Bear market

Portfolio Thinking

Do you have a Scooby Doo about the active / passive debate?

The active versus passive debate consistently generates conflicting advice. The potential for active managers to side-step a falling market is one frequently cited factor. But have regional equity funds actually outperformed their respective indices during market corrections?

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Macrobites

Three charts on ebbing misery

Three charts, one theme. Fear has been ebbing away in markets...it's almost gone.

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Macrobites

Are we approaching a market peak?

With the equity rally looking set to complete a ninth year – the investment question on everyone’s mind is simple: can it continue?

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Strategy

Quantitative easing – no big deal for equities?

How much of where equities are today has come from quantitative easing (QE)? For a long time the answer to this question has not really been that important to equity investors. But now, with central banks moving towards shrinking their balance sheets, it’s a question equity investors can no longer ignore. My view is that QE may not have contributed much to the equity rally and therefore its unwinding may not be a major concern either.

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Strategy

Are equities too expensive?

After eight bull market years and with strong macro data all round, recession and bear market memories must surely be fading. Still, signs of exuberance or great bullishness are difficult to find; at most there is cautious optimism. Why? One of the most common push-backs against an equity bull case is that equities are too expensive. I can see where this concern comes from, but believe it’s something to push back against. Here are my top 10 points on equity valuations.

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Strategy

I need a dollar

Going into 2017, the market consensus was one of a strong US dollar environment, with the expectation of the US engine firing on all cylinders, with support from fiscal policy, monetary policy and de-regulation. The engine has stuttered, the US dollar has been declining all year and not many US dollar bulls are left. We are taking stock.   

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Strategy

Grey is the new black (or white, or beige)

As our attentions turn to outlooks for the year ahead, it's best to avoid messages from perma-bears, perma-bulls and the hopelessly vague. However, clairvoyance is not a strategy. Instead we should try to favour sound analysis and be more willing to think (and talk) in probabilistic terms, or as I like to call it, shades of grey.

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