Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Recession Impacts on Employment and Wages

It may come as a surprise to many that average disposable personal incomes have increased by 6.6 percent from February prior to the pandemic through August. This is down from a high of 9.8 percent in...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Low Rates Make Record Government Debt Manageable – For Now

Few people would have predicted that U.S. equity markets would be higher today than at the start of 2020 if told that a virus would infect over 7.0 million people in the U.S., cause over 200,000...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Inflation Expectations Surge, Driving Real Interest Rates Down

Chairman Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole during the last week of August confirmed the Fed’s dovish policy stance, giving investors ample support in terms of low rates and a flexible inflation...
Market Commentary | Articles

Fiscal Year-End and Mid-Year 2020 Market and Investment Review

As we enter the new fiscal year, and Commonfund’s 50th year of operations, we leave behind what will likely be remembered as one of the most challenging and memorable fiscal years for the...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Markets are Running Ahead of Economic Reality

When investors open their second quarter investment reports, many will be shocked by the magnitude of stock market gains in the second quarter. Their surprise could be voiced by a rhetorical question...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Measuring Social Distancing with Mobility Trends

We continue to monitor the level of social distancing as an indicator for business activity and improvement in consumer sentiment. Personal spending experienced the largest month-over-month drop on...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

When Will this Crisis End? 3 Keys to Recovery

When will this crisis end?  Following are three key issues fiduciaries should keep in mind concerning COVID-19 and this pandemic recession and recovery. The path and trajectory of COVID-19 This is...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | The Fed Rides to the Rescue

The Federal Reserve is determined to support the economy and the normal functioning of capital markets during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 29th, the total asset size of the Fed’s balance sheet...
Market Commentary | Videos

An Insider's Guide to the Chinese Economy

Commonfund CEO and CIO, Mark Anson, hosted Leland Miller, CEO of China Beige Book. Mr. Miller shared his proprietary research and insights in this exclusive session for Commonfund Forum registrants....
Market Commentary | Articles

Higher Ed in the Age of COVID-19

Commonfund convenes an expert panel to take on the short- and intermediate-term threats that higher education confronts in the face of a national emergency the likes of which have not been seen for...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | The Dangers of Timing a Bear Market

It has been well documented that trying to avoid market downturns by selling out of stocks and moving to cash can be damaging to long-term portfolio values. And while there are strong behavioral...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Coronavirus: Five Key Questions for Nonprofit Institutions

There is no question that we are in unprecedented times and will likely remain so for longer than we anticipated even a few weeks ago. The speed at which a new reality has been imposed on all of us...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | A Price War Erupts in the Oil Market

Oil prices declined over 21 percent on March 9, 2020, the largest single-day decline since January 1991 during the Gulf War[1]. There was optimism prior to the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Market Commentary: Impact of the Coronavirus on Markets and Portfolios

After a strong calendar year 2019, the S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on February 19, up nearly 5 percent since the year began. Now, a week later, the global equity markets have fallen...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Central Banks Increasingly Accommodative

World markets appeared to be returning to their upward trend in the beginning of February after a volatile start of the year. While concerns about global growth caused by the coronavirus outbreak are...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

2020 Investor Survey: Private Markets Sentiment

For the third year in a row, Commonfund Capital conducted a year-end annual survey of institutional investors to gauge their sentiment about private market investments. Survey responses totaled 267...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Election Year Market Trends

As we enter the 12th year of economic expansion since the Great Financial Crisis, investors continue to wonder whether 2020 will be the year when equity markets finally experience a correction....
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Impact Investing - A Market Matures

Investment strategy influenced by altruistic intentions – broadly, impact investing – has long held sway in a small number of portfolios. Historically, impact investing has failed to gain significant...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Jobs Across the Country

The November non-farm payrolls report far exceeded investor expectation and bolstered the perception that the domestic economy continues to grow more than a decade into this recovery. Payrolls were...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Fed Funds Rate Reduction Drives Markets to New Highs

U.S. equities reached an all-time high at the end of October as downside fears abated and risk-on sentiment improved. Among the positives, successful completion of “phase one” of the U.S. – China...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

The Economy and Markets March On

Summary Positive signs on trade drove recent new highs in the U.S. equity markets The Fed continues to be accommodative and employment is strong Growth is slowing but is supported by the consumer,...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Strange Happenings in the Repo Market

An obscure but very large part of the financial markets caused a stir in late September. Lending rates spiked in the repurchase (repo) markets as institutions sought short-term liquidity. The rate...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Yield Curve Inversion - Signal or False Positive?

Lately, there has been quite a bit of hand-wringing by the financial media about the yield curve inversion. It seems that many prognosticators believe that an inversion is a clear market signal that...
Investment Strategy | Articles

An Investor’s Guide to Private Equity Today

Commonfund recently hosted a panel discussion focused on the current state of private equity and venture capital, with an emphasis on the investor’s perspective of the industry today. The three...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Recession – Maybe This Time is Different

The July Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting signaled the end of central bank rate normalization with the first rate cut in more than a decade. The last time the FOMC cut rates was in...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Economic Expansions Getting Longer

Following the July FOMC meeting and with investors digesting the first rate cut since 2008 it is important to recognize that the domestic economy is now experiencing the longest period of economic...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Defensive Stocks at a Premium

The valuation premium (forward price/earnings) of defensive stocks versus cyclicals has climbed steadily over the last seven months. Limited risk appetite, slowing growth, low interest rates and...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Conflicting Signals in Stock and Bond Markets

The Bond markets’ expectations of U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) rate cuts changed drastically last Friday on the news of President Trump’s intention to impose tariffs on Mexico, in an attempt to...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | U.S. Jobs Machine Keeps Cranking

This month we turn our attention to the economy and, specifically, employment. As investors contemplate when this historically long period of economic growth might end, employment trends are one of...
Market Commentary | Articles

The Global Economy and the Return of Risk

How to think about tariffs, deficits, valuations, leverage, growth and other issues What signals should institutions be mindful of as they make portfolio decisions in the current environment? A panel...
Market Commentary | Videos

Welcome Address and Overview | Forum 2019

Mark Anson, Commonfund Chief Executive Officer and CIO opens Forum 2019 with welcome remarks and a review of the global economy. Download the slides in this presentation.   
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | One Reason Investors Are Feeling Uneasy

Investors of all types, including those that represent institutions, are clearly feeling more uneasy than they have in years. It isn’t just the spike in stock market volatility that buffeted...
Market Commentary | Articles

Year-End Update and 2019 Investment Outlook

As we bid farewell to 2018 and head into 2019, I am pleased to provide you with an update on developments at Commonfund as well as our perspective on the markets and investing. Our roots as a...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Top Five Questions of Nonprofit Fiduciaries

The turbulent start to the New Year has led governing boards, investment committees and staff to question what’s next for the markets and what they should do about it.  Below are the top five...