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Benjamin Lavine, CFA, CAIA
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First Quarter 2018 Market Commentary

Author: Benjamin Lavine, CFA, CAIA

The beginning of the quarter saw a euphoric start for global equities as investors celebrated the passage of the Republican tax plan that lowered the tax burden for U.S. corporations as well as optimism over capital spending plans.

Happy 9th Anniversary Bull Market

Author: Benjamin Lavine, CFA, CAIA

This is the third bull market anniversary piece published by 3D since my arrival at the firm in 3Q2015. The prior two can be found here and here. Hopefully, this won’t be the last anniversary piece we publish as this current bull market keeps pushing along despite its age and high market valuations.

February 2018 Market Commentary - Inflation: The Fed’s MacGuffin

Author: Benjamin Lavine, CFA, CAIA

This month witnessed a significant sell-off in global equities as well as a sharp spike in U.S. Treasury yields, following the strong January employment release. The release was especially notable due to an uptick in wage growth (2.9% YOY).

To Neutralize or Not Neutralize: Explaining 2017 Dispersion in Smart Beta ETFs

Author: Benjamin Lavine, CFA, CAIA

A lot has been written about the strong market performance in 2017, but not much has been written about the impact of the wide U.S. sector dispersion on U.S. smart beta performance. When most equity strategies returned north of 20%, one doesn’t necessarily quibble about dispersion or relative performance amongst like-minded strategies.

January 2018 Market Commentary

Author: Benjamin Lavine, CFA, CAIA

Market pricing remains euphoric following the passage of Republican tax legislation that lowered corporate taxes to be more competitive with the rest of the world. Capital expenditure surveys tracked by the Philadelphia and Richmond Federal Reserve offices reveal cycle-high intentions to increase capital spending by U.S. companies.

Year-End 2017 Market Commentary

Author: Benjamin Lavine, CFA, CAIA

Global investors were in a festive mood as global equity markets (MSCI ACWI) rallied 5.5% led by Japan and emerging markets with Europe lagging major regions. The S&P 500 rallied 6.6% led by smaller caps and value stocks, primarily due to the prospects of these two segments benefiting more from tax reform legislation.

The New Neutral

Author: Benjamin Lavine, CFA, CAIA

I sense it is about that time of year when we roll out our year-ahead outlooks, although the rush to release these outlooks reminds us of the race by retailers to roll back the start of the holiday shopping season (is it now Labor Day?). Although a little later than others, 3D is jumping the turnstile by publishing a preview to our upcoming year-end market commentary and year-ahead outlook.

November 2017 Market Commentary

Author: Benjamin Lavine, CFA, CAIA

At the time of this writing, Republicans in the U.S. Senate had opened debate on their version of tax reform legislation with the goal of lowering U.S. corporate tax rates to become more competitive with the rest of the world. Factions within the Republican party have been debating over the tax treatment of pass-through entities, tax hike triggers in the event of economic growth shortfalls, and whether to remove the individual health care insurance mandate. However, prospects for Senate passage remains unclear.

Abnormal Can Still Be Rational

Author: Benjamin Lavine, CFA, CAIA

On November 15, 2017, we had the pleasure of participating on an Inside ETF panel (“What Happens When Volatility Returns - New Approaches to Profiting from the Inevitable”) moderated by Inside ETF’s CEO Matt Hougan discussing the current low volatility environment, whether current market risk pricing offers little if any compensation to investors, and whether/how investors can protect themselves in the event of a ‘risk blow-off’.

October 2017 Market Commentary

Author: Benjamin Lavine, CFA, CAIA

As global equity markets advance, risk premiums have been squeezed tighter. According to Bloomberg consensus estimates, the S&P 500 trades at 19.4x multiple to next 12-months earnings and 21.6x trailing 12-months earnings. A 19.4x multiple translates to 5.15% earnings yield which is less than a 3% premium to 10-year Treasury Yields.