Top 3 Blog Posts of 2020

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Jan 5, 2021 3:30:01 PM

As 2021 kicks off, we wanted to share a few blog posts that could help you and your clients navigate the coming year. These were among our most read blogs of 2020, but they continue to be relevant today.

The first reflects on the extreme concentration risk within the S&P 500 index. We believe this is an issue that will bear watching in 2021. The second offers several stats aimed at keeping clients invested through a bear market. We hope it provides a timeless reference guide for any client you have who may have trouble staying the course when volatility strikes. The third offers perspective on the historical divergence between growth and value stocks in recent years, which remains a topical issue.

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Taking Stock of 2020: Reflective Questions for Advisors and Clients

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Dec 10, 2020 4:19:30 PM

If there were ever a year to have a reflective conversation with clients, 2020 is it. From the virus, to market volatility to election uncertainty, the year has been filled with tensions. The end of the year provides a natural opportunity to reflect on those issues and make both a portfolio - and a client relationship - stronger.

If you’re an advisor going through year-end meetings with clients, we wanted to provide a few questions, suggestions and resources that may help your clients reflect on 2020 and stimulate deeper conversations. We know the vast majority of advisors will cover these issues in some shape or fashion, and have the pulse on their own clients more than anyone. But given how unusual 2020 has been, it never hurts to think of new ways to ask reflective questions.

In the spirit of sharing, here are a few items that may help you and your client reflect on a year of upheaval. We hope you find them useful heading into the new year:

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For Markets, What Comes After Election Results and Vaccine?

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Nov 20, 2020 2:18:21 PM

In the past two weeks, investors got a lot more clarity on two of the largest clouds hanging over the market: the U.S. election and the coronavirus.

We now know who the next president is, and have a better idea (Georgia’s Senate election notwithstanding) of what the balance of power will look like in Washington D.C. And news that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine has shown a high success rate offers hope that we may be on the path toward addressing the coronavirus pandemic and normalizing the economy, even if current infection spread is alarming.

In this brief Q&A, Dana portfolio managers Joseph Veranth and David Weinstein reflect on what the election and vaccine could mean for markets going forward

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Renewable Energy: Where Do We Go From Here?

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Sep 10, 2020 3:14:50 PM

Renewable energy companies enjoyed considerable growth over the last decade, as the cost of solar and wind power technologies declined significantly. ”Renewables’ competitiveness with fossil fuels is strong, driven by considerable innovation, learning and economies of scale,” Lydia Miller, Portfolio Specialist at Dana Investment Advisors states in a recent Green Money Journal column. “We believe that the transition to a low-carbon economy is happening and will continue to happen. This happens over decades, with investors increasingly discounting this long-term trend.”

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Where are Advisors on the ESG Adoption Curve?

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Sep 2, 2020 4:02:33 PM

To say ESG has hit an inflection point would be putting it mildly. Flows into sustainable funds quadrupled to $21.4 billion in 2019. The first half of 2020 has nearly eclipsed that mark, with flows totaling $20.9 billion, according to Morningstar figures. But amid this surging demand, where do advisors fit?

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Should Your Client’s ESG Fund Be a Core Equity Holding?

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Aug 19, 2020 4:02:33 PM

As client demand for ESG strategies grows, advisors have a tough job ahead of them: finding a strategy that is suitable as a core equity holding. Without proper due diligence on fund construction, a strategy used as a core holding may expose a client to unintended risks.

The details are all in the portfolio construction process.

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Electric Vehicle Investing: Tesla is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Aug 13, 2020 4:38:50 PM

The future of the electric vehicle (EV) market has excited many ESG investors, and for good reason: It’s a classic example of an investment trend that has both substantial environmental benefits and significant growth potential. But for all the buzz, many investors may be viewing the opportunity set with too narrow a lens.

Most headlines and some retail investors associate electric vehicles with a single poster child company: Tesla. While Tesla’s history of innovation is indeed impressive, the investment opportunities that will stem from electric vehicle adoption and innovation are far more expansive.

This summer, with the help of our interns, we completed a deep dive into researching the growth potential of the electric vehicle market. A few takeaways demonstrate just how big the investment potential is, how fast the trend is moving and how far the investment opportunities expand:

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Advisors Should Ask: Is My Investment Manager a Partner?

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Aug 6, 2020 3:03:59 PM

The financial crisis was painful for anyone working on Wall Street, but the period gets credit for improving at least one industry dynamic: The bar for effective communication from an asset manager has been significantly raised.

As markets plummeted, advisors, consultants, investment committees and other key fund decision makers demanded dialogue from their portfolio managers about the market collapse and what they planned to do going forward. The demand for increased communication continues today, and is an industry trend we applaud.

Advisors and consultants deserve shared insight from their investment managers, and an open forum for communication. In short, they deserve true partnership. We believe boutique asset managers are best positioned to deliver the partnership clients deserve.

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Seven ESG Due Diligence Questions Every Advisor Should Ask

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Jul 30, 2020 8:52:30 PM

As investor interest in ESG grows, so too are the number of ESG strategies to choose from. Already, 23 ESG funds have launched in 2020, and more than 20 others are in registration at the SEC, according to Morningstar.¹ This marks the sixth straight year of more than 20 launches.

With more fund launches, due diligence isn’t getting any easier. We believe one way advisors and other allocators can help their clients find the right strategy is to ask whether they want a fund that is directly engaging businesses to improve corporate policy around ESG issues.

Many ESG funds do not engage management teams on policies, but instead rely on ESG ratings to screen out non-ESG friendly companies and include companies with better ratings. That may well be enough for some clients.

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Amid ESG Fund Proliferation, Advisors Must Be Mindful of Fit

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Jul 9, 2020 11:12:14 AM

ESG interest is growing and as asset flows follow, so too are the number of strategies dedicated to the space. For investment advisors, that makes the job of matching client objectives with the right strategy increasingly difficult.

In a recent Q&A session, Dana portfolio managers touched on the issue, and where their own ESG fund may – or may not – fit within a portfolio. A brief excerpt from the interview explains:

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The Dana Funds are distributed by Ultimus Fund Distributors, LLC. There is no affiliation between Ultimus Fund Distributors, LLC. and the firms referenced in this blog post.