What Investors Got Wrong in 2016

December 6, 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…

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Last Economic Update for 2016

December 6, 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…

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

November 30, 2016

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…

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Operations As a Vehicle for Business Success

November 28, 2016

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…

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Revisiting Active Investing: Is the Trend in Passive Over?

November 21, 2016

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…

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Analysis: The 2016 Presidential Election

November 9, 2016

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…

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Politics and Economics: Linked—or Not?

November 7, 2016

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…

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Q3 GDP Beats Estimates

October 28, 2016

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…

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Will September’s Economic Pickup Mean a Reason to Hope for Q4?

October 25, 2016

Readings on September’s economic output pointed to a bounce back after a disappointment in August. We see these as hopeful signs that the economy, which has been growing slowly but steadily, may be positioned for further gains in Q4 and as we head into the end of the year. ISM Manufacturing A drop in PMI…

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Passive Investing Grows in Popularity—But No Panacea

October 18, 2016

As the investing public, from institutions to individuals, moves away from stock picking and other traditionally active strategies, the beneficiary is passive investing. As the Wall Street Journal reported recently, pension funds, endowments, 401(k) retirement plans, and retail investors are opting increasingly for passive investing that tracks an index. For the three years ended Aug….

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