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High Yield: Go, Stop, and Caution Signals

For all the volatility and uncertainty in the economy and financial markets, high yield bonds have continued to attract investors over the last two months. Here are some of the metrics that are being factored into the assessment of potential relative value opportunities in this asset class.

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Consistency Through Crisis and The Importance of Dividends

The phrase “unprecedented times” can seem overused these days, but it seems appropriate to describe the current state of financial markets. In this time of uncertainty, the investment team at Ceredex Value Advisors comments on the current investment environment and its impact on their portfolios.

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Views on India

The Vontobel Quality Growth Investment Team assesses the impact of the current crisis on India and offers an outlook on the Indian businesses owned in their portfolios.

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A Drawdown Comparison to the Global Financial Crisis

According to Gregg Thomas, Director of Investment Strategy at Wellington Management, the market has been engaging most on companies that might not pass the "going concern" test in the face of the first real growth shock we’ve seen since the GFC, and that these companies are seeing a massive increase to their discount rates. Wellington’s definition of solvency looks at the relative distance to a default (similar to the model used by credit-rating agencies).

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Why “Home Bias” is Shortsighted

In today’s global economy, thriving companies aren’t bound by geography—not in where they are headquartered, nor in where they derive their income. Vontobel Asset Management discusses why investing beyond one’s own borders may benefit performance over the longer run. Also includes a brief discussion of the Virtus Vontobel Global Opportunities Fund.

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KAR Small-Cap Fund Recognized for a Decade of Strong Performance

The Virtus KAR Small-Cap Growth Fund is the subject of a Reuters feature highlighting the Fund’s strong performance over the last decade relative to all other stock mutual funds. Though currently closed to new investors, the fund remains open to defined contribution and defined benefit plans. Read the article for insights from the portfolio managers, Todd Beiley and Jon Christensen, who manage several small- and mid-cap portfolios at Kayne Anderson Rudnick.

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Lessons from Shale Oil – Clean Data is Critical for ESG

Getting trustworthy information from companies on ESG issues is a major challenge for investors. Obtaining clean data can influence the capital allocation decisions that will, in turn, shape the industries and economies of tomorrow. The U.S. shale oil industry is an unlikely inspiration on how third-party verification can improve companies’ transparency on critical environmental issues.

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Virtus Thought Leadership - Best of 2019

Virtus’ 2019 thought leadership content illustrates how trends are shaping the markets and ways to address them. You will find actionable insights on issues influencing the equity, fixed income, and alternative markets to inform client conversations and portfolio allocation decisions.

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Newfleet 2020 Fixed Income Market Outlook

The sources of volatility that were present in 2019 will carry forward to 2020. Despite the challenges, Newfleet believes that fixed income spread sectors will continue to offer better value than U.S. Treasuries and other government-related debt.

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Activate Your Fixed Income

Amid growing uncertainty, investors have shown greater interest in bond funds but must contend with a variety of risks as central banks around the world continue to implement unprecedented negative rate policies and the Federal Reserve remains accommodative. Here’s a guide to why active management matters.

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Emerging Markets for the Long Haul: The Small-Cap Opportunity

When it comes to investing in emerging market equities, long-term investors know that volatility is the norm, and that the asset class—particularly the small-cap segment— can be a long-term winner and an important component of a well-diversified portfolio, thanks to improving fundamentals and the potential for outperformance.

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2019 Q3 Vital Signs: What a Difference a Decade Makes

Ten years may sound like “long term” investing, unless you’re talking about the 10 years ended September 30, 2019. Without the bear market of 2008-09 in your time frame, the view becomes incredibly rosy. A 20-year lookback provides much-needed perspective.

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Mid-Caps: At the Center of Attention

Explore the key attributes of mid-cap investing and the opportunities offered to investors, and use our interactive tool to see how an allocation to mid-caps may improve an equity portfolio’s performance and mitigate risk over time.

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Understanding Modern Monetary Theory

Amid concerns about rising debt, lower growth, declining rates, and easier money, an obscure and heterodox branch of economic theory is gaining traction. Here’s a guide to what investors should know.

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An Update on LIBOR

Newfleet Asset Management’s current view regarding the discontinuation of LIBOR, which is scheduled to happen at the end of 2021, and its potential impact on the loan market.

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Implications of the Yield Curve Inversion

The ten-year U.S. Treasury note yield recently fell below that of the two-year note for the first time since 2007. Should the yield curve stay inverted for an extended period, it is clearly a negative development for economic growth. Kayne Anderson Rudnick (KAR) believes the yield curve tends to be a more accurate forecasting tool than many economists or Wall Street strategists, and should prompt the Fed to extend rate cuts.

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2019 Q2 Vital Signs: Running in Place

Staying invested whether the markets are trending up, down, or staying flat is easier said than done. A diversified portfolio of managers who seek to deliver a smoother ride may help keep you from getting exercised about market gyrations.

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2019 Q1 Vital Signs: The Indexing Sugar Rush

We’ve recently experienced a market in which the rising tide of global central bank easing has lifted virtually all boats. With everything going up regardless of price or quality, has diversification through active management lost its sheen? The rolling returns for the S&P 500 Index provide a crystal-clear illustration of the reality of market cycles.

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Managed Accounts: Considerations for DC Plan Sponsors

Plan sponsors have a wide variety of investment solutions available to them in today’s retirement plan marketplace. This paper provides a framework for evaluating the potential benefits of including managed accounts as a complementary plan solution alongside participant-directed investments and target date funds.


Q4 MLP and Energy Infrastructure Market Review & Outlook

Plunging oil prices combined with a global market sell-off sent the midstream energy sector down over 17% in the fourth quarter of 2018 (as measured by the Alerian MLP Index), putting stocks dangerously close to their 2016 lows. Duff & Phelps’ Infrastructure Team assesses the events of the quarter and offers perspective on what’s ahead for 2019.

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2018 Q4 Vital Signs: End of an Era - 2018 in Perspective

2018 marked the first down year for the U.S. equity market since 2008. The 2009-2017 stretch ties as the longest annual winning streak in market history. Until the fourth quarter, markets were buoyant, but political instability at home and abroad, rising interest rates, and a potential growth slowdown rattled global markets. Other than cash, all asset classes ranged between flat and down.

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Leveraged Loans and High Yield Bonds: Hedging Inflation in Retirement Plans

With inflation a growing concern, retirement investors may wish to consider an allocation to non-traditional inflation hedges like high yield bonds and leveraged loans which offer little to lower duration risk, respectively, and a low correlation to investment grade bonds, as well as other benefits.


Q3 Energy and MLPs Market Review & Outlook

Momentum from the second quarter continued into the third quarter for the energy space, as North American energy infrastructure stocks rallied hard in July and the first half of August, jumping 12.65% (as measured by the Alerian MLP Index).

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Vontobel Viewpoints: Trading in China A-Shares

China continues to open its market to foreign investors. The recent addition of 236 large-cap China A-shares to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, among other MSCI indices, will lead to a significant increase in first-time overseas investors entering the Chinese A-share market. Vontobel Asset Management outlines how investors are able to get exposure to this opportunity.

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Vontobel Viewpoints: Brazil – The Moment of Truth

Brazil has sold off as the market fears the country is in trouble. If the huge pension program is not reformed, it will add expense to a budget already in deficit. On top of this, there will be a new president elected in October. In Vontobel’s view, whichever government wins, it will have little choice but to reform.

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Global Listed Infrastructure Q&A with Duff & Phelps

In April and May 2018, members of Duff & Phelps’ Global Listed Infrastructure team traveled to Australia, New Zealand and Europe for investment research trips. Senior portfolio manager Connie Luecke, CFA, shares insights gleaned from site visits and meetings with management.

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Vontobel Viewpoints - Consumer Staples: Orphans or Heroes?

Even when investors shun consumer staples companies and their stock prices underperform the market, Vontobel Asset Management is content to maintain meaningful positions in a select few quality staples stocks that fit their requirements. Their latest positioning paper explains why.

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REITs: The bid is back!

The Duff & Phelps Global Real Estate Investment Team comment on the positive pickup in deal activity in the industrial REIT space over the past month.

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Virtus Viewpoints | Duff & Phelps Market Review & Outlook - Focus on Global Growth

Despite natural disasters, rising tensions with North Korea, dysfunction in Washington, and continued acts of global terrorism, global equity markets continued their steady upward movement in the third quarter, with the S&P 500® Index up 4.5%, the Europe STOXX® 600 Index up 2.8%, the Nikkei 225 Index up 2.2%, and the Hang Seng Index up 7.4%. For the S&P 500, it was the eighth straight quarterly advance.

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