How do we perform our analysis? What informs our research? At the macro-economic level, we subscribe to a number of services that supply us with the economic data that we need to form our view of the future. We have always made significant investments in subscriptions to economic and market data. We also receive informed economic commentary that we use to shape and cross-check our own conclusions.
The software, data and report services allow us to “dashboard”, and constantly have available to us, key economic and financial market data. They provide modeling tools that enable us to develop optimal portfolios and to backtest strategies informed by our knowledge of the markets, their interaction with the wider economy, and historical perspective.
What sorts of research happen daily? Weekly? Monthly and beyond? Daily and weekly, we are looking at the impact of economic, market and world events on investor behavior, and, knowing how markets have reacted in the past to such events, taking appropriate action. Monthly, we are looking at economic trends and testing scenarios based on those trends. Here we closely monitor such key factors as, for example Treasury yields, unemployment data, retail sales, household formation and home building, manufacturing data, commodity prices, spreads between key market indices, volatility indices, currency shifts, and fund flows between asset classes. Beyond a month to a year, we are looking at market cycles and the “waxing and waning” of asset classes as the markets move from favoring one or more asset classes to favoring others that have historically performed better during that phase of the economic cycle. Over the longer timeframes, we are constantly re-evaluating our security choices and asset class allocations. Not all will turn out as anticipated; some will underperform, and will need to be replaced; some will underperform, but for good reasons we will persist with them; others will out-perform, but then need to be adjusted so that portfolios are not out of balance.
Research is a constant and ever-present activity and something that we see as an important differentiator in terms of where we, as a firm, place our time, resources and subscription dollars.