Perspectives Blog

Predicting new drug sales is more art than science

Harlan Sonderling, CFA, Senior Healthcare Analyst | April 14, 2014

Predicting sales of new medicines is highly inaccurate and subject to significant and often costly errors. While investment analysts can draw on research tools and experience, history suggests new drug forecasting will remain more art than science. Despite the high level of uncertainty and variability in new drug forecasts, the innovative medicine industry is alive and well. Predicting sales of new medicines is highly inaccurate and subject to…

Global asset allocation outlook (as of March 2014)

Columbia Management Global Asset Allocation Team, | April 7, 2014

After significant gains in 2013, equities took a breather in the first quarter of 2014 while fixed income assets rallied. The S&P 500 Index experienced a fair amount of volatility, retreating 5.8% at the start of the year and then rallying by more than 7% to end the quarter modestly higher. Within international markets, European, emerging markets (EM) and Japanese equities lagged U.S. equities. By the end of the quarter, however, risk assets…

Thoughts on navigating market volatility in today’s technology markets

Rahul Narang, Senior Portfolio Manager | April 28, 2014

We are seeing a market rotation from momentum to value on macro factors and internal market dynamics. Keys are to stay diversified, look for businesses with strong moats and that produce solid cash flow and compare to historical valuations. Favored themes are industry consolidation plays, mobile and Internet. In recent weeks there has been a dramatic shift in alpha generation from hyper growth technology stocks to more value-oriented names. We…

Finding opportunity in Japan’s recovery

Robert McConnaughey, Director of Global Research | September 29, 2014

In Japan, there is general optimism for a steady economic recovery, with a prevailing sense of confidence in reasonable valuations and a low bar for incremental improvement. Companies that can take advantage of global business opportunities look far more attractive than those simply waiting for a rising national tide to lift their boats. A re-allocation towards riskier assets from the national pension funds and insurers would create very large…

Ghost of crises past

Jay Leopold, Head, U.S. Investment Risk | October 27, 2014

The market’s extended period of low volatility was shattered in the past month. While it is possible fear-driven selling could resume or accelerate, we do not believe this is the most likely outcome. Given the U.S. economy’s reasonably good fundamentals, we believe that patient investors will get more treats than tricks in the future. As a child I always loved Halloween, especially carving pumpkins, trading candy with my sister, and touring ha…

Release the doves

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | October 20, 2014

The Fed (and all central banks) is highly sensitive to shifts in inflation expectations by either consumers or the markets. The one-year TIP breakeven appears to be pricing in some deflationary pulse and is also pulling down longer term inflation expectations across the curve. My expectations for growth are unchanged at 2.5%-3.0%, but I am concerned there may be some larger shortfall in demand next year for some reason we do not yet know. Whil…

Emerging Markets: Waiting on exports

Anwiti Bahuguna, Ph.D., Senior Portfolio Manager | March 31, 2014

Exports by emerging market economies are the most important factor in explaining long-term growth. EM exports have remained sluggish for the past three years due in part to the subpar nature of global growth. As emerging markets struggle to overcome the challenges to their growth story, the EM landscape will likely face significant challenges ahead. Equity markets in the developed world did very well in 2013 while the picture was far more mixe…