Where to next for the Eurozone

Will the Coronavirus battle trigger a Eurozone war? The economic and health impacts of coronavirus have not been distributed equally across the Eurozone. In particular, peripheral countries such as Italy have been hit hardest in human and economic terms. This has reopened old fault lines between member states about a shared fiscal policy to offset … Continue reading “Where to next for the Eurozone”

The hunt for quality and resilience

The enormous economic shock resulting from the pandemic will exacerbate or accelerate the existing problems and imbalances facing many companies and countries. For investors, an even more granular approach will be required when choosing between winners and losers. In this environment, ‘quality’ and ‘resilience’ are likely to become even more important investment themes, especially against … Continue reading “The hunt for quality and resilience”

US profits: will they bounce back as quickly as investors think?

US earnings season is always a spectacle and this time around is no different. Well, no different but for one exceptional factor: Covid-19, and its effects on company profits. The businesses that make up the S&P 500 Index have started to tell us how they performed from January to March, a period of unprecedented operating … Continue reading “US profits: will they bounce back as quickly as investors think?”

Keep calm and carry on

An unexpected global pandemic has triggered the third bear market of the 21st century. At the start of the year, equity analysts had priced in profits growth of 5-10% a year, now they are downgrading their profits estimates by 5-10% a week. One of the deepest economic recessions since the 1930s will expose some well-known … Continue reading “Keep calm and carry on”

The importance of forecasting humility

It is natural to want to rush to judgement about the long-term changes the coronavirus pandemic will bring, whether in an attempt to get ahead of the game or simply impose some order amidst the chaos. But as understandable as that impulse is, it can also be dangerous, allowing highly speculative claims to circulate and … Continue reading “The importance of forecasting humility”

China standing out among emerging markets

Like those almost everywhere else, emerging markets (EMs) suffered a coronavirus shock in March. Having plunged by nearly a third in the early part of the month, however, EM share prices partly recovered towards the end. Promises of large-scale monetary and fiscal stimulus in the US arrested the declines, but EM stocks still had a … Continue reading “China standing out among emerging markets”

Panic-selling creates opportunities in Europe

The coronavirus situation is developing rapidly. Italy is in lockdown, confirmed cases are rising across the rest of Europe and the US, and there is a huge global effort to contain the virus. On Thursday last week, European shares suffered their biggest one-day plunge since 1987. Panic appears to have gripped markets. However, as with … Continue reading “Panic-selling creates opportunities in Europe”

Coronavirus: assessing the risks

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that emerged in China’s Hubei province late last year has now spread to more than 50 countries. The outbreaks in Japan, Korea and Italy are particularly serious, but the number of cases is climbing rapidly elsewhere. Initially, the stock market’s reaction to the virus was muted. Most investors appeared to believe … Continue reading “Coronavirus: assessing the risks”

Private markets in a new world

The world is rapidly changing. Three forces will shape the future: technology, demographics and sustainability. The cost of such a transformation will not be cheap. However, private markets are uniquely placed to help fund and build this new world – creating numerous opportunities for investors. Technology has transformed our lives. Thanks to mobile devices and … Continue reading “Private markets in a new world”

Beyond 2020 – the age of the responsible investor

As we look to the debates and discussions at the World Economic Forum, it’s clear that we need to take stock of what is becoming an increasingly divisive world. We all have a ‘not-to-be-missed’ opportunity to refresh and reinvigorate the mutual benefits between businesses, government and people that are central to a well-functioning capitalist economy. … Continue reading “Beyond 2020 – the age of the responsible investor”

Surprises in European equities

Why have European equities performed so well in 2019 and what are the prospects for 2020? For much of 2019, European equities were an unloved asset class, shunned by investors. At first sight, this was understandable – the region is growing only slowly, wracked by political tensions and wrestling with headwinds in vital sectors such as … Continue reading “Surprises in European equities”

UK election: what does the result mean for the economy and investors?

Boris Johnson has been confirmed as prime minister after the Conservative party made sweeping gains. The Conservative majority government has three key implications for Brexit, which is the most pressing issue for the UK economy. First, it all but guarantees that the UK will leave the European Union (EU). This election was the last barrier … Continue reading “UK election: what does the result mean for the economy and investors?”

Deforestation leaves investors exposed

Owning companies linked to forest destruction risks major financial losses. But focusing on engagement and demanding transparency and supply chain discipline could bring rich rewards. Deforestation linked to growing commodities demand presents significant risk of loss for investors, but also opportunities to benefit by engaging companies and adding to pressure for stricter policy actions. Deforestation … Continue reading “Deforestation leaves investors exposed”

Investors must get used to an environment of lower growth

We will have to get used to an environment of lower growth. However, this is the kind of environment in which active managers will truly prove their worth. “Nobody buys a farm based on whether they think it’s going to rain next year. They buy it because they think it’s a good investment over 10 … Continue reading “Investors must get used to an environment of lower growth”

The comfort of strangers: investors should look to the less familiar

Adaptation is necessary when an environment becomes less favourable. So, as the global outlook assumes a gloomier cast, we believe investors should look beyond the comfort of conventional asset classes and bolster their portfolios with less familiar – and less correlated – assets. Secular stagnation? Recent headlines provide no shortage of alarming developments: a lurch … Continue reading “The comfort of strangers: investors should look to the less familiar”