Book Bits | 13 October 2018

The Four Pillars of Portfolio Management: Organizational Agility, Strategy, Risk, and Resources
By Olivier Lazar
Summary via publisher (CRC Press)
Portfolio management consists mainly of making decisions about which initiatives to undertake, which initiatives not to pursue, and which resources are to be allocated to which portfolio component. At least, that’s how it is most commonly presented in textbooks and courses. Indeed, it is all of that, but it is also so much more. Portfolio management is, of course, about making these decisions, but, more accurately, it is about making them with the goal of creating value for an organization’s wide population of stakeholders, both internal and external. This value is not only expressed in financial terms but also in social terms. The portfolio should create value for all stakeholders, who thereby support the portfolio organization and enable it to sustain itself.
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Macro Briefing: 12 October 2018

Amid rising trade tensions, Trump and Xi plan to meet in late November: WSJ
China’s exports surged in September: Reuters
Stocks in Europe and Asia rebound in Fridays’ trading: Bloomberg
Audio and video evidence proves Saudi journalist killed in consulate: WaPo
Firms rethink working with Saudi Arabia after journalist disappears: NY Times
Sidestepping the next recession could be difficult: The Economist
S&P 500 fell below 200-day avg on Thurs for first time since April: CNBC
Jobless claims rose last week but remain close to 49-year low: CNBC
US consumer inflation slowed in September: MarketWatch

Macro Briefing: 11 October 2018

Hurricane Michael ravages Florida, heads to Carolinas: CNN
US arrests Chinese military intel official for economic espionage: NY Times
US intel: Saudi crown prince ordered detention of journalist Khashoggi: CNBC
US futures on Thursday point to another wave of selling: CNBC
Trump says Fed ‘Has Gone Crazy’ after sharp down day in stocks: BBG
US Treasury Sec: stock market slide is ‘normal correction’: CNN
US producer prices rebounded in September: Reuters
Wholesale inventories in US increased a strong 1% in August: MarketWatch
Business inflation expectations for Sep tick up to 2.3%, a 6-mo high: Atlanta Fed
Recession risk may be rising for California’s economy: NY Times
US stock market fell 3.3% on Wed, biggest daily drop since Feb: CNBC

What Are You Expecting From Gold In Your Portfolio Strategy?

Gold is deemed an essential piece of the asset allocation pie in some corners. The reasons vary, depending on the investor, although it’s not uncommon to hear rationales that sound more like religious sermons on the mystical properties of the yellow metal. From an econometric perspective, gold’s attributes for portfolio design are relatively ordinary by way of closely aligning with the inverse return of the US dollar. As such, using gold in portfolios can and arguably should be viewed as a quasi-forex trade as opposed to an all-weather hedge that can never go wrong.
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Macro Briefing: 10 October 2018

Is China’s $1 trillion-plus Treasury portfolio a risk factor in a trade war? NY Times
Trump renews threat to slap more tariffs on Chinese imports: Reuters
IMF: investors are underestimating risk of a new financial crisis: Bloomberg
US Treasury secretary warns China on currency devaluation: FT
Hurricane Michael may be strongest storm to strike Florida’s Panhandle: WaPo
Nikki Haley, US ambassador to UN, surprises GOP with resignation: The Hill
Trump says Fed is hiking rates too fast: Politico
Sears reportedly close to bankruptcy filing: CNBC
US Small Business Optimism Index remains close to 45-year high in Sep: NFIB

Deep-Value ETF Report: A Slightly Longer List

The search for deep-value plays in the ETF realm delivered a short list in August, when markets were humming far and wide. Let’s take a fresh review of the landscape in the wake of recent selling, which has pinched nearly every corner of global stocks, bonds, and real estate securities. Commodities have fared better in recent weeks, but this slice of the major asset classes was already suffering from a longer-run perspective and so there are still plenty of relative bargains on this front.
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Macro Briefing: 9 October 2018

IMF: trade war will pinch economic growth in US and China in 2019: CNN
Trump ignores UN’s dire report on climate change: NY Times
Hurricane Michael strengthens as it approaches Florida’s panhandle: Reuters
US Treasury yields edge up to new multi-year highs in early Tues trading: CNBC
Nobel prize in economics awarded for climate change and tech innovation: WaPo
No political fix expected for rising US debt load: Bloomberg