Ever since the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) introduced the term ESG integration back in 2006, the investment industry has sought to make it easier to identify which companies are addressing environmental, social and governance issues and which ones aren’t hitting the mark. That search has led to a proliferation of assessment tools that purport to add clarity for asset owners but instead have reduced the ESG engagement process to box-ticking. It’s an exercise that doesn’t generate any meaningful insights for investors looking to do the right thing.Comments Off on When numbers aren’t enough
Even though it’s been around since the 1950s, factor investing is only just now gaining a toehold in the portfolios of some of Canada’s most sophisticated pension portfolios. As that happens, plan sponsors can gain a new window into asset allocation to better understand how their portfolios work in different market conditions.Comments Off on Factor Investing: The Third Pillar of Portfolio Construction
After years of debate, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have announced new policies on advisor compensation and have proposed important changes on how registered firms and individuals deal with their clients. A proposed rule amendment on advisor compensation will be published for comment in September. I’d like to address each of these.
The past few weeks have been characterized by significant volatility in the share prices of the world’s largest internet companies, which comprised the once-vaunted cohort of top-performing “FANG” stocks. In the span of less than one month, revelations about social networks permitting unscrupulous access to users’ personal data, upcoming regulatory changes in Europe, and increased attention by U.S. lawmakers have caused a swoon in global technology and internet equities.Comments Off on Web stocks, user data abuse and regulation
My base case for 2018 is that global growth will be solid and accelerating while global inflation will be low and benign. While I expect central banks around the world to tighten financial conditions, I believe the pace will be slow enough that overall financial conditions should remain accommodative. If my positive expectations for global growth, inflation and financial conditions come to pass, then the environment should be supportive of all risky assets in 2018, including credit and equity. However, we can’t ignore the potential risks to these conditions.Comments Off on Four risks to watch in 2018
The global economy continues its synchronized recovery, as evidenced by robust data across regions. Indeed, all 45 countries tracked by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation are expected to post positive economic growth in 2017 for the first time in 10 years. Even more optimistically, 33 out of 45 countries are seeing accelerating growth. This has boosted international trade and commodity prices, and helped make the global expansion story gradually more self-sustaining. On this basis alone, the prospects for 2018 look positive, with broad-based improvements across the major developed economies and a number of emerging market economies expected to continue.Comments Off on 2018 Investment Outlook: The synchronized economic expansion: How much further to run?
As you know, Invesco has been a vocal advocate of preserving choice in the market, allowing advisors and their clients to choose the business model that best suits their needs. I was recently asked to speak at the 2017 Advocis Symposium in Toronto. The title of the event was “Inflection Point” and I believe the industry is at just such a moment. I sat down with Greg Pollock, President and CEO, Advocis to discuss the future of embedded compensation.
I recently read an opinion piece in the Vancouver Sun, penned by Wanda Morris, Vice President, Advocacy, at CARP. In this piece, she laid out her organization’s position on embedded compensation for financial advisors.
Recently, one of Invesco’s funds – Trimark International Companies Fund – was singled out for praise as an example that true active management can outperform. While the kudos were well-deserved for the team, it appeared as part of a commentary that was otherwise unsympathetic to active management.Comments Off on Looking beyond the active-passive debate
Across Canada, market participants – advisors and investors alike – access market data for securities through sophisticated market tools, such as Bloomberg and Thomson ONE. This data includes last price, bid/ask and volume, all of which play a crucial role in making trading decisions.
Recently, I was at the Morningstar Executive Forums in Toronto and Vancouver, speaking on the future of financial advice. The topic has never been more timely, as the industry faces fintech disruption and the prospect of new regulations that are radically altering the landscape.
While the financial services industry is often viewed from the outside as staid and unchanging, the truth of the matter is that a sea change is underway, radically transforming the industry.Comments Off on Embracing the fintech revolution