November 29, 2017

Blockchain: Rearranging Trust

In the view of blockchain proponents, one of the technology’s major advantages is that it doesn’t require trust to conduct transactions. In today’s world, transactions require trust or, in the place of trust, intermediaries, which exist to facilitate the transaction, record the details, and serve as guarantors that each party has sufficient assets. However, intermediaries cannot always be trusted…

September 12, 2017

Making Sense of Blockchain Opportunities

Executive Summary: A blockchain taxonomy for investors. Blockchain technology is being used in a growing diversity of applications, offering a complex array of investment opportunities. While the technology is so new that any investment in it is speculative, patterns of use are emerging. In this report, we propose a taxonomy to enable investors to more… Read more »

August 2, 2017

August 2017 Equity Outlook: Tough Comparisons in 2018

Executive Summary Earnings Growth Set to Slow in 2018. S&P margins and earnings are now at record levels, while sales growth has accelerated in recent quarters. Likely reflecting tough comparisons, as well as anticipation of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes that could curb economic growth, the consensus expectation is for earnings growth to slow sharply… Read more »

July 6, 2017

Equity Outlook: US Equities on Track for More Gains in 2017

Executive Summary Accelerating Earnings Growth. With earnings reporting season about to begin, Q2 2017 S&P 500 operating earnings are forecast to rise 19% from year-ago levels, an acceleration from the 13% rate of growth in Q1 2017. Stable Earnings Expectations. Consensus 2017 S&P 500 estimates have been relatively stable — in contrast to the trend… Read more »

June 21, 2017

Governance and the Ungovernable: Implications of Blockchain Proliferation

Overview Theory and politics. The blockchain and related innovations represent a new and relatively complex set of potential investment opportunities. The technology has received significant attention from a range of individuals and institutions, from computer scientists to corporations to private equity groups. We outline the theory of the technology as well as the governance implications… Read more »

June 5, 2017

Global Equity Outlook: A Global Earnings Rebound

Executive Summary Climbing Out of the Trough. In the US, the Europe/Australasia/Far East (EAFE) region and in Emerging Markets, earnings seem on track to keep climbing out of the 2016 trough. Regional Preferences. Developed Markets look more attractive than Emerging Markets. Within Developed Markets, the EAFE region — and Europe in particular —looks more attractive… Read more »

May 31, 2017

Correction: Retail Automation – Stranded Workers?

In our May 18, 2017 report Retail Automation: Stranded Workers? we inadvertently attributed a reference to the potential labor savings of self-checkout systems to a Home Depot executive. We have removed the inaccurate reference. The corrected report can be downloaded here. We apologize for any inconvenience.

May 18, 2017

Retail Automation: Stranded Workers? Opportunities and risks for labor and automation

Executive summary (download full report here) The retail landscape is experiencing unprecedented change in the face of disruptive forces, one of the most recent and powerful being the rapid rise of automation in the sector. The World Economic Forum predicts that 30-50% of retail jobs are at risk once known automation technologies are fully incorporated…. Read more »

April 3, 2017

Global Earnings Synthesis: Earnings Growth Likely to Determine the Direction of Stock Prices in 2017

Consensus estimates for 2017 seem too high, with Financials and Energy seeming to reflect particularly unrealistic assumptions.

March 9, 2017

Regional and Sector Strategy Monthly Update: March 2017

We upgrade Information Technology and downgrade Utilities; upgrade Australia and downgrade the UK.