Why do you pay attention to financial forecasts?

It’s that time of year when inboxes get flooded with 2019 economic and financial market forecasts. As the CFA institute points out, at the beginning of 2018 the median analyst forecast for the S&P 500 calendar year return was +10.3%. The actual result ended up being -6.2%.

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The central bank bar tab

A primary focus for global financial markets in Q4 2018 was the growing fear that the FED has tightened monetary policy too far, too fast and risks tipping the US economy into recession. This culminated in a severe global equity sell-off, which accelerated after the December FED meeting.

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Credit is the Canary

Following last week’s meeting of the US Federal Reserve (FED), markets have become increasingly concerned that the FED is making a policy mistake in continuing to increase interest rates.

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Conventional fixed income is not doing its job

Conventional portfolio construction assumes that governments bonds will diversify equity risk. The theory is that when equities fall, bond yields decline, resulting in capital gains on bonds that help offset equity losses. The problem is that it’s not working that way in practice.

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A vicious cycle to a contagious virus

We’re normally circumspect about the “EM contagion” narrative as it usually ends up being more headline noise than substance, but this time we’re paying closer attention

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QE winners become QT losers

We’ve noted previously that the transition from Quantitative Easing (QE) to Quantitative Tightening (QT) is one of the two important paradigm shifts currently taking place in markets.

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Volatility pricing … is the rock really so steady

The expression ‘steady as a rock’ is associated with stability, steadfastness and reliability. The kinds of characteristics that fund managers like to co-opt into their firm names. In financial markets uncertainty is always present; it’s just the degree of it that varies.

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