Rob Stein, Founder of Astor Investment Management, Discusses Macro and Markets on the Sherman Show
Rob Stein, founder and CEO of Astor Investment Management, joins Sherman Show hosts Jeffrey Sherman and Samuel Lau in an interview recorded January 22, 2020 in Chicago. Mr. Stein began his career at the Federal Reserve under the legendary Paul Volcker before going on to trading and portfolio management positions at money-center Wall Street Banks. In 1994, he founded his registered investment advisory firm.
On the Sherman Show, he discusses his proprietary Astor Economic Index, designed to give a “now-cast” of the U.S. economy and used by the Astor team to set portfolio asset allocations. Rather than relying on economic forecasts, Mr. Stein and his team use contemporaneous reads of jobs, output and other data points, distilled into the Astor index, to weight portfolios toward or away from equities. “You can make portfolio shifts at a time that will still help prevent wealth destruction,” Mr. Stein says. In 2008, he notes, whether one identified recession “in January, February or March, April, May, June, you still were able to protect portfolios.”
Mr. Stein draws parallels between monetary policies at work today and those at the end of 1999. In both cases, the Federal Reserve injected significant liquidity into the system, liquidity that found its way into the stock market. He believes the U.S. will remain “in a low growth environment for a long period of time.” In support of that outlook, Mr. Stein cites the yield on the 30-year Treasury, “changing demographics, efficiencies in the efficiencies [of the economy], companies that are being supported by venture capital money that cannot go on forever.”
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