Investment Commentary

 

Insights from Northern Trust Experts

 

Gain perspective into the rapidly changing financial landscape and understand the implications it may have for you. Northern Trust offers access to valuable insights and tools to help you navigate the latest financial developments. Our recognized financial industry experts will discuss current market events and provide their analysis.

1Q14 Investment Manager Survey
Chris Vella, Global Director of Manager Research
Our first quarter investment manager survey finds that managers are optimistic but wary of geopolitical risks and emerging market economic growth. (April 2014)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (March 2014)

Investment Strategy Commentary: Volatility Happens
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
After being on cruise control for most of 2013, risk assets hit turbulence in the first part of 2014. Volatility is a fact of risk markets, but what can investors do about it? Northern Trust’s Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, encourages investors to focus less on volatility protection and instead focus on understanding their volatility sensitivity in his latest report, Volatility Happens. Read the commentary. (March 2014)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (February 2014)

Investment Strategy Commentary: Gut Check
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Through the first month of 2014, markets have shown heightened volatility and negative returns. Is this just a healthy correction or something more? Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist, provides Northern Trust's thoughts in Gut Check. Read the commentary. (February 2014)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (January 2014)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (December 2013)

Investment Strategy Commentary: Northern Trust's 2014 Market Outlook: Less of a Drag
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Those investors who took on risk in 2013 were rewarded - especially in developed markets. But, with valuations slightly above longer-term medians, fundamentals will need to play a bigger role in 2014. Northern Trust believes they will, especially as governments' impact on growth becomes Less of a Drag. Read the commentary. (December 2013)

Investment Strategy Commentary: A Lot of Bull
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Equity markets, especially U.S. markets, have enjoyed tremendous success in 2013 - up over 25% for the year-to-date. This has led some investors to question how much longer this rally can continue. Looking back to WWII, there have been 20 identified bull markets - how does this one compare? A Lot of Bull. Read the commentary. (November 2013)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (November 2013)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (October 2013)

3Q13 Investment Manager Survey
Chris Vella, Global Director of Manager Research
Our third quarter investment manager survey reveals a positive outlook for the economy, regardless of whether the government curtails its quantitative easing program. (September 2013)

Investment Strategy Commentary: Sensitivity Training
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Investors are increasingly focused on the outlook for interest rates. While Northern Trust believes the odds of a spike in interest rates is low, our Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, still believes it is prudent to undergo a little (interest rate) Sensitivity Training. Read the commentary. (October 2013)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (September 2013)

Investment Strategy Commentary: Heading Overseas
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Home-biases in equity investing continue to exist -- but do they make sense? Where are the opportunities right now? And are investors defining the global opportunity set correctly? Northern Trust's Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, outlines the pressing issues surrounding a global approach to equity investing in his latest market commentary, Heading Overseas. Read the commentary. (September 2013)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (August 2013)

Investment Strategy Commentary: Five-Year Outlook: 2013 Edition
Northern Trust’s capital market assumptions team outlines the opportunities and risks it sees over the five-year investment horizon for asset classes across the fixed income, equity, real assets and alternative asset spectrum. (July 2013)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (July 2013)

2Q13 Investment Manager Survey
Chris Vella, Chief Investment Officer, Multi-Manager Investments
Our second quarter investment manager survey reveals confidence in US equities but growing fear that the remainder of 2013 will feature market volatility. (July 2013)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (June 2013)

1Q13 Investment Manager Survey
Chris Vella, Global Director of Manager Research
Our first quarter investment manager survey revealed an improved outlook for both the market environment and U.S. economy (May 2013).

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (May 2013)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (April 2013)

Investment Strategy Commentary: What's Driving Emerging Markets?
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Emerging market equities have historically outperformed as the global economy gained momentum, but after a great rally in the second half of 2012, the stocks underperformed in the first quarter of 2013. While economic momentum will need to improve to jump start near-term performance, we think attractive valuation supports a constructive long-term view. Northern Trust’s Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, examines the region's underperformance and outlook in his latest market commentary, What's Driving Emerging Markets? Read the commentary. (April 2013)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (March 2013)

Investment Strategy Commentary: Into Thin Air? We Think Not
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Equity markets have doubled since their March 2009 lows while bond yields have fallen to generational lows. This has led to concern by some investors that markets are overvalued and losses are ahead. We, however, feel a closer look is warranted. Northern Trust's Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, explores how far the markets have come in his latest market commentary, Into Thin Air? We Think Not. Read the commentary. (March 2013)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (February 2013)

4Q12 Investment Manager Survey
Chris Vella, Chief Investment Officer, Multi-Manager Investments
Our fourth quarter investment manager survey reveals a cautiously optimistic outlook for job growth, housing and U.S. equities. (January 2013)

Investment Strategy Commentary: The Fiscal Cliff: Now for the Hard Part
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Congress and the White House worked overtime during the holiday break to mitigate the chances of the fiscal cliff's pushing the U.S. economy into recession. But, while concrete decisions were made on taxes, decisions on spending must still be made in the next two months. Northern Trust’s Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, analyzes Washington’s last-minute deal in his latest market commentary, The Fiscal Cliff: Now for the Hard Part. Read the commentary. (January 2013)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (January 2013)

Investment Strategy Commentary: 2013 Outlook: Less Risk, Less Reward
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Northern Trust examines the outlook for growth, inflation, monetary policy and asset allocation. We conclude that while we don't expect financial asset returns to match those enjoyed in 2012, we still expect investors will be rewarded for risk taking in 2013 as global growth gradually improves and monetary policy stays accommodative.
Northern Trust’s Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, provides his outlook for financial markets in his latest market commentary, 2013 Outlook: Less Risk, Less Reward. Read the commentary. (December 2012)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (November 2012)

Investment Strategy Commentary: 2012 Election: A Split Decision
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
The most expensive presidential race in U.S. history is now behind us, and our expectation of status quo in Washington has come to pass. What does this continuation of divided government mean for the fiscal cliff, tax policy, and equities? Northern Trust’s Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, reacts to the U.S. election results in his latest market commentary, 2012 Election: A Split Decision. (November 2012)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (October 2012)

Investment Strategy Commentary: Dividends: More Interesting Than Bonds
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
As bond yields have fallen to record lows, investors have embraced dividend-paying stocks as an alternative strategy for income production. However, with these stocks fetching higher prices than they have in the past and the looming potential for change to the U.S. policy on taxation of dividends, is the strategy still appropriate? Northern Trust’s Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, dissects dividend paying strategies in his latest market commentary, Dividends: More Interesting Than Bonds. (September 2012)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (September 2012)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (August 2012)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (July 2012)

Colin Robertson on the Fixed Income Markets — CNBC World’s Asia Squawk Box
Colin Robertson, NTGI head of Fixed Income, was interviewed for CNBC World's Asia Squawk Box on June 27, 2012. The interview focused on the strategic use of U.S. corporate bonds and other investment strategies.

Investment Strategy Commentary: The State of the Union?
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Last week's European Summit resulted in some important steps towards a unified Europe. But, as has been the case with the 19 previous summits, progress was incremental and details were few. Northern Trust’s Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, analyzes the summit outcome and what it means for Northern Trust's overall outlook on the markets in his latest market commentary, The State of the Union. (July 2012)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (June 2012)

Investment Strategy Commentary: The Fiscal Cliff: Is it When, Not If?
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Much attention has been paid to the roughly $700 billion "fiscal cliff" the U.S. economy is scheduled to fall off at year's end. The good news is that we think some form of legislative extension is the likely path politicians will follow to avoid a sharp economic contraction; the bad news is that these fiscal issues are not going away. Northern Trust’s Chief Investment Strategist, Jim McDonald, analyzes both the near-term and longer-term impacts from government spending policies in, Fiscal Cliff: Is it When, Not If? (June 2012)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (May 2012)

Investment Strategy Commentary: Sell In May … And Pay!
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
A long-held adage in the investing world offers a directive to "Sell in May and Go Away," but can investors really gain from this strategy in practice? Our analysis shows that trying to implement this strategy is a losing proposition. Fortunately, other market anomalies have proven more efficacious and persistent. (April 2012)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (April 2012)

1Q12 Investment Manager Survey
Chris Vella, Chief Investment Officer, Multi-Manager Investments
Our first quarter investment manager survey revealed an improved outlook for both the market environment and U.S. economy. (April 2012)

Market Commentary: Oil: Keep an Eye on Supply
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
It is our view that the primary cause of the current high price of oil is global supply and demand — and that high oil prices by themselves do not mean an economy will head into recession. (March 2012)

Northern Trust Perspective
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Monthly global analysis designed to keep you abreast of the latest economic and market changes. (March 2012)

Don't Be Afraid of Bond Funds in a Rising Rate Environment
Harlan H. Thompson, CFA, Senior Investment Officer
Even in a rising rate environment, a bond fund can be a productive investment vehicle within a diversified portfolio.

Morningstar Recognizes the Prudent Investment Approach of Three Northern Funds:
Northern Multi-Manager Emerging Markets Equity Fund analyst report
Northern Income Equity Fund analyst report
Northern Small Cap Value Fund analyst report

4Q11 Investment Manager Survey
Chris Vella, Global Director of Manager Research
Our fourth quarter manager survey reveals optimism for the U.S. economy and markets but continued concerns regarding the European debt crisis.

Market Commentary: 2012 Outlook: Tug of War
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
After 2011's challenging market environment, we see the markets in 2012 engaged in a “tug of war” between improving growth in the United States and emerging markets and the continuing negative consequences of the global debt crisis.

Market Commentary: It Takes Two to Make A Deal
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
While we continue to believe an orderly restructuring of Greek debt is possible, it takes two to make a deal — and right now the Greek side of the negotiating table is in flux.

Market Commentary: Euro Debt Crisis: Merkozy Delivers
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
European leaders appear to have outperformed market expectations with the Euro Debt Crisis rescue package but it’s important to keep in mind: there's still much work to do.

3Q11 Investment Manager Survey
Chris Vella, Global Director of Manager Research
Our third quarter manager survey reveals managers' opinions of the struggling economy and financial markets and highlights asset classes on which they remain bullish.

Market Commentary: High Yield Bonds — Please Don't Call Me Junk
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Recent worries over the U.S. and global economies, coupled with increased stress in the financial system, have pressured high yield spreads and investment returns. Yet these stresses have made valuations more attractive.

Municipal Bonds: Now More Than Ever, Credit Quality Matters
Tim McGregor, Director, Municipal Fixed Income
Given the elevated volatility in the municipal bond market in the foreseeable future, we believe that a disciplined approach to muni credit quality review and evaluation is critical.

Investment Strategy Commentary: Twisted Outcomes
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Analysis on the Fed's Operation Twist announcement and recessionary signals.

Investment Strategy Commentary: Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Slowing economic growth, European sovereign credit concerns worry investors.

Investment Strategy Commentary — The U.S. Debt Downgrade: It's the Indirect Effects That Matter
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Get analysis on how Standard & Poor’s downgade of U.S. long-term debt may play out in global debt and equities markets.

Investment Strategy Commentary — What's Behind the Downturn?
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
US Markets suffered one of their worst weeks since 2008. What's behind the current downturn?

Investment Strategy Commentary — The Debt Ceiling Deal: Hold the Applause
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Analysis on the debt ceiling deal and its likely effects on the markets.

Municipal Bonds: Are the Concerns Fair or Foul?
Bob Browne, Chief Investment Officer
Tim McGregor, Director, Municipal Fixed Income

Understand what factors muni investors should focus on, given expectations for higher-than-historical volatility.

Investment Strategy Commentary — The Specter of Rising Interest Rates
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
With interest rates near historic lows, increased inflation and its effects on the fixed income markets are examined.

Investment Strategy Commentary — Japanese Aftershocks
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Analyzing how the Japanese nuclear crisis could affect recent global economic expansion.

Investment Strategy Commentary — Let Freedom Ring?
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
The recent outbreak of protest and governmental change in the Middle East and North Africa could mean big changes for financial markets.

1Q11 Investment Manager Survey
Chris Vella, Global Director of Manager Research
Our first quarter survey of external managers revealed increased caution among investors as fears of inflation rise.

Investment Strategy Commentary — 2011 Outlook
Jim McDonald, Chief Investment Strategist
Get a comprehensive investment strategy outlook for 2011, including our views on all major asset classes.

 

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. This material is for information purposes only. The views expressed are those of the author(s) as of the date noted and not necessarily of the Corporation and are subject to change based on market or other conditions without notice. The information should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or investment product. It does not take into account an investor's particular objectives, risk tolerance, tax status, investment horizon, or other potential limitations. All material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

 
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