Explore our thinking about today's financial markets


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Linking impact and performance

November 5, 2019  |  Equity

Often, the same elements that create environmental and social benefits are driving positive financial performance.

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Linking impact and performance

Capital Markets Outlook

Facing facts of a creeping contraction

Facing facts of a creeping contraction

October 15, 2019  |  Capital Markets Outlook

As late-cycle signals grow louder, it's time for tactical caution across asset classes.

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Fixed Income Outlook

Bond rally reflects economic uncertainty

Bond rally reflects economic uncertainty

October 23, 2019  |  Fixed Income Outlook

Global growth has cooled in 2019 as trade conflicts have taken a toll on international manufacturing, investments, and financial markets.

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Equity Outlook

A market of mixed messages

A market of mixed messages

September 27, 2019  |  Equity Outlook

We enter the final quarter of the year with a somewhat puzzling backdrop for equity investors.

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All posts
Linking impact and performance

Linking impact and performance

Often, the same elements that create environmental and social benefits are driving positive financial performance.

More

Fed relieves pressure on repo market

Fed relieves pressure on repo market

In recent weeks, the Federal Reserve has provided billions of dollars of liquidity for participants in the market for repurchase agreements, or repos, to stabilize interest rates following a spike in mid-September.

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Engaging with allies to advance sustainable investing

Engaging with allies to advance sustainable investing

We collaborate with institutions to examine and understand the financial impacts of sustainability.

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Will the improving housing market further divide the Fed?

Will the improving housing market further divide the Fed?

The Fed remains divided on the trajectory of interest rates; a pick up in U.S. housing activity may increase this division.

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Talking sustainability with CEOs

Talking sustainability with CEOs

We have ongoing dialogue with the management teams of companies in which we invest, across a wide range of sustainability-related topics.

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An inverted yield curve: Recession or stagnation?

An inverted yield curve: Recession or stagnation?

The Treasury yield curve briefly inverted in August, rattling markets with the possibility of a recession.

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Sustainability analysis enhances research

Sustainability analysis enhances research

An intense focus on sustainability has the potential to deliver strong returns to investors while also benefiting communities and the environment.

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July rate cut: “Insurance” policy or recession guard?

July rate cut: “Insurance” policy or recession guard?

The Federal Reserve delivered on its widely expected quarter-percentage point interest-rate cut at the July meeting. It was the first reduction since 2008 and came in response to slowing global economic growth and muted inflation.

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The SECURE Act: Completing an unfinished masterpiece

The SECURE Act: Completing an unfinished masterpiece

Congress is considering the SECURE Act, which would enhance workplace retirement savings plans and extend access to millions of workers.

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Trade war fallout can hurt risky assets

Trade war fallout can hurt risky assets

The simmering trade war between the United States and China is expected to continue, and could put the economy at risk.

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Implications of the Huawei export ban

Implications of the Huawei export ban

With Huawei blocked by the U.S. Commerce Department from buying U.S. technology, we discuss ramifications on the technology sector and how the ban may end.

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Trade tensions could reduce global GDP

Trade tensions could reduce global GDP

There is a significant likelihood that U.S.-China trade tensions will remain high. Effects on global GDP effects are uncertain, but could exceed 1%.

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How green is your beverage container?

How green is your beverage container?

Rigorous research of sustainability can lead to attractive investment opportunities.

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Why flexibility matters if Treasury yields climb

Why flexibility matters if Treasury yields climb

An active, flexible posture on rate risk could be helpful given the reasons why Treasury yields might rise from recent low levels.

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ESG investing: Identifying leaders in data management

ESG investing: Identifying leaders in data management

Data security and privacy practices can significantly affect business models, and leading companies may offer strategic and financial advantages.

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Actively targeting inflation risk for retirement savers

Actively targeting inflation risk for retirement savers

We explain why a dynamic approach to hedging inflation risk in a target-date fund may be a better way to protect a retirement nest egg.

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Investing for impact  |  Q&A with Stephanie Henderson

Investing for impact | Q&A with Stephanie Henderson

A member of Putnam's sustainable investing team describes her motivations for spreading ESG fluency throughout the firm to enhance fundamental insights.

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Market volatility returns to "old" normal

Market volatility returns to "old" normal

Our outlook for stock market volatility sees the levels reached in 2018 continuing, in part because these levels were close to the long-term norm.

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401(k) reaches milestone as innovation continues

401(k) reaches milestone as innovation continues

As the 401(k) reaches milestone, the workplace savings plan continues its evolution, adapting to changing demographics and savers’ needs.

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ESG Outlook for 2019

ESG Outlook for 2019

We see increasing evidence that systems thinking is becoming more prevalent and influential throughout corporations and the investment community.

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What November means for 2019

What November means for 2019

The events of November provide a fresh view of two key risks facing the economy in 2019 — a hawkish Fed and an escalation of the trade war.

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Bigger tax refunds may help boost retirement savings

Bigger tax refunds may help boost retirement savings

Projections of larger tax refunds this year could mean an increase in contributions to retirement savings.

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How company diversity can help performance

How company diversity can help performance

The potential to improve work performance is perhaps the most intriguing and least understood argument for diversity — and worth examining in more depth.

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Use wellness to gain wealth

Use wellness to gain wealth

New research found that a worker who focuses on wellness may save nearly $100,000 more for retirement than someone who does not manage their health well.

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October stock market volatility may signal a shift

October stock market volatility may signal a shift

Recent stock market volatility reflects a process of pricing in the fact that the global growth outlook has diverged.

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Calibrate equity allocations with higher savings rates

Calibrate equity allocations with higher savings rates

Evidence of higher savings rates by plan participants make it reasonable to consider lower equity allocations across the glide path of target-date funds.

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Italy may be conduit for EM contagion

Italy may be conduit for EM contagion

If Italy's populist government increases government debt, prices of Italian bonds and banks could drop and trigger a larger crisis for the region and world.

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How to plan more rationally for longevity risk

How to plan more rationally for longevity risk

Longevity risk — the possibility outliving one's money in retirement — is a genuine risk, but data suggests that many people overestimate its likelihood.

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Back in black: Higher oil prices to persist

Back in black: Higher oil prices to persist

Fueling higher oil prices this year — and counter to market expectations — is a drop in oil inventories ...

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Shaping the curve in glide path design

Shaping the curve in glide path design

In designing an optimal glide path for a target date fund, it is critical to focus on portfolio size, investor time horizon, and volatility.

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Key risks to consider in glide path design

Key risks to consider in glide path design

Sequence risk is the key risk that target-date investment managers need to address along the glide path.

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Sustainable investing: Assessing the choices

Sustainable investing: Assessing the choices

Sustainable investing is growing in popularity, and investors should be thoughtful about choosing from a range of strategies and portfolios.

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The persistency of multi-asset fund alpha

The persistency of multi-asset fund alpha

Quantitative analysis indicates that alpha generated by multi-asset managers may have persistency, both positive and negative, up to a year.

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Are international stocks truly cheap?

Are international stocks truly cheap?

On the surface, U.S. stocks appear more expensive than international stocks, but a quantitative comparison reveals the impact of sector valuations.

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Munis feel knock-on effects of tax reform

Munis feel knock-on effects of tax reform

The municipal bond market will likely see a reduction in supply in 2018 because of certain provisions in the new tax reform law.

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Just how cheap are European equities?

Just how cheap are European equities?

Our analysis finds that industry group weightings play a significant role in valuation discrepancies between U.S. and European equities.

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Looking for impact in CEO compensation

Looking for impact in CEO compensation

It’s important for investors to be able to understand how a company’s performance relates to CEO compensation.

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How the Japan election may influence global interest rates

How the Japan election may influence global interest rates

The Japan election could have consequences for the future leadership of the Bank of Japan and the country's impact on global interest rate trends.

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Avoiding retirement savings shortfalls requires a team effort

Avoiding retirement savings shortfalls requires a team effort

Plan features, employer match, deferral rates, and investor education all work together to help participants avoid retirement savings shortfalls.

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Using and enhancing ESG investment data

Using and enhancing ESG investment data

ESG data is having investment impact but is still evolving, and stands to benefit from feedback offered by fundamental analysts.

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Take the measure of currency risk in portfolios

Take the measure of currency risk in portfolios

With the dollar moving higher since 2014, it's worth considering the currency risk in international portfolios.

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Job growth continues in January

Job growth continues in January

January jobs 257,000 Unemployment rate 5.7% (up from 5.6% in December) The labor participation rate remains near its lowest point of recent

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Rising receipts may recast federal budget debate

Rising receipts may recast federal budget debate

The true measure of underlying economic strength in the United States is not showing up completely in GDP numbers or ...

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Fed foretells end of QE3

Fed foretells end of QE3

The Federal Reserve has implemented a monetary policy called quantitative easing, or "QE" for short, to drive down interest ...

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Post-crisis after shocks hasten innovation

Post-crisis after shocks hasten innovation

Five years after the 2008 financial crisis, we are still feeling the after shocks around the world. Among the deepest ...

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Why Brazil's crisis creates new concerns

Why Brazil's crisis creates new concerns

The revelations of May 17 may pose a threat to President Temer's administration, and therefore a threat to Brazil's short- and medium-term economic outlook.

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Why rates matter to stocks, too

Why rates matter to stocks, too

Risk factor analysis shows that equity market sectors that act like “bond proxies” may be more sensitive to changes in interest rates than bonds themselves.

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Rates do not drive bonds alone

Rates do not drive bonds alone

Since the election, the markets have pushed bond hyields higher in anticipation of stronger growth and higher rates. While trends ...

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Six facts about Dow 20,000

Six facts about Dow 20,000

The 20,000 milestone reached by the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) garnered major media attention, but that’s due more to the fame of the index.

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Taking the temperature of the January effect

Taking the temperature of the January effect

Is the so-called January Effect a real opportunity for investors, or is it too well-known to be exploited? We offer a number of perspectives.

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See the dove in the Fed's dot plot

See the dove in the Fed's dot plot

The market sees a more hawkish Fed in the December 2016 rate hike, but we see see signs of a dove in the Fed's dot plot.

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Watch the euro as Italy votes

Watch the euro as Italy votes

We are watching the referendum in Italy this weekend for yet another existential crisis for the euro.

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Diversifying stable value with traditional GICs

Diversifying stable value with traditional GICs

Stable value portfolios that avoid traditional GICs may be missing a diversification opportunity that also offers liquidity.

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