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James T. Swanson, CFA

Chief Investment Strategist

James Swanson, CFA, is an investment officer and chief investment strategist of MFS Investment Management® (MFS®). He is also a fixed income portfolio manager. 

James offers his insights and perspective on the markets and the economy to MFS clients around the world through in-person meetings, his Strategist's Corner online column and a blog launched in 2011. He is a frequent guest commentator on the markets on CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg Television and is often quoted in leading national and financial publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Investor's Business Daily. James joined MFS in 1985. He was named fixed income strategist in 2001 and chief investment strategist in 2004. 

He is a graduate of Colgate University and the Harvard Business School. James holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

December 23, 2016

by James T. Swanson, CFA, Chief Investment Strategist

In recent weeks, the market has been abuzz with talk about a rotation in the equity markets from more defensive sectors like utilities, REITS and large-cap multinationals to “riskier,” cyclical sectors. While a rotation is clearly underway, I question the durability of the current trend.

by James T. Swanson, CFA, Chief Investment Strategist

In recent weeks, the market has been abuzz with talk about a rotation in the equity markets from more defensive sectors like utilities, REITS and large-cap multinationals to “riskier,” cyclical sectors. While a rotation is clearly underway, I question the durability of the current trend.

December 23, 2016

For the week ending 23 December 2016

  • US Q3 annual economic growth rate revised up
  • Italian government rescues Monte dei Paschi
  • Scotland threatens to leave UK
  • BOJ upgrades assessment, leaves policy unchanged


Global equities dipped modestly this week while US indices barely budged. The venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average approached the psychologically significant 20,000 mark before pausing. US Treasury yields were down slightly on the week, falling to 2.53% from 2.58% a week ago. West Texas Intermediate crude lost about 75 cents on the week, ending around $52.50, while the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX) remains historically low, at 11.60.

December 23, 2016

For the week ending 23 December 2016

  • US Q3 annual economic growth rate revised up
  • Italian government rescues Monte dei Paschi
  • Scotland threatens to leave UK
  • BOJ upgrades assessment, leaves policy unchanged


Global equities dipped modestly this week while US indices barely budged. The venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average approached the psychologically significant 20,000 mark before pausing. US Treasury yields were down slightly on the week, falling to 2.53% from 2.58% a week ago. West Texas Intermediate crude lost about 75 cents on the week, ending around $52.50, while the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX) remains historically low, at 11.60.

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Kristen Colvin, CAIA

Director

Kristen Colvin is a director of consultant relations at MFS Institutional Advisors, Inc., the institutional asset management subsidiary of MFS Investment Management® (MFS®). In her role, she serves as a content expert on all aspects of the institutional defined contribution (DC) market and develops thought leadership pieces focused on DC issues. She conducts research on DC plans and their multiple constituencies, including the behaviors and perceptions of plan participants. She also develops content focused on current trends and themes within the DC landscape, meets with plan sponsors, consultants and platforms to discuss topical issues facing DC plans and works closely with the product team to shape and represent MFS' DC capabilities.

Kristen joined MFS in 2011. Before that, she served as a member of the defined contribution consulting team at NEPC, LLC, most recently serving as an investment consultant.

Kristen received a Master of Science degree in Investment Management from Boston University and earned her bachelor's degree in economics from the College of the Holy Cross. She holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation.

 

December 22, 2016

by Kristen Colvin, CAIA, Director

If you use the GPS map application Waze then you know that there are usually multiple routes to a destination, and that each could provide an experience remarkably different than the others. You could follow the easiest route and make it to your location on time and without stress, but you could also get stuck in heavy traffic, because you choose “shortest route” on the app instead of “fastest route.” Or, seeking to save time, you could choose the fastest route but find yourself in a confusing maze of one-way side streets littered with potholes.

by Kristen Colvin, CAIA, Director

If you use the GPS map application Waze then you know that there are usually multiple routes to a destination, and that each could provide an experience remarkably different than the others. You could follow the easiest route and make it to your location on time and without stress, but you could also get stuck in heavy traffic, because you choose “shortest route” on the app instead of “fastest route.” Or, seeking to save time, you could choose the fastest route but find yourself in a confusing maze of one-way side streets littered with potholes.

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James T. Swanson, CFA

Chief Investment Strategist

James Swanson, CFA, is an investment officer and chief investment strategist of MFS Investment Management® (MFS®). He is also a fixed income portfolio manager. 

James offers his insights and perspective on the markets and the economy to MFS clients around the world through in-person meetings, his Strategist's Corner online column and a blog launched in 2011. He is a frequent guest commentator on the markets on CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg Television and is often quoted in leading national and financial publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Investor's Business Daily. James joined MFS in 1985. He was named fixed income strategist in 2001 and chief investment strategist in 2004. 

He is a graduate of Colgate University and the Harvard Business School. James holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

December 2016

by James T. Swanson, CFA, Chief Investment Strategist

Business cycles don’t typically die of old age. More often than not, some outside force, such as higher interest rates, snuffs out the expansion. Surely the US Federal Reserve's intent is not to bring the economic cycle to a close, but that is often the end result of trying to rid the system of risks like excessive financial leverage or runaway inflation. Sometimes the Fed has an accomplice or two, such as an oil shock or a currency dislocation. Whatever the cause, recessions are unwelcome, bringing with them rising job losses, falling financial markets and even bankruptcies. 

by James T. Swanson, CFA, Chief Investment Strategist

Business cycles don’t typically die of old age. More often than not, some outside force, such as higher interest rates, snuffs out the expansion. Surely the US Federal Reserve's intent is not to bring the economic cycle to a close, but that is often the end result of trying to rid the system of risks like excessive financial leverage or runaway inflation. Sometimes the Fed has an accomplice or two, such as an oil shock or a currency dislocation. Whatever the cause, recessions are unwelcome, bringing with them rising job losses, falling financial markets and even bankruptcies. 

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Carol W. Geremia

President of MFS Institutional Advisors, Inc. Co-Head of Global Distribution

Carol W. Geremia is president of MFS Institutional Advisors, Inc. (MFSI) and co-head of Global Distribution for MFS Investment Management® (MFS®). She is also a member of the firm’s Management Committee. In these roles, she oversees the management of the company’s global institutional business, which includes relationships with corporate and public retirement plans, sovereign wealth plans, investment authorities and endowments and foundations.

Carol joined MFS in 1984 and was named president of MFSI in 2004 and co-head of Global Distribution in 2011. Prior to running the global institutional business, she was president of MFS Retirement Services, which was dedicated to servicing US plan sponsors and their participants.

Carol is a member of the City Year Seven Generations Board. She also serves as a member of the MFS Charitable Oversight Committee and as an Advisory Council member for Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc.

December 5, 2016

by Carol W. Geremia, President of MFS Institutional Advisors, Inc. Co-Head of Global Distribution

Investors' misperceptions about what impacts their outcomes often make them spend too much time measuring what doesn't matter and not enough time on what does. It's time to start looking at what really counts when choosing an investment manager.

Investors have a tougher job today than ever before. They're taking more risk than in decades past in order to achieve similar returns. And they're doing so against a backdrop of geopolitical and market uncertainty — things they cannot control, but still must take into consideration. Understandably, that sense of uncertainty, coupled with the need to take more risk, is driving investors to focus on what is tangible and easy to measure — in an effort to gain some sense of control.

by Carol W. Geremia, President of MFS Institutional Advisors, Inc. Co-Head of Global Distribution

Investors' misperceptions about what impacts their outcomes often make them spend too much time measuring what doesn't matter and not enough time on what does. It's time to start looking at what really counts when choosing an investment manager.

Investors have a tougher job today than ever before. They're taking more risk than in decades past in order to achieve similar returns. And they're doing so against a backdrop of geopolitical and market uncertainty — things they cannot control, but still must take into consideration. Understandably, that sense of uncertainty, coupled with the need to take more risk, is driving investors to focus on what is tangible and easy to measure — in an effort to gain some sense of control.