Our Chief Investment Office and experts share insights into our house view and macro trends.
If investment firms had been asked a few years ago: ‘Should we pay attention to politicians?’ the chances are they would have answered ‘No’. Can we continue to say this with impunity?
Having said earlier in the year that 'it should be remembered there are still some significant obstacles to overcome', we are not wholly surprised that the US-China trade war has escalated again, sparking investor nervousness. There are many unverifiable issues surrounding the trade war. There are, however, certain things we can surmise to help investors navigate the current uncertainty.
We ended 2018 in a funk. Investors were beginning to panic that the global economy was entering a period of sharp downturn, the US yield curve was close to inverting, the Chinese economy seemed to be in trouble, Europe was back in the doldrums and President Trump had engaged in a trade war with China and, at the same time, shut down a big chunk of the US government.
Markets have rallied in 2019 so far. But have they gone too far? We think this quarter's returns may have borrowed somewhat from the expected growth in the second half of the year and hence we feel a little uncomfortable about chasing them.
We believed that the investment landscape was not as bleak as some market participants were suggesting at the end of 2018, and it is encouraging that investors have now seemingly adopted a much more positive mindset, as evidenced by the sharp recovery in equity markets since their December lows. So, has anything substantial changed in investment markets since the end of last year?
When Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, markets soon applauded him as a tax-cutting, regulation-slashing, business-focused President. The welcome mat was withdrawn during 2018, however, as trade wars started to unnerve investors and stall business spending.
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IMPORTANT: Investment involves risk. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.