Latest Perspectives

Economy

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Last week’s FOMC meeting was the third largest dovish surprise in the QE era, only bested by the original QE1 announcement and the September 2013 “no taper” decision. We continue to expect the FOMC to hike rates in September, and the pace of rate hikes thereafter should be faster than markets are currently pricing.

Tagged with: Economy, Global Perspectives, Investing

In equity markets, we are generally positive on the major regions except emerging markets, which we continue to underweight. There are some selective opportunities in EM countries benefitting from lower oil prices and where the respective governments have committed to business-friendly reforms.
In bond markets, we see an increasing disconnect between the U.S. and UK, where yields should move higher, and Europe, where the ECB began intervening in secondary markets on 9 March.

Tagged with: Economy, Equities, Global Economy, Global Perspectives

The factors keeping inflation low remain U.S. dollar strength and sluggish global trade, together with the deflationary pulse from weak energy and commodity prices. While there is little danger of this developing into true deflation, the strong dollar effect will continue to depress inflation for much longer and this has a stronger influence on core inflation.

Tagged with: Economy, Global Economy, Global Perspectives

The strong U.S. dollar has weighed on the results of global firms that report in dollars. But investors think there may be some end-market weakness hiding in the currency translation effects.

Tagged with: Economy, Equities, Global Economy, Global Perspectives

Fed officials should be encouraged by the ECB’s announcement to begin a large-scale bond buying program in an effort to shore up growth and prevent deflation. The action reduces downside risks to global growth, and thus the risks of spillovers to the domestic economy.

Tagged with: Economic/Markets Outlook, Economy, Global Economy, Global Perspectives, Investing

Investors should understand the risks in their portfolio, and be cognizant that black swan events can occur much more frequently than models suggest. Risk models are extremely helpful when thinking about portfolio construction, but shouldn’t be relied upon exclusively.

Tagged with: Economy, Global Economy, Global Perspectives

While financial markets have seen massive gains from the darkest days of 2008’s financial crisis, the global economy has yet to fully recover to robust growth levels, and expectations for future market returns are far more modest. In this video, Robert McConnaughey, Global Director of Research at Columbia Management, explains his top investment strategies for 2015, given this conservative outlook for overall market tailwinds.

Tagged with: Economic/Markets Outlook, Economy, Equities, Global Economy, Investing, Markets

A convenient, comprehensive reference that looks both back and forward to bring today’s economy, markets and investing opportunities sharply into view. The Q1 2015 MarketTrack — featuring more than 40 charts and graphs accompanied by straightforward commentary — is now available.

Tagged with: Asset Allocation, Columbia Funds, Economic/Markets Outlook, Economy, Equities, Fixed Income, Global Economy, Investing, Markets, Uncategorized

The U.S. Treasury market as a whole has returned +1% annualized since the end of 2012 (and +0.5% annualized since the low in 10-year yields in July 2012). Because of imminent Fed rate hikes and depressed yield levels, prospective returns look no better today.

Tagged with: Economy, Fixed Income, Investing

Last week’s news suggests that the center of the FOMC continues to see interest rate hikes in the middle of next year as most appropriate. December 17 looks like a natural time to begin signaling the possibility of rate hikes to financial markets—an eventuality for which bond investors do not look prepared.

Tagged with: Economy, Fixed Income
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