Julia Hammond, CFA, is a director in the Educational Events and Programs group at CFA Institute, where she leads the planning for a number of annual and specialty conferences, including the Fixed-Income Management Conference, the Equity Research and Valuation Conference, the Latin America Investment Conference, the Alpha and Gender Diversity Conference, and the Seminar for Global Investors, formerly known as the Financial Analysts Seminar. Previously, she developed strategies for pension, endowment, and foundation fund clients at Equitable Capital Management (now AllianceBernstein), and she has also worked as an auditor for Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). Hammond served for a number of years as chair of the investment committee for the Rockbridge Regional Library Foundation. She holds a BS in accounting from the McIntire School of Commerce and an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.
On the surface, people tend to focus on signs of growth in the economy — housing, the manufacturing sector renaissance, and energy independence. And it is true that these longer term trends are improving. But in the here and now, the number of people working has not improved.
In the United States, there are some big misconceptions among politicians, the media, and the public about reliance on Middle East oil, according to Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security. Case in point: Recent oil and natural gas discoveries in North America have led US policymakers to mistakenly think this is the solution to all of our problems — that we will no longer be reliant on imports and oil prices will come down. Unfortunately, this is far from reality; prices will continue to be driven by OPEC unless we change factors first on the demand side.
Portfolio manager Grant Williams used mathematical proofs to explain four key disconnects between financial markets and the global economy.
“When you think about credit risk today, sovereign default risk is the number one concern for investors, while the corporate bond market has been relatively benign since 2008–2009,” according to Edward I. Altman, a highly respected researcher of the high-yield bond markets,
“Successful investing requires both art and science,” said Preston Athey, CFA, a 34-year veteran of T. Rowe Price. “When T. Rowe Price was founded back in 1937, Mr. Price always considered investing an art, and in fact, he often considered it a black art.”
“I’m a stock investor and express my views in individual securities, but I think some things have changed,” Steven Galbraith, managing partner at the hedge fund Herring Creek Capital, said at the 15th Annual Equity Research and Valuation Conference conference in Philadelphia. “You can no longer just look at the micro,” Galbraith said. “The visible hand and policy blunders are the primary risks for investors today.”
Bond market maven James Grant gives a “cook’s tour” of the “reigning errors and foibles” that are being made in today’s bond markets and that have led us astray in committing capital.
Politics is all about saying "yes." But in an era of high debt and low growth, American history affords at least two interesting counterexamples: Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, former Republican U.S. presidents who improved the country's fortunes largely by saying "no."
Since the early 2000s, policymakers in emerging markets have been concerned about “waves” of international capital flows into their countries. As Kristin Forbes, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, pointed out at the Investing in Emerging Markets 2012 conference, “Volatility of capital flows is here to stay, and there are no magic bullets.”
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