Bond Market Shifts

Now is a good time for investors to re-balance their fixed-income portfolios and add more government bonds. As the stock market reaches new highs, analysts remain concerned that investors are too complacent about risks, such as escalating trade tensions with China, a slowing in earnings growth and the expectation that the Federal Reserve will keep hiking interest rates. The same risks have analysts uneasy about the health of the corporate bond market. Bond traders suggest investors consider making some adjustments to their fixed-income portfolios now. The bond market has undergone a recent shift in the relative performance of corporate bonds and government bonds. Investment grade corporate b

eSports Boom in China

The market for eSports and online games is rapidly growing in China, spurred by demand from consumers in the country's smaller cities. Later this year, the world’s first purpose-built eSports gaming stadium is set to open in China’s Chongqing municipality with space for up to 20,000 excited fans. The municipality's plan is to make the region a destination for eSports fans and target the growing revenue in online games and entertainment. Spending by Chinese consumers on online games, online video and live streaming is on track to surge over the next three years, from $54 billion to $116 billion. Analysts say, “China online entertainment platforms are competing aggressively for traffic. We’re

Tightening Housing Supply

In the coming years, an increase in Millennials forming households will create robust demand for both single family homes and apartments. Why inadequate supply over the long term may bode well for apartment REITs. The hunt for housing is heating up. In several U.S. regions, average houses spark bidding wars, apartments rent within hours and homes list at ever-escalating price tags. One driving reason: dwindling supply due to rising Millennial household formations. Analysts say, “We’re going to see strong demand for housing, both multifamily and single family, over the medium to long term.” Aging Millennials, the largest segment of the U.S. population—are now forming households in increasing

Wage Growth on Spotlight

As recently as March of this year, wage growth remained elusive in this cycle. Fast forward six months, and wage growth has picked up in a synchronous fashion across the G3 U.S., the euro area and Japan standing at multi-year highs in all three geographies. With wages finally gathering steam, it’s natural to worry whether they will lift inflation meaningfully above central banks’ goals or dampen corporate profitability. believe that two key parameters—the ‘normal’ level of wage growth and unit labor costs—indicate that the starting point of wage growth is not yet a cause for concern. Wage growth across the G3 remains below normal levels, but the gap has narrowed: Only when nominal wage growt

Digital Banking

While consumer-facing tech like real-time payments and mobile banking hold great promise for banks, updates to behind-the-scenes infrastructure could be the key to cost savings and competitive advantage. With improved regulatory clarity and the prospect of normalized interest rates, technology will be the future battleground of differentiation for both consumers and investors. As an example, most bank consumers in developed markets are expected to have access to real-time payments by the end of 2018 allowing banking transactions to be completed with a swipe of the smartphone. But customer-facing applications aren’t the only differentiators that investors should be watching. As mobile banking

Green Hydrogen Could Revolutionize Energy Production

Green hydrogen could revolutionize energy production, helping utilities run more flexible power grids while reducing fossil fuel emissions. Could hydrogen power be the key to a more carbon-free world? Although a high percentage of the hydrogen power currently produced comes from fossil fuels, further declines in the cost of emissions-free “green” hydrogen production could accelerate the use of hydrogen in a variety of industrial applications. Green hydrogen gas shows promise as a way to reduce emissions on existing industrial processes, provide fuel for buses, trucks and ships and help utility companies manage electric grid stability. While green hydrogen still needs to overcome hurdles to w

Digitalization in Health Care

Healthcare has been slow to embrace digitalization, but growing tech investment and pricing pressures could bring disruption sooner than many expect. Digitalization has transformed virtually every sector, from retail and media to travel and finance; but it's been slow to gain a foothold in the healthcare industry, which is heavily specialized and regulated, walled in byzantine mazes of patents and intellectual property rights, and guarded by scientists, well-heeled research labs and some of the largest corporate players, from hospital systems and health insurers to Big Pharma. Digitalization in healthcare has been skin deep. Think fitness trackers, consumer electronic medical records, or out

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