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Will There be a Second Wave of Inflation?

No, we expect Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation will continue to moderate toward central bank target levels in 2024. As a result, we believe key central banks will cut policy rates modestly this year to avoid overtightening. This should support our view that investors should hold a modest overweight to long Treasury bonds. Global inflation […]

February 2024

A Changed Investment Landscape Is Providing Greater Opportunity for US Corporate Pensions

Over the past decade, executives overseeing corporate defined benefit (DB) pension plans have experienced significant regulatory reform and a full reversal of investment conditions. While rising liabilities once offset asset gains, the opposite is now true. Yet many organizations haven’t recalibrated their approach to plan management in response, leaving them exposed to unnecessary costs and […]

January 2024

2024 Outlook: Interest Rates

We expect that most major central banks will cut policy rates modestly due to our view that inflation rates will continue to decline. The modest cuts will shift policy rates from restrictive levels closer to neutral levels, which are neither restrictive nor accommodative. Given this view and our view that economic activity will weaken, we […]

December 2023

2024 Outlook: Credit

We expect direct lending and European opportunistic private credit funds will outperform their long-term averages because of high asset yields and the pull back in credit availability among traditional lenders. We like structured credits, particularly high-quality collateralized loan obligation debt, and we expect high-yield bonds will outperform leveraged loans. But we remain neutral on high […]

December 2023

Should Taxable Investors Still Rely on Municipal Bonds to Boost After-Tax Returns?

Yes. Municipal (muni) bonds have recently outperformed taxable equivalents before taxes and the tax advantage of high-quality munis has grown as interest rates have gone up. We recommend a neutral allocation to high-quality munis in taxable portfolios. Beyond the high-quality space, muni closed-end funds (CEFs) have the potential to deliver compelling after-tax returns. The previous […]

October 2023

Private Direct Lending or Public BDCs? Guidance for Pension Plan Sponsors

Private credit has become a popular asset class among pension plan sponsors seeking yield enhancement over their public fixed income allocations. The non-bank finance market has flourished since the Global Financial Crisis due to a more restrictive bank regulatory environment, resulting in reduced bank lending activity, and a wide range of private credit opportunities are […]

July 2023

A New Approach: How ERISA-Covered US Pension Plans Can Save on PBGC Premiums

Saving on Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premiums has long been at the forefront of many pension risk management decisions. When interest rates were near historic lows during 2019 and 2020, many single-employer plan sponsors changed their methodology for calculating these premiums to reduce their tax obligation to the federal government. Although it appeared like […]

July 2023

Don't Count Out Government Bonds Just Yet

Historically, we have recommended investors hold high-quality government bonds as a counterbalance in equity-heavy portfolios. However, in recent years, some investors have reduced their exposure to government bonds, given their low yields, in favor of cash. This was prescient in 2022. Global equities returned -16% in local currency terms, but government bonds also suffered steep […]

June 2023

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