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The Blog

Jeremy Merchant

Jeremy Merchant serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for RAA. Jeremy joined the company in 2005. He serves on the firm’s Investment Policy Committee and is responsible for Investment and Trading Operations at RAA. Prior to joining RAA, Jeremy was employed at American Beacon Advisors, where he was responsible for assisting with the oversight of approximately $6 billion in international assets, $3 billion in small cap assets, $400 million in high yield bond assets and $20 million in treasury inflation protected bond assets. Jeremy’s primary involvement while at American Beacon was with the assets from American Airlines' Fixed Benefit Plan, and Pilot’s Variable Plan (“B Plan”), as well as the American Beacon Funds. Jeremy holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas at Arlington and has been in the securities and investment business since March 2000. He is a member of the CFA Institute.
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Recent Posts

LIBOR Moves Higher

Posted by Jeremy Merchant on Sep 1, 2016 5:13:24 PM


In July 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued new regulatory rules governing money market mutual funds. These changes, which will become effective on October 14th, 2016, will establish a new framework for this asset class.

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Topics: Investment Updates

BREXIT - Investment Implications

Posted by Jeremy Merchant on Jul 1, 2016 3:24:50 PM


Europe is a collection of countries that used to argue with each other (a lot!). During WWII, many countries within Europe fought against each other, further hurting the continent. After WWII, these same countries needed to trade with each other, but incurred too many trading obstacles.

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Topics: Investment Updates

The U.S. Dollar

Posted by Jeremy Merchant on Jun 1, 2016 5:18:57 PM


The U.S. dollar continues to be a big story for investors as it remains one of the primary drivers of the global economy. The U.S. dollar began the year in a very strong position but has weakened considerably as the U.S. economy has continued to weaken.

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Topics: Investment Updates

Oil: An Oversupply Problem

Posted by Jeremy Merchant on Apr 1, 2016 5:02:36 PM


Equity markets experienced a positive month in March but growth expectations continue to be limited on the upside. Two factors were instrumental in the equity market rebound since mid-February: a rebound in oil prices and a weaker U.S. dollar.

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Topics: Investment Updates

Economic Update

Posted by Jeremy Merchant on Mar 1, 2016 5:18:03 PM

During the final week of February we learned that Q4-2015 GDP was a modest 1%. This modest growth was slightly stronger than consensus estimates because of a technical alteration in how inventories were calculated.

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Topics: Investment Updates

Corporate Earnings Recession

Posted by Jeremy Merchant on Feb 1, 2016 4:00:00 PM


The definition of a "corporate earnings recession" is two consecutive quarters of negative earnings-per-share (EPS) growth.  Since 1990, the S&P 500 Index has experienced seven periods in which corporate EPS were negative. In recent time periods, the bursting of the tech bubble created negative EPS in 2001. In 2008 & 2009, corporations posted a string of eight negative EPS quarters.

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Topics: Investment Updates

Portfolio Adjustments

Posted by Jeremy Merchant on Jan 4, 2016 5:27:37 PM


Equity markets were down today following this morning's poor manufacturing reading out of China. The rout in China pressured markets globally and increased volatility. The abrupt termination of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran added to volatility today. As volatility started to increase in mid-2015, portfolio adjustments to account for these dynamics also increased.

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Topics: Investment Updates

2015: A Lack of Earnings Growth

Posted by Jeremy Merchant on Dec 1, 2015 4:22:43 PM


As you know, earnings are the foundation for the market's valuation. Traditionally, the market has traded at an average multiple of slightly less than 16x operating earnings - making it fairly valued. Today, we see that the market is somewhat overvalued relative to history and thus RAA is currently underweight traditional equities.

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Topics: Investment Updates

Market Dynamics and Portfolio Adjustments

Posted by Jeremy Merchant on Nov 3, 2015 11:04:47 AM


As we enter the final two months of 2015, we note four major themes unfolding within today's market. In addition to reviewing each of these themes below, we also will review near term portfolio adjustments that may occur (or have already occurred) within the portfolios because of these themes. Major year-end themes that should continue to impact the markets into early 2016 include:

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Topics: Investment Updates

Oil Prices

Posted by Jeremy Merchant on Oct 1, 2015 4:00:00 PM


Since the summer of 2014, the drop in crude has been somewhat dramatic. Today, we find that crude is trading somewhere between $40-$50 per barrel. This price drop has been a significant reduction from historical prices that have averaged around $75+ per barrel, from 2011 through mid-2014.

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Topics: Investment Updates