To find out where the markets are headed, it’s important to understand the dominant themes at work today – from ESG investing to artificial intelligence to geopolitical tensions. Our investment experts offer their insights and analysis to help you make more informed decisions.
While sales of conventional bicycles were mixed in 3Q 2018 year-to-year, sales of e-bikes increased in all countries surveyed, and all expect the e-bike market to grow in the next 12 months – although opinions were mixed as to whether e-bikes are cannibalizing the sales of conventional bicycles or whether they represent a new segment.
New ships – as well as promotions, convenience and variety of destinations – are the main factors driving consumer demand, with current bookings for 2H 2018 and 2019 trips up vs. last year in the US and in most countries surveyed in Europe. Spain was the outlier, with mixed bookings.
In a Q&A with Neil Dwane, Christiaan Tuntono says China will likely agree to reduce the trade deficit and support IP protections, but not roll back “Made in China 2025”. Mona Mahajan thinks an announced deal should boost US and Chinese stocks, but the markets have already priced in some of this news.
Not all the world is in the same point in the business cycle, but some countries are certainly later-stage than others. Investors should assess how their holdings might perform in a downturn and look to actively select high-quality securities. A metric called the “financial cycle” can also provide a helpful way to measure an economy’s fundamental health.
A new study featuring financial advisors in the US shows that they do not consider robo-advisors a serious threat, and most do not expect to make changes to their business to address them. Only a few have reduced fees or improved services to better compete.
US policy changes are having effects far beyond America’s borders – such as trade wars forcing some Asian nations to forge new geopolitical alliances. Investors may want to position themselves for an uncertain political outlook by balancing growth stocks (tech, consumer discretionary) with defensive ones (consumer staples, health care).
A relatively new metric called the financial cycle can help tell investors more about an economy’s medium-term strength than the business cycle. The financial cycle can illuminate risks worth taking or avoiding, helping investors be more selective and active at a time when passively accepting risk may be detrimental.
However investors view the problem of climate change – perhaps as a threat to carbon-intensive industries or as an opportunity to contribute to the greater good – ignoring its effects on portfolios increasingly seems like a short-sighted option. Fortunately, there are many ways investors can incorporate this urgent issue into their strategies.
Among consumers in the US who have pet medical insurance, they are overwhelmingly satisfied with and loyal to their current plan. While price was the single biggest factor when choosing a plan, more than two-thirds based their choice on the recommendation of their vet or a friend. Among those who do not have a plan currently, almost half are interested.