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: 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

PortfolioMetrix Market Update

pmxFebruary went by in a blur, but what a month it was. PortfolioMetrix had their best month ever in terms of new money flows as well as, when combined with market performance, their best ever month over month AUM increase. And to cap it off, just after month-end, PortfolioMetrix picked up the Citywire Wealth Manager Regional Star Award. Learn more

Investor Confidence Is High – Why Are We Surprised?

ftse100-14-feb-2017Survey data out of both the US and UK in recent months has confounded perceived wisdom
because despite significant political upheaval in these countries last year, confidence has improved.

This is something of a surprise because such substantial changes may be considered a destabilisation risk given the relative fragility of confidence following the global financial crisis.  Indeed, only twelve months ago the market would seemingly fall regardless of news flow as a combination of weak resource prices, concerns over China and now long forgotten whispers about the end of the credit cycle provided a negative background that was difficult to overlook.

To paraphrase Charles Mackay, author of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (first published in 1841) market participants were gripped by fear and in that condition investors saw risk even in enticing opportunities.

James Klempster (CFA), Head of Portfolio Management for Momentum Global Investment Management shares his view. Click here to view.

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

2016 Market Review – Inflection Point in the Global Cycle

It might be an exaggeration to say that we are on the cusp of a new world order – but equally it just might not, we cannot be sure. What seems more certain is that we are at a great inflection point in the global economic and market cycle… It has very important implications for investors.

Click here for the 2016 Market Review and what markets may hold for investors in the New Year by Glyn Owen, Investment Director at one of our UK regulated discretionary fund managers, Momentum Global Investment Management.

May we also take this opportunity to wish you Seasons Greetings, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year from the team at Intelligent Investments.

 

PortfolioMetrix November Market Update

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The big news of the month was the election of Donald Trump as 45th president of the United States of America which world equity markets ultimately responded well to when viewed in local currencies. Bonds, however, generally fell in price as whilst Trump’s spending plans are likely to spur short to medium term growth they look likely to radically increase the fiscal deficit and push up inflation. For UK investors, after a tough post EU referendum period, the pound strengthened strongly in November which put pressure on the returns of overseas assets when converted back to sterling. Learn more