Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month |  The Confusing State of the Labor Market

The U.S. labor market continues to recover from one of the worst declines in employment since the 1930s. In the early days of the pandemic last April, demand for labor plummeted and the unemployment...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month |  Home Prices Are Up 32 Percent In Five Years – And Still Climbing

Housing demand appears to be slowing down in the first half of 2021, yet home prices have continued to climb at an accelerated pace. This month’s chart highlights the supply and demand factors...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Supply Chain Woes as the Pandemic Recedes in the U.S.

Supply chain woes continue to wreak havoc for retailers who are grappling with a strong rebound in consumer spending. Average six-month spending on durable goods, spurred by over $5 trillion in...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Fiscal Year-End and Mid-Year 2021 Market and Investment Review

The new fiscal year beginning July 1st will mark Commonfund’s fifty-year anniversary – and what a memorable year it has been. As we write this letter, we are hopeful that the new year will bring...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Emerging Markets Trail the Pack Despite Rising Demand and Commodities Prices

As growth continues to rebound around the world and investors return to their pre-pandemic way of life, global market performance is beginning to reflect the divergent speed of normalization within...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Digging Deeper into Inflation Fears

The current debate about whether the spike we are seeing in inflation is “transitory” should be reframed as “reflation vs sustained inflation.” Just like many other economic data points (ISM,...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | U.S. Budget Deficit Hits Record Highs

In his first 100 days as President of the United States, Joe Biden has introduced three domestic funding proposals, totaling close to $6.0 Trillion, reflecting a desire to enhance the role of the...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

A New Chapter for the Economy

The key driver of the economy, and of public sentiment, has been the aggressive distribution and acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccines. A litany of measures reflects the improved outlook for the U.S....
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | The Surprising Relationship Between Money Supply and Inflation

The potential for rising inflation is becoming a top concern for many investors and consumers. Many believe that inflation is already here as evidenced by price increases in commodities, homes,...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Secondary Market Poised for Dramatic Growth

"The secondary market has become a mainstay for investors, both as 1) more investors move into the secondary market and, 2) as a way to manage investors' existing private portfolios. Both sides of...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | The Stock Market Rally May Finally Be Broadening Beyond Tech Names

The trend of improving performance of sectors most sensitive to the strengthening economy remained on track in February 2021. For the most part of 2020, the traditional S&P 500 market-cap-weighted...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

The Tech Effect and Direct Venture Growth Investing

The venture growth and late stage venture capital (“VC”) market has matured over the last 10 years, and direct investing has emerged as an attractive strategy for Limited Partners (“LPs”) to...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Are Bonds Still a Good Hedge for Equity Market Declines?

In the middle of January, the Biden administration announced the details on a new $1.9 trillion stimulus package, including enhanced unemployment benefits, an increase in the minimum wage, and...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Beware of High Yield Bonds

Income-hungry investors continued to push yields on speculative grade bonds to new lows despite the challenging business conditions this year. The yield on the Bloomberg Barclays Corporate High Yield...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Are Value Stocks Finally Going to Make a Run?

The month of November saw a sharp rotation into value equities at the expense of technology and communication services companies, causing investors to wonder whether the long-run dominance of growth...
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...
Market Commentary | 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...
Market Commentary | 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...
Market Commentary | 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....
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Impact Investing Trends - 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

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 | Articles

An Investor’s Private Equity Guide

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...
Market Commentary | 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 | 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 | 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...