Sell-off

Portfolio Thinking

Emerging by name, emerged by nature

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.

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Macrobites

Middle Eastern investors: still relatively cautious on markets

Middle Eastern investors have been cautious on risk for a while. I believe that if markets remain relatively calm, many will be tempted to deploy more cash.

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Strategy

It’s difficult at the top

Markets are grinding higher and many investors are looking to call the top of the market cycle. In this light we ask ourselves what causes bubbles and more importantly how do we spot them? Over time I have collected a range of indicators that seek to have some predictive value in spotting bubbles emerging. I modestly call this the Heiligenberg Index.

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Portfolio Thinking

Assuming the position

We worry about sharing popular investment ideas, since the view is probably in the price. But how do we know if a trade is crowded? Positioning information can give us a clue, although it requires careful interpretation.

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Economics

Yo-yo clubs

Leicester city’s rise and fall over the past year mirrors that of financial risk premiums. Fundamentals are probably average but performance can oscillate wildly. The Fed wants to see monetary conditions tighten: this can come through a stronger dollar, higher risk-free rates or increased risk premiums.

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Strategy

Inauguration crossroads

A new era has begun; what seemed inconceivable only a year ago has happened: Donald Trump has actually moved into the White House. His first week in office could be telling for the next four (or eight?) years. Disputes around the inauguration turnout aside, will we get a flurry of activity or will it be the start of Trumponomics getting bogged down in Washington bureaucracy? Alongside markets, we will be paying close attention.

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Strategy

Will Taylor rule?

Investors are constantly trying to judge the so-called “reaction function” of the Federal Reserve to understand the likely path for monetary policy. This understanding could get turned on its head in the next twelve months if Janet Yellen is replaced by Professor John B Taylor of Stanford University.

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