Investment Directions

  • A Global Recession Ahead?
    Stocks have suffered lately amid concerns over a slowing global economy and anxiety over a change in Federal Reserve (Fed) monetary policy. However, we don't see another global recession on the horizon.
  • No, We Expect Slow and Diverging Growth
    While global growth is likely to remain slow, it's not collapsing. In fact, there are a few bright spots, as diverging growth remains a major trend in the global economy. Indeed, a relatively strong U.S. economy should help offset anemic growth in Europe and a slowdown in China.
  • Volatility Is Likely to Remain Elevated, But Equities Can Still Push Ahead
    Decent U.S. economic growth suggests that the Fed will tighten monetary policy sometime in 2015. As U.S. monetary policy normalizes, we expect volatility to remain elevated relative to the unusually subdued levels of the past several years. Though rates are likely to rise during the remainder of the year, the rise should be modest. Amid historically low rates, U.S. and global equities are still likely to finish the year with returns in the mid- to upper-single digits.
  • Stick With Stocks, Selectivity Is Key
    While stocks certainly aren't cheap, they still look attractive versus the alternatives. We continue to believe that investors should focus on those market segments that offer relative value, including select international markets; large- and mega-cap companies; and certain cyclical sectors.
  • Position Portfolios for Slow Growth
    In addition, investors should consider taking on some selective risk in asset classes that can potentially do well amid modest global growth and that have become less expensive. One such asset class: high yield bonds.

Carefully consider the Funds' investment objectives, risk factors, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Funds' prospectuses or, if available, the summary prospectuses which may be obtained visiting the iShares ETF and BlackRock Mutual Fund prospectus pages. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

The BlackRock funds are actively managed and their characteristics will vary.

Investing in long/short strategies presents the opportunity for significant losses, including the loss of your total investment. Such strategies have the potential for heightened volatility and in general, are not suitable for all investors.

International investing involves risks, including risks related to foreign currency, limited liquidity, less government regulation and the possibility of substantial volatility due to adverse political, economic or other developments. These risks often are heightened for investments in emerging/ developing markets, in concentrations of single countries or smaller capital markets. Frontier markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors and may be subject to a greater risk of loss than investments in more developed and emerging markets.

Fixed income risks include interest-rate and credit risk. Typically, when interest rates rise, there is a corresponding decline in bond values. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the bond issuer will not be able to make principal and interest payments.

There may be less information on the financial condition of municipal issuers than for public corporations. The market for municipal bonds may be less liquid than for taxable bonds. Some investors may be subject to federal or state income taxes or the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Capital gains distributions, if any, are taxable.

Non-investment-grade debt securities (high-yield/junk bonds) may be subject to greater market fluctuations, risk of default or loss of income and principal than higher-rated securities.

Securities with floating or variable interest rates may decline in value if their coupon rates do not keep pace with comparable market interest rates. The Fund’s income may decline when interest rates fall because most of the debt instruments held by the Fund will have floating or variable rates.

The iShares Minimum Volatility ETFs may experience more than minimum volatility as there is no guarantee that the underlying index's strategy of seeking to lower volatility will be successful.

An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency and its return and yield will fluctuate with market conditions.

The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by Cohen & Steers Capital Management, Inc., European Public Real Estate Association (“EPRA® ”), FTSE International Limited (“FTSE”), India Index Services & Products Limited, JPMorgan Chase & Co., MSCI Inc., Markit Indices Limited, Morningstar, Inc., The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc., National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“NAREIT”), New York Stock Exchange, Inc., Russell Investment Group or S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, nor are they sponsored, endorsed or issued by Barclays Capital Inc. None of these companies make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Funds.  BlackRock is not affiliated with the companies listed above. Index data related to the underlying indexes is provided by the respective companies above.

Neither FTSE nor NAREIT makes any warranty regarding the FTSE NAREIT Real Estate 50 Index, FTSE NAREIT Residential Plus Capped Index, FTSE NAREIT Industrial/Office Capped Index or FTSE NAREIT All Mortgage Capped Index; all rights vest in NAREIT. Neither FTSE nor NAREIT makes any warranty regarding the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Real Estate ex-US Index, FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Europe Index or FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Asia Index; all rights vest in FTSE, NAREIT and EPRA. "FTSE®" is a trademark jointly owned by the London Stock Exchange Plc and The Financial Times Limited and is used by FTSE under license.

The iShares® Funds and BlackRock® mutual funds that are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Company Act of 1940 ("Funds") are distributed in the U.S. by BlackRock Investments, LLC (together with its affiliates, "BlackRock").

This material is solely for educational purposes and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any shares of any fund (nor shall any such shares be offered or sold to any person) in any jurisdiction in which an offer, solicitation, purchase or sale would be unlawful under the securities law of that jurisdiction.

In Latin America, for Institutional and Professional Investors Only (not for public distribution). This material is solely for educational purposes only and does not constitute an offer or a solicitation to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any shares of any fund (nor shall any such shares be offered or sold to any person) in any jurisdiction within Latin America in which an offer, solicitation, purchase or sale would be unlawful under the securities law of that jurisdiction. If any funds are mentioned or inferred to in this material, it is possible that some or all of the funds have not been registered with the securities regulator of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay or any other securities regulator in any Latin American country, and thus, might not be publicly offered within any such country. The securities regulators of such countries have not confirmed the accuracy of any information contained herein. No information discussed herein can be provided to the general public in Latin America.

In Hong Kong, this information is issued by BlackRock Asset Management North Asia Limited 貝萊德資產管理北亞有限公司. This material is for distribution to “Professional Investors” (as defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap.571 of the laws of Hong Kong)) and should not be relied upon by any other persons. In Singapore, this document is issued by BlackRock (Singapore) Limited (company registration number: 200010143N) for institutional investors only. For distribution in Korea and Taiwan for Institutional Investors only (or “professional clients”, as such term may apply in local jurisdictions). This document is for distribution to professional and institutional investors only and should not be relied upon by any other persons. This document is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation of any securities or BlackRock funds in any jurisdiction in which such solicitation is unlawful or to any person to whom it is unlawful. Moreover, it neither constitutes an offer to enter into an investment agreement with the recipient of this document nor an invitation to respond to it by making an offer to enter into an investment agreement. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. There are risks associated with investing, including loss of principal. Changes in the rates of exchange between currencies may cause the value of investments to fluctuate. This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer or invitation to anyone to invest in any BlackRock fund and has not been prepared in connection with any such offer. Any research in this document has been procured and may have been acted on by BlackRock for its own purpose. The results of such research are being made available only incidentally. The views expressed do not constitute investment or any other advice and are subject to change. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any company in the BlackRock Group or any part thereof and no assurances are made as to their accuracy. This document contains general information only and does not take into account an individual’s circumstances and consideration should be given to talking to a financial or other professional adviser before making an investment decision. You are reminded to refer to the relevant prospectus for specific risk considerations which are available from BlackRock websites.

Notice to residents in Australia:
(For wholesale clients and professional investors only - not for public distribution.)
Issued in Australia by BlackRock Investment Management (Australia) Limited ABN 13 006 165 975, AFSL 230523 ("BIMAL") to institutional investors only. iShares® exchange traded funds ("ETFs") that are made available in Australia are issued by BIMAL, iShares, Inc. ARBN 125 632 279 and iShares Trust ARBN 125 632 411. BIMAL is the local agent and intermediary for iShares ETFs that are issued by iShares, Inc. and iShares Trust. BIMAL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (collectively "BlackRock"). A Product Disclosure Statement ("PDS") or prospectus for each iShares ETF that is offered in Australia is available at iShares. com.au. You should read the PDS or prospectus and consider whether an iShares ETF is appropriate for you before deciding to invest. iShares securities trade on ASX at market price (not, net asset value ("NAV")). iShares securities may only be redeemed directly by persons called "Authorised Participants."

Notice to investors in New Zealand:
(For wholesale clients only - not for public distribution.)
This material is being distributed in New Zealand by BlackRock Investment Management (Australia) Limited ABN 13 006 165 975, AFSL 230523 ("BlackRock"). In New Zealand, this information is provided for registered financial service providers and other wholesale clients only in that capacity, and is not provided for New Zealand retail clients as defined under the Financial Advisers Act 2008. BlackRock does not offer interests in iShares to the public in New Zealand, and this material does not constitute or relate to such an offer. Before investing in an iShares exchange traded fund, you should carefully consider whether such products are appropriate for you, read the applicable prospectus or product disclosure statement available at iShares.com.au and consult an investment adviser. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No guarantee as to the capital value of investments nor future returns is made by BlackRock or any company in the BlackRock group. Recipients of this document must not distribute copies of the document to third parties. This information is indicative, subject to change, and has been prepared for informational or educational purposes only. No warranty of accuracy or reliability is given and no responsibility arising in any way for errors or omissions (including responsibility to any person by reason of negligence) is accepted by BlackRock. No representation or guarantee whatsoever, express or implied, is made to any person regarding this information. This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account any individual's objectives, financial situation, or needs. You should seek independent professional legal, financial, taxation, and/or other professional advice before making an investment decision regarding the iShares funds. An iShares fund is not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by the provider of the index which a particular iShares fund seeks to track. No index provider makes any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the iShares funds.

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