Advisor Perspectives, a leading publisher serving financial advisors and the financial advisory community, has announced its Venerated Voices awards for commentaries published in Q1 2019. Rankings were issued in five categories: The Top 25 Venerated Voices by Firm and Author, the Top 10 Venerated Voices by Commentary, and a new category, The Top 25 Venerated Voices by Firm and Author by Count (minimum twelve posts annually, three in the quarter).

The most popular topics in Q1 among all commentaries related to market valuations, recession risk and modern monetary theory (MMT). Other popular topics were retirement and 2019 economic and market predictions.

Leading the Top 25 Venerated Voices by Firm category were Blackstone of New York, followed by Hussman Funds of Maryland. In third place was Mauldin Economics of Arizona.

Among individual commentators, the most-widely read were Byron Wien of Blackstone, followed by Ben Inker and John Thorndike of GMO and Martin Tarlie, also of GMO.

The most-widely read commentary of Q1 was The Ten Surprises of 2019 by Byron Wien of Blackstone. Published January 3, Wien listed the outcome of his “ten surprises” for 2018. The surprises are defined as “events which an institutional investor would assign a one out of three chance of happening, but which I believe are probable, with a better than 50% likelihood of taking place.” In 2018, Wien was correct on five out of 10, including his prediction for China’s economic slowdown and a market correction.

Ben Inker and John Thorndike, of GMO, took second place with GMO Quarterly Letter. In their January 25 piece each author wrote an individual commentary. Inker discussed the dismal returns for 2018 and mentioned that U.S. Treasury bonds had the best return of all, at a mere 1.9%. He posited that the cause for underperformance were because markets went into 2018 with an unrealistic set of expectations. In Thorndike’s piece, he detailed GMO’s strategy using liquid alternatives to achieve a potential 5% real return. He believes that opportunity exists due to short-term rates exceeding the expected rate of inflation.

Martin Tarlie, also of GMO, took third place with his commentary, Is the U.S. Stock Market Bubble Bursting? A New Model Suggests "Yes". The piece was published January 18 and warned against owning too much U.S. equities. Tarlie described a new model – the “Bubble Model” – that claims U.S. equities were in a bubble for most of 2017 and 2018, and began to deflate in Q4 of 2018. This model uses the difference between price action and fundamentals to explain bubbles.

Advisor Perspectives’ website currently attracts over 150,000 unique visitors per month, virtually all of them financial advisors serving high- and ultra-high net worth individuals. The company publishes economic and market commentaries submitted by fund companies, advisors and independent research firms. In 2018, over 2,000 such commentaries were published and made available through a daily newsletter, Research Perspectives, which the company emails to its subscribers.