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The Fed’s “lean, leave, then clean” strategy
US inflation could prove "stickier" than many observers think. How might that influence Fed policy into 2023? Fixed Income Portfolio Manager Jeremy Forster opines.
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Quick Take
2022-12-31
What does an equity market bottom look like?
Applying a historical analysis to today's market, Multi-Asset Portfolio Manager Nick Petrucelli believes US equities have not yet found a near-term bottom.
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Quick Take
2022-11-30
No more Mr. Nice Guy? Fed Chair Powell talks tough on inflation
Fixed Income Portfolio Manager Brij Khurana offers his latest thoughts on Fed policy and rhetoric following the central bank's annual Jackson Hole meeting last week.
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Quick Take
2022-09-30
US/China relations: What next after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan?
Geopolitical Strategist Thomas Mucha assesses the escalating tension in US/China relations following US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.
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Quick Take
2022-11-30
Why collective investment trusts are gaining traction within DC plans
Growing interest in CITs within the DC space is being driven by lower fees and other benefits — a trend our DC team expects to continue.
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Article
2023-08-31
Investment takeaways from the latest inflation data
With 2022's structural inflation story still very much intact, now may be a particularly opportune time for investors to add real-asset and inflation-sensitive exposures to their portfolios.
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Quick Take
2022-11-30
Cash-balance liabilities: A new investment framework
A cash-balance plan is very different from a traditional pension, and the differences can have a major impact on interest-rate sensitivity. With this in mind, we propose a focus on capital preservation, consistent income, and liquidity.
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Article
2023-08-31
Reckoning with recession risk: Why this one may be “pricey”
Client Portfolio Manager Jitu Naidu shares his latest take on the looming risk of a global economic recession and related issues.
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Quick Take
2022-11-30
Global convertibles: Unprecedented times call for unconventional solutions
Fixed Income Portfolio Manager Michael Barry and Investment Director Raina Dunkelberger argue that global convertible bonds are well suited to today's uncertain market environment.
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Quick Take
2022-11-30
Will the Fed send the US economy into a recession?
Multi-Asset Strategist Adam Berger and US Macro Strategist Juhi Dhawan consider the broad impact of Fed rate hikes and how asset allocators should respond.
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Article
2023-07-31
Fed rate hikes: A tailwind for bonds?
Global Investment Strategist Nanette Abuhoff Jacobson believes higher-quality, longer-duration bonds may prove resilient even if the Fed keeps raising short-term rates into 2023.
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Quick Take
2022-10-31
July Fed meeting: Rising inflation vs falling growth
After another rate hike, the Fed must balance moderating growth with mounting inflation. Caroline Casavant opines on how the central bank might navigate this dilemma.
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Quick Take
2022-10-31
US inflation: Supply chains to the rescue?
Macro Strategist Juhi Dhawan shares her inflation outlook, including the prospects for supply-chain normalization, and her views on the market implications.
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Article
2023-07-31
Don’t be surprised if CLO equity surprises to the upside
Members of our fixed income team, including Portfolio Manager Alyssa Irving, believe CLO equity could be poised to outperform many other risk assets over the next few years.
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Quick Take
2022-10-31
Credit investing against a slower-growth, higher-inflation backdrop
The significant flattening of the US Treasury yield curve in recent months has some prognosticators calling for an impending US recession. Not so fast, says Fixed Income Portfolio Manager Rob Burn.
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Quick Take
2022-07-31
Loans from Federal Home Loan Banks: An opportunity for US insurers to enhance investment yield and total return
Learn why our Financial Reserves Management Group believes FHLB loans provide compelling potential for insurers to add alpha or increase yield by borrowing at low rates and benefitting from possible favorable treatment by ratings agencies.
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Article
2023-07-01
Is it too soon to call a “top” in US interest rates?
Are we nearing the top of the 10-year treasury rate?
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Quick Take
2023-05-31
Will Japanese buyers look beyond USD fixed income? They may have to
With the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) interest-rate-hiking cycle now underway, it’s an important time to keep a close eye on non-US buyers of US dollar (USD) fixed income securities.
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Quick Take
2022-07-31
Five reasons to take a closer look at Brazil
I have published my views on Brazil more than once over the past year (most recently in my November 2021 blog post), but the environment there has changed markedly through the first few months of this year, with COVID-related risks seemingly on the wane and the Russia/Ukraine conflict having driven up commodity prices — so I thought now would be an opportune time to share a fresh perspective on South America’s most populous country.
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Quick Take
2022-07-31
When will US federal deficits matter?
Now that the Federal Reserve has moved into tightening mode, it’s worth asking when the US deficits and overall debt could become a source of worry. As long as interest rates stay reasonably low without driving persistently high inflation, I believe deficits and the debt won’t matter too much to the economy or markets. The debt won’t be painful to finance and can continue to grow — within reason. In fact, if economic growth is higher than the interest rate on government borrowing, it’s possible for debt to GDP to shrink even amid sizeable deficits.
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Quick Take
2022-07-31
Nearing the finish line: Ideas on end-state investing for corporate DB plans
As corporate plans approach their fully funded “end state,” new goals will need to be set. Members of our LDI team share their research on this transition and the required realignment of asset allocation strategies, including changes in return-seeking and liability-hedging portfolios and key liquidity considerations.
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Article
2023-04-30
Bank loans: Resiliency amid volatility
In the face of ongoing geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty, including the prospect of steadily rising interest rates, our floating-rate bank loan team maintains a bullish outlook for the sector. Emboldened by a strong US economy and mounting inflationary pressures, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) enacted its first 25 basis-point (bp) increase in interest rates since 2018. Additionally, Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s recent rhetoric has become more hawkish, including suggesting the possibility of a 50 bp rate hike in the coming months. The market is now pricing in the fed funds rate to rise to around 2.5% by the end of 2022 (from its current target of 25-50 bps).
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Quick Take
2022-07-31
Global credit: Where do we go from here?
Fixed Income Portfolio Manager Mahmoud El-Shaer explores why 2022 may be a momentous year for global credit and sets out a framework to think through potential investment implications. 2022 promises to be another challenging year for central banks as they attempt to normalise policies in the face of surging inflation, while navigating the growing fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since 2009, there has essentially been one trade in capital markets: riding a huge wave of central bank liquidity in support of the financial system and the economy, with the G4 central banks alone pumping approximately US$20 trillion into the system via quantitative easing (QE).
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Quick Take
2022-07-31
Ten more “what if” scenarios for 2022
In his latest Top of Mind session, Multi-Asset Strategist Adam Berger addressed a wide range of what-if scenarios on the minds of our clients. See what he has to say on Russia, China, cryptocurrencies, the IPO market, and many other topics in this brief article.
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Article
2023-02-28
DC plans: Three timely themes that probably aren’t going away anytime soon
Our DC plan specialists highlight three big-picture investment themes that are not only top of mind for many plan participants in today’s environment, but are also likely to have staying power in the months ahead.
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Article
2023-03-31
For markets, it’s complicated
As markets grapple with the war in Ukraine, inflation worries, and a host of other issues, Nanette Abuhoff Jacobson and Daniel Cook offer their thoughts on the investment implications for equities, commodities, and fixed income.
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Article
2022-10-31
How might equity sectors fare when Fed tightening begins?
We look back at how US equities have performed in the months following the beginning of a tightening cycle, as well as how bond yields have tended to behave.
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Quick Take
2022-05-31
Credit and equity performance around Fed hiking cycles
One of the discussion topics du jour is how the credit and equity markets might react to the US Federal Reserve (Fed) interest-rate hikes that are widely anticipated in the coming months. As is often the case with me, I find it helpful here to refer to past hiking regimes and market performances as a sort of guidepost. The proof’s in the pudding To wit, I examined the historical returns of both US credit (for this purpose, proxied by corporate high-yield bonds) and US equities (represented by the S&P 500 Index) during the six months before the first rate increase of a Fed hiking cycle through the 12 months after said increase.
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2022-05-31
The critically important national security implications of biotech
Deepening US policy risks in the biotechnology sector have garnered some well-deserved attention from many of my colleagues lately. Given biotechnology’s potential future importance to US policymakers in the context of the ongoing US-China “great-power” competition, I’d like to share my own thoughts on what’s driving the rising geopolitical risk and national security concerns.
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Quick Take
2022-04-30
Start at the end: How to size and structure private allocations for corporate plans
How should corporate defined benefit plan sponsors think about the private allocation decision? Members of our LDI and Alternatives teams propose a “start where you want to end up” approach that incorporates liquidity and return requirements.
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2023-02-28
What if…? Contemplating five big questions for 2022
Could there be policy, inflation, or market surprises in 2022? Multi-Asset Strategist Adam Berger weighs the possibilities and the portfolio implications.
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Article
2023-02-28
Three transition year themes — inflation, capital, ESG
Insurance Multi-Asset Strategist Tim Antonelli believes 2022 could be a year of transition for the global insurance industry, with the three big themes of inflation, capital, and ESG likely to play prominent roles in many insurers’ strategic planning and decisions.
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Article
2022-12-01
Fed watch 2022: Year of the hawk?
With inflation on the rise and all eyes seemingly on the Fed these days, Fixed Income Portfolio Manager Jeremy Forster shares his takeaways from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)'s December 2021 meeting.
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Quick Take
2022-07-29
2022 Global Economic Outlook
Our 2022 economic outlook describes the forces we believe will shape macro & market events, including significant inflationary and geopolitical risks.
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Article
2022-11-30
Setting ROAs for 2022: A guide for US corporate and public plans
How are pension plans adjusting their ROA assumptions? How do those assumptions line up with our long-term capital market assumptions? Find out in this annual update.
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Article
2022-10-31
Time to buy credit or Treasuries? Ideas on calibrating the trade-off
After hitting derisking triggers in 2021, many plans are looking ahead to the next trigger and thinking about how expensive the investment-grade credit market is currently. LDI Team members Connor Fitzgerald and Bill Cole offer metrics to aid the decision-making process and consider potential alternatives.
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Article
2022-11-30
Sizing up Biden’s plan to decarbonize America
US Macro Strategist Juhi Dhawan examines the Biden administration’s commitment to a lower-carbon economy, including proposed infrastructure spending, tax incentives, and regulations, as well as the implications for industries and the broad economy.
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Article
2022-10-31
The evolution of derisking: Assessing new and time-tested liability-hedging ideas
As defined benefit plans contemplate the best path to their eventual “end state,” members of our LDI team update their liability-hedging research with a blend of traditional benchmark ideas and new opportunities to capitalize on changing market conditions and a broader investment universe.
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Article
2022-09-30
A revival in US investment spending: Implications of the Biden infrastructure plan
US Macro Strategist Juhi Dhawan discusses six key themes in the US infrastructure proposals, from shovel-ready projects to modernization of the power grid, and considers the broad economic impact and potential for unintended consequences.
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Article
2022-08-31
Inflation’s big comeback: Should corporate pensions care?
It’s been a long time since anyone worried about inflation getting off the ground. That seems to be changing, and for corporate plans, we think the risk is greater for return-seeking portfolios than liability-hedging portfolios. But we also believe that falling inflation is more worrisome than rising inflation. In this paper, we consider the implications and the potential role of different return-seeking allocations in preparing for various inflation outcomes.
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Article
2022-06-30
LDI Alert — Adding intermediate credit to the derisking tool kit: What plan sponsors need to know
With a growing number of derisking plans seeking exposure to intermediate credit, members of our LDI team highlight some key investment considerations.
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Article
2022-03-31
LDI Alert — Time to prepare for a “clear skies” environment?
Funded-ratio improvements and the associated derisking opportunity can be short-lived. LDI Team members Bill Cole and Connor Fitzgerald offer ideas to help plans ensure they’re ready.
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2022-01-31
Fighting downgrade drag to reduce pension liability lag
Even robustly constructed liability benchmarks can struggle to keep pace with the liabilities they are meant to represent, and credit-rating downgrades of issuers in the benchmark are a primary culprit. In this paper, members of our LDI Team define the problem and offer ideas to help plan sponsors and LDI managers work together to fight back.
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Article
2021-11-30