As an advisor, you have protective instincts, so COVID-19 is likely to activate your emotions and push your thinking toward extremes. Your brain is probably searching the world for dangers and building a decidedly negative worldview. Psychologists call this catastrophizing: seeing the future in a negative light. This reduces your ability to sort available information.
The turmoil in the first quarter of 2020 reinforced the importance of rebalancing in target-date design. As we see it, a finely tuned, systematic approach can help keep emotions in check and risk under control—benefits that translate to many types of multi-asset solutions.
Healthcare stocks usually are defensive for a portfolio during market downturns. Given the extent of the pandemic’s impact, more questions are being asked about the sector’s resilience.
Many investors are looking for emerging signs of a return to normalcy from the coronavirus crisis. While there are many indicators to choose from, we’ve assembled a group of signals, with the help of big data, that may point the way.
The onslaught of the coronavirus forced the Federal Reserve and lawmakers to take desperately needed measures. The US economy will eventually recover, but the effects of these drastic policy decisions will be felt for a long time.
As an unprecedented number of US companies suspend earnings guidance, equity investors should rethink the overly precise game of predicting short-term estimates.
Coronavirus-led economic uncertainty is forcing downgrades, defaults and fallen angels. Could this spell opportunity for credit investors?
The coronavirus has exposed the European Union’s (EU’s) fault lines. For now, European Central Bank (ECB) bond purchases should hold things together. But ultimately, national governments will need to take some tough decisions to secure the EU’s future.
The spread of the COVID-19 virus has blindsided conventional risk models. By understanding what went wrong, investors can develop a more forward-looking approach to risk management that considers multiple scenarios for a highly uncertain market environment.
Oil prices briefly turned negative this week. What does it mean for energy bonds? And why does the long view for oil matter more?
Following the market meltdown, investors seeking to bolster defensive positions could end up finding them in some unusual places.
The decline in US economic activity from social distancing measures and forced shutdowns is likely to be bigger than our initial guess. While we expect a recovery once the coronavirus crisis eases, we don’t have enough information yet to dimension it.
Under the CARES Act, the Fed has expanded supports for corporate bonds. Could this bring a regime shift in volatility for global credit markets?
Companies with strong ESG credentials will play an essential role in addressing the dramatic changes being triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Working from home is the new normal for most of us these days. Are you taking mindful action to take advantage of opportunities presented by today’s environment?
The bear market is challenging defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors to reinforce timeless investing principles while also conveying new rules that bring relief to participants. Good communication practices are a key ingredient to achieving success in both these areas.
Most of the bond market sold off in March as the coronavirus crisis intensified. But as past crises have shown, indiscriminate selloffs can generate big opportunities.
As risk assets tumbled in late February and March, it intensified the focus on risk management: How can multi-asset strategies defend against turbulence while positioning for an eventual rebound? The answer: Be ready to adapt—and to do it quickly.
Following these guidelines can help equity investors navigate the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic when selecting stocks and positioning portfolios.
The historic US fiscal aid package isn’t a quick fix, but it provides welcome relief and will make it easier for the US economy to rebound when the coronavirus crisis eases. More important, it shows that Congress is willing to act swiftly and dynamically.
In the midst of a historic crisis, it’s hard to see through the fog. But investors who ask the right questions now will be able to identify companies that can make it through.
Policymakers cannot avert a big near-term economic hit. But they can build the foundations for recovery—if they take the right steps now.
Postcard from Vietnam: On a research trip to Vietnam before the coronavirus crisis, our analysts discovered what it takes for manufacturers to outsource successfully.
Television remains one of the most influential distributors of information and ideas, yet the majority of Americans distrust the reports they get from TV. This distrust may stem from the fact that there is a lot of fear in the news today. How can advisors help clients make sense of the news and help them get back on rational footing?
Are municipal bond issuers vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic? We assess key sectors, from states to hospitals to airports.
Europe has changed swiftly from spectator to front-line combatant in the battle against the coronavirus. The potential damage from its spread is severe, but European policymakers are reacting robustly to the threat.
The current market outlook is bleak. But if the US and Europe take the right steps and follow China’s playbook, we believe the world could ultimately follow the Chinese markets’ road to recovery.
With markets reeling from concerns over the coronavirus and plummeting oil prices, the US Federal Reserve took another step Monday to shore up markets. The Fed has more in its toolbox, but fiscal policy may also be needed to fill a gap in the US economy.
European investors were recently reminded how tricky it is to evaluate a company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials. Tesla’s plans to chop down a forest to build a manufacturing facility for electric cars in Germany reinforced the need for independent research and engagement to assess the risks and opportunities created by ESG controversies.
The coronavirus is dominating the news and sparking panic in markets. We believe the options for policymakers are clear—but will they implement them?
This week’s Fed rate cut helped steady financial markets reeling from the expected impact of the coronavirus on the US economy, and we think more cuts are coming—in March and beyond. The economy should rebound in the second half of the year, though at a lower full-year pace.
After recent sharp declines, US stock valuations look more attractive, especially compared with bonds. While the current volatility is unsettling, heightened uncertainty over earnings because of the coronavirus crisis could create opportunities for long-term investors who distinguish between winners and losers from the shock.
As China’s leaders scramble to contain the COVID-19 epidemic, the global community braces for impact to China’s people, equity and bond markets, and economy.
Investors who want bigger returns from their high-yield strategies should consider a global approach.
As China steps up efforts to achieve technological independence, there may be a silver lining for some global companies in the sector.
Merger arbitrage can create highly attractive returns. But there’s a big problem: hedge-fund managers typically take 30%–50% in fees. We advocate a smarter way to approach merger arbitrage investing, with much lower fees.
The Wall Street Journal criticized ESG portfolios earlier this month for being dominated by big technology stocks. But we think technology stocks are integral to a responsible investing agenda when chosen as part of a well-defined process targeting companies that foster environmental, social and governance (ESG) improvements.
Growing fears about the coronavirus have hit Chinese stocks. While markets will remain unstable until China gets the outbreak under control, equity investors should revisit lessons from previous epidemics and consider the potential longer-term effects of the current crisis.
Late in 2019, Chile, Colombia and Peru saw an uptick in political turmoil that was unusual, given that they’re perceived as politically stable countries with “market-friendly” policies. With several key elections on tap in 2020, we’re watching closely for potential risk flare-ups.
One way for high-yield investors to gauge how their bonds may fare down the road has been with this simple, accessible and historically accurate tool.
At long last, the UK has left the European Union (EU). But now tough and unpredictable negotiations lie ahead. In our view, the probability that they end in a negative short-term economic outcome is greater than 50%.
US healthcare is always a political hot potato, and volatility is expected to rise as the November elections approach. But investors can find good opportunities in the sector in companies with strong long-term business drivers that are relatively immune to political noise.
ESG investors, take note: a controversial new bond format that links a company’s sustainability goals to its bottom line could be a game changer.
With US equities trading at relatively high valuations, earnings growth will be essential for investors to generate returns in 2020. That’s a tall order in today’s environment. Finding standout companies with sustainable growth potential will be especially important.
Late-cycle markets can unnerve high-income investors. But we see ways to generate a healthy level of income while potentially decreasing overall portfolio volatility.
As we enter a period of lower growth globally, investors have given higher valuations to companies that can achieve consistent growth. This seems logical, but are we in danger of overpaying?
The outlook for the muni market is favorable for 2020, but investors should be prepared for twists and turns. Staying flexible can help keep investors on track.