Demographic Trends: Implications for Investors

Each year for our Capital Markets Forecast, Balentine’s Investment Strategy Team looks to various global socio-economic trends to see how, if at all, they will impact asset allocation and investment implementation for our clients. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data, we project that the world’s population will continue to grow but at a slower rate […]

The Market Valuation Debate

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine.” This famous quote is attributed to Benjamin Graham, father of value investing and mentor to Warren Buffett. Graham’s quote simply but ably encapsulates the truism that financial markets eventually return to fair value but can […]

The Surprises of 2014

Once again Bob Reiser, Senior Advisor on our Investment Strategy Team, has prepared a list of “forecasts.” As in previous years, the views expressed herein are solely those of Bob Reiser’s and may not be shared by other members of the Investment Strategy Team. This is the fourth year that I have prepared a list […]

The Risk of Rising Interest Rates

With 2013 coming to a close, many are asking what is in store for markets in 2014. At Balentine, we believe one big area of risk in 2014 is if interest rates go up by more than they are currently anticipated to do. Earlier this month, in one of his last moves as Federal Reserve […]

The Fundamental Things Apply

As we look to 2014, many are reflecting on a very strong year for domestic stock markets. However, a key component that is missed by many investors and the media alike is the failure to appreciate how much (or rather how little) of that rally has been justified by an improvement in underlying fundamentals. As […]

Better Questions to Ask

As we near the end of 2013, the U.S. stock market is up nearly 28% for the year. This sharp rise has caused many people to become obsessed with “keeping up with the Joneses,” taking a near-term, relative view of their portfolios and asking how much higher this trend can go. However, that is a misleading […]

Fundamentals, The Federal Reserve, and Forging Ahead to 2014

In our letter to clients after the fourth quarter of 2011, we wrote, “despite the short-term relief that the Fed’s choice to be both a referee and a player on the field may bring, the long-term consequences of their actions remain unknown.” Nearly two years later, some of those consequences are being realized, as the […]

Serial Shutdowns and Debt Ceiling Crises: The Risks of Government Debt Dysfunction

Once again, our government successfully avoided the looming debt ceiling crisis and threats of a ratings downgrade. Procrastination won out over policy, as our government leaders kicked the can down the road for another three months. This should come as no surprise, as it has happened before and will likely happen again. Despite the intense […]

Risk Parity – A Superior Approach or a Flawed Model?

In recent years, the “risk parity” approach to asset allocation has won converts with significant fund inflows and, until recently, very good performance. The basic idea of a risk parity strategy is to spread risk equally across different asset classes in a portfolio. For example, if bonds are innately less risky, one can own a […]

The Power of Independent Thought

The recent Wall Street Journal article “How Many ‘Greater Fools’ Does It Take to Make a Bubble” further explores the idea that investors can be their own worst enemy. Citing a recent study conducted by Colin Camerer, the article suggests “that traders pay more attention to with others are doing in the midst of a bubble than […]