Value Vs. Valuation: A Dilemma for Emerging Market Investors

May 19, 2020

Brad here. One of the most common questions I get from investors is where to invest. Stocks, bonds, or something else? Are things different this time, and how should we react? And, perhaps most relevant, should we invest in the U.S. or abroad? Anu Gaggar, Commonwealth’s international analyst, spends her days thinking about how—and whether—to invest abroad, and this post provides a timely and very useful guide to how she is thinking about emerging markets. Thanks, Anu!

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Progress on Several Fronts in Coronavirus Pandemic

May 14, 2020

Last week, we took a look at progress in the coronavirus pandemic since the start of April, which has been substantial. What I want to look at today is some very good news from the past week. We saw continued and even accelerated progress on several fronts with the pandemic and are almost into phase 2. For the economy, the rolling reopening has also started to show some positive effects. Financial markets, on the other hand, have had some volatility as the prospect of reopening turns into reality. So, here we go.

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Pandemic Slowing—Are the Biggest Risks Behind Us?

May 7, 2020

The two keywords for last week’s update were “continued progress,” and those would work for this week as well. As this is the first update for May, however, let’s take a look at the progress over the past month, since the start of April. While weekly data is useful, the pandemic has now continued on for long enough that we have the data to establish a broader context—and that broader context is surprisingly positive.

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Looking Back at the Markets in April and Ahead to May 2020

May 6, 2020

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. April was a Dickens of a month. But what lies ahead? Let’s take a closer look.

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Markets Are Confident—But Are They Right?

April 30, 2020

As we did last week, I’d like to provide an update on where we are in the coronavirus crisis. This week, the news has generally been good. The virus continues to come under control, with the growth rate slowing (although the case count has not declined as much). Some states are reopening their economies, which will give us valuable data and should help with employment. Finally, the markets have continued to rally but may have gotten a bit ahead of themselves. Let’s take a closer look.

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Is Runaway Inflation an Inevitability?

April 29, 2020

With the Fed’s regular meeting concluding today, expectations are that the central bank will continue to provide whatever stimulus is necessary to keep the economy afloat. In conjunction with the federal government’s unprecedented multi-trillion dollar stimulus program, fears are rising that inflation is coming both fast and hard—and that we, as investors, need to plan now for this inevitability. I don’t believe it.

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Bonds Broke—Now What?

April 28, 2020

Brad here. Today, Nick Follett, manager of fixed income on our Investment Management and Research team, is here to discuss what's happening with bonds and the fixed income market. Over to you, Nick!

About one month ago, the bond market broke. Equities were down, as was fixed income—at exactly the time when you would expect and need it to be up. The 10-year U.S. Treasury, which started the year at 1.90 percent, fell from 1.10 percent (on March 2) to 54 basis points (bps) just one week later. There were concerns about every aspect of the financial system, from money market funds to the system itself. Indiscriminate selling forced down all fixed income classes as even the most liquid Treasuries, municipal bonds, and investment-grade corporates saw few if any buyers for the inordinate number of sellers.

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