Equity Market Neutral Investing, Part I: Investors Want Alternatives

Investors are faced with a number of threats to achieving their financial goals, including heightened asset allocations, equity market volatility, low interest rates and the uncertain future of the economy. Alternatives such as an equity market neutral strategy might help combat such forces and appears to be in sync with related financial planning problems. Continue reading

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CIO Insights: Consistency, Not Complacency


Scott Wittman

Scott Wittman, CFA, CAIA, Chief Investment Officer, Asset Allocation & Disciplined Equity

In previous editions of CIO Insights, we introduced the “four basic food groups” of our disciplined equity investment process—valuation, sentiment (or momentum), growth, and quality. Earlier we explained how each is important individually. Here we focus on their combined effect, showing how a balanced investing process produces more consistent outcomes. Continue reading

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Chart of the Week: Empty Nest Egg and the Not-So-Golden Years

Chart of the WeekMore than a third of Americans are not saving at all for retirement, with the biggest non-savers being people 18-29 years old who are saddled by debt. Nearly half of the people surveyed (46%) believe that it’s impossible for middle-income families to build a nest egg, while nearly 40% of people 40 and older regret retirement investment decisions they’ve made and wish they would have saved earlier. Continue reading

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Plan Sponsors: Expand Your Retirement Plan with Target-Date Funds

Retirement

When you use target-date funds in your retirement plan, you’re helping participants prepare for retirement by providing access to a professionally managed portfolio that’s pre-diversified across stocks, bonds and cash instruments. At the same time, you’re addressing many of the crucial fiduciary obligations that loom large for plan sponsors today. Continue reading

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Ask Our Expert: What Do You Look for in Non-U.S. Small Caps? (Part I)

Trevor Gurwich, Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Trevor Gurwich, Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Q: What role can small-cap stocks play in an investment portfolio?

A: Compared to large-cap stocks, small caps offer the potential for faster growth during periods of economic expansion (they are highly leveraged to economic cycles). Additionally, small caps often occupy niche/small market segments with steady consumer demand for their products and services or operate in an emerging industry with the potential for substantial future growth. For these reasons, small-cap stocks can act as a valuable complement to a portfolio’s large-cap holdings. Continue reading

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Active Management: What’s It All About? (Part II)

Active investing tends to be more forward looking, while passive/index investing tracks yesterday’s world. As stock prices rise, the weighting of individual securities and accompanying sectors increases in the passive portfolio. Passive managers buy and hold a security, ignoring any information about either company prospects or market conditions. On the other hand, we believe that investing based on that information has the potential to benefit active managers. Continue reading

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CIO Insights: All Earnings Are Not Created Equal


Gregory Woodhams

Greg Woodhams, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, U.S. Growth Equity – Large Cap

Much of the discussion in other CIO Insights this quarter has highlighted the uncertainty surrounding growth, interest rates, and corporate earnings. Here we provide some context around earnings expectations for large-cap growth stocks, and reiterate why we believe it’s preferable to have a long-term focus rather than be swayed by the vagaries of quarterly earnings reports. Continue reading

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Chart of the Week: Graduated College: Was It Worth It?

Chart of the Week

Even though only approximately 56% of students earn college degrees within six years*—completion rate of 73% among students who started at four-year schools and 40% among two-year institutions—many college graduates believe that college was worth it when all was said and done. A recent survey by Pew Research Center found that the majority of college graduates in some of the largest generations agree that college was, or will be, worth the money. Continue reading

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Drawing Social Security at 62? It’ll Cost You

RetirementWhen do you plan to draw your Social Security benefits? 62? 65? 67? You may think you’re ready to cash those checks and start enjoying retirement, but make sure you know the benefits of waiting—and the consequences of drawing too soon. Continue reading

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Ask Our Expert: What’s Influencing U.S. and Non-U.S. Real Estate Markets? (Part III)

Steven R. Brown, Senior Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager

Steven R. Brown, Senior Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager

Q: What is your current outlook for the real estate market in North America and Europe?

A: North America

We are generally more cautious on Canadian fundamentals as the country’s dominant industries will likely feel pressure from lower commodity pricing and real estate pricing could come under pressure with rising interest rates. Mexico remains the only market we favor within broader Latin America. We expect economic activity to accelerate along with U.S. economic strength given the cross-border manufacturing connections. Continue reading

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