Perspectives Blog

QE worked, but not as advertised

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | November 3, 2014

While QE proved very effective in reinforcing the Fed’s communication about short-term interest rates, there could be simpler ways to achieve the same outcome. The U.S. experience with QE suggests it would be effective in Europe. The Fed ended QE because it succeeded and that’s good news for investors. Last week the Federal Reserve announced the end of its bond-buying program, which has been running with only brief interruptions for the last s…

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…

Oil at $70 — How will the markets rebalance?

Jonathan Mogil, Portfolio Manager and Senior Analyst | December 8, 2014

Lower oil prices should translate into higher demand as a result of cheaper petroleum prices and through higher global GDP growth, which in turn drives oil demand. While there are several factors that could serve to offset this higher demand, we should see some additional demand as a result of lower prices. The entrance of U.S. shale could lead to a smoother and faster self-balancing mechanism, but in the short term, the absence of OPEC will ma…

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…

ECB asset purchases — Bazooka or damp squib?

Martin Harvey, Fund Manager, Threadneedle International Ltd | September 22, 2014

With inflation expectations declining to the levels that preceded the recent shift in policy, should the ECB and the financial markets be worried? In our view, the ECB probably won’t be wholly impressed by the reaction of inflation expectations to recently announced measures, and will be keeping a close eye on favored measures. We believe that we would need to see a further significant deterioration in growth and inflation expectations to kick…

Corporate governance – The next catalyst for Japanese equities

Daisuke Nomoto, Senior Portfolio Manager | August 4, 2014

Overhauling corporate governance to harness the power of private enterprise is critical to Japan’s growth strategy. Better engagement between corporate management and shareholders should ultimately lead to higher returns for holders of Japanese equities. We are focused on companies that can generate sustainable free cash flow, earn returns well above their cost of capital and regularly conduct shareholder friendly capital management. A critica…

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…