Results 151–200 of 282 found.
High Yield Bonds and Interest Rates
Over the last month, we have seen the equity markets hit all-time highs, all the while bond investors seem to be indicating there are reasons to be concerned, sending the 10-year Treasury to the lowest yields seen over the past year.
Gold in the Time of the US Dollar
Continuing on the theme of the impact that strength in the US dollar might have on the price of gold in dollars, in this weeks discussion we investigate the close historical relationship between the price of gold expressed in dollars and the value of the dollar.
The Peritus Process Managing Risk
What is risk and how is it defined? To us, risk is about losing money and managing risk is what portfolio management is all about. Lets begin with credit risk, which is something we take on and expect to get paid for. First of all, credit investing is a negative art. What you dont buy is more important than what you do buy. Investors will not appreciate this until the cycle turns, which will inevitably happen at some point.
Gold: Keeping Calm And Carrying On
We continue from last weeks discussion on the role of interest rates in the gold market by looking at trends in the cost of carry of gold as priced in dollars, euro, yen and pounds. By way of a brief primer we define the cost of carry of gold in dollars as the London Bullion Markets Association 3 month Gold Forward Offered Rate (GOFO). GOFO is published every day by the LBMA and is calculated as US dollar Libor minus the gold lease rate.
An Inefficient Asset Class
We believe that the best approach to credit investing is to be agnostic on the credit ratings. This ratings agnosticism is central to our investment philosophy and process. We believe that credit ratings have created inefficiencies in corporate credit and an opportunity for those willing to step down on the ratings spectrum.
Gold – Keeping it Real
One of our favorite measures to monitor in relation to the gold market has been the relationship between the gold price expressed in US dollars and the US 10 year real yield with the real yield being the nominal yield on a government bond adjusted for inflation expectations. Over the long term studies have shown that gold has a much stronger relationship with real interest rates versus nominal interest rates.
How to Hold Gold Financed in Euro
We are often asked how US based investors can construct a long position in gold that is financed in a foreign. In the discussion below we show the components of trade that gives an investor long exposure to gold that is financed with European euro. A useful way to understand how the portfolio would be constructed is to look at the cash flows associated with a gold transaction. Looking first at a gold transaction that is funded in dollars we show a diagram of the associated cash flows.
Expanding the Opportunity Set for Income Generation
High Yield investors should understand the difference between an index-based product and its yield generation characteristics and portfolio composition based on the underlying index, versus some of the expanded opportunities available to active managers. For instance in the high yield bond and bank loan space, we see index-based, passive products that are largely high yield bonds or largely floating rate bank loans, not a blend of each.
Which Denomination of Gold is Your Parachute?
We continue on the theme of gold as a defensive asset in this weeks discussion by examining the performance of gold priced in dollars (USD), European euro, British pound and Japanese yen through a number of different periods which were characterized by a sudden rise in investor risk aversion.
High Stock Dividends: A Competitive Retirement Income Solution
Sufficient yield, keeping up with inflation, and outliving the funds available are three major concerns facing investors who are building a retirement portfolio. A high dividend yield equity portfolio can provide a competitive approach to addressing each of these concerns.
What Are Gold Option Markets Telling Us?
It is often a valuable exercise for investors to monitor the option market associated with the cash market as option markets may carry useful information about how the balance of supply and demand in the cash market is evolving over time. In this weeks note we review the history since January 2006 from when we have available data, of the markets relative preference to own gold calls (seeking to profit from rising gold prices) versus owning gold puts (seeking to profit from falling gold prices) and how this has related to the price action in the gold cash market.
The Opportunity in Unconventional Oil
Be it energy geopolitics or pipeline politicking, oil markets are clouded by noise that push prices up and down. In order to make long-term investments in the space the trick is to boil it down to the bare bones of the issue. Recently an article was published espousing that oil was headed to $75. It was an interesting notion but not one we would put much stock in for a variety of reasons, the most basic of which being supply.
Why Japan? Why Now?
One of the most popular investment themes coming into 2014 was Hedged Japanese Equity (owning Japanese equities while simultaneously hedging out the risk of the Japanese Yen weakening against the US Dollar). At its core, this theme leaves investors long Japanese equities in US Dollar terms, not Japanese Yen terms. This investment turned in very poor performance for the first half of 2014. By the end of Q1 2014, Japanese equities had sold off rather sharply and the US Dollar had weakened 2.01% versus the Yen.
High Yield versus Equities
Investors are often led down the path that they must invest in equities in order to generate a decent return, and that the high yield market is too risky and speculative. However, reality and the data points prove otherwise. Looking over the past couple decades and various periods in between, you can see that high yield has consistently outperformed the equity market (as measured by the S&P 500 Index) on a risk adjusted basis (return/risk).
Comparison of Rising Rates Strategies
With the ultra low interest rate environment becoming more of a norm in many investors mind, complacency has driven portfolio managers to maintain the status quo and stick to traditional duration and asset allocation targets. Recent history of bond market behavior has also supported this view. On a forward looking basis, however, the important questions center around how risk/return profiles change under rising interest rate environments and what investors should consider in evaluating the risk of their current portfolio mix.
Why We Favor Owning Gold in Euro Terms
In this discussion piece we discuss the rationale for why investors looking to buy gold as a defensive asset during these uncertain times should consider buying gold in euro terms. When an investor buys gold in dollars they are expressing the view that they expect the price of gold to increase relative to the dollar. Similarly when an investor buys gold in euro, they express the view that they expect the value of gold to increase relative to the euro.
A Perspective on High Yield Spreads
There have been recent headlines about yields in the high-yield market hitting all-time lows. Yes, this is true, but lets put this in some context. First, interest rates have been at or near all-time lows for years, pressuring yields in all fixed income securities as investors search for places to generate returns. Comparatively, we believe the high yield market still looks very attractive.
Alternative Investments: The Right Expectations
Every year around this time we hear about the fiscal year investment results for the various college endowments and typically there is much written about the endowments and 2014 is no exception but this year most of the attention seems to be on the extent to which various forms of alternative investments have been a drag on endowment results after years of their having provided outsized gains.
A Brief Note on Gold as a Defensive Asset
In previous notes we have written about the defensive nature of gold relative to the broad equity market. Much of the discussion has focused on the low correlation and beta of gold versus equity markets. In fact, the ten year monthly returns of gold (priced in US dollar terms) and the S&P 500 show a correlation of zero with the beta of monthly gold returns versus S&P 500 returns also being essentially zero (0.1).
The True Opportunity in Todays High Yield Market
There has been talk recently about the yield of the high yield market, as represented by the various indexes, and if there is return left to be had. While the high yield indexes are representative of the high yield market, we do not believe they are representative of the true opportunity in the high yield space.
Hedged High Yield
A strategy that we have seen emerge over the past year within the high yield market has been hedged high yield, most recently with iShares rolling out an product last month that uses their passive, index-based HYG fund as the high yield component. The gist of the hedged high yield strategy is to go long high yield bonds and short Treasuries (or Treasury futures). The basic premise is that the strategy will hedge interest rate risk, with any bond pricing decline due to rising rates being offset with the short in Treasuries.
Some Gold Indicators to Watch
With recent sharp falls in the price volatility of a wide range of assets including gold and the markets apparent insensitivity to macroeconomic news, many gold investors have shifted focus to some of the more widely watched gold technical indicators to see if they provide insight into the future direction of the gold price. In this weeks short discussion piece we look at the Gold Forward Offered Rate (GOFO), the US inflation adjusted (real) interest rate and the Gold/S&P500 ratio.
Trends in Gold Option Volatility
Liquidity in gold option trading has risen significantly over the last five years. Using the COMEX 100 ounce gold option contract as a proxy for the market, Year-to-Date Average Daily Volume has risen from approximately 30,000 contracts in May 2009 to 70,000 contracts (~ 217 metric tonnes) in May 2014. This period of growth in option use has coincided with the rapid rise in the gold price after the 2008 credit crisis and perhaps reflected a need from the growing number of gold investors for derivative contracts with which they could manage the risks inherent in their gold exposure.
An Inefficient Asset Class
The high yield and floating rate loan market are often misunderstood asset classes. Just what is the formal definition of high yield? High yield, or its more polite acronym, non-investment grade, is based off of the ratings grids provided by the two major credit rating agencies, Moodys and Standard & Poors. All bonds rated below Baa by Moodys are considered high yield or non-investment grade.
Examining the Relationship between Gold and the Commodity Currencies
In this weeks commentary we examine the performance of the price of gold expressed in the currencies of the worlds largest gold producing countries. In a number of previous commentaries we have investigated the currency like nature of gold investing.
Mexico: A Country in Transition
We have been traveling regularly to and investing on and off in Mexico for over thirty years. We have seen the Peso strengthen and bust a couple of times; government-owned banks privatized and then bust; an ongoing roller-coaster ride in the Bolsa. Through it all, we have been big believers in the long-term prospects for the country, its economy, and financial markets. However, it is clear that a thoughtful process regarding entry and exit points is required.
Overview of the Fixed Income Market
Junk bonds are often still considered an alternative asset class and remain tremendously confusing to much of the investing public. They are considered by many to be very risky and illiquid. The truth is that the high yield market is a relatively straightforward, well developed and liquid market.
Gold and Portfolio Efficiency
In previous commentaries we have discussed the benefits of using a diversified financing currency approach for investing in gold by which we mean using two or more currencies (rather than just the US dollar) to make gold purchases. The example we have used to demonstrate the approach was to construct a time series of the price of gold purchased with an equal weighted basket of dollars, euro, yen and pound.
Europe Part 2: The Smart Beta Portfolio
In our last post we discussed the attractiveness of European equities in aggregate, and assessed the pros and cons of implementing this regional investment theme with a market capitalization weighted ETF (VGK ? Vanguard). It was our conclusion that the most effective way to gain exposure to the expected advance in European equities was through a multi-factor ?smart beta? portfolio.
Does Negative GOFO Signal Higher Prices for Gold Financed in Currencies?
In recent weeks a number of gold commentators have once again highlighted the strong inverse relationship over the last year between the price of gold in dollar terms and the London Bullion Market Association Gold Forward Offered Rate "GOFO". Since the first week of July 2013 when the price of gold bounced decisively, the GOFO rate has fairly reliably predicted the future direction of the gold price.
Europe: Market Capitalization vs. Smart Beta
A bullish investor consensus for European equities appears to be building. More and more, we are hearing and reading that European equities are attractive and undervalued. It may be the right time for greater exposure to developed international equities, and Europe might be the right place for investors to focus. However, why stop there? Why stop at the regional level?
Gold as a Defensive Asset
In our previous commentary ?Gold and the US dollar ? a love hate relationship? we used a normalized time series of the price of gold expressed in US dollars and an index representative of the value of the US dollar on currency markets to show the inherent relationship between the price of gold and the financing currency. As the financing currency strengthens on currency markets, one would expect the price of gold expressed in that currency to fall.
Israel ? Under the Radar
In recent travels and presentations, I was asked frequently about Israel. How is it that the Israeli market is #2 in our country ranking methodology? It seems as though the country is off the radar screen of most investors, so a quick overview of the market and why it ranks high currently seems to be in order.
U.S. Financials: Investment Theme Update
We reaffirm our recommendation for U.S. Banking and Financial Services as a satellite equity investment. The Federal Reserves "Stress Test" reinforces a constructive outlook and conservative risk profile for U.S. Banks. The positive results confirm that U.S. banks have enhanced their ability to withstand macroeconomic challenges by reducing problem assets during the past few years. Equally important, the financial sector appears to be more exposed to a key driver of the broader equity market advance over the last few years: share buyback programs and increasing dividends.
The Default Outlook
On April 1st, TXU/Energy Future Holdings skipped their interest payment due that day, immediately triggering a default by some reporting mechanisms. While the company has a 30 day grace period to pay the coupon payment, most expect them to use the grace period to work further on a restructuring and ultimately file for bankruptcy at some point over the next 30 days.
Gold - Managing the Downside
We get a lot of questions regarding the impact on portfolio risk of having an allocation to gold. In particular given the status of gold as a safe haven asset, focus has centered on its performance during periods of extreme market stress ? what is the downside to gold during periods of high risk aversion? The high level answer to this question is that the financing currency used to make the gold purchase matters and as is often the case when discussing portfolio construction, ?you ask a simple question, you get a complex answer?.
Active managers dont have a mandate to hold any certain securities, thus they can pick and choose as to what they feel offers the best return level for a given risk profile. The high yield bond market still offers plenty of what we view as very attractive opportunities in credits that we see as solid companies at yields about 300 basis points or more above the yield level on this bond.
The Treasury Yield Curve Starts its Tightening Process
Martin is the Investment Strategist to the AdvisorShares Pring Turner Business Cycle ETF (DBIZ)?and since 1984, he has published the ?Intermarket Review,? a monthly global market report revered among analysts and market technicians. Here, Martin shares his latest technical analysis.
Why International Now?
One of the ongoing challenges that advisors face is determining what percentage of their clients assets should be allocated to international equities. The magnitude of this decision is often amplified when the United States has years of persistent out/under performance. US clients will inherently gauge the success of their portfolio based on the S&P 500, or similar index. The challenge for advisors is explaining why a more diversified exposure to global equities is meaningful in the long-run, despite recent years of outlandish performance.
The Media?s Incomplete Coverage of the Active/Passive Debate
Barron?s revisited the debate between active and passive portfolio management with it?s conclusion revealed in the article?s title; Go Active for Bonds, but Index Your Stocks. This is an important issue for market participants to explore and the revisit every so often.
Understanding Gold Cost of Carry in Various Currencies
Under normal market conditions, the term structure for the price of gold for delivery at increasing maturities (the term structure) exhibits an upward sloping curve. In futures market terminology the term structure is said to be in contango and implies that the price of gold for spot delivery is lower than the price of gold for future delivery.
When Will it be Time to Get Back to EM?
Global investors have been experiencing an ongoing drag on returns to the extent they have had exposure to Emerging Market (EM) equities. It is difficult to abandon the asset class given historical performance, relative economic growth, current valuation discounts, and portfolio management tenets regarding diversification. But the fact that the U.S. has been such a strong performer, along with its size and prominence in the press, creates questions about why any non-U.S. stocks should even be in the portfolio.
Assessing the Liquidity of Futures Backed Gold ETFs
Most gold ETFs that use futures to gain gold exposure will use the COMEX 100 ounce gold futures contract which is generally regarded as the most liquid gold futures contract in the world. The Commodity Exchange (COMEX) is a commodity exchange owned by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). As part of its gold exchange the COMEX offers warehousing for its members.
What if Grantham is Right?
There were two articles recently both exploring the same possible outcome; that investor returns from capital markets could be much lower in the coming years. No matter what markets end up doing, advisory clients and do-it-yourselfers still have financial plans that likely require some amount of growth over time in order to have a chance of succeeding without something, such as desired lifestyle or working longer than hoped for, having to give.
Assessing the Impact of Financing Currency on Gold Price Performance
In our weekly commentary we follow up our discussion from last week with a brief overview of the impact on performance of diversifying the financing currencies used to make gold purchases. We also compare "Gold/Basket" performance versus gold financed with a number of different, single currencies. For the purposes of this analysis we define the Gold Basket as a gold financed with an equally weighted basket of four currencies, the dollar, euro, yen and pound; the portfolio is also assumed to be rebalanced weekly.
IPOs: Hot Again
Last week the Wall Street Journal gave a rundown of what has been a very hot IPO market. The Journal reported that there were 42 listings in the first two months of 2014 compared to 20 from the same timeframe in 2013 and keep in mind 2013 was a very good year for IPOs.
Evolution of SRI Leads Investors to a Sustainable Future
It?s no secret that positive screening as an investment strategy is becoming increasingly popular as advisors seek ways to identify substantive investment opportunities. The practice focuses investors on the elements of a company that can make a positive impact both on the bottom line and on society, pointing to socially progressive companies that generate returns.
"Purer" Gold Exposure for the Long Term Investor
This week we dive into a discussion on the impact of diversifying the financing currencies used to purchase gold. At a high level the primary objective of wanting to diversify financing currencies is to gain a ?purer? form of exposure to gold by using a number of different currencies (rather than a single currency) to make gold purchases. For example an investor could decide to use a combination of euro, yen, pounds and dollars to make a purchase.
Results 151–200 of 282 found.