Markets continue to “melt up,” driven by a handful of mega cap names. Yet does the performance of the broader market show a disconnect with reality? At the tail end of the Fed’s aggressive pace of interest rate hikes, financial conditions are tight, stocks are volatile and corporate earnings vulnerable. All indications point to the importance of increasing exposure to quality stocks that add resiliency and strength to client portfolios amid market stress and uncertainty.
- The Fed’s unprecedented pace of rate hikes may be over, but historical data suggests no pivot soon. The impact of high rates will continue to reverberate through the economy and markets for some time.
- At the end of market cycles, higher exposure to quality becomes more important. Historical market data shows quality stocks outperform after the Fed ends hiking interest rates.
- What defines the quality factor? Among other metrics, stocks with high returns on capital, stable margins, solid balance sheets and reasonable valuations. Quality can also incorporate defensive strategies like dividend growth.
- Data shows advisors are underweight profitability in client portfolios; they match the broader benchmark in exposure to corporate leverage. Both indicate a potential need to add “quality control.”
- The quality factor is perhaps even more important in international equities, where data shows a passive approach can expose investors to significant leverage.
CFP, CIMA®, CPWA®, CIMC®, RMA®, and AEP® CE Credits have been applied for and are pending approval.
Abhishek Gupta, CFA
Executive Director, Americas Head of Equity Solutions Research
David Armstrong – Moderator
Director of Editorial Strategy and Operations for the Wealth Management Group