment. Current statements for 2015 and beyond are closer to the weakest type of forward guidance, a forecast that the central bank will behave in the future differently than it has behaved in the past. Look for the market’s heavy reliance on the SEP forecasts to fade o…