Perspectives Blog


Obamacare’s insurance exchanges

Columbia Management, Investment Team | December 9, 2013

Enrollment is low There is still confusion around plans Where do we go from here? Healthcare.gov’s performance has improved since its re-launch last week, but capacity and communications problems will persist. Through October, the reported number of enrollees in federal and state-run health insurance exchanges remains meaningfully below initial targets. The federal government is running

Correlation’s essential role in diversification

Columbia Management, Investment Team | December 5, 2013

Diversification strategies can help mitigate overall portfolio volatility. An important component of diversification strategies is correlation, or the measure of how one security moves in relation to another. Portfolios with lower correlation among assets will experience less overall volatility, even if the underlying assets are equally volatile individually. Most investors have heard about the concept

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

Time, not timing

Columbia Management, Investment Team | November 26, 2013

Historically, some of the worst short-term market fluctuations and losses were followed by periods of substantial market recovery. Investors who try to time market swings often end up missing out on the market’s best days. Asset allocation, diversification and periodic rebalancing are tools investors can use to help weather market downturns. Sometimes the best selling

Duration for diversification

Columbia Management, Investment Team | November 19, 2013

Many investors struggle to determine the appropriate amount of bond duration in an environment of rising interest rates. The right amount of duration has to be considered in a portfolio context, because the main value of duration exposure comes through diversification. Because of the negative correlation between duration and the returns of riskier assets, high-quality

Inflation matters

Columbia Management, Investment Team | October 11, 2013

Inflation is deceptive because it acts slowly. Portfolios must overcome inflation to maintain purchasing power. Even in today’s low-inflation environment, holding higher amounts of cash could be costly. Despite signs that the U.S. economy is improving, now is an especially challenging time for investors, especially those in search of income. Historically low yields have made