Perspectives Blog

Insights on current market events and investment opportunities.

Profit margin watch

Tom West, Director of Equity Research | October 13, 2014

Corporate profit margins can come under pronounced pressure from various forms of disruption. Firms need to invest in technology and distribution systems to support customer preferences and stay competitive. The key question is whether a company has adequately invested in next generation products, distribution or true advances in productivity. A mainstay of stock market appreciation

Millennials, are you ready to take the next steps?

October 9, 2014

As a group, Millennials are intensely conservative when it comes to investments. Avoiding equities and saving cash in lower yielding, lower risk accounts is jeopardizing Millennials’ long-term financial security. Starting to save for retirement in early adulthood ensures a longer time horizon for investments to grow. Millennials, the generation in today’s workforce born after 1980,

Global asset allocation outlook (September 2014)

Columbia Management Global Asset Allocation Team, | October 6, 2014

Recent market performance, particularly in September, has been negative across a widespread array of asset classes as we have seen the U.S. dollar exchange rate rise with increasing intensity in recent months. The worst returns, not coincidentally, were delivered by the very assets that have shown historically high sensitivity to dollar strength. This disruption to

Ebola virus is spreading

Columbia Management, Investment Team | October 6, 2014

The Ebola outbreak is the largest and most serious outbreak ever of this highly-contagious viral disease. Despite the scary headlines, the virus seems unlikely to spread inside the U.S. or other parts of the developed world. The focus remains on treating Ebola victims, containing the spread of the virus in Africa and preventing its intercontinental

A port in the storm — Short muni funds can offer refuge in the face of rising rates

Catherine Stienstra, Senior Portfolio Manager | October 2, 2014

Short term munis may make sense in a rising rate environment. They provide attractive yields and investment flexibility vs. cash investments and interest rate protection vs. longer assets. Cash investments have come with considerable opportunity cost in recent years. Co-authored by James Dearborn, Head of Municipal Bond Investments 2014 has offered many investment surprises, perhaps