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By Jason Stipp | 04-07-2010 03:12 PM

Calamos: Two Top-Down Themes on the Global Stage

Productivity and economic freedom will be key drivers of outperformance, says Calamos CEO and co-CIO John Calamos.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar. As the global economic recovery continues, a lot of investors are looking overseas again, especially as there are some concerns about possibly slower growth in the U.S. Here with me to talk about what he is seeing on the global stage is John Calamos. He is CEO and co-CIO of Calamos Funds, and he is also looking at a lot of international funds that they manage. He is going to tell me a little bit about what he is seeing. John, thanks for joining me.

John Calamos: Thanks for having me.

Stipp: Sure. So the first question I want to ask you is a broader question. Calamos does use some top-down themes when it is looking at the investment landscape. I am just wondering on the global stage, what are some of the major themes that you are seeing right now and how is that informing your investment process?

Calamos: The top-down themes are very important because it really allows us then to focus on the sector. So from our top-down view, really comes our sector allocation, and there are several themes on a global side that we think are important. One of the things we have looked at over the years is the freedom indexes.

Guess what? Big surprise, the countries that have more freedom, economic freedom, have higher GDP growth, have companies that are prospering, their people are prospering, and it is not always static. Some countries are moving up and down. That's a general theme.

One of the current themes that we think are very important is that productivity in a slower economic environment is going to be very important. So countries that have higher productivity, like the U.S., are going to do better than countries that do not. The way that affects the portfolios is we are looking for companies that are helping other companies enhance productivity, so those are two themes.

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