History is littered with episodes where the rules of economics were declared dead, only for these rules to return with a vengeance. You remember the ‘end of the business cycle’ debate in the late 90s or the ‘great moderation’ paradigm of the early 00s? Despite these precedents and despite overwhelming evidence that large debt build-ups can end in tears, we believe a Chinese financial crisis is not that likely over the next 2-3 years.
A great advantage in managing money is having the ability to wait: avoiding a situation where you have to invest. This means you can pass on an investment idea simply because it doesn’t look interesting enough and wait for truly great opportunities. American baseball fans call this “waiting for the fat pitch”.
In my recent post The future ain’t what it used to be, I talked about the importance of looking ahead for scenarios that could affect our portfolios, and assessing what impact they might have. 2017 is littered with potential event risks; here we look at the 'unlucky 13', with European politics taking centre stage.
The French people go to the polls for two rounds of voting in the spring. Markets have belatedly noticed that there is a significant risk associated with this event. In particular, they fear the French people being caught "entre le marteau et l'enclume" (between the hammer and anvil) in the second round of voting in early May.
“The future ain’t what it used to be” is a quote often attributed to New York Met’s coach Yogi Berra, and is also one of Meat Loaf’s songs. The same applies to financial markets and investments. We can’t just rely on the past behaviour of markets to understand the risk we face in the future; that would be like driving a car using a rear view mirror. So what should we do instead?
Our incoming CIO, Anton Eser, talked on Bloomberg about the structural imbalances in the world. In my view, this is a ‘must see' clip for every investor. While we agree that these imbalances exist, here are some additional factors to keep in mind.