Beyond Bulls & Bears

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Education

Social Security Benefits Set to Increase, but Don’t Get Too Excited

Gail Buckner, CFP®, offers some useful information about a 2018 Social Security benefits bump, and outlines a new Congressional bill that may change the benefits equation down the road.

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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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Multi-Asset

A Selective Look at Corporate Credit

“In line with a positive assessment of economic fundamentals, we view credit conditions as favorable. Interest rates remain low, corporate balance sheets generally remain strong and debt-service costs appear manageable. Markets still appear receptive to debt offerings.” – Ed Perks, Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions

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Fixed Income

Global Economic Perspective: October

In this month’s Global Economic Perspective, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group discusses the state of the US economy and monetary policy implications, the fallout from the German elections and impact of the Catalonia crisis in Spain.

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Fixed Income

Putting Geopolitical Tensions into Perspective

When world leaders talk, markets react. And with social media becoming mainstream, politicians have a new way of getting their message to the masses. Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s John Beck discusses geopolitical tensions, the impact of social media and the broader macroeconomic issues impacting the global fixed income landscape.

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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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Multi-Asset

Lessons Learned from the Global Financial Crisis

“We believe it’s difficult for any investor to time the market. We prefer to take a more disciplined approach to investing by sticking with a set mix of global stocks and bonds, rebalancing from quarter to quarter, regardless of market conditions.” – Tony Coffey, Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions

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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

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Alternatives

What’s Next For Europe as Merkel Is Re-elected

"We think the level of support for AfD does reflect a protest vote from people who have been unhappy with the direction things have been going in Germany. That could have an influence on Merkel’s approach as she looks past her election victory.” - David Zahn, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group

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Equity

Why Gold-Mining Stocks Could Regain Some Luster

“It seems to us that gold’s inability to hold a rally over the last 18 months has created fatigue with investors. As a result, many investors have felt they should sell into rallies. However, given the overall global macroeconomic backdrop, this view may be creating an interesting opportunity for longer-term investors.” – Steve Land, Franklin Equity Group

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Fixed Income

Global Economic Perspective: September

In this month’s Global Economic Perspective, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group examines the potential impact of recent storms on the US economy, Europe’s monetary policy path and whether the global economy’s upturn is sustainable.

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Fixed Income

The Fed’s Balancing (Sheet) Act

The Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting played out largely as expected, as US monetary policymakers left the central bank’s benchmark short-term interest rate unchanged. The Fed did clarify when it would begin to unwind its hefty balance sheet, and updated its economic forecasts and interest-rate projections. Chris Molumphy, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group CIO, says the communication from the latest Fed meeting should not rattle the markets much, and that the next interest-rate hike now seems most likely to come in December.