Finding your anchor
by Stephen Nguyen, CFA
— Debt is a great way to ruin a good investment.
What a difference a few months make. After a relatively calm year in 2021, we have witnessed several asset classes posting significant losses in the first half of 2022, including equities, credit, and sovereign bonds. We have seen an increase in volatility, and traditional diversifiers like government bonds have failed to provide protection as their correlation with risky assets has risen. The increase in correlation between bonds and equities has caused major headaches for the traditional multi-asset investors.
- Global equities rose 3.6% last week
- The Federal Reserve Systems’ fourth rate hike this year raised interest rates by 75bps to 2.5%, as forecast
- Brent crude rose 6.6% over the week to $110.01 a barrel
- Gold rose 2.2% to $1765.94 per ounce
The sharp downturn in financial markets this year broadened and deepened in the second quarter, resulting in an exceptionally difficult six months for investors. While in Q1 there were some pockets of strength – commodities, gold, UK large-cap equities, and a small number of emerging equity markets and currencies, in the second quarter the only positive returns of note came from oil and Chinese equities. With the dollar surging throughout the period, the only safe haven to preserve capital in dollar terms was US dollar cash. Developed equities returned -16% in Q2, led by the US, and are now down by over 20% YTD.
Outrunning dinosaurs with artificial intelligence
by Lorenzo La Posta, CFA
— We need to operate closer to the frontiers of where technology is going.
I am a Millennial, born in the early 90s, which makes me probably one of the last generations to have experienced life before digitalisation took over. Maybe I was too young to be afraid of the millennium bug, but as a kid, using the internet meant monopolising my home’s landline.
Digital technologies, once a premium item for few, are today embedded in all aspects of our lives and have brought significant changes and improvements to the way we live and operate.
- Global equities fell 1.3% last week
- Following his visit to Saudi Arabia, US President Joe Biden announced Saudi Arabia was ‘committed to support global oil market balancing’
- Brent crude fell 5.5% over the week to $101.16 a barrel
- Gold fell 2.0% to $1708.17 per ounce.
Inflation Licked Bonds
by Alex Harvey, CFA
— When it comes to inflation though, postage costs are probably not front and centre of people’s minds.
Before the 4th of April this year, it cost 85 pence to send a letter first class in the UK. After that date you have needed to stick another 10 pence stamp onto your letter to maintain its first-class status. But if you had a ‘1st’ class stamp knocking about in a drawer, it effectively increased in value by an inflation busting 11.7% this year (and 11.8% the year before that).
When it comes to inflation though, postage costs are probably not front and centre of people’s minds.
- Global equities returned 1.7% last week
- Slightly improving labour and production data saw most equity markets rise
- Brent crude fell by 6.3% to $104.7 a barrel
- Gold fell by 3.8% to $1742.7 per ounce.
Buy Now, Paid Lots
by Matt Connor
— High-yielding and undervalued companies may provide investors with attractive returns.
Over recent years, the acronym ‘BNPL’ has dominated headlines due to the stratospheric rise of companies such as Klarna and Clearpay offering consumers a modern spin on a type of credit that was made popular in the twentieth century, instalment plans. Headlines associated with Buy Now, Pay Later have overwhelmingly been negative as regulators look to crack down on loose lending amid the cost-of-living crisis.
In this week’s Global Matters Weekly we focus on ‘BNPL’ stocks; high dividend-yielding companies within our UK Equity portfolio that you can Buy Now, (and be) Paid Lots.
- Global equities fell 2.2% last week
- G7 ministers have reportedly agreed to explore imposing a cap on Russian gas and oil exports in the hope that it will help cushion the impact of higher energy prices on western economies
- Brent crude fell 1.3% over the week to $111.6 a barrel
- Gold fell 0.8% to $1811.4 per ounce.