Macro Matters is a global investment blog brought to you by LGIM’s Asset Allocation team. We’re focused on sharing our most compelling thinking to help you become more informed investors.
2017 looks set to mark the first year of an emerging market (EM) growth pick-up after six years of successive slowdowns. The growth acceleration is not only driven by the high-profile recoveries of Russia and Brazil, but comprises about 70% of the EM universe. So what could lie in store for EM in both the short and medium term?
Developing countries face more favourable demographic prospects than the ageing developed markets. But it takes more than favourable age structure to boost growth. To reap the demographic dividend, many developing countries need much better conditions for employment and investment.
‘Less is more!’ That is what correlation wants to brag about to enhance diversification. However, following the financial crisis, many believe that correlations are at an all-time high – is this the end of low correlations? We think not.
All seems well with markets, but there are always clouds on the horizon. With price inflation remaining contained, one risk we think deserves more airtime is how a corporate margin squeeze could cause the next downturn. The next US Federal Reserve chair is also a mystery that could rock markets and President Trump’s objectives will be central to what candidates have to promise if they’re to get the big job.
There doesn’t seem to be much interest in Japanese investment ideas by foreigners, which makes me wonder whether we are collectively missing a trick. Whether you consider culture, technology, economics or social developments, Japan remains quite different from the western perception of what is mainstream. This makes it an interesting part of the investment universe as it could provide idiosyncratic, diversifying investment opportunities.
2017 marks a number of financial anniversaries; the 1987 stockmarket crash, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the beginning of the global financial crisis. As we haven’t really experienced an extreme boom or crisis recently, looking back will be a refresher as to what could occur, but also provide a wider perspective on investment returns. Nothing is as evocative of the past as its music, so we accompany our look back with a soundtrack of those hits we think have withstood the test of time, and those hits that we would rather forget.
Last week, in one of our daily morning team meetings (when all the economists, strategists and fund managers gather round to exchange market-relevant news and views), each and every one of the contributions was about politics; including Brexit, Germany, Italy, Catalonia, the Netherlands, the US and Japan.