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The 2014 All-America Research Team: Portfolio Strategy, No. 1: François Trahan

< The 2014 All-America Research TeamFrançois TrahanCornerstone MacroFirst-Place Appearances: 8

Total Appearances: 11

Analyst Debut: 2004

François Trahan extends his dominance of this lineup to a third consecutive year, and in so doing secures his eighth top finish since 2005. Portfolio managers readily explain the Cornerstone Macro co-founder’s staying power. “I always pay attention to his views,” remarks one client, because “he organizes a lot of information to evaluate market fundamentals and provides useful insights into the structure of the markets.” For his part, the 45-year-old strategist notes that the S&P 500 index has been rising “on the back of both earnings and price-earnings ratios,” which he dubs a “rare historical occurrence.” This circumstance transpired just one other time over the past 40 years, he says, at the end of the 1990s. “It’s a unique market, where returns tend to be outsize and corrections shallow and short,” explains Trahan. “When there’s a growth scare and earnings dip, you still have P/Es going for you. And vice versa. If you have an inflation scare and P/Es are under pressure, you still have earnings going for you.” Moreover, volatility is extremely low, and the current environment appears to be sustainable. The analyst’s bottom line: “We have been — and remain — very bullish.”

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