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PREMIUM – STEPHEN LIBERATORE

October 31, 2019

PREMIEM

Socially Responsible Bond Investing

Bonds with social impact with Five-Star fund manager Stephen Liberatore.

WEALTHTRACK Episode #1618; Originally Broadcast on November 01, 2019

Listen to the audio only version here:

[learn_more caption=”CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CORPORATE RE-PURPOSE”] The influential Business Roundtable, an association of the CEOs of major U.S. corporations recently redefined the purpose of the corporation for the first time in decades. The old focus on stockholders as stated in its 1997 statement of purpose, “the paramount duty of management and of boards of directors is to the corporation’s stockholders,… and the interests of other stakeholders are relevant as a derivative of the duty to stockholders” has been replaced by a new much broader mandate. Download and read the mandate.

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STEPHEN LIBERATORE

Consuelo Mack

Socially responsible investing has taken off and interest in it is accelerating.  As we’ve reported before on WEALTHTRACK, U.S assets invested in companies screened for ESG, or their environmental, social and governance policies grew 38% from 2016-2018 by more than $3 trillion to $12 trillion dollars.  According to U.S. SIF, or the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, which tracks these funds, that $12 trillion represents 26%, or one in four dollars of the $46.6 trillion of U.S. assets under professional management.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates that another $20 trillion of assets will move into ESG funds over the next two decades, driven by interest from women, millennials and high net worth individuals in particular. The firm’s global research group recently released a report titled: “10 reasons you should care about ESG.” Among their points that I found particularly interesting were:

 – “You can do good and do well
“…a strategy of buying stocks that rank well on ESG metrics would have outperformed the market by up to 3 percentage points per year over the last 5 years.”
– 70% of U.S. assets can’t be analyzed without using ESG
“…Intangible assets – assets tied to reputation, brand and intellectual property – have reached record highs for the S&P 500 companies. Analyzing financial metrics alone simply won’t suffice anymore, in our view.”
– “The best signal of earnings risk we have found.
“Traditional financial metrics such as earnings quality, leverage and profitability don’t come close to ESG as a signal of future earnings volatility or bottom-line risk.
– “ESG could have helped avoid 90% of bankruptcies.”
“…15 out of 17 (90%) of bankruptcies in the S&P 500 between 2005 and 2015 were of companies with poor Environmental and Social scores five years prior to the bankruptcies.”

This week’s guest is a leader in the relatively recent field of fixed income ESG investing, as well as the new area of impact investing in public fixed income markets, where bond proceeds are directed to a specific project or goal and the results are measurable. He is Stephen Liberatore, lead portfolio manager at TIAA Investments for responsible investment fixed income mandates that incorporate ESG criteria. Among his responsibilities is being lead portfolio manager of the firm’s flagship TIAA-CREF Social Choice Bond Fund which he has run since its 2012 inception. The $4 billion plus fund is ranked 5-Star by Morningstar and carries a Bronze Medalist Analyst rating. It has handily beaten 90% of the entire intermediate-term bond category and traditional bond benchmark.

Liberatore will discuss what he looks for as a socially responsible bond investor in a field that has traditionally been dominated by equity investors.

As always, if you miss the show on public television, you can watch it on our website.  If you would prefer to take WEALTHTRACK with you on your commute or travels, you can find the WEALTHTRACK podcast on TuneInStitcher and SoundCloud, as well as iTunes and Spotify. In this week’s web EXTRA feature Liberatore shares how he got involved in socially responsible investing.

Thank you for spending your precious time with us. As we “Fall back” into daylight saving time (except for Arizona and Hawaii) enjoy the extra hour and make the week ahead a profitable and a productive one.

Best regards,

Consuelo
Mathews Asia

CONSIDER A SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE BOND FUND IN YOUR FIXED INCOME MIX

Broad and inclusive ESG screened bond funds:

    • Example: TIAA-Cref Social Choice Bond Fund
    • Covers the wide universe of corporate and municipal bonds plus targeted social and impact issues

Social bonds:

    • Much smaller market
    • Finance social projects including causes helping vulnerable populations

Impact bonds:

  • Tiny market
  • Finance a specific project

No Bookshelf titles this week.

BIG DIVERSIFIER

Consider high-quality taxable bonds

    Categories include:

  • High-quality corporate bonds
  • High-quality ABS (asset-backed securities)
  • High-quality CMBS (commercial mortgage-backed securities)
  • High-quality taxable Municipal bonds

Stock mentions available soon. No stock mentions in this episode.
This transcript will be available soon. More information regarding WEALTHTRACK transcripts can be found here

This is Stephen Liberatore’s first appearance on WEALTHTRACK

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INTEREST

Socially responsible investing started with stocks but Stephen Liberatore became an early adapter in applying it to bond investing.

PREMIUM: PETRIE

October 23, 2019

FOSSIL FUEL PRESSURE

Political & economic pressures on oil & gas stocks. Industry veteran Tom Petrie’s reality100 check

WEALTHTRACK Episode #1617; Originally Broadcast on October 25, 2019

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TOM PETRIE

Consuelo Mack

If you were to follow legendary investor Sir John Templeton’s advice to buy where there is maximum pessimism it might lead you to energy stocks. The energy sector has lagged the S&P 500 since 2016 and has been one of the worst if not the worst performing industry sectors over the last year.

The fossil fuel industry has been hit with an almost perfect storm of headwinds:  

 – Environmental opposition, leading to widening efforts to convert from the higher carbon emission fuels, especially coal, the worst polluter and also oil into much cleaner-burning natural gas and zero-emission renewables such as wind and solar.

 – Widespread adoption of energy conservation measures by individuals, businesses, and governments around the world. 

 – Growing political opposition with various so-called green deals being discussed in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election and being adopted in various forms in some European countries. 

 – Increasing supplies, largely in U.S. natural gas due to the technological advances of fracking. 

  – Rising production of alternative energy sources. Nuclear remains a key component and is projected to be in the future, but wind and solar are growing rapidly from a much smaller base. 

 

An ongoing headwind – instability among major petroleum producers outside of the U.S. Iran’s asserted bombing of Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, economic sanctions against Iran, Iraq and Libya’s fragile nation-states, and Venezuela’s dissolution into a failed state are just a few examples of the challenges besetting some of the world’s largest oil and gas producers.

 

The ongoing trade wars between the U.S. and China have also started to take their toll on global economic growth, increasing the downward pressure on demand for fuel.   

 

What’s the outlook for traditional energy producers? Are they still viable investments or are they on their way to being phased out? 

 

Joining us to discuss the role fossil fuels continue to play in energy production and the state of the oil and gas industry, in particular, is Tom Petrie, a financial thought leader in the sector and chairman of Petrie Partners a leading investment banking and consulting boutique to the oil and gas industry. Petrie is the author of Following Oil: Four Decades of Cycle-Testing Experiences and What They Foretell about U.S. Energy Independence.   

 

If you are unable to join us for the show on television, you can watch it on our website over the weekend.  We also have an exclusive EXTRA interview with Petrie who shares his view on the repercussions of the murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi Arabia.  

 

If you would prefer to take WEALTHTRACK with you on your commute or travels, you can find the WEALTHTRACK podcast on TuneInStitcher and SoundCloud, as well as iTunes and Spotify.  

 

Thank you for watching. Have a splendid weekend and make the week ahead a profitable and a productive one.

 

Best regards,

 

Consuelo

Mathews Asia

THINK LIKE A CONTRARIAN: CONSIDER ADDING ENERGY EXPOSURE TO YOUR PORTFOLIO

PETRIE’S SUGGESTED ENERGY FOCUS: MIDSTREAM COMPANIES

    • MOVE OIL & GAS FROM WELLS TO END USERS
    • PROVIDE INFRASTRUCTURE LIKE PIPELINES, REFINERIES, STORAGE
    • GENERATE HIGH LEVELS OF CASH FLOW
    • PAY DIVIDENDS ON STOCKS, OR INCOME THROUGH MASTER LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS
    • PETRIE’S SUGGESTED ENERGY FOCUS: MEGA OIL AND GAS COMPANIES
    • HAVE FINANCIAL HEFT TO GROW THROUGH ACQUISITIONS AND INVESTMENT

BIGGEST COMPANIES INCLUDE:

  • – EXXON MOBIL
  • – CHEVRON
  • – ROYAL DUTCH SHELL
  • – CONOCOPHILLIPS


Following Oil: Four Decades of Cycle-Testing Experiences and What They Foretell about U.S. Energy Independence

ENERGY INCOME

Midstream Companies (Including Master Limited Partnerships)

  • TRANSPORT OIL AND GAS FROM WELLHEAD TO END USER
  • GENERATE HIGH LEVELS OF CASH
  • PROVIDE INCOME
  • COMPETITIVE YIELD

No stock mentions in this episode.
This transcript will be available soon. More information regarding WEALTHTRACK transcripts can be found here

Tom Petrie from the WEALTHTRACK Archives:

SAUDI SHOCKER

When Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, widely known as MBS, rose to power in Saudi Arabia in 2017 he was heralded as a corruption fighter and modernizer who would shepherd the conservative Saudi kingdom into the 21st century with reforms including allowing women to drive. His reputation has been sullied since with the arrest of groups of prominent wealthy Saudis for alleged corruption. However, the most shocking deed on his watch was the brutal murder of Saudi journalist, turned dissident Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Energy thought leader, Tom Petrie who has been involved in the oil industry for nearly 50 years shared his brief observations on this turn of events.

PREMIUM: VITRANO

October 9, 2019

GROWTH PROTECTION

Growth stocks with downside protection from the award-winning growth fund manager, Margaret Vitrano.

WEALTHTRACK Episode #1615; Originally Broadcast on October 11, 2019

[learn_more caption=”CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE”] A core strategy of Great Investor Hersh Cohen over the fifty years he has been investing in high quality, dividend growing companies. Here is his latest “Dividend Compounders” list. [.pdf]

Hersh Cohen from the WEALTHTRACK Archives:

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MARGARET VITRANO

  • Co-Portfolio Manager,,
  • ClearBridge Large Cap Growth Fund
Consuelo Mack

The economy and markets are facing multiple headwinds. According to Strategas Research Partners we are now in the longest and slowest U.S. expansion ever, more than 120 months duration, and still going from the economy’s 2009 trough. But the cumulative real growth of the economy, that’s excluding inflation, is far below other post World War II recoveries.

That growth is now being challenged on several fronts: trade tensions with China, political uncertainty here with the impeachment inquiry and next year’s election,  Brexit, slowdown in Europe and China, Hong Kong’s unrest, Iran’s alleged attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, missile firings by North Korea and now Turkey’s attack on Kurdish fighters in Northern Syria. Are these enough to derail the U.S. economy and the record breaking bull market in large cap stocks?

In a slow growth world growth commands a premium. As we have covered extensively on past WEALTHTRACKs, large cap growth stocks, particularly the largest U.S. ones known as mega caps have dominated market performance, revenues and earnings over the last decade with a few short-lived challenges from value stocks. Will they continue to do so?

This week’s guest is a newcomer to WEALTHTRACK, but not to the investment business. She is Margaret Vitrano, Co-Portfolio Manager of the high performing ClearBridge Large Cap Growth Fund since 2012. The $14.7 billion fund has earned a Bronze Medalist analyst rating from Morningstar for its “well- balanced growth portfolio” which has beaten the vast majority of its large cap peers over the years. The fund was also one of Investor’s Business Daily’s Best Mutual Funds Awards winners in 2018 for topping the S&P 500 over the prior 3, 5 and 10 year periods.

Vitrano and her Co-Portfolio Manager Peter Bourbeau also oversee ClearBridge’s All Cap Growth Strategies along with Large Cap Growth which add up to nearly $50 billion under management.

Of particular interest is the teams “three bucket” approach strategy to large cap growth which Vitrano believes has protected their portfolios in down markets. She will also discuss their treatment of the FAANGs in their portfolios and why they are currently overweighting Facebook.

As always, if you miss the show on public television, you can watch it on our website. If you would prefer to take WEALTHTRACK with you on your commute or travels, you can find the WEALTHTRACK podcast on TuneInStitcher and SoundCloud, as well as iTunes and Spotify. In this week’s web EXTRA feature Vitrano discusses her mentoring program at ClearBridge to recruit more women into the investment business.

Thank you for spending your precious time with us. Have a super Columbus Day holiday and make the week ahead a profitable and a productive one.

Best regards,

Consuelo
Mathews Asia

OWN SOME DIVIDEND GROWTH COMPANIES

  • Financially healthy
  • More defensive in nature
  • Provide reliable income
  • Compounding power if dividends reinvested

MORNINGSTAR ANALYST FAVORITES

    Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund

  • Recently reopened to new investors
  • Rated 5-star Gold by Morningstar
  • Same manager since 2006
  • Beaten market with lower volatility

Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF

  • Gold Medal Analyst rating by Morningstar
  • Symbol VIG

No Bookshelf titles this week.

LONG-TERM COMPOUNDER
Visa Inc (V)
V Chart

V data by YCharts

Oracle Corporation (ORCL)
ORCL Chart

ORCL data by YCharts

Comcast Corporation (CMCSA)
CMCSA Chart

CMCSA data by YCharts

UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH)
UNH Chart

UNH data by YCharts

Walt Disney Co (DIS)
TGT Chart

TGT data by YCharts

Target Corporation (TGT)
TGT Chart

TGT data by YCharts

American Express Company (AXP)
AXP Chart

AXP data by YCharts

Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (AAP)
FB Chart

FB data by YCharts

Facebook, Inc. (FB)
FB Chart

FB data by YCharts

Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)
AMZN Chart

AMZN data by YCharts

Visa Inc (V)
V Chart

V data by YCharts


This transcript will be available soon. More information regarding WEALTHTRACK transcripts can be found here

This is Margaret Vitrono’s first appearance on WEALTHTRACK

NEXT GENERATION MENTORING

ClearBridge Investments’ Margaret Vitrano is a top-performing portfolio manager in an industry still dominated by men. She and her Large Cap Growth team have a program to change that.
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PREMIUM: VOTAVA

October 2, 2019

AVOIDING COSTLY MEDICARE MISTAKES

It’s estimated that 95% of seniors are paying too much for Medicare coverage.  Today, men and women who retire at 65 can anticipate living another 25, 30 or even 40 years – all of those years receiving Medicare benefits and contributing to them.  On this week’s WEALTHTRACK, healthcare expert Katy Votava, president of Goodcare.com and author of Making The Most Of Medicare: A Guide For Baby Boomers explains what you need to know to maximize those benefits and avoid overpaying.

WEALTHTRACK Episode #1614; Originally Broadcast on October 04, 2019

[learn_more caption=”CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MEDICARE”] Medicare.gov – The official U.S. Government site for Medicare
1-800-MEDICARE

Shiptacenter.org – The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) site that directs consumers to free Medicare counseling and assistance

[/learn_more] Especially for WEALTHTRACK viewers, Katy Votava is offering a 25% discount on purchases of her ebook Making the Most of Medicare: A Guide for Baby Boomers. See the BOOKSHELF section below for details

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KATY VOTAVA

Consuelo MackThe proverbial wall of worry that the market is supposed to climb is getting higher. This week in the U.S. we saw very weak manufacturing numbers and some softness showing up in the services sector. Trade tensions continue unresolved and the markets are being roiled by every real or imagined shift. The markets are off to a weak start for the fourth quarter. China’s economy is slowing. Consumer spending in Europe is up but Brexit and trade problems are taking their toll. The geopolitical atmosphere is charged with North Korean missile firings, more Hong Kong demonstrations and crackdowns and of course Congress’ impeachment inquiry moving full steam ahead.

Despite these developments, Wall Street’s number one-ranked economist for 35+ years remains optimistic. Ed Hyman’s Evercore ISI’s last headline today was “U.S. Economy Still OK.” Hyman cited a still rising consumer confidence measure which “suggests that employment is still OK,” despite the General Motors’ strike which should hit September’s employment report due out Friday morning. His firm’s proprietary housing surveys show home prices holding steady and money supply accelerating +6% year over year which he reads as a positive sign for the U.S. economy.

This week we are focusing on one of life’s certainties. As soon as you turn 65 you are eligible for Medicare. It is a benefit that can’t start soon enough for many older adults. Health care costs are skyrocketing and they hit seniors particularly hard because many are on a fixed income and they utilize health care more.

But Medicare is not a slam dunk, anything but.  It is a very complex, confusing multipart program that requires work to understand. And its benefits can vary widely depending upon how and when you apply, where you live, and what plans you enroll in.  And as your health changes, it can either help you or hurt you. You need to know how to make it work for you.

A shocking statistic from Medicare guru Katy Votava is that “nearly 95% of people pay too much for their Medicare coverage… because they do not completely understand the full costs they will pay in addition to the premiums.”  With Medicare, the devil is in the details which is why we have asked benefits guru Votava to return to WEALTHTRACK and bring us up to speed.

Katy Votava is founder and president of goodcare.com, a healthcare consulting firm for individuals, small businesses and financial planners. She is a registered nurse with a Ph.D in health economics and nursing. She’s also a columnist for Investment News and the author of Making the Most of Medicare: A Guide for Baby Boomers, now in its 6th edition.

Especially for WEALTHTRACK viewers, Votava is offering a 20% discount on this valuable guide.  You can click here to purchase it. Just be sure to enter the discount code FA20.

We covered a lot of information about Medicare this week so be prepared to take notes. I started our discussion by asking about a big change occurring next year. Higher-income seniors are in for some sticker shock in 2020.

If you are unable to join us for the show on television, you can watch it on our website over the weekend.  If you would prefer to take WEALTHTRACK with you on your commute or travels, you can find the WEALTHTRACK podcast on TuneInStitcher and SoundCloud, as well as iTunes and Spotify

If you haven’t had a chance to do so, we would very much appreciate if you could participate in the anonymous survey   that you’ll find on the website, too.

Thank you for watching.  Have a lovely weekend and make the week ahead a profitable and a productive one.

Best regards,

Consuelo
Mathews Asia

READ KATY VOTAVA’S BOOK – MAKING THE MOST OF MEDICARE: A GUIDE FOR BABY BOOMERS

Making the Most of Medicare: A Guide for Baby Boomers


Especially for WEALTHTRACK viewers, Katy Votava is offering a 25% discount on purchases of her ebook Making the Most of Medicare: A Guide for Baby Boomers.
Purchase here enter the discount code FA20


TAX-FREE WITHDRAWALS

  • Consider Roth accounts for 401(k) or IRA
  • Tax-free withdrawals
  • Not included in adjusted gross income calculations
  • Source of cash flow in retirement

No stock mentions in this episode.
This transcript will be available soon. More information regarding WEALTHTRACK transcripts can be found here

Katy Votava from the WEALTHTRACK Archives:

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PREMIUM: ROYCE – SMALL CAP REVIVAL

September 25, 2019

SMALL CAP REVIVAL

Small company value stocks are coming back. Royce Funds’ small-cap pioneer Chuck Royce explains why.


WEALTHTRACK Episode #1613; Originally Broadcast on September 27, 2019

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CHARLES “CHUCK” ROYCE

Consuelo Mack

Two investment tenets have been up ended in recent years: one that value stocks, considered cheap by traditional metrics outperform growth stocks, the other that small companies outperform large ones.

Over the last decade the opposite has been true. Take growth versus value for instance. Whether you look at the last 3, 5, or 10-year periods growth-oriented companies have far outdistanced value ones. Over the last decade the annualized total return, that’s with dividends included, of the Russell 1000 Growth Index did a third better than value with 15% annualized returns versus 12% for the Russell 1000 Value Index. The five and three-year differences are even more dramatic, with the growth index clocking in 13% annualized returns versus 7% for value over five years, and 18% for growth versus 10% for value over three years.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported research which found that the difference between “the trailing price/earnings ratio of growth and value stocks on the Russell 1000 index hasn’t been this wide since the dot-com crash of 2001.”

The discrepancy between large cap and small cap is not as wide, but it is significant. Although there were periods in the last ten years when small companies held their own, they didn’t last. Large caps delivered 13% annualized total returns versus nearly 12% for small cap over the past decade. However, the gap is far greater in the five and three-year periods:10-1/2% for large versus 7-1/2% for small during the last five years and 14% versus 10% for three years.

If you happen to be a value-oriented, small cap investor it’s been a tough combination which is why contrarian minded observers think now might be a good time to revisit the space. And who better to do it with than the man who pioneered the concept of small cap stocks as an asset class and has a decidedly value focused approach.

He is Chuck Royce, Founder, Chairman and Portfolio Manager of Royce & Associates the investment adviser to The Royce Funds. He is lead portfolio manager of several funds including his flagship Royce Pennsylvania Mutual Fund which he has managed since 1972. Penn Mutual has outperformed its benchmark for multiple periods, including 1, 3, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years with below average volatility.

Royce is also lead manager of the Royce Premier Fund, a more concentrated portfolio which has also outperformed its benchmark for multiple periods, again with below average volatility.

The Royce Funds are a recent sponsor of WEALTHTRACK but Chuck Royce has been a regular guest since WEALTHTRACK’s inception because of his superb long term track record. The last decade however has been challenging. Both funds lagged the market in the last five and ten year periods.

I began the interview by asking Royce how he explains the fact that small cap stocks have significantly lagged large caps ones over the last decade and why they are now making a comeback.

As always, if you miss the show on public television, you can watch it on our website.  In this week’s web EXTRA feature Chuck Royce gives us his secret to accomplishing so much professionally, philanthropically and personally.

If you haven’t had a chance to do so, we would very much appreciate if you could participate in the anonymous survey   that you’ll find on the website, too.

Thank you for watching.  Have a lovely weekend and make the week ahead a profitable and a productive one.

Best regards,

Consuelo
Mathews Asia

REMEMBER TO REBALANCE INTO OUT OF FAVOR SECTORS.

  • U.S. growth stocks, mega-caps, in particular, have dominated markets and portfolios for years
  • Their powerful performance means they have outsized positions in indexes and portfolios
  • Out of favor groups like small caps, cyclical stocks, value, and emerging markets have been beaten down and in many cases are selling at the lowest relative values to large-cap growth since the financial crisis
  • Divergence in valuations has created an opportunity not seen in years, to take some profits from overvalued large-cap growth and add to these unpopular and undervalued sectors

No Bookshelf titles this week.

SERIOUS ASSET CLASS

  • Own International Small-Cap Stocks
  • Undervalued, Unrecognized Investment Class

  • Ares Management LP (ARES)
  • KKR & Co LP (KKR)
  • Quaker Chemical Corporation (KWR)
  • Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc (LECO)
  • John Bean Technologies Corporation (JBT)
  • Pason Systems Inc (PSI) Toronto Stock Exchange

This transcript will be available soon. More information regarding WEALTHTRACK transcripts can be found here

Charles Royce from the WEALTHTRACK archives:

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ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE

Royce Funds’ founder Chuck Royce is not only a legendary investor, managing multiple mutual funds, he is also personally responsible for the restoration and preservation of historically significant houses, hotels, and even towns, as well as being actively involved in museums, universities and numerous other charitable organizations over the years.

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