On March 12, Berman Capital hosted an outlook call regarding the implications of Coronavirus and other recent events for the financial markets. Russ Allen, Berman Capital’s CIO, hosted the call with three managers focusing on energy, fixed income and equities.
On March 4, Dr. Michael Saag, Associate Dean for Global Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, shared his medical perspective on the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Dr. Saag is a renowned virologist with over 260 articles published in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Saag covered a variety of topics, including placing the virus in historical context, the possible public health scenarios and suggestions for how to reduce personal risks. Dr. Saag then generously answered several client questions, including a discussion of travel, risks to different age groups and potential treatments.
We are pleased to announce that BCA has been chosen once again by the Financial Times as one of the top 300 Registered Investment Advisors in the U.S. We could not have accomplished this without the support of the families we work with, our incredible team, and all of BCA’s friends. Thank you all very much for your continued support.
You have often heard us comment that quarter-end index returns masked market swings in the meantime. Not in the first quarter, when stocks set a record for days without a 1% move. Volatility stayed consistently low despite the new President's spate of executive orders, Congress' failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, the Fed's third interest rate hike and a sharp reversal in crude oil.
Markets have fallen sharply over the past week as investors have begun to worry about “Brexit” in earnest. Brexit (the amalgamation of British + Exit) refers to the possibility that U.K. citizens may vote to leave the Eurozone in an upcoming referendum. The referendum is actually not legally binding upon Parliament. However, it would create great uncertainty and throw European politics into turmoil.
We are pleased to announce that Berman Capital has been chosen once again by the Financial Times as one of the top 300 Registered Investment Advisors in the U.S. We could not have accomplished this without the support of the families we work with, the wonderful team we have here, and all of our friends of the firm. Thank you all very much for your continued support.
Markets are volatile in the new year - how should clients cope?
2015 has been the annus horribilis for MLP investors, with the principal Alerian MLP Index down just over 40% through November. Price drops like this certainly prompt a reassessment of the thesis – is the market in an unjustified panic, or did our analysis take a very wrong turn? Compared to the recent past, fundamentals have turned more negative for MLPs – yet we believe the market reaction is far in excess of the facts on the ground.
Berman Capital Advisors’ Chief Investment Officer, Russ Allen, discusses the current market environment and asset allocation given our market outlook.
Justin Berman helps foster care child, Lorenzo Mauldin, achieve his dream.
Berman Capital Advisors’ Chief Investment Officer, Russ Allen, will discuss the current market environment and asset allocation given our market outlook. A question and answer session will follow.
In August, we wrote to you about falling oil prices and the consequent impact on MLPs / energy infrastructure. Since the time of our writing, oil has remained quite volatile but is actually about flat point to point. MLPs, on the other hand, have lately come under even more pressure, falling over 8% September 28-29 alone. Given that MLPs are generally considered safer than their associated commodities, investors want to know, "what is going on?"
Oil prices have taken investors on a wild and unpleasant ride as of late. Since last August, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) Oil has dropped by just over 50% as of the time of this writing. The initial round of selling took place in the second half of 2014, rebounded significantly, only to collapse again. Oil has now retraced to the old January lows below $45 a barrel.
As the second quarter began, investors worried about an apparent slowdown in the U.S. economy. However, it turns out the soft growth data was the result of bad weather, a port strike and a negative seasonal adjustment which was later reversed.
Despite the continuation of higher volatility that was experienced in 2013 and 2014, stocks have managed to stay in positive territory for the year. Equities have been aided by mildly improving economic data, continued easy monetary policy from global central banks, and high levels of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. The S&P 500 has gone 914 days without a 10% correction, its third-longest run on record. European stocks have been able to push past renewed worries over Greece on the back of low valuations, improving data, and belief that the worst case scenario of a “Grexit” wouldn’t result in financial contagion.
Bond investors fared worse, with the Barclays Capital Long-Term Treasury Index dropping 4.7%. 2015 represents the first year in almost a hundred in which both the Dow Jones Industrials and long-term Treasuries fell during the first six months of a pre-election year (typically they are quite strong).
Markets have been volatile the past couple of weeks as worries regarding Greece’s potential exit from the Eurozone and a bursting bubble in China’s stock market have come to the fore. After starting the second quarter in positive territory, the major indexes have all turned lower. The U.S., partly due to its status as a safer haven without an immediate negative catalyst, is only down 0.75% as of July 8th. Europe is lower by almost 3% (in USD), and the more volatile emerging markets are lower by almost 7%. These worries have been worsened by the trading halt the NYSE endured Wednesday. Let’s take each of these events in turn.
Global markets are in turmoil today as the long-running Greek financial crisis is finally coming to a head. Despite the recent turmoil, for investors the negative impact of this seemingly never-ending crisis will likely be limited. Crucially, and unlike the 2011 crisis, Europe has likely done enough to prevent a broader financial contagion if there is a default. Contagion has always been the real issue, as Greece itself is a tiny part of the global economy.
We are pleased to announce that Berman Capital has been chosen by the Financial Times as one of the top 300 Registered Investment Advisors in the U.S. We could not have accomplished this without the support of the families we work with, the wonderful team we have here, and all of our friends of the firm. Thank you all very much for your continued support.
Russ Allen gives an update on Berman Capital’s India Investment Thesis.
As expected, volatility picked up in the equity markets in Q1. This increases the odds that hedged managers have a better relative performance in 2015. However, we still see equity exposure as favored overall. International developed markets such as Europe and Japan performed well in the quarter, and we are actively exploring increasing exposure to those markets which have lagged far behind the U.S. recovery. As we noted last quarter, while Europe and Japan are suffering from weak economies, we think their shared commitment to tackle deflation is a very significant positive.
Global growth remains slow and inflation is tightly controlled, so we stick by our stance that bonds will perform adequately in 2015, but beyond that, returns for interest-rate sensitive investments will likely be poor. We continue to see opportunities in niche credit opportunities where large banks have retrenched, leaving borrowers looking for an alternative.
CIO Russ Allen discusses the European QE program recently announced by the ECB and its implications for investors.
Justin Berman serves as mentor to Lorenzo Mauldin, foster care child and respected football player in the ACC.
Justin Berman was recently quoted in Bloomberg. Read his thoughts about investing in non-performing loans
ATLANTA April 23, 2014 -- Berman Capital Advisors has been selected for the 2014 Best of Atlanta Award in the Financial Consultant category by the Atlanta Award Program.
Each year, the Atlanta Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Atlanta area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Atlanta Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Atlanta Award Program and data provided by third parties.
Jill Asrael, Principal at Berman Capital Advisors attended the fifth-annual Barron’s Top Independent Advisors Summit, hosted by Barron’s magazine to promote best practices in the industry and the value of advice to the investing public. The invitation-only conference was held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, March 19 - 21 in Phoenix, AZ.
Dear Clients: In an effort to assist in the fight against cybercrime, and keep your private information safe, we want to share some interesting information with you.
Many sites, including Gmail, were exposed to a bug called "Heartbleed". The Heartbleed bug allows information leaks from a key safety feature that is typically known to keep your online communication private when emailing, banking, shopping etc. As an example, one of our partners received an email from an impersonator of American Express with a hyperlink to a malware site.
Please be on high alert of suspicious emails from any source. It has also been advised that we all change passwords to sites listed in the CNN story in the link found below. Please do not change passwords to any sites that have not been cleared, or your new password will also be compromised. It is generally advised that passwords be at least nine characters and that they include a mix of upper- and lower-case letters and numbers.
We are happy to say that the "client login" link from www.bermancapital.com was not compromised, nor were the sites of our most common client custodians, Pershing and Schwab.
As the heat of summer rolls in, we would like to update you on some happenings at Berman Capital. This fall, we will celebrate the third anniversary of our firm and thus far, we are proud of our efforts to live up to the ideals Justin had when he started BCA: independence, objectivity, transparency, and a best in class experience for all our clients. We are looking forward to moving even closer towards those ideals with some exciting changes in the firm.
Berman was recently honored by having several articles featured in Worth's 2012 Leading Wealth Advisors, a special section in every edition of Worth. Worth is a publication serving high net individuals passionate about the stewardship of their wealth; its focus is on wealth creation and management, including entrepreneurship and investing as well as philanthropy, lifestyle and passion investing.
While there are significant headwinds to the market, we remain constructively optimistic on the state of the equity markets for the next several years and recommend adding new money to the equity markets through actively managed long only managers.