Perspectives Blog

Stairs up, elevator down

Jeffrey Knight, CFA, Global Head of Investment Solutions and Asset Allocation | August 18, 2014

Major asset classes had nice gains through mid-June but have declined as of late. Although we still favor equities, we think it is time to bolster portfolio resilience. We are keeping our eye on Europe as the summer comes to an end. A reputation, it is said, takes a long time to build, but a short time to destroy. One of the most frustrating aspects of investing is the tendency for gains to behave in exactly this way. Investment professionals…

Special report – Commodity markets outlook

Columbia Management, Investment Team | July 21, 2014

…ng on the price of international natural gas because the U.S. is unable to export natural gas into the global market. Consequently, developments in the Ukraine, for example, have no bearing on the U.S. natural gas market. The European natural gas market certainly is affected, however. But overall we believe that Europe and Russia’s interdependence is too great for there to be any long-term impact from the problems in the Ukraine, where we anticip…

Global asset allocation outlook (August 2014)

Columbia Management Global Asset Allocation Team, | September 8, 2014

…neutral weighting in equities, at least on a tactical basis. Specifically, we have reduced our overall equity recommendation from overweight to neutral, and, at the same time, we have lowered our equity overweight position in Europe from overweight to neutral and also lowered Japan from maximum overweight to a moderate overweight. The team recommends remaining underweight fixed income and continues to favor emerging market bonds and high yield se…

Second quarter U.S. corporate earnings wrap-up

Tom West, Director of Equity Research | August 18, 2014

Non-cyclical sectors slightly out performed cyclical sectors during the quarter. In technology, the U.S. is improving, Europe is still not strong and developing markets lag. The healthcare sector improved, but it is still a question mark for the second half of the year. As the economic recovery matures, we have seen a fairly consistent pattern in quarterly earnings: estimates come down during the course of the quarter, and then beat the “lower…

Global Asset Allocation Outlook (as of February 24, 2014)

Columbia Management Global Asset Allocation Team, | March 10, 2014

Markets had a difficult start to the year. After experiencing negative returns in January, both U.S. and European equities recovered in February and are now slightly positive for the year. The best returns have come from U.S. small-cap equities along with shares of equities domiciled in the periphery of Europe. These two broad groups are both up mid-single digits. Emerging market equities continue to lag developed market performance. And, Japane…

Inflation consternation

Martin Harvey, Fund Manager, Threadneedle International Ltd | November 5, 2013

…is week; we think any intervention is likely to be verbal, at least at first. October inflation in the eurozone slowed alarmingly to levels not seen since late 2009. Some commentators have been quick to change their call for European Central Bank (ECB) action on November 7 or the December meeting. Previously, ECB President Mario Draghi has said lower inflation due to factors such as energy prices is actually positive, as it boosts disposable inc…

Comments on the effect on global markets from the Ukraine crisis

Mark Burgess, Chief Investment Officer, Threadneedle Investments | March 12, 2014

…in volatile in the short term. Emerging equities reflect concerns not only around Russia and Ukraine but also the weaker growth outlook in Brazil and China. In commodities, Russia is a significant oil player, supplying 30% of Europe’s gas, with 50% of that piped through Ukraine. Any move to curb Russian oil exports by the EU could easily drive Brent crude oil into the $140-160 a barrel range. We therefore do not expect major sanctions against the…