Monthly Commentary

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July 2012

Although the second quarter ended in the red, June showed that being in the equity markets matters and that a broad, globally diversified portfolio can build wealth with relatively safe returns.

In this month’s ING Global Perspectives commentary, ING Chief Market Strategist Doug Cote discusses the “Risk Gap” which is what investors don’t own leading to upside risk – forfeiting exceptional returns when mired in “safe” assets. As always, investors should continue to focus on the ABCDs of fundamentals:

  • Advancing Corporate Profits - Profits for Q1 2012 increased 6% over Q1 2011.
  • Broadening Manufacturing - The U.S. ISM manufacturing index slipped to 49.7% in June, the first slip into contraction territory in 35 months.
  • Consumer Strength Underestimated - Consumers took a slight breather as a 2.2% decrease in gasoline purchases pulled May retail sales down.
  • Developing Economies are Driving Global Growth - The 2012 A.T. Kearney Global Retail Development Index ranks four Latin American counties in the top 10 for global retail expansion opportunities.

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June 2012

In this month’s commentary, ING Chief Market Strategist Doug Coté stresses the key factors investors should know to ride out this temporary market volatility.

  • For the third straight year, a Euro-crisis hit markets in May, causing uncertainty and doubt to overshadow fundamentals
  • What’s needed today is a disciplined plan that protects portfolios from losses but does not overreact and send investors prematurely to the exits
  • Earnings growth, a dependable fundamental signal for both buying and selling, remains positive — the U.S. is slowly but surely moving forward
  • Ample rewards await those who maintain a diversified global portfolio and stay focused on long-term goals

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May 2012

The bears grew hopeful early in the month, as global markets were spooked by events in the euro zone: Spain briefly brought back fears of bailout Armageddon, the Dutch government collapsed, and PMI numbers for the region came in weaker than expected. April Fools! The bull market remains intact and offers compelling value for those looking to build wealth.

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April 2012

We just wrapped up the best first quarter since 1998, volatility has dropped to almost boring levels, fundamentals are relentlessly marching forward and global risks appear to have returned to a more normal state.

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March 2012

After matching its stellar January performance in February, the S&P 500 Index is off to its best start since 1991. The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the psychologically important 13,000 mark, a level not seen since May 2008.

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February 2012

January’s surge may have surprised many observers, but not Douglas Coté, Chief Market Strategist, ING Investment Management U.S., who has long advocated, even in the face of headline global risks, that the market’s path ultimately comes down to the strength of its underlying fundamentals.

In this month’s ING Global Perspectives commentary, Global Markets Rally on Moderating Global Risk and Positive Fundamentals, Doug revisits the "ABCDs" of fundamentals:

  • Advancing Corporate Profits: For each of the past ten quarters, more than 70% of S&P 500 companies have delivered positive earnings surprises.
  • Broadening Manufacturing: The ISM manufacturing index has expanded for 30 consecutive months.
  • Consumer Strength Underestimated: December brought monthly retail sales to their highest level ever, north of $400 billion.
  • Developing Economies: Emerging market growth continues to be a key catalyst for U.S. corporate revenue.

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January 2012

2011 will be marked as a year where global risks battled daily with market fundamentals with volatility as the result. While global risks are by no means gone, the market’s path ultimately comes down to the strength of the underlying fundamentals.

With that in mind, be sure to read the ING Global Perspectives 2012 Forecast, where ING Chief Market Strategist Douglas Coté provides important points to help investors stay focused on market fundamentals in 2012. He discusses the key drivers of global return, the risks to look out for, and provides detailed market, economic and asset class forecasts for the coming year.

December 2011

A blockbuster holiday spending season, declining unemployment, and benign inflation are just a few of the indicators tracked by ING Global Perspectives that the real economy continues to move forward despite credit risk headwinds emanating from Europe. In this month’s commentary, ING Investment Management U.S. Chief Market Strategist Douglas Coté discusses how the ABCDs of market fundamentals continue to impress, with:

  • Accelerating corporate profits: The S&P 500 is on track to deliver record earnings in 2011.
  • Booming manufacturing: Exports surged to all-time highs in September.
  • Consumer strength: We’ve had eight consecutive months of retail sales increases.
  • Developing economies driving global growth: Trade within the emerging markets is transforming the economic landscape.

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November 2011

Market fundamentals are showing signs of life after global risk reached crisis levels in the 3rd quarter. Readers who’ve been following ING Global Perspectives commentary were able to ride along with an avalanche of positive economic data to benefit from one of the best Octobers in history.

In this month’s commentary, ING Chief Market Strategist Douglas Cote shows how October’s rally highlights the benefits of a disciplined quarterly rebalancing program. Rebalancing enables investors to capitalize on market volatility by forcing them to allocate more to their underperforming assets and less to their best-performing ones (buy low and sell high, in other words), when volatility often encourages the opposite

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October 2011

September’s headlines were ominous, ranging from near-certain Greek default to credit downgrades of sovereign banks. For those investors who have trimmed back and become defensive ING Global Perspectives now advocates a return to full sail with a fully invested, globally diversified portfolio.

In this month’s commentary, ING Chief Market Strategist Douglas Coté argues the global macro risks that have bedeviled markets for the past several months are secondary to bottom-up fundamentals — corporate profits, in particular. Although the European, U.S. and developed world debt crises are far from over, they are moving toward containment. Ultimately, successful investing demands a choice between prudent risk control and outright risk avoidance.

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