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Wall Street Whispers – What Our Clients Are Talking About Behind The Scenes

Introduction to Wall Street Whispers

Every week I do over twenty idea conference calls with institutional clients from all over the world.  They range from tactical traders to strategic long only portfolio managers.  I literally speak and interact with the best and the brightest that the money management profession has to offer, and it is one of the aspects of my job that I love the most. 

During these discussions, the clients are certainly interested in what my research is showing and what my views are on a host of different topics.  Importantly, however, I do not just present to my clients where they passively listen to my conclusions and best ideas. 

The time spent is usually more of an active discussion and debate where investors are also sharing with me things they are thinking, worried about, what they own, and what they are thinking about buying and selling.  Sometimes clients agree with my views and at others there is significant pushback.  Because I have so much client engagement, the aggregation of the meetings can provide valuable information back to me about where the dominant thoughts and positioning of the institutional investing crowd are at that moment. 

I remember back when I was in graduate school and just a regular retail investor.  I would wonder what it would be like to get a glimpse into what the “pros” were doing and thinking.  Well, going forward, I intend to share on Tuesdays what the professional investors that I speak with are thinking and doing with their portfolios to give our FSI subscribers a peak behind the so-called institutional curtain to help our retail clients.  

I hope that you enjoy our new weekly note and would love to hear from you if you are finding it useful in your investment returns.  So, below is this week’s comment and within it you may see some terminology that might be unknown or confusing to you.  Over time, FSI will be creating a glossary of terms/vocabulary areas and some teaching sections, but for now they are still a work in progress. 

Over the past week, the S&P 500 has ground up once again and has continued making new all-time highs even as the Wall Street forecasting crowd continues to shift towards worry.  Institutional investors have been negatively impacted by this growing anxiety and have either shifted away from Value/Cyclicals or have paused their rotations to reevaluate.  The main issue has shifted towards the expected deceleration in economic growth that is likely to occur in the coming quarters.  My work agrees that it is nearly assured that growth will decelerate as the recovery continues, but my work does NOT support the view that investors should be shifting away from my preferred positioning of Value/Cyclicals.  With that being said, there could be small selloffs along the way.  Importantly, however, my research remains resolute that there is still upside potential for the overall equity market and that my recommended themes are still intact.  Consequently, I continue to view price moves that are contrary to my medium-term views as opportunities. 

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