ESG: Don’t be a spectator
by Jackson Franks
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing is at the forefront of most investors’ minds and the real estate sector is no exception. A survey published by Bentall Kennedy, Real Property Association of Canada (REALPAC) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), which included investment managers representing over $1 trillion in assets under management from North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region found that 93% of investors include ESG criteria in real estate investment decisions. At Momentum we are no different.
- Global equities returned -0.4% last week amidst a lack of direction on stimulus measures and rising Covid-19 cases
- Polling around the US presidential race still points to a victory for Joe Biden
- Brent crude fell -2.7% ending the week at $41.8 a barrel
- Gold rose +0.1% to end the week at $1902.1 an ounce
by Robert White, CFA
With the US election now just two weeks away, investors are busy forming expectations on the result and looking at the potential policy implications of either a Biden or Trump victory. While there is plenty of short term focus on the eventual shape of any additional stimulus package to emerge from Congress, perhaps the most important issue for long term investors will be how US-China relations develop from here. For those wanting a detailed outline of our thinking on this issue, we have recently published a thought piece in addition to this week’s blog which is available here.
- A relatively flat week for global equities which returned -0.3%
- The IMF upgraded their global growth projection to a -4.4% contraction this year, from a -4.9% contraction forecasted in June
- Brent crude rose +0.2% ending the week at $42.9 a barrel
- Gold fell -1.6% to end the week at $1899.3 an ounce
Ipse dixit? No, thanks
by Lorenzo La Posta, CFA
Pythagoras was a clever man: philosopher, cosmologist, musician and mathematician. His famous theorem within Euclidean geometry is one we all learn at school, despite the 2500 years that have now gone by since the man lived. His opinions were so well respected that his disciples across Magna Graecia would appeal to his assertions, rather than to evidence or reason, as a watertight argument. They would simply use the formula “ipse dixit”, literally meaning “he said so”. We, at Momentum, are no Pythagoreans and do not accept dogmatic assertions from anyone, nor do we blindly trust common knowledge. All we trust is evidence and when this is not given to us, the scavenger hunt begins.
- A strong week for global equity markets which returned 3.6%
- Optimism grows that a US stimulus deal will be reached
- Brent crude oil rose 9.1% to $42.8 a barrel
- Gold rose 1.6% to $1930.4 per ounce
The Perfect Storm
by Alex Harvey, CFA
If readers cast their minds back to February this year, they will remember the horror that unfolded on the high seas with dozens of cruise ships being forced to stay at sea as the first wave of Coronavirus took hold. The poster child for the industry was the ‘Diamond Princess’, a Gem-class cruise ship with a capacity of nearly 2700 passengers and 1100 crew, which eventually anchored at Yokohama port in Japan where passengers had to remain on board and self-isolate for several weeks. The world watched on thinking perhaps this would be contained to Asian shores but of course this was wrong as we now know. Global equities would continue to make gains for almost three weeks after the cruise liner had docked before freefalling, only to reach a bottom just over a month after that. Far from plain sailing.
- A relatively strong week for global markets which returned 1.6%
- President Trump and the First Lady test positive for coronavirus
- Brent crude fell -6.3% ending the week at $39.3 a barrel
- Gold rose 2.1% to end the week at $1899.8 an ounce