Macro Specialist Designation

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What is the Macro Specialist Designation?

Macro has a huge influence on financial markets but still occupies very little mindshare in financial market analysis. The Macro Specialist Designation, or M2SD, is a study program designed to help financial professionals understand how macro trends impact equity markets and how to successfully implement macro techniques in their investment analysis.


Learn more about Macrobond, the macro data and charting powerhouse behind the M2SD program. Candidates receive six months of Macrobond access free of charge to put the techniques from the program into practice.

See How The M2SD Program Can Make Your A Better Investor

The M2SD In The Media

Money Life With Chuck Jaffe


In The Nasdaq with Gregg Greenberg by Investment News 
In The Nasdaq with Gregg Greenberg


Bloomberg Businessweek Podcast
Bloomberg Businessweek

The M2SD teaches a practical macro framework designed for hands-on investors.

"Your methodology has impacted how I view markets more than any other influence."
- Michael W.
Investment Advisor

"I can’t tell you how excited I was to read about the M2SD … When I saw your program, I about fell out of my chair."
- Chris P.
Wealth Management

"I also intend to be a brand ambassador as I fully believe in this approach to managing money. In fact, upon my completion of level 1, we will be having our firm employees begin their level 1."
- Andrew S.
Investment Firm

Why Is Top-Down Analysis Important?

What’s the issue?

Simply put, today’s money managers are not well-versed in macro frameworks and principles. Macro forces account for nearly 75% of the changes in stock returns yet fundamental factors like earnings occupy more collective mindshare than macro drivers in market analysis.


The Solution

The Macro Specialist Designation aims to fill the void created by academia and current financial industry certifications that exclude thorough macro teachings from their structured financial curricula. Most academic programs in finance and business focus almost exclusively on bottom-up, stock-specific fundamental analysis, while excluding top-down macro analysis.

Macro Helps You See The Big Picture



How Is The M2SD Structured?

The Macro Specialist Designation is structured around three levels of study to obtain a complete perspective on practical macro frameworks. Level 1 examines the principles of macroeconomics, the various forms of policy, and how these forces influence financial markets. Level 2 focuses mainly on the global backdrop and portfolio strategy.

Finally, Level 3 is centered around the study of stock selection and portfolio modeling. The entire program can be completed in as little as 18 months. The goal of the M2SD is to better prepare investors for today’s rapidly changing markets by helping them gain the knowledge to invest under all sorts of possible macro backdrops.

Meet Curriculum Creator
François Trahan

Trahan Macro Research

Founding Partner and President


  • UBS U.S. Equity Strategist
  • Cornerstone Macro Founder and Managing Partner
  • Wolfe Trahan & Co. Vice Chairman
  • International Strategy and Investment Group Chief Investment Strategist
  • Bear Stearns Chief Investment Strategist



Undergraduate and graduate degrees in Economics from the University of Montreal



“The Era of Uncertainty: Global Investment Strategies for Inflation, Deflation, and the Middle Ground”



The only equity portfolio strategist inducted into the Institutional Investor All-America Research Team Hall of Fame based on the annual survey of Wall Street professionals.

Program Overview

With education costs on the rise, the Macro Specialist Designation provides a practical and cost-effective alternative to an MBA or other financial-related degrees. The three-level program can be completed in as little as 18 months, while maintaining a full-time career.

Level 1

The Essentials Of Applied Macro

Bloc 1 An Introduction to Macro Principles

Chapter 1: The Basics

Chapter 2: A Guide to Practical Economics

Chapter 3: The Data

Chapter 4: Leading Economic Indicators (LEIs)

Chapter 5: Anticipatory Economic Indicators (AEIs)

Bloc 2 The Forces Driving The Economy

Chapter 6: Monetary Policy

Chapter 7: The Yield Curve

Chapter 8: Fiscal Policy

Chapter 9: The Currency

Chapter 10: Other Long-Term Influences

Bloc 3 The Stock Market: Fact, Myths, Misconceptions

Chapter 11: The Equity Market

Chapter 12: Earnings Expectations (EPS)

Chapter 13: Market Multiples (P/Es)

Chapter 14: An Alternative Take On Dividends

Chapter 15: Market Cycles

Bloc 4 Important Topics In Financial Research

Chapter 16: Market Valuation Models

Chapter 17: Fixed Income Markets (Bonds)

Chapter 18: Behavioral Finance

Level 2

A Global Approach To Portfolio Strategy

Bloc 5 The Structural Backdrop

Chapter 19: From “Great Moderation” To “Era Of Uncertainty”

Chapter 20: Investing In The “New Normal”

Chapter 21: A History Of Exuberance And Crisis

Chapter 22: The Investment Backdrop And Why It Matters

Chapter 23: The World’s Influence On U.S. Equities

Bloc 6 Global Influences and Investment Decisions

Chapter 24: The Eurozone

Chapter 25: Japan

Chapter 26: China

Chapter 27: Asset Allocation Is A Global Affair

Bloc 7 Sector Leadership

Chapter 28: Sector Positioning And The Business Cycle

Chapter 29: The Technology Sector

Chapter 30: The Consumer Discretionary Sector

Chapter 31: The Communication Services Sector

Chapter 32: The Industrials Sector

Chapter 33: The Financials Sector

Chapter 34: Defensives: Health Care And Staples

Chapter 35: Cyclicals: Energy And Materials

Chapter 36: Rate-Sensitives: REITs And Utilities

Level 3

Translating Macro Into Micro

Bloc 8 The Centerpiece Of Stock Selection: Factors

Chapter 37: The Use And Misuse Of The Size/Style Matrix

Chapter 38: Growth Investing In The New Normal

Chapter 39: Value Investing In The New Normal

Chapter 40: The Classic Factors And Their Applications

Chapter 41: Valuation

Chapter 42: Manipulation (Quality)

Chapter 43: Governance

Chapter 44: Operating Efficiency

Chapter 45: Profitability

Chapter 46: Factor Leadership And The Business Cycle

Bloc 9 The Essential Tools Of Stock Selection

Chapter 47: Model Building In The Era Of Uncertainty

Chapter 48: Monitoring A Portfolio For: Credit Downgrades

Chapter 49: Monitoring A Portfolio For: M&A Activity

Chapter 50: Monitoring A Portfolio For: Sentiment/Crowding

Chapter 51: Monitoring A Portfolio For: Red Flags And Torpedoes

Bloc 10 The Essential Behaviors Of Successful Stock Selection

Chapter 52: Strengths & Weaknesses Of Classic Investment Strategies

Chapter 53: Value Traps And Other Common Pitfalls

Chapter 54: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Stock Selection


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