Drummond Brodeur's blog

Modern Portfolio Theory, RIP

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For investors, the biggest shift over the past quarter was the definitive return by global central banks to easing mode as the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) cut its target interest rate for the first time in over a decade, while the European Central Bank (ECB) cut rates to -0.5% and restarted its quantitative easing (QE) program. For now, the highs in interest rates are behind us and we expect them to keep heading lower through 2020. For savers and risk-averse investors this is a massive headache.

Introducing Signature’s Back to School Series

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As summer wraps up and students head back to school, the Signature team is pleased to offer their own educational series. Back to School is a collection of videos that provide current views on the markets, from credit and rates to FX, commodities and equities. Watch these videos to gain valuable global insights from Signature’s sector specialists and portfolio managers.

A comment on recent market volatility

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Given the number of inquiries I’ve received regarding the recent sell-off in global equity markets, I thought I’d share a few quick observations from Signature’s perspective.

Next week, Eric will be holding a webcast along with other team members, so a more detailed perspective will also soon be available.

The quick conclusion is that while we want to respect the changes taking place in terms of market expectations, we perceive the current correction as setting up an opportunity to increase exposure to risk assets and not a time for fear or panic.

Bad Weather Reduces Economic Visibility

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One of the big questions facing markets today involves the relationship between the weather and the economy. There is no doubt that this has been a brutal winter (-15°C as I'm writing and it is already March!) and that it has contributed to the string of weaker than expected economic data out of the U.S. The trouble is we have no idea how much of the weakness is weather related and how much reflects a real softness in the underlying economy, hence calling into question the consensus view of a U.S. economic acceleration.

Views from the Road: China & Japan

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I recently returned from a week in Asia where I was looking to get a better sense of China's reform agenda and a one year update on Abenomics in Japan. You may recall a piece I wrote a year ago (Japan: Die Another Day) where I expressed skepticism regarding Japan's ability to deliver on their structural reform agenda. I would like to share a few of the observations and insights I gained on my recent trip.

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