Targets and Tantrums at the Fed

Goal oriented monetary policy and hidden sources of volatility, discussed at the US Monetary Policy Forum last Friday, sparked articles in the New York Times, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal over the weekend. With investors seeking income in bond and money markets while nervously watching for when Fed policy will shift to Read more […]

Why Size Matters

This morning’s Financial Times revisits the argument that smaller funds generally have a performance advantage over larger funds.  One contention advanced in favor of this view is that as funds grow, they “have” to hold more large-cap stocks, and that this large-cap weighting hurts overall performance: “Outperformance in large-cap companies is harder to achieve because Read more […]

Policy Post Mortems

Complete transcripts of the Fed’s policy meetings and conference calls are published with a five year lag. Last week the central bank released the transcripts from 2008, probably one of the more interesting years to “hear” word for word what the members of the FOMC were saying.  The release was almost to the day the Read more […]

Global Inflation Beta

It is a familiar concept that commodities have provided inflation protection as discussed in a recent post about a discussion I had with Bluford Putnam, Managing Director and Chief Economist, of our partner, CME Group, to discuss why inflation is likely to appear this year. I have also discussed how much inflation protection has been provided in a special video Read more […]

HOT PORK ROLLS

For any investor who has chosen lean hogs as the commodity to invest in 2014, s/he is as “happy as a pig in the index“. The S&P GSCI Lean Hogs are the 3rd best performing commodity in the index YTD, up 16.3%, before the roll.  Even after the roll, the lean hogs are the 5th best Read more […]

A Week of Auctions and Announcements

The S&P/BGCantor Current 10 Year U.S. Treasury Bond Index closed last week up 0.12%.  January’s Housing Starts number of 880k fell well below the 950k expected number and the prior revised level of 1048k pushing Treasuries up for the week.  The question was how much of the number was due to harsh winter weather or Read more […]

Incorporating Smart Beta Strategies in Asset Allocation

It is now a well-established trend that institutional investors are allocating to smart beta / risk premia strategies. In a recent survey of 300 institutional investors, 42% of the investors say they have committed a portion of their portfolios to smart beta, while a further 24% say they intend to do so in the future. Read more […]

US Quantitative Easing – A boon or bane for the “Fragile Five”?

2013 was a seminal year for US equities with markets going up 33%. Emerging markets on the other hand did not fare so well and were relatively flat with a negative 1.27%. India ended the year down at 4.8%, hit strongly by currency woes, but the year was very volatile for most emerging markets. Some Read more […]

Weekend with the G20

The weekend meeting of 20 major global economies representing 85% of world GDP called for adding half a percentage point of growth each year to 2018 through renewed and aggressive stimulus.  So far this is talk, but there is a chance for action.  The G20 will convene again in November to show what they’ve done.  Read more […]

VIX – The Enforcer

Your portfolio is like a hockey team.  You don’t think so?  It is.  And VIX plays a key role.  Stay with me while I explain. Equities are your guys playing at center and on the wings.  You expect production from them.  Your team largely lives and dies by how consistently they score.  Bonds are your Read more […]