Stay Invested to Reap the Harvest

By Daniel Campbell, CFA

Historically bad to historically good

Value investors who chose to stay the course through the last few years were finally rewarded for their discipline!

Although it’s hard to believe, if we back up just a few months, the one-year period ending September 2020 was the worst return ever for small value stocks relative to larger, more growthy companies, with small value underperforming by a whopping 52%. The three-year returns were also abysmal, with small value underperforming large growth by nearly 26% per year, which is close to the performance disparity we saw during the tech bubble in the late 1990s. However, with the benefit of hindsight, we now know that September 2020 was the low point, as value stocks roared back to earn nearly 50% more than large growth stocks over the next two quarters.1 (more…)

The Randomness of Global Stock Returns

It is difficult to predict future returns by looking at the past, as shown by the performance of global markets since 2001.

  • This table powerfully demonstrates the randomness of global equity returns. It illustrates 20 years of annual returns in 22 developed markets. Each color represents a different country. Each column is sorted top down, from the highest-performing country to the lowest.

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Beyond the Label, ESG Funds May Miss Their Mark

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Components of ESG in an investment strategy, how they’re measured, and the method of incorporation can lead to a wide range of investment outcomes.
  • ESG strategies exhibit a broad spectrum of characteristics, which may drive expected returns that differ from the market.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions exposure has varied substantially across ESG strategies, highlighting the importance of looking beyond ESG labels to determine whether an ESG investment is consistent with one’s goals.

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US Debt Level – A concern for your portfolio?

If you’re like most of us, it’s hard to not keep an eye on how the U.S. economy is recovering from everything that’s happened since the start of 2020. However, it’s also easy to fixate on the gloomier economic indicators and try to interpret them as potential warning signs for the recovery and our portfolios. A popular one as of late is federal government debt, which reached a record $28 trillion in March. You might hear pundits and colleagues suggesting that this spells doom for the stock markets and your portfolio. Before making any rash decisions, let’s examine the relationship between federal debt and stock market performance. (more…)

The Best Time to Invest

Concerns about market downturns certainly come as no surprise. After all, steep corrections and crashes can be alarming for even the most steely and disciplined investors. So, when markets reach all-time highs, investors tend to be concerned about investing their hard-earned money in overvalued stocks. Questions about reducing or even eliminating equity allocations or keeping excess cash on the sidelines soon follow. While these lines of inquiry are completely natural—no one enjoys buying high and selling low—we believe that every day is a good day to invest no matter what the market has done recently. (more…)

How Does Inflation Impact Investors?

When the prices of goods and services increase over time, consumers can buy fewer of them with every dollar they have saved. This erosion of the real purchasing power of wealth is called inflation. Inflation is an important element of investing. In many cases, the reason for saving today is to support future spending. Therefore, keeping pace with inflation is a crucial goal for many investors. To help understand inflation’s impact on purchasing power, consider the following illustration of the effects of inflation over time. In 1916, nine cents would buy a quart of milk. Fifty years later, nine cents would only buy a small glass of milk. And more than 100 years later, nine cents would only buy about seven tablespoons of milk. How can investors potentially prevent this loss of purchasing power from inflation over time? (more…)