Investment Perspectives on Today’s Economy

For several hundred financial professionals, academics and students, the 6th Annual Wharton Investment Management Conference on Nov. 7 offered wide-ranging debate on issues that confront investment managers in today’s economy. Six panels covered topics such as international investing, growth investing, small cap investing and independent and sell-side research. Knowledge at Wharton reports on keynote speakers’ views of the economy and financial markets as well as two panels that addressed value investing and hedge funds.

Value Stocks vs. Growth Stocks: Timing Counts

Value or growth – which is the best investing strategy? For money manager and small investor alike, it’s practically a religious debate, with each group sure its style is best but unable to produce evidence that would put the matter to rest. The fact is, sometimes value pays off best, other times growth does. And when, exactly, are those times? A group of professionals offered their views during a panel discussion at the 6th Annual Wharton Investment Management Conference on Nov. 7

U.S. Economy: Happy Days are Here Again … Aren’t They?

For investors, the three-year bear market was a dreadful hangover after the bull-market euphoria of the 1990s. But stocks took off last spring, and 2003 promises to be the first “up” year in the past four for the major indexes. Economic news has been improving. Even the job situation is getting better. Are happy times here again? Or are serious problems still embedded in the market and economy? Among the six keynote speakers at the 6th Annual Wharton Investment Management Conference, “cautious optimism” seemed to prevail.

Hedge Fund Investing: Looking for That Edge

Investors who chafe under the legal limitations on mutual funds’ investing strategies have an alternative, if they’re wealthy enough: hedge funds. These generally unregulated funds can use leverage, derivative plays, short-selling and other strategies banned in the mutual fund world to boost returns or seek “market neutral” results – attempting to produce steady gains regardless of what the broad market is doing. Seven members of a panel on hedge funds at the Nov. 7 Wharton Investment Management Conference described different approaches taken in this freewheeling industry.