Category: General Firm Info

34 posts categorized as "General Firm Info"

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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25Oct

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

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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18Oct

Passive Investing Grows in Popularity—But No Panacea

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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17Oct

Invest Like an Economist—Not a Stock Picker

While the expansion of the $3 trillion ETF industry continues to attract attention for the sheer size and popularity of this investment vehicle, there is yet another reason to favor ETFs—one that’s near to my heart as an economist and investment manager. ETFs allow you think and invest like an economist, and not a stock…

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11Oct

The Tension between Reacting and Overreacting: One Number Does Not Make a Trend

In asset allocation and investing, there is a natural tension between reacting and overreacting. The goal is to ensure you are skilled at the former, while avoiding the latter. At Astor Investment Management, we believe our macroeconomics-based approach to asset allocation helps us react to what we determine to be real change in the economic…

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5Oct

What Are You Looking At?

Fed-watching. Oil prices. The latest geopolitical headline. All sources of anxiety, some of them manufactured. The real question is, what should you be focusing on? Even as markets persist near all-time highs, volatility not indicating too much concern, the subconscious anxiety appears to be growing. As we’ve seen in recent years (and, more recently, during…

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