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

The Halloween Effect: Trick or Truth?

November 5, 2021

It was so good to see the spooky season back in full swing last week. Many of the Halloween events unfortunately canceled in 2020 were back this year. Ghosts, witches, princesses, and others in costume were making the neighborhood rounds, yards were decorated with Halloween props, and many other fall festivities were back.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Starting with a Financial Plan

October 21, 2021

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”—Oft-cited paraphrase of exchange between the Cheshire Cat and Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s tale, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Global Central Banks Join the Fed Bandwagon

October 8, 2021

Given the overarching role of the U.S. in the world economy, it is no surprise that when the Fed sneezes, central banks around the world catch a cold. During the so-called taper tantrum of 2013, the Fed’s unexpected talk of plans to slow down its bond purchase program resulted in higher interest rates and a stronger dollar, which caused the capital pipelines of emerging markets to freeze. Today, with a tenuous global recovery underway and the threat of the pandemic hanging on, central banks around the world are watching the actions of an increasingly hawkish Fed with hawk eyes (no pun intended). At the same time, we’re seeing global policy divergences as economies emerge from the pandemic environment at different speeds and face different challenges. For investors, this environment could present country-specific opportunities in fixed income, equities, and currencies.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

The Science and Art of Investing

September 24, 2021

“There is an art to science, and a science in art; the two are not enemies, but different aspects of the whole.” Isaac Asimov

Continue reading → Leave a comment

China: Value Play or Value Trap?

September 10, 2021

China’s recent regulatory crackdown and the consequent impact on its financial markets have caught the attention of worldwide media and investors. (A recent post by my colleague Peter Roberto explores the regulatory backdrop.) Given the current environment, I’ve been receiving numerous questions asking if now is the time to double down on Chinese equities. Potential investors are wondering if the recent bounce in some of the hardest-hit stocks could be a sustained run. My belief is that, over the shorter term, headline risks remain elevated for Chinese equities. In the long term, continued economic growth in China may present attractive opportunities for value creation. To avoid potential landmines, however, active management is critical.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

The Pandemic’s Financial Impact on Children

August 20, 2021

Last week, I happily returned to yet another tradition that was disrupted by COVID-19: back-to-school shopping. Although I did not miss paying for the rapidly changing school wardrobes of two teenage girls last year, I welcomed the feeling of normalcy the shopping routine brought to my family. COVID-19 and its associated restrictions have had a huge impact on children—educationally, socially, emotionally, and physically. We’ve all seen this. But did you know that, because of the pandemic, children may grow up to be worse off financially than their parents?

Continue reading → Leave a comment

The Stock Market and the Economy

August 13, 2021

In 2020, the U.S. GDP declined 3.4 percent, yet the S&P 500 was up 18.4 percent. In the first half of 2021, the U.S. GDP grew by 6.4 percent, and the S&P 500 was up by 15.25 percent.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

What Riots in South Africa Mean for Emerging Markets

July 30, 2021

The celebrated “rainbow nation” of South Africa was recently rocked by the worst violence since the nation achieved democracy and ended apartheid in 1994. Many lost their lives, the economy was hit at a time when it was already reeling under the effects of the pandemic, and its capital markets grew nervous.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Australia’s Love-Hate Relationship with China

July 16, 2021

Australia has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of China’s growth in the past several decades. China’s infrastructure spending after the last two crises—the great financial crisis and the more recent COVID-19 pandemic—created a demand for resources that was largely fulfilled by Australia. Indeed, this demand helped alleviate some of the pain for the Australian economy.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Euro Area Hits Its Stride

July 1, 2021

As with the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on the European economy, not to mention the continued uncertainty regarding Brexit. The U.S. and China were among the first countries on the path to economic recovery, while Europe struggled to emerge from the lockdowns and had a rough start to its vaccination program.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Subscribe via Email

Crash-Test Investing

Hot Topics

New Call-to-action



see all



The information on this website is intended for informational/educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice, a solicitation, or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or investment product. Please contact your financial professional for more information specific to your situation.

Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

The S&P 500 Index is a broad-based measurement of changes in stock market conditions based on the average performance of 500 widely held common stocks. All indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly in an index.

The MSCI EAFE (Europe, Australia, Far East) Index is a free float‐adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the U.S. and Canada. The MSCI EAFE Index consists of 21 developed market country indices.

One basis point (bp) is equal to 1/100th of 1 percent, or 0.01 percent.

The VIX (CBOE Volatility Index) measures the market’s expectation of 30-day volatility across a wide range of S&P 500 options.

The forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio divides the current share price of the index by its estimated future earnings.

Third-party links are provided to you as a courtesy. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided on these websites. Information on such sites, including third-party links contained within, should not be construed as an endorsement or adoption by Commonwealth of any kind. You should consult with a financial advisor regarding your specific situation.


Please review our Terms of Use

Commonwealth Financial Network®