The Independent Market Observer

Peter Essele, CFA®, CAIA, CFP®

Peter Essele, CFA®, CAIA, CFP®, is senior vice president, investment management and research, at Commonwealth. With the firm since October 2004, he oversees asset allocation, fund selection, and overall management of the firm's discretionary platform, Preferred Portfolio Services® (PPS) Select. Peter graduated from Union College, where he earned a BS in economics. In addition to holding FINRA Series 7, 24, 31, 53, and 66 securities registrations, Peter has the CAIA and CFP® designations and is a CFA® charterholder. He is also a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society.

Recent Posts

2023 Midyear Outlook: Is the Economy Half Empty or Half Full?

June 22, 2023

Heading into 2023, a looming recession dominated the headlines. Moody’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi quipped at the time, “CEOs are falling over themselves to say we’re falling into a recession. . . . Every person on TV says recession. Every economist says recession. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Fast-forward to today at the midyear point of 2023, and the data is telling a different story.

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How Did ESG Investing Become an Ideological Hot Button?

October 28, 2022

As fiduciaries, advisors are tasked with putting client interests ahead of their own. They have a duty to preserve good faith and trust. From an investment perspective, that includes considering all materially relevant information to mitigate risk and improve returns through prudent investment management. But from an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing perspective? It’s where the rift between proponents and opponents of this investing strategy begins.

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Is Housing Headed for a Significant Correction?

August 25, 2022

After a massive surge in homebuying throughout the pandemic, cracks are starting to show. Demand has begun to wane, while supply is increasing at the fastest pace in decades. So, will we see a moderation in prices if supply continues to outpace demand in the latter half of the year and into 2023?

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2022 Midyear Outlook: The Road Ahead for Fixed Income

July 19, 2022

One of the most surprising things to come out of the first half of 2022 was the walloping fixed income investors received from bonds. The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index posted its worst 12-month return in its entire history, which caused many investors to shed exposures, particularly longer-term sectors.

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Rising Inflation: Where Does It Go from Here?

June 30, 2022

We’ve received numerous questions about our inflation outlook over the past few weeks. In some cases, it seems investors are beginning to throw in the towel on traditional asset classes in favor of more inflation-sensitive areas like commodities, real assets, and managed futures, which have had a good run as of late. Before making wholesale changes to portfolios, though, it’s important to understand where inflation may be headed, as opposed to where it’s been.

Headlines are telling us that the Fed let things get out of control, with inflation at its highest level in 40 years and stagflation right around the corner. I would argue that the consensus on inflation could be wrong, mostly because the numbers are suggesting that things have already peaked and will probably moderate as the year progresses. So, let’s have a look at the data and cut through the headlines.

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Protecting Portfolios Against Inflation

March 25, 2022

Brad here. As we talk about inflation (and we will have more to say next week), the real question for us, as investors, is what we should do with our portfolios. No one is more qualified to answer that question than Pete Essele, who runs our Preferred Portfolio Services® Select asset management program. Here are his thoughts—have a great weekend!

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Sticker Shock: Assessing the Real Cost of Gas

March 11, 2022

Have you experienced sticker shock at the pump recently? Chances are, you probably noticed a price hike the last time you topped off your tank. According to the Energy Information Administration, the price of conventional gasoline has risen 57 percent in the past year, and consumers are feeling the squeeze.

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The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: A Lesson in Stakeholder Capitalism?

March 4, 2022

It’s possible that the autocratic regime in Russia didn’t fully appreciate the power of stakeholder capitalism. In the wake of the invasion, stakeholders have clearly chosen sides—and they do not include the Kremlin. Corporations have responded, and many have decided to sever Russian ties through divestment. Shell and BP recently announced their intention to abandon their involvement in Russia. Further, Sberbank (Russia's largest lender) says it is leaving the European banking market in the face of Western sanctions against Moscow.

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Recessions: A Capitalist Perspective

December 29, 2021

Is it possible we can learn something about a healthy economy from the National Forest Service (NFS)? For decades, the forest service had a policy of extinguishing brush and wildfires at all costs. Its main goals were to prevent fires and to suppress them as quickly as possible if they started. Over time, however, the NFS came to realize that forest fires have a role in nature, one that is necessary for healthy ecosystems to take form. The same may be true for recessions and the long-term health of our economy.

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Identifying Trends and Patterns in the COVID Data

October 22, 2021

Brad here. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been mentioning that I thought there’s a risk of a “heating” wave of the pandemic this fall in the northern states, following the “air conditioning” wave we saw in the southern states this past summer. I discussed it as a reasonable risk and something to keep an eye on, but my colleague and friend Pete Essele has gone well beyond that and done the work here to establish in detail both what happened over the summer and what that could mean for the fall and winter. Definitely worth a read! Great job Pete and thank you.

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