Politics and Lingering Uncertainties Drive 2020 Market Outlook

As the closing bell of 4Q19 draws nearer, Doug Cohen, managing director, portfolio management, reflects on the current and upcoming political climate that will impact the 2020 markets. Doug considers investors' political reactions, evaluates wins and losses, and looks ahead at the market narrative to come.


A Tour of an Amazon Warehouse: The Value of Genchi Genbutsu and of Travelling Together

Members of Athena’s research team visited an Amazon distribution warehouse at the peak season of online consumerism for the retail giant’s 24/7 facility. The four team members returned with diverse insight and perspective—the benefit of harnessing the value of their “genchi genbutsu”’ investment philosophy, or “to go and see.” The team witnessed streamlined processes, safety protocols, and questioned the future of product delivery.


Diversity and Inclusion: Not Optional

Anna Kastrilevich, senior research associate, explores how promoting workplace diversity and inclusion can have material business consequences beyond the value of taking a moral stance.



Choosing the Right Asset Mix: Guidance for Individuals with New Wealth Who Have Access to Private Illiquid Investments

Using an Athena-constructed Monte Carlo simulation model, the paper reviews financial outcomes for different asset mixes over a 40-year investment period. While a strategy with some allocation to private investments can produce more favorable results, the allocation should be balanced with a complementary portfolio of liquid investments, as well as life insurance, in order to ensure sufficient liquidity both during lifetime and at death.


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.



Market Update - 3Q19

In this quarter's Market Outlook, the proverbial "wall of worry" grew taller. Sentiment can be attributed to the decline of global manufacturing, negative yielding debt, an inverted US yield curve, and geopolitical risks. However, 3Q earnings in the US have exhibited a better-than-expected start, and US/China trade may have taken a small step toward a partial resolution.


Interim Market Update - 3Q19

This quarter's Interim Market Update holds an uncertain outlook as investor sentiment has skewed negatively in the past few weeks. We maintain our overall neutral view across asset classes, with a slight preference for cash given the flattest yield curve since 2007. The interim third quarter also brings a rise of geopolitical pressure, reflected in second quarter US earnings increases.

JULY 2019

Market Update - 2Q19

Today's capital market landscape has investors operating in uncertain terrain. The inverted yield curve and the decline in 10-Year US Treasury yields from over 3% as recently as last December to under 2% earlier this month are clear recession warning signs. Along those lines, quintessential safe haven gold was the best performer among major assets in 2Q19. Meanwhile, US equities have surged by more than 25% since their Christmas Eve low and virtually every major asset class is comfortably in the black so far this year.



Diversity and Inclusion Framework

Over the past several years, Athena Capital has dug deep into the research focused on gender lens investing. As a woman-led firm inspired by our clients’ integration of social values into their investment portfolios, our firm has developed policy statements, model portfolios, and published thought pieces dedicated to this topic. As our research unfolds, it has led us to focus on the broader subject and intersectionality of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this report, we explore correlations between diverse workforces and financial performance, and also share best practices and applications within our own firm.


Investing in Climate Change Mitigation

This landscape review by Athena’s impact investing team presents the opportunity to examine the effects of climate change and considers options for investing in ways that may effect positive change. It focuses on opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from sources in the United States, one of the leading contributors to rising concentrations of such gases in the atmosphere. It is also largely about carbon dioxide since that gas accounts for the greatest share of the country’s total emissions.

JULY 2019

Securitization Revisited

In recent months, global central banks have raised concerns regarding the rise in issuance and risk characteristics of the bank loan and collateralized loan obligation (CLO) markets. Regulators have questioned whether there are meaningful parallels between CLOs and mortgage-backed collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that were at the root of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The Research team at Athena Capital analyzed this correlation in our latest landscape review, Securitization Revisited.