Q4 2014 Global Equity Outlook: A Tale of 200 Cities

Mark S. Kopinski

Mark S. Kopinski
Co-Chief Investment Officer, Global and
Non-U.S. Equity

Keith Creveling, CFA

Keith Creveling, CFA
Co-Chief Investment Officer, Global and
Non-U.S. Equity

The big story as we enter the last quarter of 2014 is that there isn’t one story, but many. Conditions in world markets are influencing local economic results directly and creating a collection of diverse local stories rather than one cohesive global economic picture. We continue to believe in the sustainability of the global recovery, despite the disparity in the extent of recovery seen in the various world economies.

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CIO Insights: U.S. Handing QE Baton Off to Europe

Mark S. Kopinski

Mark S. Kopinski
Co-Chief Investment Officer,
Global and Non-U.S. Equity

Keith Creveling, CFA

Keith Creveling, CFA
Co-Chief Investment Officer,
Global and Non-U.S. Equity

The U.S. and the other world markets have diverged along the road to economic recovery. Consequently, their approaches to monetary and fiscal policy are also at varying stages of development.

The U.S. and Europe in particular appear to be at a global crossroads. While improving U.S. fundamentals have lifted stocks to all-time highs, European data has been less encouraging, and stocks have languished. Yet there is reason for optimism as it appears the U.S. is ready to pass the baton of quantitative easing (QE) to the eurozone.

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Chart of the Week: The Economic Future Through a Global Lens

Chart of the WeekThe world appears to be divided about economic prospects, with 46% in 44 countries being optimistic and another 46% being more pessimistic. According to the Spring 2014 Global Attitudes Survey conducted by Pew Research Center, the countries with the most positive view include China (80%), Peru (77%), Vietnam (74%), and Senegal (73%). On the flip side, countries such as Greece (53%), France (48%), and Lebanon (46%) believe their economic situation will worsen over the next 12 months.

It’s interesting to note that people in the U.S. fall somewhere in between the optimists and pessimists when it comes to the economic future: 35% see economic improvement, while 30% see it worsening and 33% think it will remain about the same. Continue reading

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Today’s Markets Call for Balance Over Knee-Jerk Reactions

Scott Wittman

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

Crises in the Ukraine and Middle East remind us that catastrophes (whether natural or man-made) do occur from time to time. While recognizing their profound human import, such events typically have only short-lived effects on financial markets. Ultimately, we believe diversification is one of an investor’s only protections from geopolitical and financial shocks. Continue reading

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CIO Insights: Global Economic Divergence

Dave MacEwen

G. David MacEwen
Co-Chief Investment Officer

Victor Zhang

Victor Zhang
Co-Chief Investment Officer

The U.S. has followed an increasingly more positive, divergent economic growth track this year compared with much of the rest of the world. The U.S. appears to have achieved a moderate, sustainable growth path while other developed economies, especially in Europe, struggle with more muted growth. We outline key aspects of these divergent growth paths, while our discipline CIOs and their investment teams delve more deeply into the ramifications for their specific markets. Continue reading

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Chart of the Week: Most Americans Not Running With the Bulls

Chart of the WeekEven though we are in the midst of one of the greatest bull runs in the history of the stock market, the majority of people in the U.S. have chosen not to participate. According to a study conducted by the Federal Reserve, only 49% of Americans have money invested in stocks,* and among those people, there are great differences. The median value of stock market investments for the top 10% was $282,000, with the middle class investing a mere $14,000 and the bottom 20% kicking in only $6,000. Continue reading

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Q4 2014 Inflation Monitor

Our Global Macro Strategy Team believes U.S. inflation should remain largely contained during the next 12 months. See what future scenarios we expect, the probabilities we’ve assigned to them, and which indicators we’re monitoring. Continue reading

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Chart of the Week: Return of the Multi-Generational Household

Chart of the WeekThe number of Americans living in multi-generational households* has doubled since 1980. According to recent Pew research Center analysis of Census data, a record 57 million people in the U.S., or just over 18.1% of the population, lived in multi-generational households in 2012. This is the highest rate recorded since 1950 (21.1%) and 1940 (24.7%), and is a sharp increase from a low recorded in 1980 (12.1%). Continue reading

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Chart of the Week: Americans Being Hounded by Debt Collectors

Chart of the WeekNearly one in three adults with a credit history in the United States—or approximately 77 million people—are behind their debt payments and their accounts have been classified as “in collections.” The data (from a recent Urban Institute study) focused on non-mortgage debt such as credit card and medical bills, child support payments and  parking tickets. The debt in collections ranging from as little as $25 to as much as $125,000, with the average amount owed being $5,200.

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Video: Profits with a Purpose

Profits with a purpose is more than a mantra. It’s a reflection of American Century Investments’ unique ownership structure. Through the generosity of the company’s founder, the late James “Jim” Stowers, Jr., and his wife Virginia, more than 40% of the firm’s profits are distributed to the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Since 2000, total dividend payments to the Institute have exceeded $1 billion to support its mission of improving life’s quality through innovative approaches to the causes, treatment and prevention of diseases like cancer. Continue reading

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