Emerging market assets have long been a source of both potential profit and peril for investors. 2017 saw an incredible streak of capital inflows into emerging market equities, bonds and currencies. Whilst returns are still characteristically volatile, this historically maverick asset class has become more mature and resilient than ever before, as was highlighted during February's market sell-off.
The UK inflation-linked government bond ('linker') market is dominated by vast UK defined benefit pension schemes. Derisking by schemes tends to increase demand for linkers as equity prices rise, pushing up their prices. For multi-asset investors seeking diversification, that could make them less attractive to buy.
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?
Market volatility has picked up, but as multi-asset investors we must be careful about derisking too much or too often. Otherwise we risk missing out on upside for our portfolios. Given cyclical inflation pressures and quantitative tightening, the risks are higher in 2018, but as long as we remain confident in the fundamentals we'll remain invested and try to dance to this different tune.
On some indicators equities look expensive – the CAPE ratio is the highest since the dot.com boom. But with interest rates at multi-decade lows, shouldn't equity earnings yields be low too? Rising interest rates pose a threat to valuations, but models suggest this could be offset as long as recession fears remain low.
How could investors not like technology stocks? They’re cool companies, led by charismatic CEOs making irresistible products. And what's more, they're posting amazing growth rates with stocks that just keep going up. I’m sure the bottom-up investment case is much more sophisticated than that, but today I want to lay out the strong macro case for tech stocks.