On My Mind: Will the US Economy Survive the Politics in 2020?
The many gloomy predictions for 2019 did not come to pass, but can we be more optimistic for 2020? Franklin Templeton Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai draws the key lessons from last year and outlines what we should expect for the year ahead and her main concerns, with political uncertainty top of the list.
Active ETFs, Small ETFs and Other Trends to Watch in 2020
As we kick off the new year, market prognosticators are busy making their 2020 predictions. David Mann, our Head of Capital Markets, Global Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), offers some thoughts on trends and milestones within the ETF industry he thinks could come to fruition in 2020.
Why Digital Transformation Should Remain Resilient in 2020
Franklin Equity Group’s Jonathan Curtis explains why he thinks businesses will need to invest significantly more in digital technology in the coming years to better understand and service their customers and to reduce costs.
SECURE Act Passage Heightens Retirement Security
A sweeping piece of legislation affecting how individuals save and invest for their retirement, known as the “SECURE Act,” has recently been signed into law. Our investment professionals talk about the implications of the Act, and how it can enhance the retirement security of millions of Americans. And, they outline some changes in the legislation that also affect college savings plans.
Global Investment Outlook: Coping with a Changing Market Landscape in 2020
Our senior investment leaders have a cautiously optimistic outlook for 2020. They still do not see a global recession looming and believe there are plenty of reasons to remain invested.
Outlook for Municipal Bond Investing
Municipal bonds can continue to provide a number of potential benefits for tax-sensitive investors as we move into 2020, according to Shelia Amoroso, director of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s Municipal Bond Department. However, following the strong results in 2019, she and the team expect total return potential to be muted in 2020, with likely increased volatility.
Allocation Views: 2020 Appears Tilted to the Downside
While US-China trade tensions and other concerns prompt a cautionary stance when it comes to risk assets, Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions’ Ed Perks and Gene Podkaminer nonetheless remain positive about the US equity market in the year ahead, citing a number of long-term growth drivers that still remain in place.
A Fixed Income View of 2020: Separating Sentiment from Fact
Investors could be in for a bumpy year ahead, according to Franklin Templeton Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai. She emphasizes the importance of separating the facts from the headlines, but also thinks it’s a good time to look to “de-risk” portfolios to some extent, while still remaining invested.
UK Election: Will Tory Victory Bring Investors Back to UK Equities?
As widely expected, the Conservative Party emerged victorious in the UK general election. Our Colin Morton anticipates UK equity markets will welcome the outcome, but cautions that some uncertainties remain.
Assessing Potential US Health Care Reforms Ahead of an Election Year
Health care reforms are always a popular topic of discussion ahead of a US presidential election campaign, where politicians talk about proposed changes that can be very different than the current system.
Emerging Markets Record Diverse Performances in November
It was a mixed month for emerging markets in November, as shifting expectations about a trade deal between China and the United States continued to drive market sentiment. Our emerging markets equity team explains why US-China trade issues may not be that big of a concern for some emerging markets, and provides an overview of the news and events shaping markets during the month.
What’s Ahead for the MENA Region?
As investors ponder the prospects for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity’s Bassel Khatoun and Salah Shamma take stock of the investment landscape. They highlight some of the market developments in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that have caught their attention.
Two Reasons US Equities May Keep Climbing into 2020
There’s an old adage called “climbing a wall of worry” that’s used to describe a situation where markets continue to climb in the face of uncertainties. Certainly there is no shortage of uncertainties today, yet US stocks have clawed their way to new all-time highs. Franklin Equity Group Portfolio Manager Grant Bowers recognizes there may be a few cracks emerging, but says there are still two main reasons to be optimistic about the outlook, and believes there is still room for US equities to run in 2020.
Non-Transparent, Active ETFs Get Regulatory Nod
The menu of types and styles of exchange-traded funds available to investors keeps growing. The Securities and Exchange Commission just approved four proposals for a new type of exchange traded fund: non-transparent, active ETFs
Corporate Governance in Emerging Markets: Harnessing Winds of Change
Emerging markets provide many potential investment opportunities, but corporate governance shortfalls can present challenges. Over the years, some countries have moved faster than others to plug their governance gaps. Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity’s Chetan Sehgal and Andrew Ness outline what corporate governance is and how emerging markets are making improvements in this area.
Optimism Returns to Emerging Markets in October
A number of factors spurred improved investor sentiment in emerging markets over the past month, including an interest-rate cut from the US Federal Reserve. Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity outlines the news and events shaping market moves during October, and the reasons why the team is optimistic about the coming year.
Emerging Markets Show a Quiet Resilience
As the world watches the US-China trade spat roll on, it is important to look beyond the headlines and examine the economic reality and progress within emerging markets, according to Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity’s Andrew Ness. He explains why investors should pay attention to the economic evolution taking place in emerging-market economies.
Beyond Alignment: Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals
As investors, both institutional and individual, look for ways to use their money in a more impactful way, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have emerged as a relatable tool. However, Raymond Jacobs and John Levy from Franklin Real Asset Advisors warn the SDGs are vulnerable to misuse, misrepresentation and dilution.
Data science has brought investors powerful new tools to help generate returns, so is there still need for a human touch? Franklin Templeton Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai weighs in on the role of quantitative science within the active-passive investment debate.
Templeton Global Macro: An Update on our ESG Scores
This update contains a brief background on our ESG philosophy as well as an update on our methodology, notably including an improvement we made to adjust from overweighting S and G factors in previous iterations to an equal weighting of each of the E, S and G factors going forward.
Brexit: Not the Beginning of the End, But the End of the Beginning?
Against the odds, Boris Johnson’s UK government appears to have agreed to a deal in principle with the European Union (EU) which could see the United Kingdom leave the EU on October 31 in an orderly way.
Monetary Easing Prevalent in Emerging Markets in the Third Quarter
The US-China trade conflict has remained at the forefront of investor concerns in recent months, with both governments imposing tariffs on each other’s goods. While continued tensions are likely to result in continued market volatility, Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity nonetheless finds reasons to be positive about emerging markets, with a more dovish global central bank backdrop offering support.
India’s Surprise Tax Cut Comes at An Opportune Time
Amid slowing economic growth in India, the Modi government’s surprise corporate tax cuts have come at an opportune time, according to Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity’s Sukumar Rajah. He explains why the fiscal adjustment could improve India’s competitiveness among its regional peers.
Staying Nimble Amid an Uncertain Outlook
Bouts of volatility hit markets across the globe in the third quarter of 2019 amid continued uncertainties about global growth and trade. Central banks took notice, with the US Federal Reserve easing interest rates for the first time in more than a decade and the European Central Bank also cutting rates and reintroducing quantitative easing.
Looking Past the Hang-Ups for Asia’s Smartphone Industry
Despite the US-China trade war, Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity’s Sukumar Rajah doesn’t think the opportunity set for emerging markets is lost. He explains how a saturated smartphone market could create innovation opportunities in emerging market countries in Asia.
Real Assets Could Be the Alternative
Given the backdrop of a slowing global economy and shaky investor sentiment tied to trade tensions, Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions’ Ed Perks and Gene Podkaminer are calling for an active investment approach.
August Ruled by Global Economic Slowdown and Trade Fears
Trade fears, social unrest in Hong Kong and Brexit uncertainties weighed on markets in August. Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity expects continued volatility, but an interest-rate cut from the US central bank in September could help stabilize emerging market currencies.
Pinpointing Fixed Income Credit Risks
In this excerpt from the latest Franklin Templeton Thinks, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group examines how machine learning techniques can measure the risks of consumer and home loans—helping pinpoint credit risks they think are worth taking.
What We Think Could Drive European Markets in the Coming Months
As European investors and market practitioners return from their summer vacations and prepare for the final third of 2019, our Head of European Fixed Income David Zahn highlights the issues he thinks will drive markets in the coming months.
Three Reasons to Consider Dividend Growers
As global economic growth slows and US-China trade tensions drag on, Franklin Equity Group’s Nick Getaz and Matt Quinlan see signs that some investors may be turning their attention away from the high-growth stocks that have been popular during the recent US equity bull market.
US Market Volatility and Sleepless Summertime Nights
The summer of 2019 has given equity investors a lot of things to worry about. Yet, Franklin Equity Group’s Grant Bowers says the health of the US equity bull market shouldn’t be one of them—at least not now.
Adrift: Has Monetary Policy Become Unanchored?
In light of the Federal Reserve’s recent interest-rate cut, our Fixed Income CIO Sonal Desai takes a look at how US central bank thinking seems to have changed, and whether there’s a risk of having interest rates too close to zero.
Trade Tensions Flare: Where Do We Go from Here?
Market volatility has been on the rise as US-China trade tensions continue to flare and recent central bank activity has created more questions than answers. As such, many investors have been on edge.
Impact Investing in Practice: Social Infrastructure
To understand how impact management can be applied in practice, our Franklin Real Asset Advisors team, in collaboration with consulting firm Tideline, took an example from the real estate sector and considered the specific demands of social infrastructure.
The Five Building Blocks of Effective Impact Management
No single, unified best practice has yet emerged for impact investing, and a proliferation of methodologies and metrics has introduced an element of confusion. Simply navigating through all the resources available to impact investors can be a challenge.
A Northern View: 10 Years into a Canadian Bull Market
While there has been a lot of focus among many investors on the length of the US economic expansion, there are other countries experiencing similarly long—or longer—expansions of their own.
Four Reasons Why Gold Prices Have Been Moving Higher
Investor sentiment toward gold turned bullish in June, pushing gold spot prices to six-year highs in US dollar terms in July. As a result, there is excitement in the industry that, if prices hold, third-quarter corporate earnings results for gold miners may indicate a return to strong cash generation.
An Introduction to Impact Investing
Interest in impact investing is growing within the asset management industry, but there is still some confusion about it. We view impact investing’s defining feature as the explicit intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental outcomes alongside a financial return.
New UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Faces Challenges at Home and Abroad
Boris Johnson, one of the most enthusiastic supporters of Brexit, is the United Kingdom’s new prime minister. David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s Head of European Fixed Income, doubts Johnson will have much of a honeymoon period in the new role as he faces stiff challenges domestically and internationally, with global markets scouring his every move.
Food Security Through an ESG Lens
Consumers in emerging markets are demanding more meat. But with virulent animal diseases threatening some traditional sources of their meat proteins, they are having to look beyond their domestic and regional markets to sate the demand.