Perspectives Blog

Apparel retail doldrums

Mari Shor, Senior Equity Analyst | August 11, 2014

Since 2011, consumer spending has been below average overall, and spending on retail apparel has been especially poor. A host of factors, from shifting consumer priorities to poor inventory control have forced apparel retailers to compete on price, and sales and profitability have suffered dramatically. Premier global brands with differentiated product and strong, flexible supply chains are best positioned to manage through this challenging env…

Investing selectively in Asia

Soo Nam Ng, Head of Asian Equities | July 14, 2014

…Asia ex Japan is still the fastest growing region in the world and its secular growth drivers remain intact. The consumption trend, for example, is still on an upward trajectory. However, one needs to be selective as to which sub-segments offer the greatest potential. While Swiss watches and Italian handbags are reeling from an anti-corruption drive that affects lavish “gifting” to officials, the underlying appetite for luxury consumption in Chin…

Special report – Commodity markets outlook

Columbia Management, Investment Team | July 21, 2014

In the following Q&A, David Donora, Head of Commodities for Threadneedle Investments, addresses some of the key concerns currently facing investors in commodity markets, and explains his view of the outlook for the market. What is your outlook for commodities for the remainder of 2014? We are bullish on the macro outlook for the rest of 2014. The OECD countries and in particular North America, the region where economic growth is currently th…

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,…

Global Asset Allocation Outlook (as of May 13, 2014)

Columbia Management Global Asset Allocation Team, | June 2, 2014

The global asset allocation team reaffirmed their recommendation to modestly overweight equities versus bonds, despite the slight underperformance of equities relative to bonds so far this year. The S&P 500 is up about 3.5% while the Barclay’s aggregate index is up 4.0% and longer dated bonds are up over 13%. This strong bond market performance is contrary to consensus expectations which had forecast yields to rise above 3.5% this year. With…

Ukraine Crisis – Can the U.S. make Europe less dependent on Russian gas?

Jonathan Mogil, Portfolio Manager and Senior Analyst | July 28, 2014

As Europe looks to diversify away from its dependence on Russian gas, the U.S. is on track to start exporting liquefied natural gas by as early as next year. Russia remains the largest exporter of natural gas in the world and accounts for approximately 30% of Europe’s gas demand, half of which is transported through Ukraine. While the risk of winter supply disruptions will likely further push Europe to seek a more diversified and permanent sour…

Asset allocation – Kinetic vs. potential energy

Columbia Management Global Asset Allocation Team, | August 4, 2014

While most equity markets had positive first half performance, we still expect modest acceleration in growth ahead for the global economy. From both a valuation perspective and investor sentiment viewpoint, Chinese, Russian and Japanese equities look cheap. Europe appears vulnerable to shifting sentiment in addition to further downward revisions to profit expectations. In our latest Investment Strategy Outlook we discuss kinetic energy vs. pot…