The Federal Reserve, China, and Recession Risk: A Look at What’s Impacting the Markets at Year-End

2018 is on pace to post the first down year for both global equities and the Barclay’s Aggregate Bond Index in the last 25 years. As we approach the New Year, we’re monitoring three important trends that could impact markets at year-end.


ESG and Impact Investing: Q3 2018 News Highlights

Institutional investor interest in incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment decision making continues to grow. Callan reported that 43 percent of U.S. institutional investors surveyed in 2018 incorporate ESG information into their decisions, up from 22 percent five years ago.


Perspectives on the Rising Popularity of Long Duration Private Equity

With the transition to fall, the words “Go Long” will undoubtedly echo across football fields and backyards throughout the country. A broadly similar sentiment was on display last month at the Carlyle Group’s annual Washington DC Investor Conference. More specifically, there was a heavy emphasis on the private equity firm’s long duration portfolios, which included several Energy, Real Estate, and Infrastructure Funds.



Investing in Gender Equality

A practitioner’s perspective on gender lens investing and the construction of gender inclusive investment portfolios

JUNE 2017

Alice's Adventures in Volatility-land

Managing portfolios according to Modern Portfolio Theory directs us to find investment portfolios with the highest level of return for a given level of risk. In this paper we examine the nuances of volatility and risk measurement to better inform decision-making in investment portfolios.

APRIL 2017

Building Impact Portfolios

A framework to building diversified portfolios that balance the objectives of maximizing risk-adjusted financial return and generating social and environmental impact.



Market Overview - 3Q18

In this quarter, there is still a sense of caution due to geopolitical pressure points and global trade tensions. Meanwhile, robust US growth, strong employment figures, and moderate inflation have emboldened the Federal Reserve to stay on a tightening course well into 2019 or beyond.


Interim Market Update – 3Q18

Athena Capital’s Research team dissects the notable themes driving markets thus far in the third quarter of 2018, including strong US economic growth, continued tailwinds from fiscal stimulus, a flat yield curve, ongoing concerns over a US-China trade war, and weakness across emerging markets.

JULY 2018

Market Overview - 2Q18

Our base case scenarios still forecast modest positive future returns; however, our sense of caution and our focus on risk management are elevated given heightened geopolitical risk, unprecedented quantitative tightening, and fairly valued equities.


JULY 2018

Financial Inclusion in Emerging and Frontier Markets

Financial inclusion is, today, one of the most popular investment themes among impact investors, in part because it has a long track record dating back to the emergence of the modern microfinance movement in the 1970s. Over the past 10 years, the field has shifted away from an emphasis on microcredit and towards the broader notion of financial inclusion. Athena Capital's landscape review examines the role for private capital within financial inclusion, the potential for meaningful social impact from investment activity, and the available investment strategies.

APRIL 2018

Evaluating Potential China Trade Tariffs

The escalating trade rhetoric between the US and China has recently garnered headlines as the countries have announced or enacted tariffs. We believe these actions mark a shift in the trade relationship between the US and China—from one of tolerance to one of engagement.


Introduction to Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have garnered significant attention due to their astronomical 2017 returns and the lack of consensus on their true value among prominent market strategists. While Athena Capital classifies cryptocurrencies as speculative assets with a high degree of volatility, we continue to evaluate this evolving market and the implications of its underlying technology, blockchain.