US/China trade conflict creates factor opportunities

Low Volatility and Quality offer potential benefits in stressed markets

Time to read: 3 min

In my discussions with clients from around the globe the past few months, I have been presenting the view that the US/China trade conflict will be a long, hard-fought battle that will likely play out over years, not months — and I still believe that despite the nations’ recent agreement made at the G-20 meeting. If the trade dispute indeed persists, the disruption is likely to weigh on economic growth rates, and equity markets are likely to continue to exhibit higher-than-average levels of volatility. In this scenario, I believe the Low Volatility and Quality equity factors may be especially attractive.

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Managing interest rate risk with bond ladders

Defined maturity ETFs can help investors build diversified bond ladders

Time to read: 3 min

For the first time in 12 years, investors are forced to wrestle with the challenge of navigating a multi-year upward trend in interest rates at both the short and long end of the bond universe. Bond laddering is a timeless strategy used by generations of investors to help manage the risks associated with future changes in market interest rates. But bond laddering has become markedly more difficult to implement in the decade since the financial crisis. In this blog, I explain the potential benefits of bond laddering, and tools that can help with the difficulties.

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Are you prepared for rising interest rates?

Defined maturity bond fund ETFs may provide a compelling option for a rising interest rate environment

Time to read: 3 min

Interest rates continue their upward trend. In March, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) hiked the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a target range of 1.5% to 1.75%, citing strength in the US labor market, a low unemployment rate and moderate economic growth.1 This was the sixth such rate increase since December 2015, and isn’t likely to be the last. With inflation nearing the Fed’s annual 2% target, members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) — the Fed’s policy-making arm — anticipate at least two more 0.25% increases in the federal funds rate by year-end.2

What’s in store for the yield curve?

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Four reasons to invest in commodities in 2018

Falling crude oil inventories, weaker US dollar provide investors in commodities reason for optimism

Time to read: 4 min

Commodity performance has been mixed in recent years. A strong rally in 2016 was followed by more modest returns in 2017, with gains in industrial metals offsetting weakness in energy and agricultural commodities. As we move into 2018, I believe conditions are favorable for commodities. Here are four reasons to take a closer look.

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What to make of the US dollar’s doldrums?

Today’s weak dollar has the potential to spark higher interest rates and ignite commodities

While the dollar moved higher against global currencies in 2014 and 2015, headlines touting the dollar’s strength continued long after its price trend flattened out. Since then, the Federal Reserve adopted tighter monetary policy, leading many market prognosticators to predict a renewed rise in the US dollar. I was not among them.

In fact, it has been my contention for nearly two years that

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