Volatility: Deep Calm in the Markets

“Not since Watergate have our legal systems been so threatened, and our faith in the independence and integrity of those systems so shaken,” These were the words of Senator Richard Blumenthal of the US Judiciary on the incendiary news that President Trump has fired the Director of the FBI, James Comey. The timing of the termination, occurring whilst the presidential campaign is under investigation for possible ties to Russian collusion has raised eyebrows…

Yet those searching for some immediate negative market reaction to events reminiscent of the Nixon debacle would be hard pushed to find much of any real significance: A small slide on equity futures and a brief flight to currency safe havens (a fleeting rally on USD/JPY to a 114.32 high which swiftly retraced to a 113.63 low) were about all- Indeed the S&P500 index even ticked upwards, closing at a record high of 2399.63 on the day. What is more, the US equity markets have remained largely flat since February, whilst volatility on treasuries also remains low. What effect this latest twist will have on Trump’s longer term economic plan of tax reforms, protectionism, healthcare and infrastructure investment remains to be seen. Some indicators that it is stalling were already in place after a tumultuous first one hundred days, and it is hard to see these latest developments helping matters.

James Jones (CFA) of Momentum Global Investment Management, one of our UK regulated, discretionary fund managers, shares his view. Click here to view.

PortfolioMetrix Market Update and Portfolio Performance Review April 2017

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Politics again dominated in April with the big news for European investors being the relief that centralist Emmanuel Macron progressed to the second round of the French presidential election and has then went on to secure election ahead of Le Pen. Elsewhere, there was an announcement of a snap election in the UK and investors mulled over Trump’s first 100 days in office against the backdrop of weaker than expected US growth. Learn more

Global Market Viewpoint Q1 2017

As UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls for an early general election to expedite the Brexit process, Glyn Owen, Investment Director of Momentum Global Investment Management, one of our UK regulated, discretionary investment managers shares his view of the markets and reviews first quarter of 2017.

PortfolioMetrix Market Update: Asset Allocation – Eyes Forward

News-wise it was an eventful month with the UK formally triggering Article 50 to begin the process of leaving the EU, the withdrawal of Trump’s healthcare bill, the US Fed raising rates by 0.25% and the Netherland’s avoiding the election of far-right candidate Geert Wilders.

PortfolioMetrix have just completed a formal asset allocation review for all portfolios, the results of which have just been implemented in their latest rebalance. How they decide on this asset allocation is reasonably technical, which they have already covered (the perhaps infamous ‘Black Litterman’ discussion), but they did want to highlight one key element of the process: PortfolioMetrix asset allocations are forward-looking, not backward-looking. Learn more

Expectation Not Hope – Investing Shouldn’t Be a Gamble

diInvestment and gambling are often conflated but the reality is that investment and the mindset required to undertake investment is wholly different from that of a gambler.

While investing may be risky in a manner akin to gambling, the major difference is the motive behind the behaviour.

James Klempster (CFA) of Momentum Global Investment Management, one of our UK regulated, discretionary fund managers, shares his view. Click here to view.

Bestinvest’s Spot the Dog

Dog FundsAt Intelligent Investments, our discretionary investment managers don’t rely on external fund research as rolling up our sleeves and performing their own due diligence is fundamental to their investment process and being selected by Intelligent Investments. Not only is it important from a fund selection point of view, it is crucial from a portfolio construction point of view as it’s not really possible to combine funds together effectively into a portfolio unless one is intimately aware of their individual characteristics.

That said, not relying on third party research isn’t the same as being oblivious to what others are thinking. We’re a curious bunch, so when we come across analysis from others we quite enjoy pulling it to pieces to see what ideas are worth internalising, which methods we can learn from and what is, at best, just noise. Learn more

PortfolioMetrix Market Review and 2017 Outlook

A large computerised display of the Brit2016 was a year dominated by political upsets and upheavals but, despite the shocks experienced – fears of Chinese debt implosion, Brexit, Trump, various terrorist attacks, Leicester City winning the Premier League – it was an extremely strong year for markets overall. In fact, one of those years that beautifully illustrates the value of ‘time in the markets’, as opposed to ‘timing the markets’.
Learn more