On Wednesday morning, August 7th, Beth Tremaine and Grant Allen visited Zacks Investment Management office in Chicago. Acumen uses Zacks Dividend Strategy for a large percentage of our clients. To perform due diligence, Beth and Grant visited the manager and met with a few members of the Zacks team. They first met with Greg Murphy, the Managing Director of National Sales. Greg walked Beth and Grant through an overview of Zacks processes and informed them they were stepping up their attempt to further protect client information through increasing cyber security efforts.
Greg then introduced Beth and Grant to Metin Akyol, a data scientist at Zacks. Metin contributes to the performance of the Dividend Strategy. Metin provided Beth and Grant with insight into the performance of the fund first, which is quite impressive as it provides investors with 3.35% of yield (compared to 2.54% for the Russell 1000 Value) and has continuously outperformed its benchmark during the last ten years. Metin then gave insight into the process Zacks uses to make investment decisions and gave a brief economic outlook. Metin alluded to global trade tensions as the key factor providing a headwind to current economic growth. However, he also seemed to think, one way or another, businesses will find a way to trade with each other, possibly by using passthroughs in other countries, and growth may be stunted but not stopped. It should be pointed out though, the United States is increasing protections of this type of trade, which could provide the current trade war with the strength to be an even tougher headwind than we have seen thus far.
Finally, Beth and Grant had the opportunity to meet Mitch Zacks, CEO and Senior Portfolio Manager of Zacks Investment Management. Meeting Mitch was a great pleasure for Beth and Grant, and it was almost like meeting a celebrity in the investment management field. Mitch also discussed his outlook on the markets. He said his biggest advice to investors would simply be to stay invested. It is often mentally straining for investors to remain invested during volatility, but, if they can, it will prove to be beneficial in the long run. Mitch believes weathering the storm is a key component to generating consistent return in the markets, and it is seen through his management of the Zacks Dividend Strategy.
The opinions expressed in this commentary should not be considered as fact. Information contained herein is not and should not be construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell securities. The information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable; however no guarantee is made or implied with respect to its accuracy, timeliness, or completeness. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation. Comments concerning the past performance are not intended to be forward looking and should not be viewed as an indication of future results. Diversification does not protect against loss of principal.
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