Global fixed income: What market threats lie ahead?

We assess ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ trends we see across the globe

Arnab DasThe world economy and financial markets have been buffeted over the past year by national and geopolitical shocks, yet the current synchronized upswing across the world’s largest economies — the first since the global financial crisis (GFC) — remains unscathed so far. Growth is up but inflation is low, and major central banks remain accommodative amid monetary policy normalization in the US. Asset price valuations are stretched, yet yield hunger — if not outright yield starvation — persists.

In the view of Invesco Fixed Income, three key themes have emerged across geopolitics, national economic policies and the financial markets. We call them the “the good, the bad and the ugly.”

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Despite little help from Washington, a positive outlook for US credit

Fundamentals and global demand are providing support for the asset class

The financial markets started the year enthusiastically after the US presidential election, but momentum appears to have peaked as reality has set in. As political debates play out in the second half, Invesco Fixed Income expects credit markets to remain well-supported by foreign demand as global central bank policies have produced meaningful interest rate differentials, despite growing hedging costs. In addition, debt issuance will likely be contained, in our view, as debt-funded merger activity is anticipated to decline with the return of global growth impulses. Our active research process leads us to varying views on key sectors, which we will highlight in this outlook.

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Back to school: A 529 college savings pop quiz

Common 529 college savings plan questions answered

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already back-to-school season — which means there’s no better time to do a little homework of your own and brush up on your family’s college savings plan. As your children gear up for another year of book reports and group projects, put your own knowledge to the test with a quick pop quiz on 529 plans.

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Why invest in alternatives?

Part 2 of our “summer school” series on alternatives

As highlighted in my previous blog, What are alternative investments, I’m embracing the spirit of summer school with a series of four blogs reviewing the basics of alternative investments. Part 1 explained what alternative investments are. In this installment, I explore why an investor should consider investing in alternatives.

Why use alternatives?

Like stocks and bonds, alternative investments are simply tools used by investors in an effort to achieve their investment goals. Given their unique characteristics, alternative investments have the potential to help investors meet three key objectives:

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Equity outlook: Smooth sailing or a roller coaster ride?

Three reasons equity market volatility could tick upward sooner rather than later

Nick KalivasStocks are on a remarkable run, which has kept equity market volatility largely contained thus far in 2017. In fact, volatility, as measured by the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), is currently at 8.84 — its lowest level since the index was first published in 1993.1 Moreover, the calendar-year high/low range for VIX is the narrowest since 1995.1

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Weekly Market Review: A sea of black swans

How today’s tensions are resolved could determine direction of capital markets

One of the key themes that I anticipated would affect markets this year is disruption. I have maintained that disruption would likely come in different forms: geopolitical risk and monetary policy risk. (There is one additional form — disruption caused by innovation — that will be addressed more fully in a future commentary.) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I must underscore the concerns I have articulated time and again about geopolitical risk. In many ways, these risks can be viewed as black swan events — difficult to predict, but with far-reaching potential consequences.

North Korean standoff rattles capital markets

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