Explore our thinking about today's financial markets


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From V-shaped recovery to bond vigilantes

April 15, 2021  |  Fixed income

The Federal Reserve remains dovish on monetary policy as bond market vigilantes push yields higher.

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From V-shaped recovery to bond vigilantes

Capital Markets Outlook

Don't fall for inflation head fake

Don't fall for inflation head fake

April 12, 2021  |  Capital Markets Outlook

Large, repeated government stimulus packages do not necessarily lead to inflation. See what this means for our strategy.

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Fixed Income Outlook

Bond investors chase yields amid vaccine rollout

Bond investors chase yields amid vaccine rollout

January 27, 2021  |  Fixed Income Outlook

Global financial markets trended higher during the fourth quarter, powered by the emergence of COVID-19 vaccines and continuing stimulus policies.

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Equity Insights

Don’t be afraid of the inflation bogeyman

Don’t be afraid of the inflation bogeyman

April 1, 2021  |  Equity Insights

We look at the impact of rising inflation on equity performance, industries that could thrive, and strategies for positioning portfolios.

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All posts
From V-shaped recovery to bond vigilantes

From V-shaped recovery to bond vigilantes

The Federal Reserve remains dovish on monetary policy as bond market vigilantes push yields higher.

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Clean energy: Myths, reality, and opportunities

Clean energy: Myths, reality, and opportunities

We believe many companies are poised to benefit significantly from the big shift toward renewable energy.

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American Rescue Plan strengthens state and local finances

American Rescue Plan strengthens state and local finances

The American Rescue Plan Act provides billions in federal stimulus to states and local governments.

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Massachusetts budget taps rainy day fund, federal aid

Massachusetts budget taps rainy day fund, federal aid

The Governor of Massachusetts introduced a budget proposal that includes a withdrawal from the state’s rainy day fund and federal aid to balance the budget.

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Massachusetts budget taps rainy day fund, federal aid

Massachusetts budget taps rainy day fund, federal aid

The Massachusetts budget proposal for FY 2022 relies on money from the rainy day fund and federal aid to balance the budget.

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Company diversity and social justice

Company diversity and social justice

Company diversity is a step toward equity and equity is a step toward inclusion, which is important to company success.

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Munis in demand with new taxes possible

Munis in demand with new taxes possible

Demand for municipal bonds continues to be robust in 2021.

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New York confident about recovery

New York confident about recovery

New York leaders are confident about the state's economic recovery.

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New medicines and digital tools target mental health

New medicines and digital tools target mental health

In recent years, there have been several developments for treating mental health. These innovations — which come after decades of slower-paced advances — include novel drugs and digital offerings.

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Is inflation poised to return?

Is inflation poised to return?

We believe that pandemic-related bottlenecks have temporarily lifted U.S. inflation. Still, the underlying inflation trend is weak.

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California budget outlook brightens

California budget outlook brightens

With revenues coming in higher than projected, the outlook for the California budget is positive in the near term.

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Mental health is a business issue: How companies are supporting their employees

Mental health is a business issue: How companies are supporting their employees

Companies are beginning to focus more on mental health at work, and some are offering a wider range of supportive and preventive care.

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Munis outpace Treasuries, taxable bonds

Munis outpace Treasuries, taxable bonds

The recovery in the municipal bond market continued in the third quarter as munis outpaced U.S. Treasuries and the broader taxable bond market.

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In election 2020, what matters to markets stays the same

In election 2020, what matters to markets stays the same

In this election season, the focus for investors may be on political winners and losers, but what stock markets focus on remains the same.

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China leads, other emerging markets lag

China leads, other emerging markets lag

China is leading the economic recovery among emerging-market countries, buoyed by stimulus and stringent COVID-19 measures.

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Pandemic persists in policy patchwork

Pandemic persists in policy patchwork

Fiscal and monetary policies will be central to the economic recovery between now and the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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U.S. economy remains a centerpiece in 2020 vote

U.S. economy remains a centerpiece in 2020 vote

Fiscal policy will be a key focus for investors after the November election.

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VIX futures hint at post-election uncertainty

VIX futures hint at post-election uncertainty

When there is election uncertainty the VIX can experience a “kink” to price indicating idiosyncratic risk.

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The global economy and the race for a vaccine

The global economy and the race for a vaccine

The development of a vaccine will play a role in shaping the global economic comeback in 2021.

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If taxes move higher, demand for munis may surge

If taxes move higher, demand for munis may surge

The likelihood of higher taxes in the future could boost demand for tax-advantaged investments including munis.

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Keeping Japan's economy afloat after Abe

Keeping Japan's economy afloat after Abe

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's resignation raises questions about the future of Abenomics and reform in Japan.

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Investors returning to municipal bond funds

Investors returning to municipal bond funds

Municipal bond funds rebounded in the second quarter as investors returned to asset classes they abandoned early in the pandemic.

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Muni-bond market slowly reviving from COVID-19 setback

Muni-bond market slowly reviving from COVID-19 setback

The Fed helped the muni-bond market revive the muni-debt market as states and local governments grappled with revenue disruptions.

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The Fed’s flexible new policy

The Fed’s flexible new policy

The Fed announced a shift in its approach to monetary policy and the new strategy can be viewed as a flexible form of average inflation targeting.

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The future is happening faster now

The future is happening faster now

We rarely see as much disruption as we have seen in 2020, and we believe this offers investment opportunities.

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Deglobalization creates new winners in China

Deglobalization creates new winners in China

The trade war, pandemic, and the Made in China 2025 initiative are resulting in a deglobalization trend and opportunities in China.

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Staying at home increases spending on homes

Staying at home increases spending on homes

As the economy continues to be challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing two notable trends in the U.S. housing industry.

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V-shaped recovery proving elusive

V-shaped recovery proving elusive

The U.S. and global economic recoveries are unlikely to be “V-shaped” as businesses and consumers remain wary of returning to pre-pandemic behavior.

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Vaccine is a wild card for the economy

Vaccine is a wild card for the economy

A vaccine for the coronavirus will be supportive of risky assets even if the economic benefits take longer to materialize.

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Risk sentiment swings with Fed tapering

Risk sentiment swings with Fed tapering

Without a proactive Fed, the rally in risk assets would be in trouble.

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Europe displays rare unity over relief fund

Europe displays rare unity over relief fund

In a step toward closer ties, European Union leaders plan to discuss a recovery fund for countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

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Disruptive change: A growth driver for small companies

Disruptive change: A growth driver for small companies

Disruptive change is often the force that enables small companies to compete against their larger peers.

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Sustainability research: A week in the life of our team

Sustainability research: A week in the life of our team

Our research includes discussions with company managements, other researchers and investors, industry and subject experts, and non-profit organizations.

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Behavioral shifts bring investment opportunities

Behavioral shifts bring investment opportunities

Many businesses that have been resilient and strong during the COVID-19 crisis are likely to become even stronger in the aftermath.

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Coronavirus tests limits of U.S. stimulus plans

Coronavirus tests limits of U.S. stimulus plans

The coronavirus pandemic is testing the limits of fiscal and monetary policy responses from Congress and the Federal Reserve to boost the economy and calm financial markets.

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Sustainable value: Gender diversity on corporate boards

Sustainable value: Gender diversity on corporate boards

Diversity in companies — including gender diversity — can have a positive impact on company performance and strategic ability.

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Stumbling toward a fiscal equilibrium in the eurozone

Stumbling toward a fiscal equilibrium in the eurozone

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe will be severe amid stimulus efforts by policymakers, including the European Central Bank, to cushion the blow.

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Bracing for a slow U.S. recovery

Bracing for a slow U.S. recovery

U.S. economic recovery will likely be slow and halting as coronavirus health risks cast a shadow on demand.

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ESG issues alive in healthcare

ESG issues alive in healthcare

Our team analyzes medical costs and access as ESG issues affecting human well-being and sustainable economic development.

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What’s next for the hard-hit financials sector?

What’s next for the hard-hit financials sector?

The financials sector has been among the hardest hit from the COVID-19-induced equity market selloff, but there are reasons for optimism.

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Perspectives on COVID-19

Perspectives on COVID-19

Putnam’s health-care analysts and portfolio managers offer their outlooks and perspectives on key aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Oil’s wild ride and what lies ahead

Oil’s wild ride and what lies ahead

Demand for oil has collapsed as the coronavirus pandemic devastates the global economy and curbs much of the need for fuel from companies and consumers.

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Navigating bond yields

Navigating bond yields

The trajectory of bonds yields will depend on the Federal Reserve's policies and fiscal stimulus amid a sharp global economic downturn.

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Investing for growth in volatile markets

Investing for growth in volatile markets

Putnam portfolio managers discuss managing risk and finding investment opportunities in challenging markets.

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Social distancing generates recession

Social distancing generates recession

A recession is looming in the United States as COVID-19 and social distancing take a toll on economic activity.

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Recessions and the equity market:  A framework for investors

Recessions and the equity market: A framework for investors

In these days of significant market volatility, investors are looking for a framework.

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Manager insights on current volatility

Manager insights on current volatility

Putnam Investments hosted a webcast featuring insights on current volatility and the COVID-19 pandemic from three senior investment managers.

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Slowing the spread of COVID-19 entails economic disruption

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 entails economic disruption

The global economic outlook has deteriorated because of the coronavirus pandemic amid rising supply and demand disruptions.

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The Fed reacts to coronavirus economic risks

The Fed reacts to coronavirus economic risks

The Fed made a proactive move to reduce the federal funds rate by 50 basis points.

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Tax-free muni strategies in a low-rate world

Tax-free muni strategies in a low-rate world

Tax-free muni strategies may provide a competitive yield, and preserve capital, whether economic growth accelerates or remains slow.

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The impact of coronavirus on markets

The impact of coronavirus on markets

The spread of coronavirus infections is having an impact on China’s GDP and on financial market sentiment worldwide.

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Mapping the virus toll on China

Mapping the virus toll on China

The coronavirus poses a risk to China's growth as the government races to contain the outbreak, and the global economy could suffer.

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Is another round of Fed rate cuts looming?

Is another round of Fed rate cuts looming?

The Federal Reserve may lower its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points in 2020 if sustained financial market stress affects economic activity against a backdrop of the coronavirus epidemic.

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The SECURE Act opens a new frontier for 401(k)s

The SECURE Act opens a new frontier for 401(k)s

The SECURE Act represents significant changes to retirement savings and could drive a expansion of workplace retirement savings plans including 401(k)s.

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Solutions to antibiotic resistance

Solutions to antibiotic resistance

As the focus on natural ingredients intensifies, so has concern about antibiotic use in food production.

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China's economy braces for fallout from coronavirus

China's economy braces for fallout from coronavirus

There will be some temporary disruption to economic activity in China and elsewhere from the coronavirus outbreak.

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Bond yields in early 2020 likely to stay range bound

Bond yields in early 2020 likely to stay range bound

Bond yields will likely stay range bound in early 2020 as the economy shifts to a lower gear and central banks shift to neutral.

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Linking impact and performance

Linking impact and performance

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Longevity and medical costs – education for the great unknowns

Longevity and medical costs – education for the great unknowns

Understanding the impact of longevity and medical costs on savings requires education and a proactive approach to saving.

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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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The views and opinions expressed are those of the speaker, are subject to change with market conditions, and are not meant as investment advice.