Beyond Bulls & Bears

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Equity

Insights from the 2018 US Consumer Electronics Show

“We go to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to see how leading public and private technology companies are positioning themselves for what is next, and what products are likely to break into the mainstream. At this year’s CES, we saw three key themes: smart speakers, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence (AI).” – Jonathan Curtis and Robert Stevenson, Franklin Equity Group.

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Education

Elderly Americans Now Have New Protections to Help Combat Financial Fraud

Elder abuse, including forms of financial fraud, is a widespread problem that many of us don’t give much thought about—until it happens to one of our loved ones, or even ourselves. Gail Buckner, CFP, our personal retirement and financial planning strategist, explores the subject of elder financial abuse and new protections that will soon be in place to help thwart it.

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Fixed Income

The Underappreciated Story: How Brexit Threatens to Shift the Balance of Power in the EU

For fixed income investors eyeing opportunities in Europe, 2018 should be the year economic fundamentals reassert their worth, according to David Zahn, Franklin Templeton’s head of European Fixed Income. Nonetheless, Zahn believes many investors are underappreciating the long-term implications for Europe of the biggest political uncertainty for the region—Brexit.

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Alternatives

First Quarter Hedge-Fund Strategy Outlook: K2 Advisors

“The bottom line is that we believe the massive tide of low-cost money that lifted all boats and allowed for carefree sailing is receding. Investors who are not prepared for this change may be exposed to significant risks.” - K2 Advisors

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Fixed Income

Global Economic Perspective: January

"Just as attempts to use historical precedents to predict the length and durability of the US economic cycle are undermined by the idiosyncratic nature of its recovery since the global financial crisis, much the same argument can be made about the wider global economy.” - Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group®

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Equity

Keeping One’s Options Open: The Case for Convertible Securities

When the outlook is uncertain, it can be good to keep one’s options open. Alan Muschott, vice president and portfolio manager, Franklin Equity Group, says convertible securities’ ability to adapt to myriad market conditions makes them an attractive vehicle as we head into the uncertainties of the year ahead. He outlines why companies issue convertible securities—and why many investors find them an attractive addition to their portfolios.

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Fixed Income

Will US Tax Reform Alter the Muni Landscape?

With a new US tax law now upon us, many investors are questioning what the potential impacts may be on their portfolios—and on their potential investment selections going forward. Rafael Costas and Sheila Amoroso, co-directors of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s Municipal Bond Department, address the major areas of potential impact the new legislation could have on muni bonds, and offer their thoughts around each of these areas.

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Multi-Asset

The Year Ahead: Will the US and Global Expansion Continue in 2018?

January is a month of resolutions and predictions, and perhaps more often than not, both tend to be abandoned come spring. While we don’t have a magic crystal ball to predict where the markets may be headed next, we do have a team of respected professionals who recently assembled to discuss whether they think last year’s economic momentum could continue—and where they see potential threats on the horizon.