Asset Allocation Reports

Asset Allocation Quarterly (Fourth Quarter 2016)

Although presidential elections gather a lot of attention from investors, we believe the specific person or party getting elected in this cycle may be less important than the forces driving the elections. The Fed is likely to raise rates gradually and we don’t expect the tighter policy to create a recession. Our equity allocations remain… Read More »

Asset Allocation Weekly (October 14, 2016)

by Asset Allocation Committee Given continued sluggish economic growth and fears that monetary policy has reached the point where it can no longer stimulate growth, a renewed attention has been brought to discretionary fiscal policy.  In the 1970s, discretionary fiscal policy fell out of favor due to a number of shortcomings: Public investment, if needed, should… Read More »

Asset Allocation Weekly (October 7, 2016)

by Asset Allocation Committee With the elections about a month away, we are fielding an increasing number of questions about the market impact of the result. Although some market commentators are raising concerns about a Trump victory, so far, market data doesn’t seem to suggest a high level of correlation. This chart shows Donald Trump’s average… Read More »

Asset Allocation Weekly (September 30, 2016)

by Asset Allocation Committee Last week, the FOMC left rates unchanged, as expected.  The statement was rather hawkish but the accompanying information, such as the “dots” chart, was mostly dovish. Note that three of the 17 members of the committee want to stand pat for the rest of the year and two want to raise rates… Read More »

Asset Allocation Weekly (September 23, 2016)

by Asset Allocation Committee Profit margins are off their highs but have started to improve. This chart takes total S&P 500 operating earnings as a percentage of GDP.  Excluding the financial crisis, operating earnings have been running between 5% and 6% of GDP for most of the past decade and a half.  In the middle of… Read More »

Asset Allocation Weekly (September 16, 2016)

by Asset Allocation Committee Since the beginning of September, 10-year T-note yields have risen from a low of 1.52% to a high of 1.75%.  This backup in yields is as issue we are monitoring carefully because we have favored long-duration assets for some time.  We analyze long-dated interest rates by starting with a fair value assessment… Read More »

Asset Allocation Weekly (September 9, 2016)

by Asset Allocation Committee Milton Friedman postulated that inflation expectations are established through a lifetime of experience.  To some extent, the issue of inflation expectations is similar to other market gauges in our lives, such as the level of financial markets, interest rates and home prices.  What we have experienced is considered as “normal” in our… Read More »

Asset Allocation Weekly (September 2, 2016)

by Asset Allocation Committee At the recent Kansas City FRB’s gathering at Jackson Hole, the tone from policymakers turned surprisingly hawkish.  Vice Chair Stanley Fischer was quoted as saying that two rates hikes are possible this year and the upcoming FOMC meeting in September could generate a rate hike if the payroll numbers are on trend. … Read More »

Asset Allocation Weekly (August 26, 2016)

by Asset Allocation Committee As we noted last week, equity markets are trading at the upper end of the range defined by the relationship between the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet and equities.  To some extent, the level of the relationship is somewhat less important than what the expanded balance sheet signals, which is that monetary policy… Read More »

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