Beyond Bulls & Bears

Global Economic Perspective: May

In this month’s Global Economic Perspective, our Fixed Income Group opines on rising energy prices, US Treasury yields, emerging-market currency pressures and global economic growth.

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Fixed Income

An Unconventional New Government in Italy

“Although we think that fears about the League/Five Star coalition’s euro skepticism are over-played, we recognize there could be tensions between Rome and Brussels in particular over the new government’s spending plans.” – David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income.

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Equity

Is It Time For Value Investing to Return to the Limelight?

In recent years, value investing has played second fiddle to growth investing. But now could the stage be set for its return to the limelight? Franklin Mutual Series CEO Peter Langerman weighs in with his thoughts and explains why he is optimistic.

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Equity

Will 2018 Be a Record Year for US Dividend Increases?

Since the passage of US tax reforms last December, some US companies have chosen to reward investors by boosting dividends. Citing sectoral trends, our investment leaders from Franklin Equity Group explain why they think that trend is likely to continue in select industries.

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Multi-Asset

Talking Trade Tensions, Inflation and Volatility

Global growth has been accelerating, but there are a few potential headwinds that could cause it to stall. Three of our senior investment leaders—Ed Perks, Chris Molumphy and Stephen Dover—recently participated in a panel discussion on the potential impact of trade tensions, inflation and other issues on their radar.

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Perspectives

Will the Roar of Market Tensions Tame Global Growth?

The first quarter of 2018 started out like a lamb but went out like a lion as long-dormant volatility began to roar. Issues like inflation fears, trade tensions and geopolitical risks contributed to market turbulence, leaving many investors wondering whether these issues will put a damper on global growth—and end the US market’s nine-year bull run. Three of Franklin Templeton’s senior investment leaders—Stephen Dover, Christopher Molumphy and Ed Perks—weigh in.

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Fixed Income

Australia: Caught in the Middle of US-China Trade Tensions?

Franklin Templeton’s Managing Director of Australian Fixed Income, Chris Siniakov, shares his view on why a potential US-China trade war could negatively impact Australia’s education and tourism industries. That said, he’s not alarmed by recent trade headlines—at least not yet.

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Fixed Income

US 10-Year Treasury Crosses 3%: Much Ado About Nothing?

On April 24, the US 10-year Treasury yield crossed the 3% threshold for the first time in four years, prompting much discussion about the potential implications for the US economy. But to reference a famous Shakespeare play, is all the media focus much ado about nothing? Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s Michael Materasso says investors shouldn’t fret too much about the number.

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Perspectives

The Disruption of Money

While speculators have been flocking to virtual currencies with intense fervor, professional investors have largely taken a more cautious approach. Roger Bayston, senior vice president, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group; Austin Trombley, vice president and data scientist, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group; and Anthony Hardy, research analyst with Franklin Equity Group, recently took part in a panel discussion on the topic. They discuss how digital currencies work, how blockchain technology has the potential to impact many facets of our lives, and how they feel about the investment case for this rapidly changing space.

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Alternatives

Second Quarter Hedge-Fund Strategy Outlook: K2 Advisors

In their second-quarter (Q2) 2018 outlook, K2 Advisors’ Research and Portfolio Construction teams share their views on why investors should not fear the return of market volatility—and why it may unlock opportunities for active managers. We believe offering these insights will help investors better understand the rationale for owning retail mutual funds that invest in hedge strategies.

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Education

Health Savings Accounts: The Intersection of Retirement and Health Care

The increasing costs of health insurance borne by employees and employers alike has spawned a variety of plans and strategies to help manage the expenses. Among these are health savings accounts (HSAs), which first came onto the scene in 2003. HSAs allow individuals who are covered by high-deductible health plans to receive tax-preferred treatment of money they have saved for medical expenses. Kevin Murphy, national retirement plan strategist, explains the benefits of HSAs, and how they can even help build your retirement savings.

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Equity

Will 2018 be a Banner Year for US Bank Stocks?

“In our view, select large-capitalization US banks are likely to benefit from a growing US economy, higher interest rates and a less-restrictive regulatory environment. As a result, we think they have room to increase dividends and stock buybacks as earnings improve and capital is freed up.” – Matt Quinlan, Franklin Equity Group