• The Presidential Put, the Powell Put, and China’s New Playbook
    December 7, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    The trade conflict and Fed rate policy are buffeting markets at a time China was already grappling with debt challenges at home. But the volatility may be masking good economic fundamentals globally, reform efforts in China, and attractive investment opportunities.
  • Investing on U.S. Election Results? Caveat Emptor
    November 16, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    Conventional market wisdom two years ago didn’t look right for long, as gains in industries seen as politically favored faded while one sector expected to suffer quickly rebounded.
  • From China to Mexico to Brazil, Headline Noise Obscures Underlying Emerging Market Drivers
    October 31, 2018 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Positive catalysts are in place in all three countries, and across emerging markets valuations and earnings expectations make for a potential rebound in 2019.
  • Hurricanes, the Muni Market, and the Duct Tape Effect
    October 23, 2018 [Market Insights, Nicholos Venditti, CFA and Dominic Alto]
    Preparations ahead of a hurricane and rebuilding after it temporarily boost tax receipts in affected areas. But longer-term effects on muni markets are usually negligible.
  • Market Rout May Spur Rotation from Growth to Value
    October 11, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    Even before the market selloff, downtrodden value stocks were perking up as pricey growth stocks stumbled. But durable index-level shifts are harder to call than individual stock price disconnects from business fundamentals.
  • Who’s Afraid of an Emerging Markets Meltdown?
    September 24, 2018 [Emerging Views, Kelly Johnson]
    Deep declines are usually followed by rebounds that leave emerging market stocks with gains by year end, as the structural tailwinds are driven by steadily expanding middle classes. Meaningful, consistent exposures to the asset class are key to capitalizing on the long-run double-digit returns.
  • Beware High Yield’s Siren Song
    September 17, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    High-yield returns have been great lately, as technical flows, fundamental factors and good economic growth align. But tight spreads, lofty net leverage and event risk don’t make for smooth sailing ahead.
  • The Efficiency Factor in Stock vs. Index Picking
    August 28, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth
    If the efficient markets hypothesis is questionable at the stock level, it’s more so at the index level. As the number of indices skyrockets, the number of companies declines, and passive flows grow, active price discovery becomes more and more valuable.
  • Report from Turkey: Cheap Asset Prices May Not Be Cheap Enough
    July 25, 2018 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    Turkish asset prices have plummeted this year, bringing their valuations to historically low levels. That presents potentially attractive opportunities to investors looking for quality stocks at bargain-basement prices. Yet some selloffs don’t necessarily end with stocks and bonds at oversold levels if their prices largely reflect current or near-term risks, both company specific and macroeconomic.
  • VRDOs Give Muni Investors Ammo to Protect Against Rising Rates
    July 18, 2018 [Market Insights, Dominic Alto and Todd Wax, CFA]
    The volatility of short-term rates, however, means the variable rate structure isn’t a silver bullet.
  • Oil Price Shifts Into Overdrive
    July 3, 2018 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Supply and demand dynamics, along with political fuel injection, may keep crude prices running hot.
  • Emerging Markets Rise, Fall, Repeat
    July 2, 2018 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Emerging market stocks are trading near bear market territory, but that’s par for the course for longer-run, rising returns.
  • The Beautiful Game: Surprising Insights from the World Cup about Strategy and Teamwork
    June 18, 2018 [Market Insights, Christian Hoffmann, CFA]
    Team performance matters more than star players or a large resource base. And in a rapidly changing world, Totaalvoetbal can help teams adapt.
  • Hedging Foreign Currency Exposure vs. Accepting Unmitigated Foreign Currency Risk
    June 11, 2018 [Emerging Views, Josh Rubin]
    Many forces undercut and bolster the greenback. Rather than accepting unknown risk around its near- or long-term direction, dollar-based equity investors may be better served using currency hedges so they can focus more on the individual merits of overseas securities.
  • Italy’s Politics Drives a Wedge Between Its Stocks and Sovereign Bonds
    June 6, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    Risk to the euro resurfaces in an unlikely governing coalition and challenging economic agenda, but Italy’s top stocks don’t face the same perils as its government bonds.
  • Portfolio Allocation When Safe Havens Get Stormy
    May 24, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    High-quality bonds and defensive stocks are on the ropes. And U.S. blue-chips look poised to roll over, if history is any guide. But what if it isn’t?
  • A More Demanding Powell Put to Test EM’s Strengthened Mettle
    May 10, 2018 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    The Fed chairman makes clear the bar for slowing monetary tightening is higher nowadays, and argues emerging markets are much better positioned to handle higher U.S. yields than they were before.
  • The Upside of Munis’ Down Market
    May 3, 2018 [Market Insights, Dominic Alto]
    Bond supply is plummeting, but so is demand. And rates are rising. Where are the silver linings?
  • 10-Year Treasury Yield Upshifts past 3% as Fear of Curve Inversion Grows
    April 25, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    Stocks slide on rising rates and yield curve inversion concerns, but a recession doesn't look likely, judging by other economic data and the high-yield bond market.
  • The Weak Dollar Puffs Up Overseas Equity Returns
    April 18, 2018 [Emerging Views, Josh Rubin]
    Yet the earnings potential of developed and emerging markets stocks is real, since they are at earlier points in their respective business cycles.
  • After #ZuckerbergHearing, Investors Don’t Unfriend Facebook
    April 13, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    Facebook’s margins could ebb this year, but they remain at elevated levels and profits could still grow meaningfully.
  • The Tech Wreck, Bank Breach, and Welcome Return of Market Volatility
    April 4, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    Tech and financials led the recent selloff, as headline noise and regulatory risks spooked investors. But strong corporate fundamentals, including earnings growth, should ultimately drive stock returns.
  • Regulators Seeking to Tax or Break Up U.S. Tech Giants Face Tough Task
    March 21, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    While U.S. tech giants are effective monopolies, they are so in an unconventional way, making taxing them easier than breaking them up.
  • Understanding The Confucian in Xi's Populism
    March 15, 2018 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    China has dropped norms to allow President Xi Jinping to remain in power after his second term ends. While worrisome at first blush, the populist turn and consolidation of power likely has near-term economic and financial market benefits, and longer-term political risks.
  • Who’s Afraid of Higher Wages Driving Inflation?
    March 5, 2018 [Market Insights, Danan Kirby, CFA]
    Not necessarily the Fed, whose own research suggests wage growth is not a reliable indicator of future inflation. But markets, it appears, aren’t sure what to think.
  • Emerging Market ETFs Traded Reliably During Selloff. But What about their NAV Disconnects?
    February 28, 2018 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    EM ETFs suffered deviations in their market prices relative to their net asset values, with their total returns materially underperforming the broad emerging market index.
  • U.S. Stocks Fall into Correction Territory, But Investors Should Keep Their Chins Up
    February 9, 2018 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    Investors worried about wage and inflation data should appreciate the underlying strength of the economy, not to mention strong corporate earnings. The market volatility is creating better entry points for longer-term investors.
  • Why Samsung Can Be an Apple of Investors’ Eyes
    January 18, 2018 [Emerging Views, Josh Rubin]
    Samsung is no longer a stodgy conglomerate (or chaebol in Korea) that just makes consumer and industrial electronic devices and equipment, along with some home appliances. Its sales of semiconductor chips and panels account for nearly half of total revenues.
  • Guess What Delivered in Spades in Thornburg’s Internal 2017 Global 3 Stock/Security Competition?
    January 12, 2018 [Market Insights, Sean Koung Sun]
    At the beginning of every year, a number of investment professionals at Thornburg voluntarily place their informal, internal-only bets on which three securities—from stocks to currencies or other financial assets—might together produce the best beta-adjusted returns in the year ahead. In 2017, the winner was Sean Sun, whose three picks included bitcoin. The cryptocurrency skyrocketed last year, of course, helping Sean win the prizeless competition by a wide margin.
  • Net-Neutrality Noise: Competitive Broadband Market Driven by Technological Change, Not Politics
    December 19, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently voted to rescind the 2015 “net-neutrality” regime that had effectively re-classified lightly regulated internet service providers (ISPs) as...
  • Mexico's Central Bank Hikes Key Rate in Hawkish Turn
    December 18, 2017 [Emerging Views]
    The Central Bank of Mexico has raised the policy rate a quarter point to 7.25%, its highest level in nearly nine years. Banxico, as the Mexican monetary authority is known, had been widely expected to...
  • Emerging Market Performance Dispersion Set to Rise After Strong 2017
    November 30, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Emerging market assets have mostly had a gangbuster 2017 across the board, from stocks to bonds and currencies. But some macroeconomic headwinds and “idiosyncratic” or country-specific risks...
  • A Megatrend is Underway
    November 16, 2017 [Market Insights]
    Four-hundred million Chinese millennials will soon account for more than half of China’s domestic consumption. As a group, they are larger than the working populations of the U.S. and Western Europe...
  • China's Slow Recovery from Debt Hangover Begins
    November 9, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Growth in the country's corporate debt load has finally leveled off this year as financial conditions and regulatory oversight tighten. That’s good. But rebounding returns on incremental assets and common equity are even better....
  • Boring Companies, Exciting Stocks
    October 30, 2017 [Market Insights, Josh Rubin]
    Tough times can force smart people to make hard decisions, the merits of which may all too easily be overlooked by investors focused on the forces driving the changes, rather than the company-specific...
  • India Takes a Page Out of the TARP Playbook
    October 26, 2017 [Emerging Views]
    In an unexpected move, the government of India has announced a $32 billion plan to recapitalize the country’s sour-loan laden public sector banks, its biggest step so far in addressing a lingering problem...
  • China’s Central Bank Chief Warns of “Minsky Moment”
    October 20, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Investors have looked beyond divisive, populist politics in the U.S., the U.K., Spain, and elsewhere in Europe, focusing instead on accelerating global economic growth and surging industrial metals prices...
  • Falling Correlations Put Stock-Specific Attributes in Driver’s Seat
    October 16, 2017 [Market Insights]
    As third-quarter earnings season gets underway in earnest this week, equity market participants are expecting company fundamentals and reported results to be larger drivers of performance for large...
  • As India Crosses the Digital Divide, a New Era of Investment Opportunities Dawns
    October 5, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    When can a country's bluechip stocks be a bargain if they're trading at historically high forward earnings valuations after posting world-beating returns over the last two decades? Right now, if they're Indian ...
  • As Fed’s QE Dismantling Begins, Questions Around Growth, Asset Prices Linger
    September 27, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    The U.S. Federal Reserve has announced the October start of the slow reversal in the unprecedented expansion of its balance sheet following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Chairwoman Janet Yellen...
  • Tough Sledding in Multisector Bond Investing? It Depends on the Team
    September 19, 2017 [Market Insights, Danan Kirby, CFA]
    The Iditarod is considered one of the world's most grueling and dangerous races. Sled dogs travel 1,100 miles through increasingly treacherous arctic terrain. The dogs and mushers traditionally run the entire day and then rest at night...
  • Investing In EV Carmaker and Supply Chains? Utility Work Ahead
    September 15, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    “In the past year, the view that the internal combustion engine’s days are numbered as it is superseded by the mass rollout of electric vehicles has become increasingly mainstream,” Morgan Stanley analysts ...
  • A Long/Short Bridge Between Stocks and Bonds
    September 7, 2017 [Market Insights, Stephen Jimenez]
    Can long/short alternative equity strategies work as a “bridge” between equity and fixed income? It’s an interesting question recently posed to us by a wealth advisory team. Both asset classes become...
  • As Perceived Risks Rise, Limited-Term U.S. Government Funds Offer Shelter
    August 29, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    Most U.S. risk asset prices have enjoyed a long ride higher amid slow-but-steady economic growth, scant inflation and still ample central bank monetary support. But if fund flows are any indication of...
  • Yes, ADRs Do Carry Foreign Currency Risks
    August 25, 2017 [Market Insights, Todd Wax, CFA]
    A common misperception is that American depositary receipts, which bundle ordinary shares of an overseas-listed company into a U.S.-traded security, don’t carry currency risk. Driving the confusion is...
  • North Korea, U.S. Rhetoric Rattle Markets, But Investors Should Ignore the Noise
    August 15, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Geopolitics is shaking global markets, with the epicenter of the latest tremors coming from the Korean Peninsula. Fiery rhetoric out of Pyongyang is nothing new. But it is certainly novel coming from the...
  • “Death by Amazon” a Real, Though Not Indiscriminate Threat
    August 9, 2017 [Market Insights]
    When the curators at Merriam-Webster convene to select their Word of the Year for 2017, they might consider “Amazonization” for their short list. Since the June 15th announcement of Amazon’s...
  • Are Low Vol ETFs as Smart as They Sound?
    July 27, 2017 [Market Insights, Josh Rubin]
    How smart are “smart beta” products? As factor-based investing is the latest fashion in the allocation trend to passive exchange traded funds, the performance of the most popular among smart beta...
  • On Chaos, Butterflies, and Robustness
    July 24, 2017 [Market Insights, Danan Kirby, CFA]
    In the early 1960s, a meteorologist undertook a mission to predict the weather. Unique to his approach at the time was his extensive use of computers to assist in the predictions. He began running...
  • Breaking Down the Presumed Correlation Between Commodities and Emerging Markets
    July 20, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Among the lingering misconceptions about emerging markets is that they are proxy plays on commodities, prices of which presumably drive returns in developing country stocks. Historical...
  • Bank Loans Beat High Yield Amid Rising Rates? Don’t Bank on It
    June 29, 2017 [Market Insights, Christian Hoffmann, CFA]
    Bank loan funds have been widely touted as a great way to help fixed income investors ride out a rising interest rate cycle. Also known as levered loan or senior loan funds, they are, after all, high...
  • The Incentive Factor Behind MSCI’s China A Shares Index Inclusion
    May 26, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    If China is a master of incremental reforms to gain admission to select economic and financial circles, only to bend the rules after access is granted, MSCI appears well aware of its playbook. Whether...
  • More Overseas Outperformance May Be In Store
    June 19, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    After years of excellent equity returns at home, U.S. investors appear increasingly interested in moving their chips into less crowded trades abroad, where economic growth is on the upswing, earnings cycle...
  • Yellen at the Markets: Don’t Worry. Low Unemployment to Trump Transitory Low Inflation
    June 15, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    Despite weaker economic data of late, the U.S. Federal Reserve matched market expectations in raising its benchmark interest rate June 14, 2017 a quarter point, setting its new range to a still highly...
  • China’s Steel Industry Shrinks to Grow More Efficient
    May 26, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    China’s Baosteel Group is now the second-largest steel company in the world after ArcelorMittal, but it is the undisputed leader in the Middle Kingdom, where roughly half the world’s steel is produced. I...
  • Parsing Long/Short Equity Liquid Alts Performance, Fees and Net Exposures
    May 24, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    The sharp focus on investment management fees nowadays has brought private hedge funds under heavy scrutiny, along with their generally poor performance against long-only benchmark indices. So...
  • Goodhart’s Law, Greenwashing and ESG
    May 19, 2017 [Market Insights, Danan Kirby, CFA]
    "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure." This insight comes from economist Charles Goodhart, whose precept refers to the tendency of individuals or organizations...
  • Brazilian Markets Tumble as Political Turmoil Returns
    May 18, 2017 [Emerging Views]
    Brazilian asset prices tanked May 18 following a local media report implicating President Michel Temer in alleged hush-money payments to former lower house Speaker Eduardo Cunha, who is now...
  • Mexican Market’s Reprieve from Political Ferment to Be Short-lived
    May 11, 2017 [Emerging Views]
    The political squalls blowing from north of Mexico’s border took a heavy toll on the Aztec nation’s asset prices at the beginning of the year, but as we noted a few days after Donald Trump, whose...
  • South Korea Tacks Left With New President, But Stocks Have Other Drivers
    May 10, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    After nearly a decade of conservative administrations, South Koreans have elected a leftist human rights lawyer as president. Moon Jae-in's pledges to take a conciliatory tact with Kim Jong-un’s volatile regime...
  • Underinvestment and Demand Growth Will Help Sliding Oil Prices Recover Footing
    May 5, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    After falling more than 6% in a week, oil prices pared their losses Friday, May 5, rebounding 1.6% as the “tug of war” between Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and U.S. shale...
  • House Passes Health Care Reform, But the Senate’s Prescription Likely to Vary
    May 5, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    In this Q&A, Thornburg’s Connor Browne doubts the Senate will pass the House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) in its current form, and is cautious...
  • The Mirror Image of the Weak Q1 GDP Reading
    May 1, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    It's the Rorschach economy. After much weaker-than-expected U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data, it seems economists' views range from....
  • Trump Trade? The More Likely Reflation Trade is in Europe
    April 28, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    European asset prices have surged since independent Emmanuel Macron emerged as the decisive winner in the first round of the French presidential election...
  • Tailwinds to Emerging Markets Resurgence?
    April 13, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    In contrast to last year’s volatility in the first quarter, global equity markets showed strong returns during the first three months of 2017. Economic indicators and earnings around the world are beating...
  • ETFs’ Total Costs Underappreciated
    April 12, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    Morningstar’s director of exchange-traded fund research penned an interesting article April 12 on the total cost of ETF ownership, which we also wrote about in a recent article examining the latest...
  • Managing Risk Exposures Amid Fed Balance Sheet Normalization
    April 7, 2017 [Market Insights, Josh Yafa]
    The U.S. Federal Reserve has released the minutes from its March monetary policy meeting, suggesting that the unwinding of trillions of dollars in debt on its balance sheet could start later this...
  • China’s Li Keqiang Index Flexing its Muscle
    April 7, 2017 [Emerging Views, Todd Wax, CFA]
    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang once told a U.S. diplomat that China's official GDP data was “man made,” according to Bloomberg. To glean more accurate measures of growth, he instead looked at...
  • Investors Should Look Beyond South Africa's Unfolding Political Drama Now
    March 31, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    South Africa’s political tensions intensified on March 30 following President Jacob Zuma’s sweeping cabinet reshuffle, which included replacements of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy ...
  • U.S.’s So-so Hard Economic Data May Weigh on Buoyant Consumer Sentiment
    March 30, 2017 [Market Insights]
    Recently, much has been made about the divergence between hard and soft data on economic fundamentals in the U.S. On March 28, the Conference Board reported that its consumer confidence...
  • Patience Is a Virtue (Especially in Municipal Bond Investing)
    March 17, 2017 [Market Insights, Christopher Ryon, CFA]
    In an upwardly rising interest rate environment patience is an extremely important character trait for investors. They need to examine their investment horizons, make sure they are appropriate for their...
  • The Fed’s Regime Change
    March 16, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    The U.S. Federal Reserve shifted gears at its March 15, 2017, monetary policy meeting, lifting its key Federal funds rate a quarter-point to a 0.75-1.00% range. Although the increase was widely flagged...
  • Market Shrugs off Fed Rate Hike Warning
    February 24, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    After leaving its benchmark interest rate near zero for eight years and then lifting it just once in each of the last two, the market has grown accustomed to discounting U.S. Federal Reserve indications...
  • Energy Goldilocks? Growing Oil Demand, High OPEC Compliance Meet High Inventories and Growing Non-OPEC Output
    February 13, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    The International Energy Agency (IEA) Friday reported the best compliance on an oil output cut agreement in the history of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). While this is...
  • India's Pragmatic Populism
    February 10, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    For a country steeped in its customs, India's government and central bank have taken a liking to the element of surprise. The policy announcements have been far from pleasant, causing people...
  • Trump Trade to Trump Fade?
    February 3, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    In the wake of Donald Trump’s November electoral victory, investors focused on his pro-growth agenda of tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure spending, not on his protectionist and...
  • What’s Worked Lately in EM isn’t What’s Worked Long Term
    January 31, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    Over the last 10- and 15-year periods, the MSCI emerging market consumer discretionary, consumer staples, and health care sectors have massively outperformed energy and materials. This...
  • Seaworthy Mexico into the Maelstrom
    January 25, 2017 [Emerging Views]
    In the tumultuous twelve months ended January 20, 2017, the MSCI Mexico Index has declined 0.3%, badly underperforming the broad MSCI Emerging Market Index’s 32% return, while the...
  • Ride the Dollar Tide at Your Risk
    January 25, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    After three straight years of declines, developing country stocks regained some ground in 2016. Yet the MSCI Emerging Market Index's 11.2% total return in 2016 came with marked volatility along...
  • What’s Past isn’t Prologue So Far in 2017
    January 24, 2017 [Market Insights, Charles Roth]
    Markets this year have gotten off on the right foot. Over the first three weeks of 2017, the S&P 500 Index added 1.3% to its 12% gain in calendar 2016, while the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate...
  • Can Bank Loans Funds Float to a Narrow Outcome?
    January 18, 2017 [Market Insights, Jeff Klingelhofer, CFA]
    Many investors might see bank loans as “fixed income” without duration risk, given their floating-rate structure. They may use them as a way to reduce their exposure to rising risk-free rates without...
  • The Flip Side of the Muni Market Selloff
    January 17, 2017 [Market Insights, John Burnham, CFA]
    Recent municipal bond market movements mark a transition from a period of significant overvaluation to fair or even under-valuation. This can be a painful process for muni market...
  • December Jobs Data and Defensive Fixed Income Positioning amid Lurking Inflation Risks
    January 13, 2017 [Market Insights, Josh Yafa]
    The December U.S. jobs report wasn’t particularly surprising, though a couple of nuances are worth considering for fixed income investors. While the economy added 156,000 jobs, which was a bit...
  • Weighing the Prospects of Trump’s Trade Agenda
    November 2016 Perspectives [Charles Roth]
    During the U.S. presidential election campaign, candidate Donald Trump hammered relentlessly at the “very bad” free trade deals Washington has signed or negotiated. He cudgeled two of the U.S.’s...
  • OPEC's Deal Drives Oil Prices Up a Slippery Slope
    November 30, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Oil prices jumped 10% Wednesday, November 30, in response to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) deal to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day, around 1% of global...
  • India's Demonetization: Bold, Brash, or Both?
    November 21, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Major structural reforms rarely go off without a hitch. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surprise November 8 move to bring India's "black money" economy onto the books by replacing the largest currency bills...
  • Colombia's Peace Won't Come at Any Price
    October 4, 2016 [Emerging Views]
    A year of unexpected political outcomes is how 2016 will go down in history. Few predicted at the beginning of the year the U.K.'s vote to exit the European Union, or the rise of populist right-wing and hard-left parties across Europe...
  • Mind the Gap: China's Great Leap Forward in Life Insurance
    September 27, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    Slowing wage and job growth in China has made the insurance industry a more attractive source of employment. Over the last two calendar years, agent growth has soared...
  • Flagging Demand Growth and Resilient Supply Delay Oil Market Rebalancing
    September 19, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD, Charles Roth]
    The long-expected rebalancing in oil market supply and demand just got postponed again, as forecasts it would take place in the current quarter and then in the last leg of 2016 are now proving...
  • After Broad Emerging Markets Rally, Get Selective
    July 2016 Perspectives [Emerging Views, Ben Kirby, CFA, Charles Wilson, PHD]
    With a peak to trough move of nearly 10% on the MSCI Emerging Market (EM) Index at the start of the quarter and ending with a just shy of 1% total return at quarter end, it’s clear we traveled a long way, but didn’t get very far.
  • South Africa's Great Challenges, and Greater Opportunities
    March 2016 Perspectives [Emerging Views]
    After a fruitful week of corporate and macroeconomic policy meetings, I leave South Africa with a sense of hope for the future but recognition that challenges ahead need to be dealt with for the...
  • Can China Change Its Growth Model?
    February 2016 Perspectives [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    Along with many major economies, China’s economic growth following the 2009 rebound from the global financial crisis has continued to disappoint relative to expectations. As we wrote previously...
  • Colombia's Raw Peace Could Open New Era of Higher Growth
    August 26, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Colombia's government has signed a peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Latin America's oldest Marxist insurgency, possibly paving the way to end more than half a century of conflict...
  • India’s Demonetization: Bold, Brash, or Both?
    November 21, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Major structural reforms rarely go off without a hitch. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise November 8 move to bring India’s “black money” economy onto the books by replacing the largest currency bills...
  • Political Risk Spikes in Turkey, Roiling Asset Prices
    July 19, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    The failed July 15 coup in Turkey served as a useful reminder to investors that emerging market equities, which have been far outpacing major advanced country stock indexes, are clearly prone to political risk and market volatility.
  • Indian Banks—An Attractive Secular Growth Story
    July 1, 2016 [Emerging Views]
    After three years of painful returns, emerging market equities in 2016 appear to have regained their footing. The MSCI EM Index climbed nearly 5% over the first six months of the year, handily...
  • Can Emerging Market Equities Work If Commodity Prices Don't?
    The term "risk assets" has become widely used to describe anything that goes up when the U.S. dollar goes down. Perceptions around the pace of U.S. monetary tightening substantially influence...
  • Drivers of Oil Prices Prove Slippery to Grasp
    April 20, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD & Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    Headlines predicting the retreat in recently resurgent crude oil prices following the collapse of weekend talks in Doha among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia quickly...
  • Can emerging market equities work in a rising U.S. interest-rate environment?
    As we have noted previously, the stronger dollar has created a stiff headwind for MSCI Emerging Markets Index earnings, which are calculated in dollars. The roller coaster in emerging market...
  • Emerging Market Currencies Q1 Rally Reaches Historic Proportions
    April 7, 2016 [Emerging Views]
    As a follow-up to the previous Emerging Views post on the first-quarter rally in emerging market stocks, the best-performing group among global equities in the period, the role and extent of currency...
  • Where are we now? Looking for value in Emerging Markets after the recent rally
    March 31, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    Through January 21st, the MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) Index was down 13.29% YTD. That was the second-worst start since the inception of the index in 1988, behind only the poor start of what...
  • Brazil's Political Drama Intensifies as Dilma is Implicated, Lula Charged
    March 21, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    Brazil's political crisis has quickly turned into a constitutional crisis, pitting the executive and judicial branches against each other as millions of protestors across Brazil hit the streets to demand the...
  • China's Neighbors to Millions of New Free-spending Tourists: "Ni Hao!"
    March 7, 2016 [Emerging Views, Ben Kirby, CFA]
    On a recent trip to Japan and Korea, I was struck by the number of firms citing "Chinese tourism" as a key driver of their business performance, against the well-known narrative of economic slowdown in...
  • India's Budget Focuses on Farmers and the Central Bank
    March 3, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    India has unveiled its financial year 2017 budget, garnering a nice mix of criticism across the country's political and economic spectrums. Though it's not obvious, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's...
  • Mexico's Economic Stewards Take Market By Surprise
    February 25, 2016 [Emerging Views]
    Over the last five years, the alphabet soup of monetary policy abbreviations has expanded meaningfully, with terms like NIRP (Negative Interest Rate Policy), ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) and...
  • Dissecting China's Debt Load
    February 19, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PHD]
    China's debt burden has grown substantially, but its debt profile, ample foreign exchange reserves and well-capitalized banking system bolster the country's ability to sustain it.
  • This Time is Different: A Look at the State of Emerging Market Debt
    February 10, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PHD]
    Lessons learned during the Asian financial crisis helped emerging economies properly prepare for today's currency volatility and drive future growth.
  • China Rings in the New Lunar Year with Disconcerting Headline Numbers and Underlying Strengths
    February 4, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    Investors could be forgiven for thinking China has become an unappealing place. Economic growth slowed again in the fourth quarter to 6.8%, bringing the annual rate for 2015 to 6.9%, lower than the...
  • Colombia Shifts to Keep Its Balance Amid Slide in Oil Prices
    January 2016 Perspectives [Emerging Views]
    Accepting short-term fiscal and foreign exchange pain for long-term macroeconomic gains, which may compound with infrastructure investment and possibly peace dividends.
  • Beta Isn't Better
    January 2016 [Emerging Views, white paper, Charles Wilson PhD]
    Analyzing the relationship between beta and returns reveals that investors generally aren’t compensated for the risks associated with higher beta stocks. Over time, lower beta stocks tend to offer the most attractive returns, our research shows.
  • New Year, A New Start for EM? Not Exactly
    January 21, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PHD]
    After a very difficult year in emerging markets in 2015, we entered 2016 cautiously optimistic about returns. So far, the markets are off to a difficult start with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index already down more than 10%.
  • Argentina's Adios to Statism?
    January 12, 2016 [Emerging Views]
    Good news: Argentina is clamoring for change, a necessary precondition for recently inaugurated, reformist President Macri to succeed. Investors are watching.
  • Three Things That Matter Most to Markets in 2016: U.S. Interest Rates, Oil Prices, and China
    January 6, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles wilson, PhD]
    We expect them to again play a key role in the global growth outlook and the trajectory of markets, although their specific impacts may be different than in past years...
  • The Fed Finally Raises Rates
    December 16, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    The U.S. Federal Reserve on December 16 raised its benchmark Federal funds rate for the first time since 2006, marking the start of its first monetary tightening cycle in more than a decade. A year ago...
  • Energy Sector Price Rout Not Running on Empty
    December 15, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    In early December, oil prices hit their lowest levels since the end of 2008, when the Global Financial Crisis was severely undercutting risk asset prices and economic growth around the world. U.S. natural...

  • Brazil Political Drama Part Dois
    December 7, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles wilson, PhD]
    Since we last wrote about Brazil, its political and economic troubles have continued to unfold in dramatic fashion. In late November, a prominent local businessmen, Andre Esteves, was arrested...

  • Who's Afraid of Fed Rate Normalization?
    November 23, 2015 [Emerging Views, Jeff Klingelhofer, CFA]
    The summer of 2015 was dark and stormy for investors. China's equity market collapsed and the surprise renminbi devaluation shook currency markets across the globe. The U.S. Federal Reserve...
  • Indian Politics: Progress Isn't Always a Straight Line
    November 17, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered its second major defeat during the current state election cycle after losing in Bihar, a state with more than 100 million people...
  • China's One-Child Policy Revision a Positive Step, But Unlikely to Reverse Demographic Challenges
    November 3, 2015 [Emerging Views, Ben Kirby, CFA]
    China has announced a modification to its long standing one-child policy, now allowing eligible couples to have two children. The one-child policy, introduced in 1978...
  • Emerging Market Hospitals a Fit Investment for Long-Term Investors? We Think So
    October 2015 Perspectives [Emerging Views]
    Emerging market private hospitals can offer compelling investment opportunities, given favorable long-term demographic trends, growing middle classes and incomes, and low penetration of health services in the sector.
  • Emerging Market Returns Decomposed: Aiming to Mitigate Price Volatility, Amplify Return Contribution
    October 28, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    Recent returns from emerging market investments have been less than exciting. During times like this, it's often helpful to step back and think about why we wanted to be involved...
  • Now is the Time to Be Truly Active in Emerging Markets
    October 21, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    After a dismal third quarter, emerging market equities have been rebounding sharply. In the ten trading days up to October 12, the MSCI EM Index increased 11.45%, delivering one...
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