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Mutual funds pool assets

Mutual funds pool assets of individual investors—including retirement funds managed by state or municipal entities or other large institutional investors—to purchase shares in a collection of stocks, bonds, or other securities. A portfolio manager typically oversees mutual funds. Mutual funds can also be structured and listed as stocks to professional traders’ desires to trade mutual funds with the same ease as they trade stocks to allow purchasers the diversification of a mutual fund plus the flexibility of a stock.

In your role as a portfolio manager with Vantage Point Mutual Fund (a fictitious entity), you are concerned with economic conditions you believe may generate distress among firms in which the fund has invested. You have noticed an increase in loan modification requests, bankruptcy filings, and a rise in unemployment claims due to generate falls in consumer and investment spending.

You have initiated a review of each firm in your portfolio. You supervise a team of investment analysts. Each team member, including yourself, will choose one of these to review. Team members (including you) will research the economic firms in your portfolio to determine whether the investment value is expected to increase. Your team will proactively engage with clients to offer suggestions for improvement.

Your microeconomics study provides you with the tools, models, and concepts to understand consumer choices in the marketplace. Consumer preferences, price, income elasticity, and other determinants of demand offer firms clues regarding resource allocation. Leveraging these tools will allow you to assess the operation of a focus firm and suggest strategies for future success.

Assume that you are reviewing a firm within the portfolio of firms you oversee on behalf of your employer, Vantage Point Mutual Fund. Select a publicly traded firm currently operating in the U.S. market. Select a small to mid-cap firm listed on the New York Stock Exchange (Links to an external site.). Review the firm’s financial information found in its most recent Quarterly Report (10-Q) published electronically on the firm’s website or the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) EDGAR Database (Links to an external site.). For most companies, this information can be accessed by browsing the “investor relations section,” where you will be able to find the financial statements, including, in this case, the 10-Q (and the 10-K for more details).

Instructions
Using the latest 10-Q and the corresponding 10-Q from the previous year, your task is to produce a Microeconomic Analysis and Recommendation with a recommended maximum of 2,200 words (tables/graphs not included) appraising the economic viability of the firm you selected for review. Employ the following microeconomic tools to explain and predict the implications of trends:

Section A: Microeconomic Analysis of Firm

-Company overview and firm-specific risks (max 200 words) [10 points]
-Price elasticity of demand (max 500 words) [20 points]
-Production (max 500 words) [20 points]
-Market structure (max 500 words) [20 points]
-Define what needs to be improved, given your determinations in other areas (max 200 words) [20 points]
-Section B: Limitations

In concluding this section, elaborate on the limitations of the above analysis, including what further sources of information you would like to use to make a more informed decision (200 words max). [10 points]

Sample Solution

Chinese militarization in the Spratly Islands has proven much more contentious in recent years as they have seen both rapid island reclamation as well as the introduction of unprecedented military capabilities. Moreover, the Spratly Islands are contested by China, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia, and all have established constructions on some of the islands. China has been by far the most active in the expanding and equipping its islands, including the construction of large anti-aircraft guns. Experts also suspect that close-in weapons systems (CIWS) have been introduced to some of the islands to protect against cruise missile strikes. The placement of these defences shows how China is willing to defend these islands and are prepared to respond in the case of an attack. Of the islands China has developed, Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi Reefs are the by far the most advanced (see Figure 3). Each has enough hangars to accommodate 24 combat aircraft and four larger transport planes, bunkers to house missile launchers, as well as radars that allow for the monitoring of the surrounding area (AMTI 2017). By March 2018, China had verifiably landed military transport aircraft on all three of its main islands in the Spratlys marking a major milestone in developing its military capabilities in the region. According to U.S. intelligence, China also deployed YJ-13B anti-ship cruise missiles and HQ-9B surface to air missiles on the 2nd May. Offensive capabilities such as air power, radars and missiles give China a sizable advantage in the region, causing concern for both the U.S. and other claimant countries. Overall, China’s military capabilities in the SCS are unparalleled, with Admiral Philip Davidson, Head of US Pacific Command stating that “China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States” (CNN 2018). Figure 4 shows the observed, reported and expected capabilities China has or is likely to have from its four most equipped islands: Woody island in the Paracels and Firey Cross, Mischief and Subi Reef in the Spratlys. Once these capabilities are fully operational, China will have comprehensive control over the region. This military capacity gives China the upper hand in diplomacy and as of present, has granted it immunity from abiding to international arbitration. Further militarization has shown China’s commitment to its sovereignty claims and the lack of commitment it has to abiding by UNCLOS. The long-standing failure to comply with international l
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