The Independent Market Observer

Anu Gaggar, CFA, FRM

Anu Gaggar, CFA®, FRM®, is a senior analyst in the Investment Management and Research group at Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, the nation's largest privately held Registered Investment Adviser–independent broker/dealer. She joined the firm in January 2013 and is responsible for manager evaluation, manager selection, and dissemination of research in the international and emerging markets asset classes. She graduated from Boston College with an MS in finance and also earned an MBA in finance from NMIMS in Mumbai. Anu is a CFA® charterholder and holds the Financial Risk Management® (FRM®) designation and the FINRA Series 7 securities registration.

Recent Posts

Tremors in the Housing Market

March 31, 2022

The housing market has shown exceptional strength after rebounding from the sharp but brief decline in the early months of the pandemic. Many factors have contributed to this—exceptionally low mortgage rates, aggressive stimulus, and the need for more housing as work and childcare were brought home. Now, all of these factors are diminishing while the cost of living is rising due to higher inflation. As a result, the housing market might be heading for a slowdown.

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If the Yield Curve Inverts, Will Recession Follow?

March 23, 2022

Brad here. Yesterday, I laid out why I am not concerned, in general, about what a yield curve inversion means for the economy, while still being very aware of the increasing risks. Today, Anu Gaggar is taking a more detailed look at what inversions have historically meant for the markets. Although she too sees rising risks, she is also less concerned in the short term—so let’s hope we are right!

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Could Some Sectors Benefit from Inflation?

February 25, 2022

Recent equity market volatility is being partially attributed to potential Fed tightening, as the Fed has signaled a shift from an accommodative monetary policy stance to one that is more restrictive. It is doing so in response to the recent hot inflation reads and a rebound in inflation expectations. In general, equities are considered a hedge against inflation. Why, then, are equity investors so concerned? The reason is that not all equity sectors are created alike. Specifically, some can combat inflation and subsequent interest rate increases better than others.

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Russia-Ukraine Tensions: Implications for Investors

February 2, 2022

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are showing no signs of abating. The geopolitical implications of further escalation could be quite dire and complicated. Although the deadlock may be resolved through diplomacy, we are watching for the impact on asset prices if the conflict escalates. Energy and commodity markets could be in the immediate line of fire, but repercussions may also be felt in the region’s equity and fixed income markets. Finally, if the situation worsens, the ripple effects could be more broad-based and have an impact on global inflation expectations and monetary policy.

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Will Chinese Equities Roar in the Year of the Tiger?

January 28, 2022

On February 1, China bids farewell to the Year of the Ox and rings in the Year of the Tiger. The ox symbolizes prosperity, diligence, and perseverance. In 2021, this symbol was apt, as Chinese economic policy shifted from “growth at all costs” to “common prosperity” and the country diligently persevered through many regulatory changes. Chinese equities were collateral damage in the process. As the Year of the Tiger rolls in, Chinese equities could remain volatile but purr stronger.

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Will We See a Supply Glut in 2022?

January 14, 2022

The year 2021 was all about supply shortages—from semiconductor chips to construction materials and everything in between. As supply chain logjams ease in 2022, some goods will get back to a normal balance. Others may swing to an oversupply. Sectors and industries that benefit from economic activity in which supply rises to meet demand may continue to reward investors in the near term. The business cycles for some companies may be at or near peak, however, so investors must watch for potential signs of a downturn. 

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Reflections from the Massachusetts Conference for Women

December 30, 2021

For the third year in a row, Commonwealth sponsored the Massachusetts Conference for Women. Since 2005, this annual conference has been providing connection, motivation, inspiration, networking opportunities, and skills-building workshops for thousands of women. As we did in 2020 and 2019, my colleague Giovanna Zaffina and I are sharing our experiences and thoughts.

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Is Omicron a Risk for Emerging Markets?

December 17, 2021

The recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the highly mutated Omicron variant are reminders that the pandemic is still very much a part of our lives. It is unclear how serious the health implications of the Omicron variant will be, let alone how governments, households, and firms will respond to it. While the financial markets have been through a range of emotions in the past few weeks, there is little evidence on how the underlying global economies will react.

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Turkey’s Unconventional Monetary Policy

December 3, 2021

Brad here. What is the next crisis? We get this question a lot. To keep up on such trends, we have to watch many things, such as countries getting into trouble. Turkey, which is currently struggling with the financial markets, is one of those countries we are watching—but not, as Anu Gaggar shows, all that worried about. This is a good case study of how we keep an eye on emerging risks. Thanks, Anu!

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Holiday Season Highs and Lows

November 17, 2021

Scarcity isn’t a concept that we, as a nation of consumers, are used to. When we want to buy goods, low-cost producers across the world fall over one another to produce and ship to us. But scarcity is exactly what we have been dealing with for nearly two years—from toilet paper and cans of beans to automobiles and now holiday items. First, the pandemic put a halt to economic activity across the globe. Factories, ports, and physical stores were all shut. Then, consumer demand returned with a vengeance, but supply chains were slow to ramp up.

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