Eq: Total Market
Bank of America just put out a big warning that advisors need to pay attention to. The bank is warning that earnings growth could get “vaporized” across a couple of sectors. The reason why is tax hikes. BofA's Savita Subramanian posits that in a scenario where taxes rise to 25% next year (from 21% this year), 5% would be wiped off earnings growth, a huge margin in a year that is already set up to see some cooling after the red hot earnings growth of 2021.
FINSUM: Investors don’t seem to be adequately accounting for this risk. Despite the fact that Biden’s proposals will likely get watered down, there appears a high likelihood that taxes will rise next year.
UBS just put out a very interesting warning to a large segment of the equity market. As part of their overall market outlook update, UBS explained their view on earnings and the direction of the S&P 500. There are two very notable points they made. Firstly, and most importantly, they reminded investors to stop fretting over valuations. In their words “While valuations are higher than average, we remind investors that valuations have no correlation with market returns over time horizons less than three years … And valuations typically don't contract meaningfully unless investors are concerned about a sharp growth slowdown or a policy error by central banks. And secondly, they think the S&P 500 will rise 11.5% by the end of 2022.
FINSUM: This is a brilliant reminder—equity valuations mean very little and are more a reflection of macro outlook than a concern in their own right.
Morningstar has added a lot of coverage to their model portfolio universe this year. Earlier in 2021 they expanded their coverage of ratings to 1500 model portfolios, an increase of 50%. Of all those funds reported on, only two of them took home their coveted gold rating: the Vanguard CORE series and the BlackRock Target Allocation ETF. Vanguard was noted as having highly diversified index funds and rarely making portfolio changes. Other funds that got acclaim, such as their silver rating, include American Funds Growth & Income and the American Funds Tax Aware Growth & Income series.
FINSUM: The world of model portfolios has grown nearly as dizzying as that of ETFs so these Morningstar guides are a big help.
Fidelity is making a renewed push into model portfolios. After launching its first model portfolios in 2018, the firm has realized that RIAs and BDs want different types of models. RIAs use models to a great degree, but don’t tend to put a whole lot of assets in them. Fidelity realized it needed to optimize its approach. According to Suzanne Daly, Fidelity’s VP of model portfolio distribution, “RIA growth is really accelerating, and in a different manner [than IBDs] … [They are] looking to blend equity and fixed income models to build a more personalized fully asset allocated unified managed accounts (UMA) model”.
FINSUM: This makes a lot of sense. RIAs used to balk at the 25 bp fee for UMAs (which goes on top of the underlying management fees), but they have recently been coming around.