Total Appearances: 14
Analyst Debut: 2001
The only analyst to earn induction into Institutional Investors All-America Research Team Hall of Fame this year is Jeffrey deGraaf of Renaissance Macro Research. By capturing first place on this roster in an unbroken streak since 2005, the 46-year-old strategist joins 11 other currently top-ranked researchers who have appeared in the No. 1 position in their sectors at least ten times. DeGraaf notes that the technology sector is the undisputed leader in equity markets right now, and he expects it to remain so. That plays into the midcycle call our economist has made, with capital spending improving as the economic cycle takes hold, he says. The weakness in industrials and the contraction in ten-year yields appears to be a global growth story, not a harbinger of weaker domestic growth. Technically, the researcher adds, we find energy interesting, as the trends remain positive. Refiners look the most interesting in that group. He warns that the wild card for U.S. equity performance in the fourth quarter will be the Federal Reserves scaling back of its third round of quantitative easing. Historically, deGraaf says, the end of QE has meant a substantial increase in equity volatility and decline in equity returns. Were watching credit conditions to tip us off to a change in the liquidity dynamic for the economy and stocks. Liquidity has already tightened since early summer, and he is concerned that it could decline further following QEs termination. Moreover, in this uncertain environment, yields, inflation and growth are likely to remain substantially lower than the levels weve experienced in the previous quarter century, deGraaf concludes. The strategist is very good on his sector calls and pattern recognition, asserts one loyalist. Hes very good at identifying developing trends. A few months ago he said that [real estate investment trusts] would be attractive, and they had a nice run. Thats fairly typical. Hes got a model portfolio of stock ideas that has outperformed the market pretty consistently.