Yields are falling despite the Fed, the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England, want to hike interest rates. The long end of the yield curve responds with natural defense because soft inflation and hikes means the Fed will not meet the inflation target. Indeed, the Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) curve discounts a below target inflation for the next 30-years. This expectation has been in place since late 2014 since QE3 ended. Since that time, the 10-year has been in a downtrend with occasional sell offs (like during Trump election). The chart below shows the 10-year since the end of QE3 (October '14) until today, compared to the 10-year during 2001-2006 period. Figure 1 Source: Bloomberg It is interesting to note the 10-year is

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We are proud to announce another significant addition to the Intellectus Team. Alice Wu, the former President of Robertson Stephens, Head of Asia Region has joined Intellectus. Alice will be based in our San Francisco office and will frequently be spending time in Asia. Please welcome Alice to the team! Our press release is below: Silicon Valley-based Independent Wealth Management Firm, Intellectus Partners, Hires Alice Wu as Head of Asia Pacific Region, Wealth Creation & Preservation NEW YORK, NY, June 20, 2017–Intellectus Partners today announced that the firm has expanded its leadership team with the addition of Alice Wu as Head of Asia Pacific Region, Wealth Creation & Preservation. Ms. Wu joins Intellectus Partners from Robertson Stephens where she was a Managing Director and President

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Once again, British polls turned out to be unreliable, and the political fallout may linger for some time. While Brexit negotiations are about to get under way, the Conservatives position in the House of Commons has weakened on May’s mandate backed by a slim majority. This is the uncertainty the Pound Sterling reflected on Friday by falling 1.5 percent against major currencies. A currency that expresses political risk may serve as a reflation backdrop because it can loosen global financial conditions. For example as Figure 1 shows, U.K. financial conditions are the easiest globally despite political uncertainty is perhaps the highest in Britain. Figure 1 Source: Bloomberg For financial markets this is good news because uncertainty begets low volatility when capital remains opportunistically

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Last Friday's (May 5) payrolls report was a steady as you go report. The consistent strength in payroll growth suggests "slack" is gradually removed. If there was an acceleration in reduction of slack however, not only wages may rise faster, but productivity would go up too. This hasn't been the case so far with the recent productivity report showing a meager 0.6% annualized increase. The labor market is therefore currently tightening in a moderate fashion and this coincides with a slow deterioration in the labor market conditions index published by the Federal Reserve. The graph below compares a measure of slack (part time employment for economic reasons) and the labor market conditions index. The positive change in the labor market conditions index has historically peaked

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"If a capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk back in the early 1900s, he should have shot Orville Wright." So said Warren Buffet in 2003. My how things change...Great investors are never dogmatic. As you may recall from our post three months ago(Nov 11, 2016), we have been unabashed bulls on the airline sector for a very long time. In a nutshell, we think capacity discipline and the rationalization of the US airline industry are driving significant efficiencies (not to mention the indirect benefit that they receive from all of the oil and gas that the US is pumping). This is likely to lead to real value creation In fact, we think it already is. Just last week, Delta announced that they were

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Over the past week, financial markets revisited the “Trump Trade” as a portfolio consisting out of 3 variables. The first variable is the dollar. The green buck resumed strength because of a more favorable stance by President Trump in trade discussions with Japan and China. Japanese Prime Minister Abe praised Trump for his business qualities with a trade deal potentially away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”). The conference call with Chinese President Xi Jinping resulted in a policy shift by Trump when he formally confirmed to uphold the “China One Policy.” The diplomatic nature of these discussions with Japan and China critically refrained from “currency manipulation” and was rather translated as a “level playing field” on currency valuation. The dollar index re-priced to moderately above 100,

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The Federal Reserve’s FOMC Statement may have had the look of a stalemate but the language was crafted such that there are two important implications. The first is both sides of the dual mandate (inflation & unemployment) are in the Fed’s view now at target. The outlook for inflation was changed from “expected” to “will rise to 2 percent.” The Federal Reserve has high conviction inflation will be at target by removing from the Statement “transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate.” The other part of the mandate, the unemployment rate, was described as “stayed near its recent low” rather than declining. The assessment of the mandate coming into balance, suggests the Fed is getting ready for the next phase of

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As Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, there were two notable points in his inaugural speech. The first point is President Trump took a firm stance against the political establishment. His message was conveyed such there will be a power transfer from government back to the private sector. By ending state control, “carnage” as President Trump described it, would end effectively. That may imply government intervention in private markets is now something of the past. One may argue President Trump took to heart the ideologies of the late economist Paul Samuelson. He argued maximizing welfare for the public results in an economy operating at optimal efficiency. The speech focus on “buy American, hire American” is adage to Samuelson by

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We expect that 2017 is setting up to be a year of heightened activity in Advanced technology, leading to a robust IPO market in 2017. A decade of repressive regulations, costs and other aftershocks of the dual crises(2000-02 & 08/09) have created a pressure valve set to burst. The mountain of regulations have kept fast growing private companies private longer and the money followed. Venture Capital, and in particular, late stage capital(growth funds) have allowed the companies plentiful access to massive funding without the public markets. Advances in innovation have been accelerating at an exponential rate, costs to develop have dropped by orders of magnitude and available pool of talent has dramatically increased. After a long run of activity, the confluence of mobility,

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Credit risk premiums recently narrowed to their tightest levels since late 2007. There are a few risks emerging at the horizon that may alter valuation of corporate bonds. These risks can be put into three categories: 1) macro risks, 2) cross border holdings and 3) non-repatriated earnings and corporate tax reform. In the Minutes of the Federal Reserve released this week, there was a discussion how to respond when the economy with an already tight labor market could face additional fiscal stimulus. Many FOMC members saw a quicker tightening as the appropriate response. This tightening would be through 2 to 3 rate hikes in 2017, possibly followed by a reduction of the size of the Fed's balance sheet. These tightening measures may come at a time

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We are big fans of using all tools available to derive insights for our investment views. In particular, alternative datasets are increasingly valuable, available and differentiated. The advent of Artificial Intelligence on the Investment court has changed how things are done quite a bit. The various A.I. techniques are finding their way into the top trading and research desks of investment managers and advisors. From Natural Language Processing(NLP), to Machine Vision, Deep Learning and others, we are processing mass quantities of complex data via algorithms to better understand (and hopefully predict) our world. In light of our view of the immense value of these alternative data sets and the high growth companies that are creating this market, We thought that we would share an

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The Entrepreneurial Lifecycle: As the New Year turns. I wanted to touch base on the lifecycle that we all go through and how to optimize the benefits of working with an Advisory firm like Intellectus Partners. There is a difference between investment management and Wealth Management. There is an even bigger difference in advising Entrepreneurs and execs in high growth companies and non-entrepreneurs regarding their finances. Most often clients come to Intellectus Partners at or near an exit and expect the firm to just step in and work it’s “magic”. We can certainly help and add value at that point but wealth management for those in an entrepreneurial world ideally should line up temporally with their business lifecycle. When someone comes to us near their

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The leading behavioral investment mistake By Thomas Oberlechner, Chief Science Officer, TheHintBox!,Inc, a related company Biography: Thomas Oberlechner, Ph.D. Dr. Oberlechner is Chief Scientist at TheHintBox!,Inc, a related company to Intellectus Partners. He is also founder and partner of FinPsy LLC, a San Francisco based behavioral consultancy. He helps decision-makers in finance and investment integrate state-of-the art behavioral expertise into their decisions, products, and organizations. Dr. Oberlechner is a leading expert on behavioral and psychological aspects of financial decisionmaking. While previously Chief Science Officer at iMatchative, he developed decision support systems for investors and hedge fund managers that add novel behavioral dimensions to the financial hedge fund data traditionally available. These systems provide investors and fund managers with deep insight into behavioral preferences,

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The slope of the yield curve informs about the future state of the economy. Post the great recession, the yield curve hasn’t tracked always the “normal” cycle shown in Figure 1. There are two reasons why this is the case and what it means for core fixed income investing. Figure 1: U.S. Treasury and Japanese Yield Curve Compared Source: Bloomberg, monthly data. T-= years before the cycle peak of economic growth, T+ = years post peak and into recession. The first reason is to compare the slope of the U.S. yield curve to Japan. The Japanese curve followed the normal cycle but deviated when deflation took hold (T+2 to T+4, Figure 1). Notably, the U.S. yield curve (orange line) follows the

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One possible effect stemming from the Brexit and U.S. elections outcome could have significant consequences: central banks relinquish their independence. There are academic proposals that call for central banks to maintain “operational independence” but give up political independence. There has been rhetoric during and post campaigns that argue for a change of central bank influence, different board and Chairman appointments and even a call to return to the gold standard. Politically motivated changes of a central bank have been associated with periods of high inflation. However, removal of central bank independence could also play out differently, for example by way of market forces. There are three ways how that may happen: 1.Loss of control over long maturity interest rates 2.Loss of control over

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