Investors keen to see whether China’s bull market can keep charging ahead in the lunar Year of the Ox will be focused on the sustainability of economic recovery and the pace of possible monetary tightening.
The market environment presents investors with a challenging juncture. In the short term, a combination of healthy consumer balance sheets, low inflation, low interest rates, and high liquidity provides a robust backdrop for returns. But in the longer term, different scenarios could play out requiring different approaches to portfolio management. For investors, complementing a portfolio of companies that work in specific scenarios with those that work in multiple scenarios offers a prudent strategy.
Whilst last year’s favourite word amongst investors was “unprecedented”, this year “reflation” appears to be the word on everyone’s lips. For central bankers and investors, breakeven rates are an important measure of inflation expectations. Simply put, the breakeven rate is the difference between the yield of a nominal bond and an inflation-linked bond of the same maturity.
This Friday is the anniversary of the S&P 500’s peak on February 19. Within two weeks, the US benchmark had corrected by 10pc. Within four weeks it was in bear market territory, down more than 20pc. We didn’t know it at the time, but five weeks after the peak, it was all over. Since March 23 last year, US shares have risen 75pc. The past year has provided more than its fair share of lessons. Here are eight things I’ve taken from a remarkable 12 months in the markets.
Questions about free speech on social media, internet companies’ policies on user expression, and government intervention in the tech industry are becoming impossible for investors to ignore. In the aftermath of the US presidential election campaign, it's important, in our view, for social media companies to have external boundaries on speech.
For many, the word ‘retirement’ is associated with the idea of extended holidays to far-flung locations or spending quality time with grandchildren. And while the new-found status of “retiree” sits well with some, for others it’s a different story. It all depends on how smoothly the transition into retirement progresses. There are, in fact, a range of financial, emotional and psychological fears that are often linked to retirement – for good reason.