A first-quarter productivity slump fueled concerns about the US economy, but second-quarter labor and company earnings data indicate better productivity and underlying growth. In short, the data point to a US economic cycle that’s broader and stronger than it appears on the surface. (more…)
The US stock market is at record highs, and warnings of a downturn are loud and shrill on every side. Even if you’re convinced you should own more stock, you may find it difficult to buy now. What if you invest your money and the market suddenly drops?
We think investors who build laddered portfolios to protect against rising rates will be disappointed—by locking in low yields with traditional ladders or by hidden risks of higher-yielding ladders. In our view, actively managed portfolios are better able to take advantage of changing markets.
It’s a truism that what goes up, must come down—but when, and by how much? That matters, especially if you’re talking about the US stock market. (more…)
Posted by Jorgen Kjaersgaard (pictured) and Steve Hussey of AllianceBernstein (NYSE: AB)
European banks are issuing new subordinated bonds that can be written off in a crisis. For investors who are willing to take the risk, our analysis suggests these bonds may provide a way to beat the low returns in today’s corporate bond market.
Asia’s three biggest economies—China, India and Japan—are carrying out reform programs. Taken individually, these may do little to excite investors’ imaginations, but taken together, they become much more interesting.
Smaller US defined contribution (DC) plans face a host of fee difficulties simply because of the size of their plans. This has led to a growing interest in multiple employer plans as a potential cost-effective solution. (more…)
While revenue sharing may be a legitimate way to pay for the costs of operating a plan, both US courts and the Department of Labor (DOL) have made it clear that plan sponsors have a significant responsibility as fiduciaries to fully understand, evaluate and monitor their revenue-sharing arrangements and determine whether they are reasonable. Therefore, the most prudent response for plan sponsors may be to rethink the practice of revenue sharing altogether. (more…)
US defined contribution (DC) plan fees have been hit with heavy scrutiny recently—from Department of Labor (DOL) disclosure regulations to a rash of lawsuits that have cost several large plan sponsors millions of dollars in settlements and judgments. But perhaps one of the most interesting fee issues today focuses on revenue sharing. (more…)
Falling yields on Treasuries are often seen as a signal of a weakening economy that could undermine stocks. We think there are other explanations that don’t threaten the outlook for equities. (more…)