Spin-offs — which aim to unlock value by raising productivity and valuation of both the separated and remaining assets — have been in the news frequently this year. Most recently, BHP Billiton (not a PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Value Portfolio [PWV] holding) announced the separation of its aluminum, coal and silver assets into a new business unit.
While the European Central Bank (ECB) has successfully eased financial market stress over the past two-plus years, Europe’s long-awaited recovery still remains fragile and imbalanced. The current uncertainties are focused around:
- Inflation (or the lack thereof).
- Future monetary policy actions.
- A still-encumbered eurozone credit-transmission mechanism.
- The growth-dampening potential of the Ukrainian conflict.
While many investors headed to the beach or the amusement park this summer, their money traveled to emerging markets. During the month of July, about $2.5 billion in net flows went to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) focused on emerging market stocks.1 That’s in sharp contrast to recent trends — investors pulled about $6 billion out of emerging market ETFs in 2013, and another $5.3 billion at the start of 2014.2Read More
US stocks retreated in July and have continued to waver in August. While no one can predict the stock market’s movements for certain, I believe the probabilities point to a correction (a 10% drop), rather than a crash (a decline of 20% or more).Read More
“Investors in alt funds haven’t fared well. The Standard and Poor’s 500 stock fund has gained an average 19.57% the past three years, with dividends reinvested. Most alt funds have lagged.” USA Today, Aug. 13, 2014
The above quote from USA Today captures a common misconception, and a recurring theme in the media, about alternative investments, namely that these investments have failed anytime they underperform the stock market. Investors need to know that alternative investments in general,1 and alternative mutual funds in particular, are designed to achieve returns that are more consistent and less volatile than those of the stock market on a long-term basis across multiple market cycles.Read More
This is the fourth in a four-part series examining dynamic and durable growth themes that affect the US economy and present opportunities for investors. The first post examined the biotech revolution, the second explored the enormous implications of shale energy, and the third looked at the impending mobile data tsunami.
In the US, we’re now spending almost 20% of our media time on mobile devices, which is more than we spend on all of print and radio combined, and that percentage is continuing to grow.1
Because this change has occurred quickly, we believe many of the companies that effectively produce mobile content are substantially undermonetized and still have room for growth. Traditional media content providers that cannot effectively migrate to mobile are likely to see portions of their business cannibalized by this evolving platform.Read More