Beyond Bulls & Bears

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Alternatives

First Quarter Hedge-Fund Strategy Outlook: K2 Advisors

“The bottom line is that we believe the massive tide of low-cost money that lifted all boats and allowed for carefree sailing is receding. Investors who are not prepared for this change may be exposed to significant risks.” - K2 Advisors

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Equity

Keeping One’s Options Open: The Case for Global Convertibles

When the outlook is uncertain, it can be good to keep one’s options open. Alan Muschott, vice president and portfolio manager, Franklin Equity Group, says convertible securities’ ability to adapt to myriad market conditions makes them an attractive vehicle as we head into the uncertainties of the year ahead. He outlines why companies issue convertible securities—and why many investors find them an attractive addition to their portfolios.

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Equity

Shedding Light on the US Utilities Sector

“We see many reasons to be optimistic about [US] utilities today as we look out over the next 10, 20 or 30 years. In our view, most companies have established constructive regulatory relationships and should be able to adjust to the higher cost of capital assumptions that would develop due to rising interest rates.” – John Kohli, Franklin Equity Group

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Equity

Winded Markets May Face a More Difficult Climb in 2018

“We believe this rosier global outlook is largely priced into equities. The US market is looking the most expensive to us at a time when US corporate earnings are already well past their prior peaks.” – Coleen Barbeau, Franklin Equity Group

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Equity

Why Macron’s Reform Agenda Is Boosting Business Optimism

“We see signs that France’s economy is starting to improve under President Emmanuel Macron. France is enjoying its best streak of economic growth in more than six years. And, French companies are hiring at the fastest pace in almost 17 years." – Katrina Dudley, portfolio manager, Franklin Mutual Series

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Equity

Brexit and the Difficulty in Forecasting UK Market Fortunes

As we head into year-end, UK Equity team’s Colin Morton explains why making predictions for the UK equity market in 2018 is a particularly challenging task this time around.

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Equity

Is the Energy Sector Starting to Turn?

“Given the current lower-price environment, market volatility and future uncertainty, many investors have perceived oilfield services stocks as too risky. That, in turn, has led to more attractive valuations for these stocks that we believe could be creating attractive investment opportunities.” – Fred Fromm, Franklin Equity Group

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Perspectives

How Technology Has Set Industries on a Journey of Opportunity

"As we look at the race for fully autonomous automobiles, the question of who will get there first—and more importantly who figures out how to commercialise and monetise this technology once they do get there—is still pretty wide open." - James Cross, Robert Rendler and Robert Stevenson, Franklin Equity Group and Aleck Beach, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group

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Equity

Why Europe’s Earnings Rebound Could Offer a Fillip for Active Value Investors

"We see signs that European companies are beginning to return to corporate earnings growth. We expect to see fundamentals reassert themselves at the heart of investment decisions. And against that background, we believe investors with exposure to European equities via a passive approach shift to active strategies.” – Dylan Ball, Templeton Global Equity Group

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Equity

Why Abe’s Victory Could Help Lift Japanese Stocks

“In our view, Abe’s victory could lead to four more years of pro-growth policies and the possibility of a second term for the very ultra-dovish Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.” – Templeton Global Equity Group’s Cindy Sweeting and Alan Chua

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Equity

Why the Indian Equity Market May Need to Swallow a Bitter Pill

A slew of government reforms may have disrupted the Indian stock market in the short term. However, Sukumar Rajah, managing director and chief investment officer, Asian Equity, believes those reforms and a growing Indian middle class could present opportunities for long-term investors.

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Alternatives

Fourth Quarter Hedge-Fund Strategy Outlook: K2 Advisors

“While we cannot predict market tops or bottoms, we can be prudent in how we position portfolios contextually. Perhaps now is the time to consider dialing back risk to some degree. We believe the easy money in this cycle has already been made.” - K2 Advisors