Eq: Total Market
BlackRock sent waves through the market announcing they were slashing fees from 0.04% to 0.03% for the largest bond fund in the world the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG). This wasn’t the only move they made as equity funds LRGF and INTF got their fees reduced as well. The fee battle is a prominent part of the game as lower expense ratios definitely garner more attention from investors. Previously BR had reduced fees on other fixed-income products as part of the escalating competition with Vanguard.
Finsum: FI income investors should keep an eye out, with prices and fees at lows, bond market ETFs could be in the ‘buy the dip’ territory’.
According to analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co commodities could hit record territory and climb as high as 40% in the upcoming months. Investors tilting their portfolios into commodities are doing so in response to rampant inflation. Commodities might be at relative highs but there is lot of reason these prices could further elevate. Russia’s invasion pushed commodities prices higher as grains, metals, and fossil fuels were all affected. Goldman Sachs has also pushed raw materials as an inflation hedge.
Finsum: The trickle-down effect of Oil prices alone could further boost commodities in the coming month.
The predominant sentiment in financial markets is that active funds have an edge during volatile periods because picks are more apparent and therefore easier to execute. However, according to the Euro Securities and Market Authority, active funds didn’t outperform passive funds during the critical stressed market conditions from February 19th to June 30th, 2020. This full cycle in financial markets didn’t give active funds an advantage and actually underperformed by 6.6% annualized in that period. This research backs up previous reports by morningstar that active funds didn’t outperform during high volatility Covid-19.
Finsum: Covid-19’s cycle was the K-shaped recovery Economists dream of, so this isn’t the nail in the coffin for active management.
There have been huge sectoral pains for tech, bio-tech, emerging market, and growth stocks in the last couple of weeks, but JPMorgan says it's time to turn bullish on these beta positions. Analyst Kolanovic said that these equity sectors are about to benefit because many of the geopolitical risk and macro pressures are about to ease. JPMorgan’s analyst believes that there will be little inflation and the US will avoid a recession. Biotech has been beat down since last August when the Nasdaq Biotech Index peaked; it is now at 75% of its previous high.
Finsum: The Fed projections could be bad for tech stocks as higher interest rates decrease the relative value of techs profits.
Wells Fargo has employed a number of strategies in both advisor recruiting and retention but is still losing teams. Recently Stratos Wealth Holdings added Jason Howerd, Shane Kunz, and Chad Horne who oversaw $1billion at Wells before their move. It was the additional resources and financial software that were key drivers in their decision-making process. LPL’s affiliate Gladstone Wealth Partners also added nearly a half dozen advisors from Wells, with well over $400 million in AUM. Overall Gladstone has seen strong growth already in 2022 adding 20 advisors in the first two months.
FINSUM: It appears technology and tools are a growing part of the decisions advisors are considering when transitioning between financial firms.
Investors, advisors included, seem to be wondering why the stock market has done quite well since Thursday morning when Russia invaded Ukraine. Many expected stocks to tumble—and they initially did—but the opposite has happened, with the S&P 500 up around 5% since the close of business on the 23rd. The reason why has everything to do with the Fed and interest rates. The market now thinks the Fed is in a bind and won’t be able to hike rates as fast as they would have been able to before the conflict. This would mean a slower stop of the easy money surge that has gone on for years. Markets are now only forecasting a 12.5% chance of a 50 bp hike in March.
FINSUM: Stocks have jumped as a simple reaction to the fact that the path of rate hikes looks less steep right now than it did a week ago, which is also why the tech-heavy Nasdaq has jumped the most.