Publications -

Global Matters Weekly – 8 February 2021

To the moon – YOLO

by Lorenzo La Posta, CFA

Tuesday 26th January, it’s early morning here in the UK and still night in the US when Aurelio, a friend of mine, texts me.

Aurelio: “Dude, what is going on with Game Stop? Last week some people on Reddit said they were gonna shoot GME (ticker for Game Stop) to the moon, to $1000 per share! So, I bought a few at $45 on Friday…”

I had not heard anything about Game Stop, so I start by checking the share price: it closed at $77 yesterday, +285% in the past two weeks! Ok, something’s off. I spend a few minutes on r\ wallstreetbets to get a grasp of what apparently is suddenly becoming a coordinated action in one of the largest online communities. I see people yelling stuff like “Let’s get GME to the moon!”, “We own you, hedge funds!”, “HOLD TILL $1000 – AT LEAST” and loads of “YOLO” (i.e. you only live once). Some people are even posting screenshots of their six digit $-gains made over just a few days. I can get back to Aurelio now. He’s no investment expert, yet he’s smart enough to understand what’s going on.


Market Snapshot

  • Global equities rose +4.2% last week
  • Concern mounts after limited trials show the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doesn’t protect against mild/moderate illness from the South African mutation
  • Brent crude oil rose +6.2% to $59.3 a barrel
  • Gold fell -1.8% to $1847.1 per ounce

Global Matters Weekly – 1 February 2021

Emerging Opportunities

by Stephen Nguyen, CFA
2020 witnessed some of the toughest challenges – be it social, economic or political – that most of us have ever experienced. Around this time 12 months ago, the Covid-19 pandemic was gathering momentum, particularly in Asia before it spread further afield, and soon enough the world went into lockdown. As we slowly emerge from the shadow of the pandemic thanks to vaccine breakthroughs, mobility and global economic growth should gradually increase. Emerging markets (EM), led by the Asian powerhouses (primarily China, South Korea and Taiwan), are likely to lead the recovery helped both by them being the engine of global growth but also having managed the pandemic better than peers. Emerging markets outperformed global developed equities in 2020 for the first time in three years: could this be a sign of things to come?


Market Snapshot

  • Global equities fell -3.4% last week
  • The IMF revised their global growth forecast for 2021 from 5.2% to 5.5%
  • Brent crude rose 0.8% last week to $55.9 a barrel
  • Gold fell -0.4% to $1847.65 per ounce

Global Matters Weekly – 25 January 2021

StoreREIT telling: three key elements

by Jackson Franks
For me writing has never been easy, in fact English was my least favourite subject at school. However, I enjoy a challenge and as I think about what to write this week, I take myself back to my English class at school to remind myself of what writing tricks I was once taught. What I remember most is how we were taught the basics of writing a story: each story must consist of a beginning – hooking the reader & setting the scene, a middle – a series of interesting and exciting events, and an end – tie up loose ends & satisfy the reader. As I wrote these characteristics down it suddenly looked very familiar. This is what we expect of and how we critique real estate managers. We look for the successful implementation of a story which follows the same characteristics; a beginning – raising capital & deployment, a middle – asset management initiatives, and an end – disposing of the asset(s) & redeployment of capital.


Market Snapshot

  • Global equities rose 1.5% last week
  • Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th US President
  • Brent crude rose 0.6% last week to $55.4 a barrel
  • Gold rose 1.5% to $1855.61 per ounce

Global Matters Weekly – 18 January 2021

An industry in constant evolution

by Robert White, CFA
It is generally accepted that 2020 saw changes in the way we use technology that are likely to persist even after the pandemic ends. Many changes to society and markets already appear self-evident today, and developing a full understanding of the implications will be important for active managers over the years to come. The Christmas break provided us with a chance to ponder more introspectively over the impact these changes may have on the investment management industry itself, and how best to serve our clients over long term. Much has been written on how society will change following the pandemic and there are several examples of interesting shifts in consumer trends. My favourite example – albeit admittedly very niche – has been the explosion of interest in the 1,500-year-old game of chess since the pandemic. Despite the success of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, who would have thought the game would become one of the fastest growing spectator sports on video streaming services such as Twitch.


Market Snapshot

  • Global equities fell -1.4% last week
  • President Trump became the first US President to be impeached for a second time
  • Brent crude fell -1.6% ending the week at $55.1 a barrel
  • Gold fell -1.1% to end the week at $1828.5 an ounce

Global Matters Weekly – 14 December 2020

Scotched eggs

by Alex Harvey, CFA
When I was a kid, the concept of wolves being dangerous, aggressive animals was instilled in me: they growl, they stalk, they kill. Yet, have you ever heard spine-tingling howls breaking through the night? It is primordially majestic. As I grew up, I found myself seeing wolves as fascinating, widely misunderstood creatures. I had to find my own pack.

Wolves work together to hunt for food, protect their territory and expand their reach. United they stand, divided they fall. Led by two alphas, they know they are only as strong as the weakest of them. Also, they have a set social structure and rules by which each wolf has its own function but everyone, including the alphas themselves, takes care of and raises the pups. It’s all about the team.


Market Snapshot

  • Global equity markets returned -0.7% last week as lockdown measures escalate in key markets.
  • The US is to begin administrating the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine imminently as daily deaths top 3000.
  • Brent crude oil rose +1.5% to $49.9 a barrel.
  • Gold rose +0.1% to $1839.9 per ounce

Global Matters Weekly – 7 December 2020

A pack of wolves

by Lorenzo La Posta, CFA
When I was a kid, the concept of wolves being dangerous, aggressive animals was instilled in me: they growl, they stalk, they kill. Yet, have you ever heard spine-tingling howls breaking through the night? It is primordially majestic. As I grew up, I found myself seeing wolves as fascinating, widely misunderstood creatures. I had to find my own pack.

Wolves work together to hunt for food, protect their territory and expand their reach. United they stand, divided they fall. Led by two alphas, they know they are only as strong as the weakest of them. Also, they have a set social structure and rules by which each wolf has its own function but everyone, including the alphas themselves, takes care of and raises the pups. It’s all about the team.


Market Snapshot

  • Global equities rose +1.5% last week on the back of further positive news regarding vaccine rollouts
  • The UK becomes the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine, which will be rolled out this week
  • Brent crude rose +2.2% ending the week at $49.3 a barrel
  • Gold rose +2.9% to end the week at $1838.9 an ounce

Global Matters Weekly – 30 November 2020

A Brief History of How to Lose Money

by Richard Stutley, CFA
With global equities on track to deliver their best-ever month, against a backdrop of the deepest recession since the Second World War, investors are understandably questioning whether markets have come back too far and too fast. Valuations appear rich in certain areas but trying to time the market is notoriously difficult and can lead to disappointment. At times like this it is worth reflecting on the common ways in which investors suffer permanent impairment of capital as opposed to short term fluctuations in the value of their investments. While the history of finance is long and varied, three factors appear time and again in this regard: counterparty risk, leverage and liquidity. This is a good place for investors to start when appraising risk in their portfolios.


Market Snapshot

  • Global equities rose +2.4% last week on the back of further positive vaccine news
  • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been shown to have a high efficacy rate, though this will be subject to further testing
  • Brent crude rose +7.2% ending the week at$48.2 a barrel
  • Gold fell -4.4% to end the week at $1787.8 an ounce

Global Matters Weekly – 23 November 2020

Road to Recovery

by Andrew Hardy, CFA
Following a third consecutive Monday of hugely encouraging news in the fight against COVID-19, global equities are well on track to delivering their best one month return in over a decade, up 11% and counting. Vaccine developments have propelled economically sensitive sectors such as energy, financials and industrials higher in November – with tech stocks in the slow lane for a change – resulting in one of the most rapid shifts in market leadership ever seen in markets. The recovery potential in ‘value’ stocks remains massive in our opinion, particularly in the areas hardest hit by the pandemic, but investors don’t necessarily have to take on high levels of risk or sacrifice quality in their portfolios, in order to access this opportunity. The infrastructure sector is a prime example of an area that we believe has plenty of open road ahead.


Market Snapshot

  • Global equity markets returned +0.4% last week
  • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is shown to prevent 70% of Covid cases in clinical trials. This follows last week’s announcement from Moderna of 94.5% efficacy in phase 3 trials
  • Brent crude rose +5.1% to $44.96 a barrel
  • Gold fell by -1.0% to $1870.99 per ounce

Global Matters Weekly – 16 November 2020

Light at the end of the tunnel

by Christopher Butcher
News last week of a potentially highly effective vaccine against Covid-19 has raised hopes that there is an end in sight to what has been an extremely challenging time for countries around the world. The virus has claimed the lives of 1.25 million people and paralysed the world economy. The Pfizer and BioNTech finding was the result of the first independent analysis of any Covid-19 vaccine in phase 3 trials – the final stage before commercial licensing – and it was found to be 90% effective, a level well above expectations. To put this into context, the widely-used measles vaccine is 97% effective and the season flu vaccination is between 40% and 60% effective. This is an important milestone on our path towards potentially ending this pandemic and the developers of the vaccine described it is a “great day for science and humanity”.


Market Snapshot

  • Global equities rose 2.4% last week on the back of positive vaccine news, which sparked a rotation from ‘stay at home’ tech stocks to cyclicals
  • The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine has shown to be over 90% effective in preventing infections of Covid-19 from its efficacy data release
  • Brent crude rose 8.4% ending the week at $42.8 a barrel
  • Gold fell -3.2% to end the week at $1889.2 an ounce

Global Matters Weekly – 9 November 2020

Cheque List

by Michael Clough
Over the weekend we had confirmation that Joe Biden has won the race to become the next President of the United States of America. Despite Trump claiming election fraud, vowing legal action and thus refusing to concede, Biden is set to take up residence in the White House. One of the main talking points in the run up to this election was around a second stimulus package to help sustain the US economic recovery after a record 31% (annualised) collapse in GDP in Q2. Prior to the election discussions had reached an impasse, putting even greater importance on the composition of US Congress – including the House of Representatives and the Senate – which, at least for this issue, is arguably more important than who actually sits in the White House.


Market Snapshot

  • The major global equity index returned +7.7% last week as all regions rallied.
  • Joe Biden is on-track to become the 46th president of the US despite expected legal contestation from the Trump administration.
  • Brent crude rose 5.3% to $39.5 a barrel.
  • Gold rose 3.9% to $1951.4 per ounce