Blog

19Oct

AI in my ETF!

Artificial intelligence continues to move into the ETF space. On October 18, 2017, the Artificial Intelligence run ETF powered by IBM’s Watson launched on the NYSE. The fund, AIEQ, is managed by EquBot and brought to market by ETF Managers Group. It’s hard to deny the lure of such an elegant concept behind an ETF in…

Continue Reading

21Jul

Fed Outlook H2 2017

Our proprietary Astor Economic Index® is still showing good growth in the US economy. The index improved substantially this month to near its highest levels of the year. The bright spot of the economy continues to be broad labor market improvements for such a late period in the cycle. Direct measures of labor market slack…

Continue Reading

16Jun

Why You Need to Care About This Amazon Deal

I was speaking to someone early this morning. Their exact words were “no big headlines on my phone this morning…that’s unusual”. Of course, they were referring more too political headlines, but the point was taken. Then the Amazon/Whole Foods deal hit the tape. By in large it was a surprise to see and exciting. Amazon…

Continue Reading

2Jun

How To Tell If A Smart Beta Trade Is Crowded?

Featured in ETF.com May 23, 2017 With smart beta and factor strategies growing in popularity, getting in and out of them has become a real concern for today’s investors. Are they getting too crowded? How long is too long to be in a strategy? Can I bet against these factors and make money? Deepika Sharma,…

Continue Reading

13Apr

Investing: Put First Things First

At Astor we often say that we focus our attention on the most important question: asset allocation.  For the typical US investor that means primarily the ratio of equities to fixed income and secondarily allocations to diversifying assets to smooth the portfolio returns.  Once you have decided these broad allocations your ultimate returns are –…

Continue Reading

13Mar

This time we mean it – Janet Yellen reviews and previews monetary policy

One of the problems in this business is picking the few relevant pieces of information out of the endless stream of financial news, opinion and speculation.  Like a prospectors looking for a slightly shinier flake of stone among the silt in our pans we occasionally pick out promising pieces we think have not gotten enough…

Continue Reading

14Feb

February Quick Read on the US Economy

I interpreted last few month’s economic releases as showing somewhat stronger economic growth in the US.  Our latest reading for the Astor Economic Index® (“AEI”) is higher over the month and has been moving steadily higher since the election to its highest level in about 18 months.  I still see the US as currently growing…

Continue Reading

26Jan

Prediction 2017: The End of the “Great Experiment of the Managed Economy”

As we look ahead to what 2017 may hold, I’m predicting the end of  what I call “the great experiment”—the managed economy that has dominated the fiscal and economic landscape for nearly ten years. The reason, as we state in the Astor Outlook 2017 Report, is not political. Rather, it’s time! Given where we are…

Continue Reading

18Jan

The Astor Pulse: How To Talk to your Clients about….

How to Talk to Your Clients About …. Dynamic Asset Allocation For many investors, the phrase “asset allocation” brings to mind the traditional 60/40 split between stocks and bonds. In today’s low-return market environment, however, the standard 60/40 asset allocation may not suffice.  At Astor, we believe the solution for investors is to include dynamic…

Continue Reading

19Dec

An Active Approach to Diversify Fixed Income Portfolios

“Active” may not be the approach that immediately comes to mind in income investing. But as the fixed income markets have reminded us recently, taking an active approach can be key to both controlling risk and capturing yield. Click here to learn more about Astor’s Active Income Strategy Consider the recent move in the 10-year…

Continue Reading

13Dec

The Fed and the Economy – What’s Next?

Navigating the low-return environment has been one of the top concerns for fixed income investors throughout 2016. Consider the fact that 35% of the global treasury market (as of this writing) is trading at negative nominal yields, which begs the question: Why are interest rates so low? Read below to find out why…. or watch…

Continue Reading

13Dec

Is This Really a “Trump” Rally?

The latest market surge, as the Dow powers toward 20,000, is being called the “Trump stock market rally.” But as an economist and a realist, I have to question whether stocks would rally this much just on hope and expectations for a new administration, without the help of some other catalyst. Granted, since the election,…

Continue Reading

6Dec

What Investors Got Wrong in 2016

As we look back on 2016, a notable theme is just how wrong the markets were when it came to predicting events and risk drivers. The year began on a pessimistic note. By the February 11 low, the S&P 500 had lost more than 10%, and high-yield bonds were down more than 5%. A major…

Continue Reading

6Dec

Last Economic Update for 2016

For my last economic update of the year I will review where we are today and try to read the tea-leaves of the incoming Trump administration.  The president elect is lucky in inheriting a solidly growing economy.  His penchant for decisive action may run into procedural roadblocks in Washington which could significantly delay actions which…

Continue Reading

30Nov

Astor Refines Strategy Names: Providing a “solution focus” for current and prospective clients

Effective December 1, 2016, Astor Investment Management is changing the name of its flagship Astor Long/Short Balanced strategy to Astor Dynamic Allocation. Over the years, the term “long/short” has changed so much, we believe “Astor Dynamic Allocation” is more accurate and reflective of our investment philosophy and approach. In addition, we are changing the name…

Continue Reading

28Nov

Operations As a Vehicle for Business Success

All investment advisers have an asset target in mind. In order to reach that finish line, you need to have a solid vehicle. Having a qualified portfolio manager (i.e. the driver) is a large part of the race, but it is certainly harder to accomplish without efficient and effective systems and processes in place. A…

Continue Reading

21Nov

Revisiting Active Investing: Is the Trend in Passive Over?

Over the past few years, financial advisors and their clients, in search of low-cost ways to capture market performance, have piled into passive investment strategies. As the Wall Street Journal reported recently, for the three years ended Aug. 31, 2016, nearly $1.3 trillion flowed into passive mutual funds and ETFs. For investors, it seemed like…

Continue Reading

9Nov

Analysis: The 2016 Presidential Election

In light of Donald Trump’s win and the GOP hold of all three branches of government, the question on most minds today is, what is the outlook for the US economy? My short answer is that it is too early to tell. At Astor, our philosophy is to be guided by actual economic data rather than…

Continue Reading

7Nov

Politics and Economics: Linked—or Not?

A U.S. presidential outcome, one way or the other, likely will lead to some extrapolation of how economic policies might change—for example, higher/lower taxes or changes/continuation of trade policies—and, therefore, the impact on the stock market. But such policy changes take time; consider the agonizing on Capitol Hill over passage of major legislation, such as…

Continue Reading

28Oct

Q3 GDP Beats Estimates

Real GDP for Q3 2016 came in at a better-than-expected rate of 2.9%. This “advance estimate,” released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, was above consensus/economists’ estimates of around 2.5-2.6%. In Q2, real GDP increased by an annualized rate of 1.4%. As Astor previously observed, a Q3 GDP report that at least met expectations, along…

Continue Reading

All information contained herein is for informational purposes only. This is not a solicitation to offer investment advice or services in any state where to do so would be unlawful. Analysis and research are provided for informational purposes only, not for trading or investing purposes. All opinions expressed are as of the date of publication and subject to change. Astor and its affiliates are not liable for the accuracy, usefulness or availability of any such information or liable for any trading or investing based on such information.”