The U.S. dollar is one of the most hotly debated questions right now. It’s a macroeconomic factor that impacts returns of many asset classes, from emerging markets to U.S. large-cap multinationals. Inspired by recent research on a stronger dollar from economist Danielle Di Martino Booth, Jeremy Schwartz makes the case for currency hedging in international portfolios.
In 2018, emerging market equities ended the year down nearly 15%. Approximately one-third of that loss was attributable to broad-based dollar strength against most EM currencies. Heading in to 2019, we question whether investors should remain agnostic to managing EM foreign exchange risk.
We think investors should consider maintaining exposure to developed international equities in the current market environment. Currency hedging and small caps could be considered two important themes to help investors generate excess returns and limit downside risk across developed international markets.
The Japanese markets are trading near their lowest valuation levels in the last 30 years, with increased profitability and better returns on capital and improving profit margins. Yet investors aren’t interested. Here is why we believe Japan is an underowned value opportunity.
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, may find a four-leaf clover in the form of an implicit bailout from European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. Jeff Weniger takes a look at country-level risks to find angles on European equities with potentially mitigated downside from Turkish contagion.
Jeremy J Siegel
Senior Investment Strategy Advisor
CEO of WisdomTree
Jeremy Schwartz, CFA
Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research
Christopher Gannatti, CFA
Head of Research, Europe
Christopher Gannatti began at WisdomTree as a Research Analyst in December 2010, working directly with Jeremy Schwartz, CFA®, Director of Research. In January of 2014, he was promoted to Associate Director of Research where he was responsible to lead different groups of analysts and strategists within the broader Research team at WisdomTree. In February of 2018, Christopher was promoted to Head of Research, Europe, where he will be based out of WisdomTree’s London office and will be responsible for the full WisdomTree research effort within the European market, as well as supporting the UCITs platform globally. Christopher came to WisdomTree from Lord Abbett, where he worked for four and a half years as a Regional Consultant. He received his MBA in Quantitative Finance, Accounting, and Economics from NYU’s Stern School of Business in 2010, and he received his bachelor’s degree from Colgate University in Economics in 2006. Christopher is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Head of Fixed Income Strategy
Tripp Zimmerman, CFA
Head of Fixed Income & Currency
Associate Director, Asset Allocation and Modern Alpha
Head of Capital Markets
Associate Director of Capital Markets
Head of Europe
Joseph Tenaglia, CFA
Associate Director, Asset Allocation
Kara Marciscano, CFA
Jianing Wu joined WisdomTree as a Research Analyst in October 2018. She is responsible for analyzing market trends and helping support WisdomTree’s research efforts. Previously, Jianing completed internships and projects at Geode Capital, Starwint Capital, and Invesco Great Wall Fund Management with a focus in quantitative research. Jianing received her M.S in Finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She graduated with honors from Boston College with degrees in Mathematics and Philosophy.
Jeff Weniger, CFA
Director, Asset Allocation
Alejandro Saltiel, CFA
Associate Director of Modern Alpha
Alejandro Saltiel joined WisdomTree as a Quantitative Research Analyst in May 2017. He is responsible for quantitative research on WisdomTree’s products and global equity markets. Prior to joining WisdomTree, Alejandro worked at HSBC Asset Management’s Mexico City office as Portfolio Manager for multi-asset mutual funds. He started his career working at a boutique hedge fund that specialized on trading options on sector-levered ETFs. Alejandro received his Master’s in Financial Engineering degree from Columbia University in 2017 and a Bachelor’s in Engineering degree from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in 2010. He is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Matt Wagner, CFA
Modern Alpha Analyst
Matt Wagner joined WisdomTree in May 2017 as a member of the Research team. He is responsible for research on WisdomTree’s products and communicating the firm’s views on the markets. Matt started his career at Morgan Stanley, working as an analyst in Treasury Capital Markets from 2015 to 2017 where he focused on unsecured funding planning, execution and risk management. Matt graduated from Boston College in 2015 with a B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Economics. Matt is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
For the first three quarters of 2015, emerging market currencies have depreciated compared to the U.S. dollar—some much more significantly than others. At the worst end of the spectrum, the Brazilian real lost approximately one-third of its value measured against the U.S. dollar, and on the other end of the spectrum, the Chinese yuan—a currency often remarked upon for the lack of a market-determined exchange rate—even lost a few percentage points of its value against the dollar.
WisdomTree has been a pioneer in two important categories of indexes and exchange-traded funds: small-cap equities and currency-hedged equities. With the launch of the WisdomTree Global SmallCap Dividend Index (WTGS) and the WisdomTree Global Hedged SmallCap Dividend Index (WTGSH), WisdomTree combines our innovative small-cap dividend methodology into a global index and also allows the choice to currency hedge.
We’ve written a lot recently about what it means to focus on quality in equity investments. The third quarter of 2015—with the volatility that it brought along with it—provided what we think was an interesting short period to illustrate the benefits of a quality approach.
At WisdomTree, we introduced in 2009 the concept of currency-hedged equities to the exchange-traded fund structure—a concept that caught fire subsequent to the introduction of Abenomics in Japan in late 2012. Since then, similar excitement has taken hold of eurozone equities and is beginning to take hold more broadly in developed international equities.