Quarterly Update

Gregory S. Kaplan, Director of Fixed Income, Managing Director | Jul. 2020

Fixed Income Markets Currently Recover After Fed Intervention

Rapid healing of credit markets drove strong second quarter returns

Despite inflation fears, the steep yield curve offers opportunities

Strong credit analysis and security selection will remain a differentiating factor in performance

Fixed income markets healed in dramatic fashion during the second quarter following the most aggressive response from the Federal Reserve in history. The Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate index added 2.9% in the second quarter and is now up 6.1% YTD. Investment grade (IG) corporate credit spreads retraced over 80% of the 274bps widening experienced during the March liquidity freeze. Corporate bond issuance broke records by surpassing $1 trillion in new deals by May. Municipals reversed negative first quarter performance with the Bloomberg Barclays Municipal Bond Index returning 2.7% in the second quarter (up 2.1% YTD) following increased demand as the Fed’s Municipal Liquidity Facility went into effect.

Unprecedented expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet from $4 trillion to over $7 trillion has increased concern about inflation, and thus long-term rates, which we believe is misguided. While the pandemic was initially a supply shock to the global economy, it has transformed into a demand shock that will likely persist well into 2021. Wage pressure has declined sharply, along with labor market conditions, and many of the stimulus dollars will likely remain on bank balance sheets, unable to reach the consumer, similar to what happened during the years after the Great Recession.

Global central bank action and demographics will continue to put downward pressure on interest rates, exacerbating the negative yielding debt problem in Europe and Japan and driving additional capital flows into positive yielding, dollar-based assets. The Fed is thus forecasting that core PCE will reach only 1.7% by 2022, well below their 2% long-term target. In short, we view higher relative longer-term rates in credit and municipal debt as an opportunity for income-oriented investors, and we are extending portfolio duration targets where appropriate.

Deep credit analysis and pre-emptive action remain a strong theme as pandemic-related uncertainty continues. It is in the careful sector and issuer selection that we continue to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to preservation of client wealth and work toward achieving long-term return objectives.

Rapid healing of credit markets drove strong second quarter returns

Despite inflation fears, the steep yield curve offers opportunities

Strong credit analysis and security selection will remain a differentiating factor in performance

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Important Disclosures

Any opinions, projections, forecasts, and forward-looking statements presented herein are valid as of the date of this document and are subject to change.

The information presented does not involve the rendering of personalized investment, financial, legal, or tax advice. This presentation is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned herein.

Certain statements contained herein may constitute projections, forecasts, and other forward-looking statements, which do not reflect actual results and are based primarily upon a hypothetical set of assumptions applied to certain historical financial information. Certain information has been provided by third-party sources and, although believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified and its accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.

Concentrating assets in a particular industry, sector of the economy, or markets may increase volatility because the investment will be more susceptible to the impact of market, economic, regulatory, and other factors affecting that industry or sector compared with a more broadly diversified asset allocation.

Private investments often engage in leveraging and other speculative investment practices that may increase the risk of investment loss, can be highly illiquid, are not required to provide periodic pricing or valuation information to investors, and may involve complex tax structures and delays in distributing important tax information.

Alternative investments are speculative, entail substantial risks, offer limited or no liquidity, and are not suitable for all investors. These investments have limited transparency to the funds’ investments and may involve leverage which magnifies both losses and gains, including the risk of loss of the entire investment. Alternative investments have varying and lengthy lockup provisions. Please see the Offering Memorandum for more complete information regarding the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, fees, and other expenses.

There are inherent risks with equity investing. These risks include, but are not limited to, stock market, manager, or investment style. Stock markets tend to move in cycles, with periods of rising prices and periods of falling prices. Investing in international markets carries risks such as currency fluctuation, regulatory risks, and economic and political instability. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors, as well as increased volatility, lower trading volume, and less liquidity. Emerging markets can have greater custodial and operational risks and less developed legal and accounting systems than developed markets.

There are inherent risks with fixed-income investing. These risks may include interest rate, call, credit, market, inflation, government policy, liquidity, or junk bond. When interest rates rise, bond prices fall. This risk is heightened with investments in longer-duration fixed-income securities and during periods when prevailing interest rates are low or negative. The yields and market values of municipal securities may be more affected by changes in tax rates and policies than similar income-bearing taxable securities. Certain investors’ incomes may be subject to the Federal Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), and taxable gains are also possible. Investments in below-investment-grade debt securities, which are usually called “high yield” or “junk bonds,” are typically in weaker financial health and such securities can be harder to value and sell, and their prices can be more volatile than more highly rated securities. While these securities generally have higher rates of interest, they also involve greater risk of default than do securities of a higher-quality rating.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. As with any investment strategy, there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be met and investors may lose money. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

Indices are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index. Index returns do not reflect a deduction for fees or expenses.

Alternative investments are speculative, entail substantial risks, offer limited or no liquidity and are not suitable for all investors. These investments have limited transparency to the funds’ investments and may involve leverage which magnifies both losses and gains, including the risk of loss of the entire investment. Alternative investments have varying, and lengthy lockup provisions.

Index Definitions

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) is a market capitalization-weighted index of 500 common stocks chosen for market size, liquidity, and industry group representation to represent U.S. equity performance.

Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based flagship benchmark that measures the investment grade, US dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market.

Bloomberg Barclays Municipal Bond Index is a market-value-weighted index for the long-term tax-exempt bond market. To be included in the index, bonds must have a minimum credit rating of Baa. They must have an outstanding par value of at least $7 million and be issued as part of a transaction of at least $75 million. The bonds must be fixed rate, have a dated-date after December 31, 1990, and must be at least 1 year from their maturity date.

Bloomberg Barclays Corporate Bond Index measures the investment grade, fixed-rate, taxable corporate bond market. It includes USD-denominated securities publicly issued by US and non-US industrial, utility and financial issuers.

Indices are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index.

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