Equifax Credit Breach

September 2017

Equifax recently announced a severe security breach that may have exposed private information belonging to 143 million individuals. While you may have never dealt directly with Equifax, the company tracks financial transactions for most consumer loans, mortgages, revolving lines of credit, and credit card accounts. Equifax has not released full details on the compromised data but it is believed to contain Social Security numbers, dates of birth, home addresses, current bank accounts and even driver license numbers. Based on the scope of this […]

The Paradox of Passive

July 2017
What is good for investors individually is not necessarily good for investors as a group
• Money invested in index products is indiscriminately allocated toward the purchase of the largest market cap stocks in that index, potentially creating a disconnect between the price of the stock in the market and its fundamental value.

• As you can see in the chart below, there are just over 4,000 publicly traded stocks in the United States, while there are more than 5,000 indexes. This has changed significantly in the last […]

The Long Road to Legislative Reform

May 2017

As many Americans plan their summer vacations, we decided to share the latest thinking from Strategas on what appears to be the long, and likely bumpy, road toward health care and tax reform. Strategas, our trusted research provider, has an office in Washington, D.C., dedicated to providing insight on how policy might impact the markets.

First, health care.

President Trump’s campaign promise to reform “Obamacare,” followed by a failed attempt to pass the “congressional plan,” got a boost when the house passed the American Health […]

Looking Ahead: Market Implications for a Trump Presidency

December 2016

With a new administration heading into Washington after an astounding Republican sweep, we turned to our trusted partners at Strategas, a leading research and advisory firm, for insights on how policy changes may impact markets. Dan Clifton, Partner and Head of the Washington Office for Strategas, shared his perspective.

Starting in January 2017, Republicans will hold a majority in both the House and Senate which gives the party flexibility to move legislation; in particular, on health care and tax reform.

Tax Reform

We have a 75 […]

U.S. Investing: The Healthy, Wealthy and Wise U.S. Consumer

November 2016

As the holidays approach, we wanted to share some intriguing trends on the U.S. consumer. Since the Great Recession, we have observed several changes in consumption patterns including the preference to spend on experiences over things, to improve personal finances and to bargain hunt. We’ve identified three key themes. Today’s U.S. consumers are healthy, more wealthy and they are wise.

The U.S. consumer and experience economy are healthy. Despite mixed reports, U.S. consumer spending has remained robust. According to the Department of Commerce, personal […]

Third Quarter: Registering Moderate Growth

October 2016

The U.S. economy continues to register moderate growth supported largely by the consumer-oriented sectors of the economy, with business investment and government spending making a modest positive contribution. The industrial sector and exports are struggling with tepid global demand and the impact of a stronger U.S. dollar. With the U.S. labor market approaching full employment, wage growth remains on an uptrend, but the pace remains below historical norms. Pricing power has been elusive and inflation remains benign. Focused on cost-cutting and efficiency, firms […]

Emerging Markets Investing: Bridging the Return Gap

September 2016

Emerging Market equities have bounced back in 2016 after five years of disappointing returns.
Today, investors face stretched valuations in the U.S. and other developed economies as growth
around the world has become more difficult to find. We maintain that an allocation to Emerging
Market equities can help bridge the return gap in a low yield, modest return environment and
ultimately improve investor outcomes. With that in mind, we asked Westwood International
Advisors’ (WIA) Emerging Markets Portfolio Manager, Patricia Perez-Coutts, to share her insights on the
current state of […]

2016 Election: 10 Financial Trends Your Should Know

August 2016

This year’s elections, especially the Presidential race, have captured attention for months. On the heels of the party conventions this summer, we have had many clients inquire about our expectations for the markets depending on the election outcome. We turned to our trusted partners at Strategas, a leading research and advisory firm. Dan Clifton, partner and head of the Washington Office for Strategas, shared some interesting insights on historical election cycles that we wanted to pass along to you this month.

Dan, you’ve researched […]

Second Quarter Review: The Rollercoaster Ride Continues

July 2016

2016 Second Quarter and One-Year Trailing Returns Across Asset Classes


Looking back, the aftershock of the Brexit vote by the U.K. became top of mind for investors as the unexpected became reality. Central banks around the world were quick to position themselves as a liquidity backstop to the markets, should they have needed them. Investors lowered their risk exposures with an orderly sell-off on the news of Brexit despite the initial shock. The S&P 500 tumbled 5% over two days; however, a sharp rebound […]

Low-Volatility Equity Investing: Global Convertibles

June 2016

Low-volatility equity strategies have emerged as a viable option for investors seeking risk-managed growth. Interest in de-risking equity portfolios continues to grow given increased volatility and emphasis on loss limitation. Much of this interest can be attributed to factors that may persist, such as global growth concerns, negative real interest rates, global currency volatility and lack of stability in the commodity complex. With that in mind, we asked Westwood Management’s Global Convertibles Portfolio Managers, David Clott and Shawn Mato, to share their insights on […]