The Independent Market Observer

Chris Fasciano

Chris Fasciano is a portfolio manager in the Investment Management and Research group at Commonwealth. He joined the firm in December 2014 and helps manage the Preferred Portfolio Services® (PPS) Select portfolios. Chris is responsible for asset allocation, security selection, and ongoing portfolio monitoring. In addition to his responsibilities on the PPS Select platform, he also assists Commonwealth advisors with questions pertaining to their own model portfolios. Chris earned his degree in economics from Bates College and his MBA from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Recent Posts

Surveying the Economic and Market Landscape

July 19, 2024

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
— Ferris Bueller

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2024 Midyear Outlook: Navigating the Geopolitical Waters

July 2, 2024

Recently, inflation and interest rates have dominated the headlines. And for good reason—they are known market and economic risks. But as we look toward the second half of 2024, investors must also be prepared to navigate the geopolitical risks, whose twists and turns can often lead into uncharted territory.

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Is There a Case for International Equities?

June 20, 2024

As the fears about Y2K dissipated and the dot-com boom entered its last few months, the world’s equity investment opportunity set was split roughly 50 percent in the U.S. and 50 percent in the rest of the world. Fast-forward to today, and approximately 64 percent of global market capitalization is in the U.S. This shift has resulted from the U.S. equity market’s outperformance since the end of the great financial crisis more than a decade ago.

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The Shifting Sands of the Market: A Challenge for Asset Allocators

May 16, 2024

In our team meetings, we often discuss the shifting sands of the market. Not only is it an interesting topic, but it poses a challenge for asset allocators. We are in the midst of a multi-year outperformance cycle for large-cap growth. The companies that have driven this outperformance have all become household names: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia, and Tesla. The top 10 names in the S&P 500 account for roughly 32 percent of the index compared to the average since 1990 of 20 percent. During the dot-com boom, the top 10 weightings peaked at 25 percent.

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How Portfolio Managers Think About Risk

April 11, 2024

One of my core beliefs as a portfolio manager is that we get paid to worry so investors don’t have to. Several weeks ago, Brad wrote about what was worrying investors and whether those issues were worth worrying about. He also acknowledged that there are some real concerns out there as well. I want to build on that idea and provide insight into how portfolio managers think about risks when everything seems to be going exactly as investors had hoped and, except for some short pullbacks measured in hours or days, markets continue to move higher.

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A Portfolio Manager’s View on Markets

February 22, 2024

Most people know Yogi Berra as the Hall of Fame catcher and 10-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees. Many also know him as an unintentional philosopher, with famous quotations including “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” One Yogi saying I find myself thinking about frequently is this: “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” Here, Yogi was referring to a popular restaurant in Fort Lauderdale where the Yankees were having spring training. But it seems applicable to the conversations that we have daily. 

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Navigating Uncertainty: What We’re Hearing from Portfolio Managers

January 8, 2024

When I speak to folks interested in a financial services career, I tell them the best thing about it is that every day is different. This is something that the economy and the markets have made abundantly clear over the past few years. I also often think back to a TV show from the late 1990s, Early Edition, where the main character gets the newspaper the day before it’s published and uses what he’s learned to help others. In challenging times, this might prove useful in finding investment success for clients. Alas, it’s not a resource we have at our disposal. But what we do have is insight from various portfolio managers across the industry.

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2023 Midyear Outlook: Do Equity Markets Warrant Caution Ahead?

June 28, 2023

1969 is often remembered as one of the biggest years in pop culture history. Broadway Joe Namath guaranteed his upstart AFL Jets would win the Super Bowl—and then went out and did just that. The Beatles played together in public for the last time on a London rooftop. Neil Armstrong took one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind. About 400,000 people descended on a farm in New York for the Woodstock Music Festival. And finally, the Miracle Mets won the World Series. 

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Value Is Growth, and Growth Is Value?

January 10, 2020

Brad here. One of the major discussions we have internally is how to allocate investments, with one of the biggest open questions being whether growth or value will do better going forward. Here is a detailed discussion of that by Chris Fasciano, a portfolio manager on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team. Our internal asset management team stewards more than $7 billion in client assets, and this is a rare chance to pull back the curtain and listen to the discussion. Over to you, Chris!

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