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A Fundamental Approach to Seasonally Strong Defensive Sectors

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at  1:00 PM ET | 10:00 AM  PT

Cyclical sectors have historically been stronger in the fall and winter, while defensive sectors have performed best during the remaining months. However, investors would have been better rotating in March this time around. Does the impact of Covid-19 change how CFRA thinks about seasonality and can a more fundamental approach to ETF investing -- focused on valuation and profitability -- help advisors?

We explored this topic further in a webinar discussion led by Todd Rosenbluth, Head of ETF & Mutual Fund Research at CFRA, and featuring Sam Stovall, Chief Investment Strategist at CFRA and Steve Deroian, U.S. Head of Asset Allocation Models and ETF Product, at John Hancock Investment Management.

Topics covered include:

  • Should you rotate rather than retreat during times of market volatility?
  • What sectors does CFRA favor in the current environment?
  • What makes John Hancock’s fundamental approach to sector ETFs different than peers
  • How advisors can use these products in a diversified portfolio?

Presented by:

  • Todd Rosenbluth, Head of ETF and Mutual Fund Research, CFRA
  • Sam Stovall, Chief Investment Strategist, CFRA
  • Steve Deroian, U.S. Head of Asset Allocation Models and ETF Product, John Hancock Investment Management




Steve Deroian, U.S. Head of Asset Allocation Models and ETF Product, John Hancock Investment Management

Steve is responsible for growing the firm’s Asset Allocation Model and ETF platforms by expanding distribution opportunities for our existing offerings, developing new capabilities, and overseeing the Product lineup as a whole.  Prior to joining the firm, Steve accumulated over two decades of industry experience in a variety of roles, including North America product specialist for risk-based investment solutions at Rothschild Asset Management, where he was charged with driving their strategic beta product and sales strategy. Steve also worked atone of the largest Model Managers, F-Squared Investments as senior vice president of global strategic product and partnerships. The majority of his career was spent at Fidelity Investments. He held multiple roles in sales, marketing and product where he work on asset allocation solutions and helped build the foundation for their ETF platform as investment product director for ETFs and index funds. Steve received a B.A. in History from Boston College.




Todd Rosenbluth, Head of ETF and Mutual Fund Research, CFRA

Todd Rosenbluth is Senior Director of ETF and Mutual Fund Research at CFRA where he leads the firm’s holdings-based research efforts. Todd publishes regular thought leadership content on equity and fixed income products, supports the quantitative fund models and interacts with clients. He also serves as a member of CFRA’s Investment Policy Committee. Todd has frequently provided ETF education at Inside ETFs conferences and been quoted in media outlets, such as Barron’s, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Todd also held the position of Senior Director of ETF and Mutual Fund Research for S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Prior to joining CFRA, Todd previously served in other financial positions at S&P Global, such as International Mutual Fund Sector Specialist, Large Cap Value and Large Cap Growth Analyst and has served on the Fund Services Asset Allocation Committee. Prior to joining S&P Global in 2001, Todd was managing editor of Value Line Mutual Fund Survey and Senior Large Cap and Small Cap Value Mutual Fund Analyst. He was also a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley.

Todd holds a B.G.S in Finance from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Finance from New York University.



Sam Stovall, Chief Investment Strategist, CFRA

Sam Stovall is Chief Investment Strategist of U.S. Equity Strategy at CFRA. He serves as analyst, publisher and communicator of CFRA’s outlooks for the economy, market, and sectors. Sam is the Chairman of the CFRA Investment Policy Committee, where he focuses on market history and valuations, as well as industry momentum strategies.  He is the author of The Standard & Poor’s Guide to Sector Investing and The Seven Rules of Wall Street.  In addition, Sam writes a weekly investment piece, featured on CFRA’s MarketScope Advisor platform and his work is also found in the flagship weekly newsletter The Outlook.

Prior to joining S&P Global in 1989 and CFRA in 2016, Sam served as Editor In Chief at Argus Research, an independent investment research firm in New York City.

He holds an MBA in Finance from New York University and a B.A. in History/Education from Muhlenberg College, in Allentown, PA.  He is a CFP® certificant and is a Trustee of the Securities Industry Institute®, the executive development program held annually at The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.



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