Beyond Bulls & Bears

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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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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.

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Equity

Shedding Light on the Utilities Sector

“We see many reasons to be optimistic about utilities today as we look out over the next 10, 20 or 30 years. In our view, most companies have established constructive regulatory relationships and should be able to adjust to the higher cost of capital assumptions that would develop due to rising interest rates.” – John Kohli, Franklin Equity Group

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Equity

Winded Markets May Face a More Difficult Climb in 2018

“We believe this rosier global outlook is largely priced into equities. The US market is looking the most expensive to us at a time when US corporate earnings are already well past their prior peaks.” – Coleen Barbeau, Franklin Equity Group

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Perspectives

Global Investment Outlook 2018: Reflections on Growing Economies and Fading Stimulus

As markets shift away from the recovery era of monetary accommodation amid synchronized global growth, some investors may be wondering where potential opportunities can be found. We present a summary outlook for the year ahead from Franklin Templeton’s global macro, fixed income, equity and multi-asset investment teams.

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Perspectives

Self-Driving Vehicles: The Race to Get Them on the Road

Technological advancements over the past two decades have moved the idea of self-driving cars from the realm of science fiction to fact. Recently, Franklin Templeton Investments assembled a panel of professionals to discuss the competition between traditional vehicle manufacturers and technology companies in the race to develop a truly autonomous car.

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Equity

Why Macron’s Reform Agenda Is Boosting Business Optimism

“We see signs that France’s economy is starting to improve under President Emmanuel Macron. France is enjoying its best streak of economic growth in more than six years. And, French companies are hiring at the fastest pace in almost 17 years." – Katrina Dudley, portfolio manager, Franklin Mutual Series

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Equity

Is the Energy Sector Starting to Turn?

“Given the current lower-price environment, market volatility and future uncertainty, many investors have perceived oilfield services stocks as too risky. That, in turn, has led to more attractive valuations for these stocks that we believe could be creating attractive investment opportunities.” – Fred Fromm, Franklin Equity Group

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Perspectives

How Technology Has Set Industries on a Journey of Opportunity

"As we look at the race for fully autonomous automobiles, the question of who will get there first—and more importantly who figures out how to commercialize and monetize this technology once they do get there—is still pretty wide open." - James Cross, Robert Rendler and Robert Stevenson, Franklin Equity Group and Aleck Beach, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group

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Equity

Why Abe’s Victory Could Help Lift Japanese Stocks

“In our view, Abe’s victory could lead to four more years of pro-growth policies and the possibility of a second term for the very ultra-dovish Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.” – Templeton Global Equity Group’s Cindy Sweeting and Alan Chua

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Alternatives

Fourth Quarter Hedge-Fund Strategy Outlook: K2 Advisors

“While we cannot predict market tops or bottoms, we can be prudent in how we position portfolios contextually. Perhaps now is the time to consider dialing back risk to some degree. We believe the easy money in this cycle has already been made.” - K2 Advisors

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Perspectives

Does Macron’s EU Reform Agenda Need German Support?

"Without an eager partner in Germany, I think Macron will face challenges implementing his more radical eurozone reforms. Although there is broad support for unification in the wake of last year’s Brexit vote, some of the EU’s Eastern European partners are using all the brakes to prevent unification. I see it as a long road to reach that goal.” – Philippe Brugere-Trelat, Franklin Mutual Series