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”

Is recession looming?

Are we about to have a global recession?  That was one of the many issues discussed at the Singapore Summit – a meeting of global policymakers and business leaders – Martin Gilbert, Chairman, Aberdeen Standard Investments,  attended earlier this month. Can monetary policies help prevent a global recession? There was a mix of opinions on … Continue reading “Is recession looming?”

Asia set to become sustainable investment hub

The region presents investors with a growing range of opportunities to generate positive returns and have a positive impact on the planet at the same time. Asia looks set to become a hotbed for sustainable investment, driven by structural economic factors, growing institutional allocations and tightening regulations. Investors in Asia have lagged developed market peers … Continue reading “Asia set to become sustainable investment hub”

Jaw-jaw at Jackson Hole: Fed exercise to restore lost credibility could end up harming it further

This month’s Jackson Hole symposium is intended to address the ‘challenges for monetary policy’. In reality, the debate will probably be around the merits or otherwise of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) continuing to cut interest rates or not. The Fed finds itself at a taxing junction. It needs to reassure investors that it has … Continue reading “Jaw-jaw at Jackson Hole: Fed exercise to restore lost credibility could end up harming it further”

Brexit – opportunity in uncertainty?

The UK is set to leave the EU on 31 October. Under new Prime Minister Boris Johnson the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit – once viewed by many as unthinkable – is now a real possibility.  The questions are: what might be the fallout if the UK crashed out of the EU? And what would … Continue reading “Brexit – opportunity in uncertainty?”

Quantitative easing returns to the European Central Bank

History seems set to repeat itself in Europe. Less than a year after the European Central Bank (ECB) wound up its bond-buying programme, the words ‘quantitative easing’ (QE) are back. ECB President Mario Draghi sent the latest signal about the Bank’s intentions at last month’s Sintra conference for central bankers in Portugal. He made it … Continue reading “Quantitative easing returns to the European Central Bank”

European equities – interesting times

“There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not, we live in interesting times.” Robert F. Kennedy’s 1966 quote sums up what it has been like to be a European equity investor since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. While politicians have … Continue reading “European equities – interesting times”

Mr Trump’s torrent of trade tweets

Financial markets are being buffeted by President Trump’s tweets on trade. What are the short and long-term implications of this new style of policy making in the US? Tactical tweeting Since the summer of last year, investors have had to look at Twitter far more often. President Trump has used this form of social media … Continue reading “Mr Trump’s torrent of trade tweets”

Whatever it takes…to raise inflation

The European Central Bank has consistently failed to meet its inflation target in the seven years since the region’s sovereign debt crisis. Nor has the market any faith that it might do so in future. With the European Union (EU) elections out of the way, the horse-trading over a host of top EU jobs will … Continue reading “Whatever it takes…to raise inflation”

Creating a virtuous circle in residential investing

How do we balance effective residential investing with being sensitive to tenants’ needs and to climate change? With the right approach, they can be far more harmonious that you might think. In fact, we would argue that they are intrinsically linked. Using change as a lens We have identified four global forces for change that … Continue reading “Creating a virtuous circle in residential investing”

Still on our way in May, watching for winners

Investing is a curious mixture of art and science. It is a world of phenomenally fast algorithmic trading, supplemented with old-fashioned sayings and adages concocted decades ago. Behavioural finance studies draw attention to the importance of ‘heuristics’. These are mental shortcuts or rules of thumb that ease the cognitive load in decision-making. The saying “sell … Continue reading “Still on our way in May, watching for winners”