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While the stock market is starting to show signs of turning around volatility is still present. Adding to the complexities is the conflicting macro news that investors are getting. The most recent jobs report was strong despite signs growth is slowing, and the Fed is slamming on the breaks. For short-term investors and that nearer retirement, it might still be a bit before you jump back in. However, many on the street are telling young and long-term investors to get back in the market. Sectors like tech are turning around and acquisitions will be very fruitful for the long-run growth of the industry. Hedge funds are still running high on cash and in ultra-low exposures post-GFC, which could be a sign the end isn’t quite here yet.

Finsum: The next GDP release will be critical for the economy, if things are moderate and inflation isn’t extreme equities could rally. 

The Fed has entered a nearly 20-year unprecedented tightening cycle with the latest 75 bps hike, and that is more than beginning to shift bond markets. While existing bondholders might be upset as bonds prices and yields are inversely correlated and both tightening and inflation are inching yields up, income investors are rejoicing at the small dividends being paid out in fixed-income ETF funds. While the dividends in short-term treasury funds are by no means large it could be a sign of change. Experts are saying we could see mid-3%  in these cash-adjacent products by the end of 2022. With the Fed nowhere near close to taming inflation in many people's eyes, this could just be the start of meaningful dividend payments.

Model portfolios have gained a lot of traction in the last couple of years, and that’s bearing out in the market with both launches and inflows increasing over the last 3-5 years. However, what are the main advantages of model portfolios for investors and advisors? For investors, they are a series of complete packages that address specific needs simply often times based on preferences, lifestyle decisions, and demographics. They can also address specific problems such as the macro turmoil permeating markets currently. For investors, they offer additional benefits of freeing up time for clients and their personal needs. Studies have found that clients highly value the interpersonal communication that advisors bring, regardless of the age demographic. Models give advisors the flexibility with respect to time to understand their client’s desires and help them navigate financial decisions.

Finsum: Models have huge advantages in sectors because they can match preferences simply rather than combing through individual securities.

The string of direct indexing acquisitions seems to be never-ending, but this most recent one could really aid financial advisors. First Trust Capital is acquiring Veriti Management for their direct indexing platforms, which have enormous advantages for both tax and customization preferences, such as ESG.  However, Veriti’s roots are ‘for..and…built-by-advisors’ that could distinguish it moving forward according to a senior strategist at First Trust Ryan Issakainen. The co-founder is an advisor and his background has developed further tools that could be useful to clients on their platform. Additionally, they offer nearly bespoke ESG options but at much higher minimums than the new offers coming out; Verti’s start at a quarter of a million dollars.

Finsum: This could be a nice middle option for advisors with high net worth clients, who want the flexibility of custom indexing.

There hasn’t been a more apt macro-environment since the rebound post-2008 great financial crisis, and macro hedge funds are capitalizing. Haidar Jupiter and Odey European both saw fund gains of 4.6% and 2.2% last month. Overall the industry has returned 5.3% in the first five months, which was shocking given the hedge fund industry was a net loser through that same time period. Macro has had challenges until recently where historically low-interest rates made it difficult to find any industry alpha but as rates, inflation, and other factors permeate the economy these hedge funds are finding their edge. The biggest successes have been in fixed income and commodities trading and reading the tea leaves on inflation perfectly.

Finsum: Active managers don’t always have an advantage but in this environment, they certainly seem to. 

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