Why are events in Greece and China so important to investors? In a rare interview, top performing, five star rated Portfolio Manager, Brian Singer of the William Blair Macro Allocation Fund explains why macro matters.
Brian Singer Portfolio Manager, William Blair Macro Allocation Fund
CONSUELO MACK: This week on WEALTHTRACK, as tensions flare up in Greece, the Middle East and China, five-star fund manager Brian Singer decides which strategies to follow to keep his William Blair Macro Allocation Fund moving in the right direction. That’s next on Consuelo Mack WEALTHTRACK.
Hello and welcome to this edition of WEALTHTRACK, I’m Consuelo Mack. Most of the top rated money managers we interview on WEALTHTRACK are what are called “bottom up” investors, they build their portfolios one security at a time, stock by stock, bond by bond by carefully analyzing the fundamentals of the security itself, the company it represents, the business it’s in, and the customers it serves.
This week’s guest takes a different approach. He is what is known as a macro investor. He is Brian Singer, Portfolio Manager of the William Blair Macro Allocation Fund which he and his team launched when they joined William Blair in late 2011.
The Macro Allocation Fund is rated five-star by Morningstar and has outperformed its Multialternative Category handily over the last three years with over nine percent annualized returns. Prior to joining William Blair, Singer was Head of Investment Strategies at his namesake firm, Singer Partners and prior to that was Head of Global Investment Solutions and Americas Chief Investment Officer for UBS Global Asset Management.
Singer’s top down approach doesn’t involve choosing individual securities. It does mean actively managing across asset classes, geographies, currencies and risk themes.
I began the interview by asking Singer why macro matters in a portfolio?
BRIAN SINGER: Well, it’s interesting. If you think back to the Cold War, the world was very geopolitically stable back then, and after the Berlin Wall went down in 1989 something changed, and we’re really not that geopolitically stable these days. You could call it Ukraine. You might call it Greece these days, the Middle East, but there are a lot of developments like this in regions around the world that portfolios need to navigate, and it’s this type of macro management that enables those portfolios to navigate the rough waters of geopolitical instability.