Chris Hyzy, Chief Investment Officer for Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank, discusses his take on the economy, investing during challenging times and some practical ideas to help you prepare for whatever the future brings.
The New Normal – Ways you and your investment can weather uncertain times Merrill Transcript
Slide 1 – The New Normal – Ways you and your investment can weather uncertain times
Thank you for joining us to talk about how you can weather volatile markets with confidence. I’m Chris Hyzy, Chief Investment Officer for Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank.
As we all face unprecedented times, I want you to know that we are here to help in any way we can. Helping you take stock of your finances and make thoughtful decisions about all of your investments and what works best for your situation is why we are here today. We will:
- Share our take on how coronavirus, also called COVID-19, is impacting the markets and potentially your finances
- Take a look back on historical bouts of volatility and market downturn
- Share our Chief Investment Office’s outlook for the economy
- And, offer you some practical ideas that you may want to consider to stick to your disciplined plan and be prepared when things return to normal
Slide 2 – Important information
Please watch this program until the end for important disclosures.
Slide 3 – We are facing uncertain times
Before we dive in, first and foremost we hope that you and your family are safe and staying healthy as we all face uncertain times.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives and is having a significant impact on people across the country. Beyond the immediate health impact of the virus, we are also seeing stress in our health system, dramatic drops in spending and economic activity as people stay at home to help stem the spread of the virus, and massive increases in unemployment due to the drop in consumer spending. People are focused on the health and wellbeing of their families and loved ones — and keeping everyone safe from harm. They are also taking on new responsibilities as teachers and caregivers on top of their regular day-to-day responsibilities.
The pandemic’s effects on the economy and the markets is compounded by simmering trade tensions and an oil price war that started just as the virus began to take hold in Europe and America. All these factors are causing uncertainty that is spilling over into people’s finances. Even those who have relatively secure employment and finances are concerned. This is where we can help. We don’t yet know the ultimate impact of the virus, but we’re confident that in time we will all get through this. We are sharing our thoughts today to make sure you have the information and advice you need to navigate these challenging times and be prepared for when things get back to normal.
Slide 4 – We have experienced spikes in volatility before
We want to remind everyone that this is not the first — nor will it be the last — time we have seen a spike in volatility in the markets. As you can see here, since 1990, we have seen six rapid increases in volatility in the market from events like 9/11 and, of course, the Global Financial Crisis. While the volatility we are seeing now occurred very rapidly, the thing I want to focus on is how after spikes in volatility, the markets can, and usually do, return to normal. Volatility is something that we should expect in the markets to come and go; in fact, we have seen the VIX decline off of recent peak levels more recently.
Slide 5 – Although timing may vary, markets have eventually recovered from downturns
More important than volatility returning to normal is the fact that historically, market drops have always been followed by recoveries. The timing and length to recovery has varied, but each of the market downturns you see here were followed by a recovery and markets on to new highs. While market downturns can be painful for a short time, it is important to keep in mind that far more wealth has been created in bull markets than the bear markets have taken away.
Slide 6 - Abandoning the markets may lead to underperformance
When downturns are severe, it is only natural to want to take action. Many of you may have even thought that it was time to get out of the market completely. Abandoning the markets may feel like the right thing to do, but over time, it can be detrimental to your portfolio as you will likely miss out on the recovery that follows.
Here on the screen is an example of that in action — using actual data from the markets during and after the financial crisis. If you had $100,000 invested in equities at the start of 2007 and sold at the bottom of the market, holding onto cash for the next ten years would have resulted in extremely modest returns – a mere $57,320 gain by the end of January of this year. In contrast, taking just one year off and re-entering the market late would have generated a near-doubling of your portfolio. More importantly, maintaining the discipline to stay invested (that is staying committed to your market strategy) would have delivered the best results, nearly a 3x return.
Slide 7 - It’s about time in the markets, not timing the markets
Staying invested also means not trying to time the market. Trying to predict and anticipate market movements is nearly impossible and those who try, run the risk of missing out on periods of exceptional performance. Here you see the growth of $10,000 from 2005 until the end of last year. Missing the best 10 days — yes, just ten days — in that time period cuts the growth nearly in half. Missing just the best 20 days, cuts performance even further and missing out on the best 30 days of those fifteen years actually results in negative growth.
Slide 8 - Discipline is key to weathering current markets
So what is the key to achieving your goals in the long run? We believe the answer is simple — it’s about maintaining investment discipline. A disciplined, unemotional approach to investing will help your portfolio remain properly aligned to your long-term financial strategy and help you weather periods of market volatility.
Slide 9 - Remember that pursuing your goals is why you invest
First and foremost, remember why you are investing. We are here to help you invest so you can pursue the goals you have for yourself, your family, your business and your legacy. Our objective isn’t simply to help you grow your portfolio, it is to help you turn your ambitions into action and give you the means to help you achieve your long-term goals.
This is why we look at your portfolio not in terms of performance, but in terms of how you are progressing towards the goals you have set.
Slide 10 - The importance of asset allocation and diversification
Also essential to a disciplined investing approach is maintaining proper asset allocation and diversification. Together, they can help you weather periods of uncertainty and are at the heart of a successful long-term investment strategy. This means looking at all of your investments together and investing in a mix of asset classes that have been selected to help achieve your financial goals, as well as match your time horizon, risk tolerance and liquidity needs.
Effective asset allocation “smooths the ride” through diversification, which helps reduce the overall impact of a drastic increase or decline in the value of one asset class. Here you can see the performance of a range of asset classes over the last decade. You can see in some years certain asset classes do well, but in other years they don’t. The dark blue boxes represent a diversified portfolio built by our Chief Investment Office. Because of diversification, this portfolio tends to perform in a more consistent way and with lower volatility swings.
Also, keep in mind your needs for liquidity. Anticipating your cash needs helps you fund unexpected needs and limits the need to sell assets at unfavorable prices and adverse tax implications. In periods of crises, having enough cash to meet essential living expenses and avoid liquidation of invested assets is critical. Having about 18 to 36 months of near-term cash flow needs in a highly liquid short duration fixed income portfolio can help overcome short-term market shocks while helping risk assets to recover.
Slide 11 - Rebalancing prudently can help you stay on track
Similar to diversification is the need to monitor your portfolios and also rebalance your investments periodically to stay aligned with a long-term strategy. If you were to just set your portfolio and not touch it again, shifts in asset prices and the markets at-large mean that over time, the composition of your portfolio could change, as certain investments perform better than others. This is what we call drift. Without rebalancing, your portfolio may look very different than its initial complexion and deliver an end result that is not aligned with your goals.
Rebalancing to bring your investments back in line with your strategy can help address this issue. Rebalancing also helps you: 1) maintain an appropriate risk tolerance; 2) lock in profits; and 3) facilitate asset purchases at potentially lower relative valuations.
The impact of rebalancing is significant. A comparison of a simple portfolio that is set up in 1992 with 50% of its assets in stocks and the other 50% in bonds illustrates this point. Annual rebalancing helps reduce volatility from 8.7% to 7.2% and the maximum drawdown — or, in other words, single loss — decreased for the rebalanced portfolio from 31.1% to 25.2%.
Slide 12 - Consistency can also help you stay the course and help reduce stress
Consistency is also key when markets are anything but. When you established your investment strategy, it was built on sound fundamentals — and changing your strategy too often can have a negative impact on your ability to achieve long-term goals. While life events — like the birth of a child or a marriage — may periodically require a shift in strategy, staying the course is often the most prudent course of action.
One easy way to maintain discipline and potentially reduce stress about investing is dollar cost averaging. Dollar cost averaging is something you are already doing if you make regular contributions to a retirement account like a 401(k). The process is where you invest the same amount at regular intervals. This means you buy fewer shares when the price is high and buy more shares when the price is low. This consistent and deliberate approach can help limit the risk of investing all at once at a peak price and may allow you to take advantage of lower prices during a downturn. However, it is important to note that in a declining market, dollar cost averaging can also help preserve value, but in a rising market, the technique may be less effective.
The example here shows the benefits of a dollar cost averaging approach as it helps smooth out the price an investor pays for each share while keeping them on the path towards slow and steady investment towards their goals.
Slide 13 - Despite near-term challenges, we are cautiously optimistic for improving conditions
Despite the speed and severity of the recession and unemployment levels, there are signs of encouragement:
- The Federal Reserve has been swift to enact stimulus measures, facilitate liquidity and help provide reassurance to the markets
- Congressional legislation and White House efforts to support individuals, small and mid-size businesses and industries have been expansive and are still ongoing
- Unemployment claims have started to slowly taper
Our Chief Investment Office feels that the market could likely continue to take cues from the health data, including a flattening curve, greater availability of medical supplies and testing kits, as well as promise for a potential vaccine
- In the second quarter should be the most challenging period of the year, in terms of corporate earnings and overall productivity
- Given precedent data from other regions and continued advances in testing and treatment, the reopening of businesses and our economy could begin over the coming months
- And assuming limited “second wave” cases or other significant exogenous events, the green shoots of momentum, consumer spending and productivity should appear by Q4
Slide 14 - Current conditions have led to changes in our asset class views
Our Chief Investment Office, based on its current market views, has made some tactical changes to its asset allocation:
- Within the construct of a diversified portfolio, we continue to favor equities versus fixed income.
- More specifically, we remain overweight towards U.S. Large Cap, with an emphasis on quality (for example: strong balance sheets, healthy dividend policy and the ability to weather market turbulence).
- Conversely, we have recently reduced our emerging markets exposure due to concerns of how emerging market countries may handle COVID-19, as well as reduced demand from developed nations.
- In terms of fixed income, we have increased our weighting for U.S. corporate debt (investment grade) and reduced our weighting for U.S. mortgage-backed securities (MBS) overall.
Slide 15 - Which industry trends do we expect to see emerge from the coronavirus crisis?
In the long run, our Chief Investment Office anticipates a range of structural changes and key investment themes that could emerge at a faster rate due to recent events. They are:
- A dual/local supply chains with increased automation to buffer against future potential trade wars/disruptions, as well as intellectual property and national security concerns.
- Global healthcare spending to improve the availability of medical services and hospital equipment for an aging population, large-scale medical emergencies and quality of care in underdeveloped countries.
- Medical technology advances to facilitate remote patient monitoring and care.
- Genomics – increased exploration of advanced techniques in disease treatment, pathogen genome sequencing and drug development.
- Artificial intelligence and robotics to shorten supply chains, automate factories, transportation systems, retail and also essential services.
- Cloud computing to more efficiently manage business and personal IT needs, driven by increased reliance on telecommuting, distance learning in education and the resulting need to process and store larger volumes of data.
- Digital media and entertainment, as consumers increase demand for online gaming, video streaming, social interaction and virtual reality – all of which will be facilitated to a greater level by 5G.
- And last, number 8, but certainly not least, evolved consumer behavior could include greater awareness to health and wellness, expansion of experiential culture, as well as greater use of digital and virtual tools for everything from food delivery, retail purchases and travel planning.
Slide 16 - We offer these insights to support your long-term goals in your best interest
The Chief Investment Office offers these kinds of insights to help you as you pursue your long-term goals. You have access to the powerful ideas and insights of the entire Chief Investment Office team, which consists of 250 dedicated investment professionals, with an average of 17 years of experience in the industry. Many have advanced degrees in finance, economics, business and law; there are also 40 Chartered Financial Analysts and 14 Chartered Alternative Investment Analysts who are bringing to bear their specialized training to help you make more informed investing decisions.
The Chief Investment Office formulates recommendations that are grounded in robust investment research, open architecture sourcing, rigorous due diligence and a disciplined approach to investing — all designed in your best interest to help you stay on track to achieve your long-term goals.
Slide 17 - So what could you consider next?
Finally, remember you’re not alone. We are here to help. We can answer questions, offer guidance and insight to help you make sense of the markets. And we are here to offer you advice and guidance so you can make informed decisions about your finances and maintain investment discipline. This checklist is a handy reminder of the things we can do together — steps that will help you maintain confidence in your investment strategy and to help you stay on track towards your long-term goals.
Slide 18 - It all begins with a conversation
It all begins with a conversation.
Your advisor is always available to answer your questions, provide you our perspective and offer advice and guidance, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
I have said it a lot during this presentation, but remember to focus on your goals and your plan. Your goals are why you invest and are the foundation of everything we do.
And if you have the time, schedule a time to discuss what you’ve learned today with your advisor and have an open discussion to make sure you are on the path designed to help you achieve your goals.
Thank you for taking the time to join me today.
Slide 19 – Appendix
Slide 20 – Asset Class Proxies
Asset Class: Inflation
Index: IA SBBI US Inflation
Index Description: The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U, is used by IA SBBI to measure inflation, which is the rate of change of consumer goods prices. All inflation measures are constructed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington.
Asset Class: Cash
Index: IA SBBI US 30 Day TBill TR USD & ICE BofA U.S. Treasury Bills
Index Description: For the IA SBBI U.S. Treasury Bill Index, the CRSP U.S. Government Bond File is the source from 1926 to 1976. Each month a one-bill portfolio containing the shortest- term bill having not less than one month to maturity is constructed. (The bill's original term to maturity is not relevant). The ICE BofA US 3-Month Treasury Bill Index is comprised of a single issue purchased at the beginning of the month and held for a full month. At the end of the month that issue is sold and rolled into a newly selected issue. The issue selected at each month-end rebalancing is the outstanding Treasury Bill that matures closest to, but not beyond, three months from the rebalancing date. To qualify for selection, an issue must have settled on or before the month-end rebalancing date.
Asset Class: US Large Cap Growth
Index: Russell 1000 Growth Total Return
Index Description: Russell 1000 Growth Total Return measures the performance of the large-cap growth segment of the U.S. equity universe. It includes those Russell 1000 companies with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth values.
Asset Class: US Large Cap Value
Index: Russell 1000 Value Total Return
Index Description: Russell 1000 Value Total Return measures the performance of the large-cap value segment of the U.S. equity universe. It includes those Russell 1000 companies with lower price-to-book ratios and lower expected growth values.
Asset Class: US Small Cap Growth
Index: Russell 2000 Growth Total Return
Index Description: Russell 2000 Growth Total Return measures the performance of the broad growth segment of the U.S. equity universe. It includes those Russell 2000 companies with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth values.
Asset Class: US Small Cap Value
Index: Russell 2000 Value Total Return
Index Description: Russell 2000 Value Total Return measures the performance of the large-cap value segment of the U.S. equity universe. It includes those Russell 2000 companies with lower price-to-book ratios and lower expected growth values.
Asset Class: International Equity
Index: MSCI Daily TR Net World Ex USA USD
Index Description: The MSCI World ex USA Index captures large and mid cap representation across 22 of 23 Developed Markets (DM) countries – excluding the United States. The index covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country.
Asset Class: Emerging Markets
Index: MSCI Daily TR Net EM USD
Index Description: The MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) Index captures large and mid cap representation across 23 Emerging Markets countries and targets coverage of approximately 85% of the free float adjusted market capitalization in each country.
Asset Class: North America
Index: MSCI Daily TR Net North America
Index Description: The MSCI North America Index is designed to measure the performance of the large and mid cap segments of the US and Canada markets. The index covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in the US and Canada.
Asset Class: Developed Europe ex-UK
Index: MSCI Daily TR Net Europe Ex U.K. USD
Index Description: The MSCI Europe ex UK Index captures large and mid cap representation across 14 Developed Markets (DM) countries in Europe. The index covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization across European Developed Markets excluding the UK.
Asset Class: UK
Index: MSCI Daily TR Net UK USD
Index Description: The MSCI United Kingdom Index is designed to measure the performance of the large and mid cap segments of the UK market. The index covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in the UK.
Asset Class: Japan
Index: MSCI Daily TR Net Japan USD
Index Description: The MSCI Japan Index is designed to measure the performance of the large and mid cap segments of the Japanese market. The index covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in Japan.
Asset Class: Global Corporates
Index: ICE BofA Global Broad Market Corp (Hedged)
Index Description: The ICE BofA Global Corporate Index tracks the performance of investment grade corporate debt publicly issued in the major domestic and euro-bond markets. Qualifying securities must have an investment grade rating (based on an average of Moody’s, S&P and Fitch), at least 18 months to final maturity at the time of issuance, at least one year remaining term to final maturity as of the rebalancing date and a fixed coupon schedule.
Asset Class: Global Mortgages
Index: ICE BofA Global Broad Market Collateralized (Hedged)
Index Description: The ICE BofA Global Collateralized Index tracks the performance of investment grade securitized and collateralized debt, including mortgage backed, asset backed, commercial mortgage backed, covered bond, and US mortgage pass-through securities publicly issued in the major domestic and euro-bond markets. Qualifying securities must have an investment grade rating (based on an average of Moody’s, S&P and Fitch).
Asset Class: Global HY / EM
Index: ICE BofA Global HY Country External Corp & Govt + ICE BofA Global High Yield (Unhedged)
Index Description: (i) The ICE BofA Global High Yield Country External Corporate & Government Index tracks the performance of USD and EUR denominated emerging market debt, including sovereign, quasi-government and corporate securities. (ii) The ICE BofA Global High Yield Index tracks the performance of USD, CAD, GBP and EUR denominated below investment grade corporate debt publicly issued in the major domestic or euro-bond markets.
Slide 21 – Methodology
Asset Class: CIO Moderate Allocation
Index: US SAA
Index Description: The hypothetical historical returns are based on the US-biased Tier 0 Strategic Asset Allocation and proxy indices as of March 2018. The calculations are performed in Morningstar using daily returns and monthly rebalancing. Results shown are based on indexes and are illustrative; they assume reinvestment of income and no transaction costs or taxes. Indexes are unmanaged. Direct investment cannot be made in an index. It is composed as follows:
From 12/19/2017 through current quarter end: 12% Russell 1000 Growth | 19% Russell 1000 Value | 2% Russell 2000 Growth | 2% Russell 2000 Value | 14% MSCI World ex USA NR | 5% MSCI EM NR | 11% BofA US MBS | 13% BofA US Corporate | 14% BofA US Trsy&Agcy | 2% BofA GblBrd Mkt xUS HUSD | 4% BofA US Cash Pay HY | 2% BofA US 3M Trsy Bill. From 01/10/2017 through 12/18/2017: 12% Russell 1000 Growth | 19% Russell 1000 Value | 2% Russell 2000 Growth | 2% Russell 2000 Value | 13% MSCI World ex USA NR | 5% MSCI EM NR | 11% BofA US MBS | 14% BofA US Corporate | 14% BofA US Trsy&Agcy | 2% BofA GblBrd Mkt xUS HUSD | 4% BofA US Cash Pay HY | 2% BofA US 3M Trsy Bill. From 04/14/2009 through 01/09/2017: 23% Russell 1000 Growth | 23% Russell 1000 Value | 2% Russell 2000 Growth | 2% Russell 2000 Value | 8% MSCI EAFE NR | 2% MSCI EM NR | 9% BofA US MBS | 13% BBgBarc US Govt | 9% BBgBarc US Credit | 2% BofA GblBrd Mkt xUS Loc | 2% BofA US Cash Pay HY | 5% IA SBBI US 30 Day Tbill. From 04/04/2007 through 04/13/2009: 23% Russell 1000 Growth | 23% Russell 1000 Value | 2% Russell 2000 Growth | 2% Russell 2000 Value | 10% MSCI EAFE NR | 9% BofA US MBS | 13% BBgBarc US Govt | 9% BBgBarc US Credit | 2% BofA GblBrd Mkt xUS Loc | 2% BofA US Cash Pay HY | 5% IA SBBI US 30 Day Tbill.
Slide 22 – Index Definitions
Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index is a market capitalization-weighted index, meaning the securities in the index are weighted according to the market size of each bond type. Most U.S. traded investment grade bonds are represented.
Bloomberg Commodity Index is made up of 22 exchange-traded futures on physical commodities, which are weighted to account for economic significance and market liquidity. Chicago Board Options Exchange's CBOE Volatility Index is a popular measure of the stock market's expectation of volatility based on S&P 500 index options.
ICE BofA 5-7 Year US Corporate Index is a subset of The BofA US Corporate Index including all securities with a remaining term to final maturity greater than or equal to 5 years and less than 7 years.
ICE BofA 5-7 Year US Municipal Securities Index is a subset of The BofA US Municipal Securities Index including all securities with a remaining term to final maturity between 5-7 years
ICE BofA 5-7 Year US Treasury Index is a subset of The BofA US Treasury Index including all securities with a remaining term to final maturity greater than or equal to 5 years and less than 7 years.
ICE BofA All Maturity All Euro Government Index: The BofA All Maturity All Euro Government Index tracks the performance of EUR denominated sovereign debt publicly issued by Euro member countries in either the eurobond market or the issuer’s own domestic market.
ICE BofA Global Broad Market Index: The BofA Global Broad Market Index tracks the performance of investment grade debt publicly issued in the major domestic and eurobond markets, including sovereign, quasi-government, corporate, securitized and collateralized securities.
ICE BofA Global Emerging Markets Sovereign Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar- denominated debt of sovereign issuers domiciled in countries with a BB or lower foreign currency long-term sovereign debt rating.
ICE BofA Global Financial Stress Index is a Bank of America calculated, cross market measure of risk, hedging demand and investor flows in the global financial system. Levels greater/less than 0 indicate more/less financial market stress than normal. Apart from the headline GFSI, there are three sub-indices, RISK, FLOW and SKEW.
ICE BofA Global Sovereign Broad Market Index tracks the performance of local currency- denominated debt of Investment Grade-rated sovereign issuers.
ICE BofA High Yield Master Index tracks the performance of below Investment Grade U.S. dollar- denominated corporate bonds publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market. “Yankee” bonds (debt of foreign issuers issued in the U.S. domestic market) are included in the index provided the issuer is domiciled in a country having an Investment Grade foreign currency long-term debt rating (based on a composite of Moody’s and S&P).
ICE BofA Municipal Masters Index tracks the performance of the Investment Grade U.S. tax- exempt bond market.
MSCI World ex USA Index captures large and mid cap representation across 22 of 23 Developed Markets (DM) countries -- excluding the United States. With 1,022 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country.
MSCI World Value Index captures large and mid cap securities exhibiting overall value style characteristics across 23 Developed Markets (DM) countries. The value investment style characteristics for index construction are defined using three variables: book value to price, 12- month forward earnings to price and dividend yield.
Russell 2000 Index® measures the performance of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index.
Russell 3000 Growth Index measures the performance of those Russell 3000 Index companies with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth values.
Russell 3000 Index is composed of 3000 large U.S. companies, as determined by market capitalization.
Russell 3000 Value Index measures the performance of those Russell 3000 Index companies with lower price-to-book ratios and lower forecasted growth values.
MSCI ACWI ex USA Index captures large and mid cap representation across 22 of 23 Developed Markets (DM) countries (excluding the US) and 23 Emerging Markets (EM) countries. With 1,854 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the global equity opportunity set outside the US.
MSCI ACWI Index captures large and mid cap representation across 23 Developed Markets (DM) and 23 Emerging Markets (EM) countries. With 2,484 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the global investable equity opportunity set.
S&P 500 Index, widely regarded as the best single gauge of the U.S. equities market, includes a representative sample of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy.
Although the index focuses on the large-cap segment of the market, with approximately 75% coverage of U.S. equities, it is also an ideal proxy for the total market.
VIX Index: The Chicago Board Options Exchange Standard and Poor’s Volatility Index, reflects a market estimate of future volatility, based on the weighted average of the implied volatilities for a wide range of strikes
WTI crude oil reflects the Bloomberg West Texas Intermediate Crushing Crude Oil Spot Price. The price is derived by adding spot market spreads to the NYMEX contract. Units are in U.S. dollars per barrel and is traded intraday.
Slide 23 – Important Disclosures
This material was prepared by the Chief Investment Office (CIO) and is not a publication of BofA Global Research. The views expressed are those of the Chief Investment Office only and are subject to change. This information should not be construed as investment advice. It is presented for information purposes only and is not intended to be either a specific offer by any Merrill or Bank of America entity to sell or provide, or a specific invitation for a consumer to apply for, any particular retail financial product or service that may be available.
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The GWIM Investment Strategy Committee (GWIM ISC) is responsible for developing and coordinating recommendations for short-term and long-term investment strategy and market views encompassing markets, economic indicators, asset classes and other market-related projections affecting GWIM.
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BofA Global Research is research produced by BofA Securities, Inc. (“BofAS”) and/or one or more of its affiliates. BofAS is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC, and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation.
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Investments have varying degrees of risk. Some of the risks involved with equity securities include the possibility that the value of the stocks may fluctuate in response to events specific to the companies or markets, as well as economic, political or social events in the U.S. or abroad. Small cap and mid cap companies pose special risks, including possible illiquidity and greater price volatility than funds consisting of larger, more established companies. Bonds are subject to interest rate, inflation and credit risks. Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes, or the rights of municipal security holders. Income from investing in municipal bonds is generally exempt from Federal and state taxes for residents of the issuing state. While the interest income is tax-exempt, any capital gains distributed are taxable to the investor. Income for some investors may be subject to the Federal Alternative Minimum Tax. Investments in high- yield bonds (sometimes referred to as “junk bonds”) offer the potential for high current income and attractive total return, but involves certain risks. Changes in economic conditions or other circumstances may adversely affect a junk bond issuer’s ability to make principal and interest payments. Treasury bills are less volatile than longer-term fixed income securities and are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by the U.S. government. Mortgage- backed securities are subject to credit risk and the risk that the mortgages will be prepaid, so that portfolio management may be faced with replenishing the portfolio in a possibly disadvantageous interest rate environment. Investments in foreign securities (including ADRs) involve special risks, including foreign currency risk and the possibility of substantial volatility due to adverse political, economic or other developments. These risks are magnified for investments made in emerging markets. Investments in a certain industry or sector may pose additional risk due to lack of diversification and sector concentration. Investments in real estate securities can be subject to fluctuations in the value of the underlying properties, the effect of economic conditions on real estate values, changes in interest rates, and risk related to renting properties, such as rental defaults. There are special risks associated with an investment in commodities, including market price fluctuations, regulatory changes, interest rate changes, credit risk, economic changes and the impact of adverse political or financial factors. Nonfinancial assets, such as closely-held businesses, real estate, oil, gas and mineral properties, and timber, farm and ranch land, are complex in nature and involve risks including total loss of value. Special risk considerations include natural events (for example, earthquakes or fires), complex tax considerations, and lack of liquidity. Nonfinancial assets are not suitable for all investors. Always consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, investment manager, and insurance agent for final recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax, or estate planning strategy.
Slide 24 - Important Disclosures (continued)
Alternative investments such as derivatives, hedge funds, private equity funds, and funds of funds can result in higher return potential but also higher loss potential. Changes in economic conditions or other circumstances may adversely affect your investments. Before you invest in alternative investments, you should consider your overall financial situation, how much money you have to invest, your need for liquidity, and your tolerance for risk. Alternative investments are speculative and involve a high degree of risk. An investor could lose all or a substantial amount of his or her investment. There is no secondary market nor is one expected to develop and there may be restrictions on transferring fund investments. Alternative investments may be leveraged and performance may be volatile. Alternative investments have high fees and expenses that reduce returns and are generally subject to less regulation than the public markets. The information provided does not constitute an offer to purchase any security or investment or any other advice.
The hedge fund indices shown are provided for illustrative purposes only. They do not represent benchmarks or proxies for the return of any particular security holding or alternative investment. The hedge fund universe from which the components of the indices are selected is based on funds which have continued to report results for a minimum period of time. This prerequisite for fund selection interjects a significant element of “survivor bias” into the reported levels of indices, as generally only successful funds will continue to report for the required period, so that the funds from which the statistical analysis or the performance of the indices to date is derived necessarily tend to have been successful. There can however, be no assurance that such funds will continue to be successful in the future.
Alternative Investments are speculative and subject to a high degree of risk. Although risk management policies and procedures can be effective in reducing or mitigating the effects of certain risks, no risk management policy can completely eliminate the possibility of sudden and severe losses, illiquidity and the occurrence of other material adverse effects. Some or all alternative investment programs may not be suitable for certain investors. Many alternative investment products, specifically private equity and most hedge funds, require purchasers to be “qualified purchasers” within the meaning of the federal securities laws (generally, individuals who own at least $5 million in “investments” and institutional investors who own at least $25 million in “investments,” as such term is defined in the federal securities laws). No assurance can be given that any alternative investment’s investment objectives will be achieved. In addition to certain general risks, each product will be subject to its own specific risks, including strategy and market risk.
Investors should bear in mind that the global financial markets are subject to periods of extraordinary disruption and distress. During the financial crisis of 2008-2009, many private investment funds incurred significant or even total losses, suspended redemptions or otherwise severely restricted investor liquidity, including increasing the notice period required for redemptions, instituting gates on the percentage of fund interests that could be redeemed in any given period and creating side-pockets and special purpose vehicles to hold illiquid securities as they are liquidated. Other funds may take similar steps in the future to prevent forced liquidation of their portfolios into a distressed market. In addition, investment funds implementing alternative investment strategies are subject to the risk of ruin and may become illiquid under a variety of circumstances, irrespective of general market conditions.
Reference to indices, or other measures of relative market performance over a specified period of time (each, an “index”) are provided for illustrative purposes only, do not represent a benchmark or proxy for the return or volatility of any particular product, portfolio, or security holding. Indices are unmanaged. The figures for the index reflect the reinvestment of dividends but do not reflect the deduction of any fees or expenses which would reduce returns. We strongly recommend that these factors be taken into consideration before an investment decision is made. Neither the Chief Investment Office nor the index sponsor can verify the validity or accuracy of the self reported returns of the managers used to calculate the index returns. The Chief Investment Office does not guarantee the accuracy of the index returns and does not recommend any investment or other decision based on the results presented. The indices referred in the presentation do not reflect the performance of any account or fund managed by Bank of America, Merrill, or their affiliates, or of any other specific fund or account, and do not reflect the deduction of any management or performance fees or expenses. Indices are unmanaged and results shown are not reduced by taxes or transaction costs such as fees. It is not possible to invest directly in an Index.
There may be conflicts of interest relating to the alternative investment and its service providers, including Bank of America Corporation, and its affiliates, who are engaged in businesses and have clear interests other than that of managing, distributing and otherwise providing services to the alternative investment. These activities and interests include potential multiple advisory, transactional and financial and other interests in securities and instruments that may purchase or sell such securities and instruments. These are considerations of which investors in the alternative investments should be aware. Additional information relating to these conflicts is set forth in the offering materials for the alternative investment.
Chief Investment Office assumes no responsibility for any of the foregoing performance information, which has been provided by the index sponsor. Neither Chief Investment Office nor the index sponsor can verify the validity or accuracy of the self-reported returns of the managers used to calculate the index returns. Chief Investment Office does not guarantee the accuracy of the index returns and does not recommend any investment or other decision based on the results presented
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The Chief Investment Office, which provides investment strategies, due diligence, portfolio construction guidance and wealth management solutions for Global Wealth & Investment Management ("GWIM") clients, is part of the Investment Solutions Group (“ISG”) of GWIM, a division of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”).
This material does not take into account a client’s particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or investment strategy. Merrill offers a broad range of brokerage, investment advisory (including financial planning) and other services. There are important differences between brokerage and investment advisory services, including the type of advice and assistance provided, the fees charged, and the rights and obligations of the parties. It is important to understand the differences, particularly when determining which service or services to select. For more information about these services and their differences, speak with your Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor.