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Our latest perspectives, commentary and videos explore how current financial and economic issues can impact investment opportunities.

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Municipal Pension Obligations: Why fear about underfunding may be unjustified and why Chapter 9 will never become pervasive (save a few outliers) pdf

C. Tyson Schoback, Senior Analyst, Tax-Exempt Fixed-Income Research
Michael P. Taylor, Senior Analyst, Tax-Exempt Fixed-Income Research

We expect that public pension funding levels will continue to be a politically contentious issue. Pension reform will vary for each state and municipality but on a whole, will opt for reform measures rather than turn to Chapter 9 Bankruptcy for relief.

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2014 Annual Perspectives

Outlook on the financial markets and economy pdf

While 2013 started off with some uncertainty, it turned out to be a fairly predictable investment environment. We do not believe 2014 will be that predictable and have compiled 17 articles to help guide you this year.

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2014 Annual Perspectives

Searching for seeds of opportunity in a post-QE world pdf

Robert McConnaughey, Global Research Director

We are more than five years out from the depths of our last global financial crisis. Financial markets have recovered remarkably and, in many cases, are hitting all-time highs. However, there are nagging concerns about the global risks to growth going forward.

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2014 Annual Perspectives

No fat pitches in 2014 pdf

Jeffrey Knight, CFA, Head of Global Asset Allocation

The most glaring investment opportunity of 2013 is less apparent today. Forgive me for indulging in a baseball colloquialism to summarize the outlook for 2014, but the concept of the “fat pitch” speaks to the most important change in circumstances that transpired during 2013.

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2014 Annual Perspectives

Absolute return investments in rising interest rate environments pdf

Todd White, Head of Alternative Investments
Joe Mallen, Senior Business Analyst

In a balanced portfolio, fixed-income investments have historically been an effective tool for diversifying equity investments, and consequently, those two asset classes compose the majority of the assets in investors’ portfolios. The United States has experienced a roughly 30-year downward trend in interest rates, resulting in a sustained period of positive returns for fixed-income investments.

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2014 Annual Perspectives

Interest rates: Halfway home pdf

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist

As long as the economy continues to recover, rising interest rates will likely remain a headwind to high-quality fixed-income returns. However, the violent bond market sell-off of 2013 is unlikely to be repeated now that longer term rates are closer to fair value. Investors should remain cautious around duration in 2014, but need not be as wary of interest rate risk as a year ago.

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2014 Annual Perspectives

Slow and steady wins the race pdf

Philip Dicken, Head of European Equities, Threadneedle International Limited

European equity investors may be forgiven for believing that they are suffering from crisis fatigue. They have endured the eurozone’s problems for a number of years and, due to the incomplete structures of the single currency, these difficulties will not be resolved quickly. However, the growth outlook for Europe is clearly improving.

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2014 Annual Perspectives

Japan: “Good job” in 2013, what’s ahead in 2014 pdf

Daisuke Nomoto, Senior Portfolio Manager

The terminology “Abenomics” was born the end of 2012, and refers to the economic reform policies advocated by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. These policies are described as consisting of three arrows:

  1. Aggressive monetary easing
  2. Fiscal stimulus
  3. Structural reforms
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2014 Annual Perspectives

Change lies ahead for China pdf

Timothy Flanagan, CFA, Associate Portfolio Manager
Jasmine Huang, CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager

China has seen three decades of fast growth since the country first opened, pulling 500 million people out of poverty and driving up the fortunes of companies and countries all around the world. Policies and reforms over that time have been enormously successful in unleashing growth potential.

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