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Barron's Roundup: Breaking down liquid alts; Sherwin-Williams offers buying potential
Capital Markets
<p>Liquid alternatives are growing rapidly as a new round of products offer protection from market crashes. This week in Barron's cover story, the magazine examines whether liquid alts are the right choice for a portfolio. Investors have been desperately seeking downside protection since the financial crisis. But because the products are relatively new, they lack performance records.</p> <p>Paint your portfolio with Sherwin-Williams. The paint stock has been growing steadily over the last decade, even better than stocks like Starbucks, Home Depot, and Walt Disney. And, Barron's writes this week, the stock has room for continued growth. Now may be the time to buy. The stock fell 13% in the last six months, but could climb back up in the next year, giving investors a nice return.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: Poldy Bloom </p>
Mario Gabelli: From shoe shiner to Wall Street CEO
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Mario Gabelli’s first job was shining shoes in the Bronx when he was six years old. By thirteen, he was already making his own investments in the stock market and was on his way to becoming one of Wall Street’s most notable names. With years of experience under his belt, Mario shares what it took to found his own firm, how his investing philosophy changed over the years, and his opinion on today’s economy.</p> <p>Watch the video interview on ValueWalk.</p>
Fintech companies build financial basics in Africa
FinTech
<p>For a region where only one-third of people have bank accounts but more than two-thirds have cellphones, fintech isn't just revolutionary. It's essential.</p> <p>Fintech in Sub-Saharan Africa is beginning to chip away at cash's dominance, giving more options for banking, payments, and transfers, reports CNN. Here are five fintech startups can are impacting finance in Africa:</p> <p> 22Seven: This Cape Town-based app links to bank accounts to allow users to create budgets and make investments.<br /> Nomanini: Linked to cloud software, Nomanini is a payments platform for informal vendors in unstructured markets making small transactions.<br /> Zoona: Similar to the popular Kenyan system M-Pesa, this Zambian cellphone-based service allows money transfer for the unbanked.<br /> GetBucks: Another South African startup, GetBucks wants to be the "private bank of the underbanked," providing short term loans and other products online.<br /> Cellulant: The Kenya-based company works across 10 African countries allowing mobile payments and banking services.</p> <p>Photo: David Stanley</p>
U.S. ETFs/ETPs gathered a record $145 billion in net new assets as of the end of 3Q15
Asset Management
<p>ETFs and ETPs listed in the United States have gathered a record 145 billion US dollars in net new assets as of the end of Q3 2015. Although September was another roller coaster ride for investors they allocated US$19.1 billion in net new assets to ETFs and ETPs listed in the United States during the month. This marks the 8th consecutive month of positive net inflows, according to ETFGI’s ETF and ETP United States insights report for September 2015.<br /> U.S. ETFs/ETPs net inflows reached US$145.4 Bn in Q3 2015<br /> In the first three quarters of 2015 record levels of net new assets have been gathered by ETFs/ETPs listed globally with net inflows of US$250.5 Bn marking a 26% increase over the prior record set at this time last year. In the United States net inflows reached US$145.4 Bn, which is 7.8% higher than the prior record set in 2012, while in Europe year to date (YTD) net inflows climbed to US$61.6 Bn, representing a 30% increase on the record set YTD through end of September 2014. In Japan, YTD net inflows were up 143% on the record set last year, standing at US$36.4 Bn at the end of September 2015.</p> <p>“Uncertainty on China and when the Fed will raise interest rates continues to weigh the markets and  investor sentiment.  The S&amp;P 500 decreased 2.6% in September, and is down 6.7% year to date.” according to Deborah Fuhr, managing partner at ETFGI.</p> <p>The US ETF and ETP industry had 1,787 ETFs/ETPs, assets of US$1.98 trillion, from 88 providers listed on 3 exchanges as of the end of September.</p> <p>In September 2015, ETFs/ETPs listed in the United States gathered net inflows of US$19 Bn. Fixed income ETFs/ETPs gathered the largest net inflows with US$9.5 Bn, followed by equity ETFs/ETPs with US$8.1 Bn, while commodity ETFs/ETPs experienced net outflows with US$472 Mn.</p> <p>YTD through the end of September 2015, ETFs/ETPs have gathered record net inflows of US$145.4 Bn. Equity ETFs/ETPs gathered the largest net inflows YTD with US$91.6 Bn, followed by fixed income ETFs/ETPs with US$38.9 Bn and commodity ETFs/ETPs with US$1.1 Bn.</p> <p>iShares gathered the largest net ETF/ETP inflows in September with US$12.2 Bn, followed by SPDR ETFs with US$4.1 Bn, Vanguard with US$3.9 Bn, ProShares with US$1.4 Bn and Schwab ETFs with US$1.1Bn in net inflows.<br /> iShares gathered the largest net ETF/ETP inflows YTD with US$58.2 Bn, followed by Vanguard with US$52.8 Bn, WisdomTree with US$19.6 Bn, Deutsche Bank with US$16.4 Bn, and Schwab ETFs with US$9.8 Bn in net inflows.</p> <p>This article was originally published by ValueWalk. </p>
What we’re reading: Lunch with Bernanke and Bond villain profitability
Capital Markets
<p>From a possible Chinese Ponzi scheme to SPECTRE’s annualized returns, here are some great reads for you this weekend.</p> <p>The Chinese exchange that lured 220,000 investors may have been a giant Ponzi scheme. A great look into the suspended trading platform-turned-asset manager, Fanya Metal Exchange. Was it really a failed money manager? Or was it – as one analyst put it – a massive Ponzi scheme? Quartz</p> <p>Lunch with the FT: Ben Bernanke. Call him what you want, but in my view the Ben Bernank was one of the most competent central bankers the U.S. ever had, and here he is talking to Martin Wolf about interest rates, the cathartic effects of a depression, and why you shouldn’t reduce risk too much. Financial Times</p> <p>Low-income Chinese men should share wives to deal with gender gap: Professor. Okay, this is a little off-beat, but the reasoning behind Professor Xie Zuoshi’s argument is – at the very least – interesting. The Nanfang</p> <p>Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger on generalists vs. specialists.  Charlie Munger, much like Jim Rogers, is always a great read, and here’s a fun piece on his thoughts on the multidisciplinary approach. Climateer Investing</p> <p>On the profitability of SPECTRE Capital LLP. Crunching the numbers, an FT Alphaville reader argues that Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s organization – SPECTRE – despite its godawful risk management procedures against James Bond, may have actually produced annualized returns well north of 100% a year prior to Thunderball. Beat that, VCs. FT Alphaville<br /> Photo: Brookings Institution</p>
Nat Rothschild’s Brazilian bachelor pad hits the market
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Looking to live like a Rothschild? Well, now’s your chance.</p> <p>The Brazilian pied-a-terre of former Atticus Capital co-chairman Nat Rothschild is currently on the market, and man, does it look like the quintessential party pad.</p> <p>Built by noted Brazilian architects Claudio Bernardes and Paulo Jacobsen in the early 90’s and spruced up by Mlinaric, Henry, &amp; Zervudachi in the late 2000’s, the 9,700 square foot home – which was featured in Architectural Digest – is located in Rio de Jainero’s tony São Conrado neighborhood, and boasts “spectacular views to the ocean, to the islands and to the mountains.”</p> <p>Those views are also available in the home’s four bedrooms apparently, though the villa’s swanky infinity pool, deck, and “lake” might actually be better spots to check it out.</p> <p>How much for the whole thing? The realtors would rather you call and ask – and you know that means.</p> <p>Christie’s has the listing here, while the architects have older photos of the place, here.<br /> Photo: Sam valadi</p>
Weekend Scan: S&P 500 back in the black; PBOC slashes rates
Capital Markets
<p>Good morning everyone. The bulls were all out this week after ECB President Mario Draghi signaled a Christmas treat from the ECB. Spoos wiped out all of its losses for the year, while the FTSE 100 surged to a two-month high. The Nikkei also posted its best session in a month, climbing over 2% just as the yen – always negatively correlated – chalked up its sixth-straight decline against the resurgent dollar.</p> <p>It wasn’t all Draghi’s doing though. Strong earnings in the U.S. also gave stocks a boost, while another round of cheap money from the PBOC added a bit of oomph to the party as well.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>PBOC cuts rates. In a surprise move, China’s central bank slashed its benchmark one-year lending and deposit rates by 0.25 bps. This is the sixth rate cut from the bank since November. Interestingly, Capital Economics points out that this cut came 59 days after the previous one, which in turn came 59 days after the move before. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>“Let Hong Kong elect its own leader.” British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping at Chequers, reportedly sought assurance that Hong Kong “would remain semi-autonomous and entitled to choose its own leadership without prior vetting by the Chinese government.” Hong Kong lawmakers however seem to be disappointed: “He should have raised it at a higher level occasion, such as a press conference or other public events...not raising the matter publicly has given people an impression the city a low priority for Britain” South China Morning Post (paywall)</p> <p>Deutsche Bank may slash bonuses by a third. Deutsche Bank, in what appears to be a trend in large investment banks, is expected to cut its bonus budget by $566 million – almost a third. Some MDs are reportedly getting stiffed altogether. Fortune</p> <p>Here comes Patricia. Mexico is battening down the hatches as the strongest hurricane ever recorded heads toward the country’s Pacific coast. Winds are reaching 200-mph, making this storm the most dangerous as well. CNN</p> <p>Nigeria bombing kills 37. At least 37 people were killed and more than 100 wounded Friday when bombs went off in mosques. Militant group Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the attack. Reuters</p> <p>Died: Pimco’s Walter Gerken. The 93-year-old Gerken served as chairman and CEO of Pacific Life Insurance from 1975 to 1986. In the 1960s, Gerken helped turn the firm’s investment unit into the separate subsidiary that became Pimco in 1971. New York Times</p> <p>Google, Amazon in the stratosphere on strong earnings. It wasn’t enough that Google, now a subsidiary of Alphabet, has joined Apple in the $500 billion+ club after blow out earnings.  Plus, the newly restructured company announced a $5.1 billion stock buyout. That is some debut. Meanwhile, Amazon shocked with two consecutive quarters of earnings, pushing its capitalization to more than $300 billion. </p>
People Moves: Nomura appoints new CIO; NPS chairman steps down
Asset Management
<p>Nomura appoints new wealth management CIO. Johnny Heng, a 20-year investment veteran, has recently been named chief investment officer, wealth management, Asia ex-Japan by Nomura.</p> <p>Prior to joining the Japanese firm, Heng was managing director and head of investment services, Asia for the British firm Coutts. Before that, he was head of investment consulting at Credit Suisse’s private bank, and held several positions at Singapore’s GIC, including membership on its management investment committee, as well as global head of equities trading. He will be based in Singapore and will report to Nobuhiro Sano, Head of Wealth Management, Asia ex-Japan. Nomura (pdf)</p> <p>National Pension Service chief steps down. Dr. Choi Kwang, chairman of Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS), has reportedly tendered his resignation from the mammoth sovereign wealth fund.</p> <p>Dr. Choi, who spent most of his career as an economist following his PhD from the University of Maryland, joined the NPS in 2013, and apparently had several months left on his three-year term. Asia Asset</p> <p>Rothschild names new North Asian head of wealth management. Audrey Zau, a 15-year veteran of HSBC, has been appointed head of wealth management for North Asia by Rothschild.</p> <p>Zau joins the firm from BHI Investment Advisors, where she held a similar role. Prior to that – and as previously mentioned – she spent 15 years at HSBC, holding several key roles in the British firm including senior director. She replaces Alois Mueller – who left the firm two years ago – and reports to Richard Martin, chief operating officer of Rothschild’s wealth management and trust business. She will continue to be based in Hong Kong. eFinancialNews</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: Luke Ma</p>
People Moves: BNP appoints new APAC primary markets chief; Westpac names new Asia markets boss
Capital Markets
<p>BNP appoints new head of primary markets for Asia-Pacific. Frank Kwong, BNP Paribas’ long-time syndicate man, has been appointed head of primary markets for Asia-Pacific by the French firm.</p> <p>He retains his role as head of Asia-Pacific bond syndicate, but will now have oversight over the fixed income group and securitization, among others. He will continue to be based in Hong Kong. Global Capital</p> <p>Westpac names new Asia head of financial markets. Sneha Sanghvi, a former fixed income sales, structuring, and trading heavy, was recently named head of financial markets for Asia by Westpac.</p> <p>Sanghvi joins the Australian bank after two years in Unilever, where she held the role of finance director, covering commodities and chemicals for the British-Dutch multinational. Prior to that, she was a managing director for Morgan Stanley, and had also worked at HSBC. She will be based in Singapore and will report to Balaji Swaminathan, Westpac’s Singapore-based general manager, as well as to Michael Correa, the firm’s Syndey-based head of corporate and international origination and distribution. Finance Asia<br /> Photo: Wendy</p>
HSBC Hedge Weekly: Hedge fund returns YTD 2015 week ending October 23, 2015
Hedge Funds
<p>HSBC Hedge Weekly: Hedge Fund Returns for notable names – YTD 2015 Week Ending October 23, 2015</p> <p>This story originally appeared in ValueWalk.<br /> Photo: Allan Ajifo</p>