One of the big discussions from the panellists was about the impact of inflation. While most of them talked about the possible long-term dangers of creeping inflation, the delegates made it very clear that their core worry was deflation – 73% of them cited that as a greater worry than inflation. The typical split in other European cities on the inflation question is closer to 50-50.
The conversation then moved onto the eurozone. Whereas the panellists were in general agreement that for a country to leave the euro now would be the worst outcome, that was not the opinion of a significant minority of the delegates, 23% of whom thought there should be a ‘strong euro’ comprising just the most solvent of the European nations; and 16% who preferred going back to one-country, one-currency.
Again, this was an unusually strong and non-consensual response to the question, in comparison with most other cities in Europe.
Commodities and the gold price also formed part of the discussion, with many of the panellists expressing doubt about how to value or invest in the asset; what surprised many – especially Martin Currie’s director of resources – was the idea that the gold price was going to continue to go down.
But that was exactly the view of 60% of the delegates.
Another interesting point was brought up by a speaker from M&G on behavioural finance. First, it turns out that 75% of the room took behavioural finance issues so seriously that it forms part of their investment process – much higher than was expected.
But despite that awareness, the delegates were still subject to behavioural biases. The question was asked – in how many of the past ten calendar years did equities outperform bonds? Because of the tumultuous nature of the past decade, many assume that equities had done poorly – and most of the delegates thought that equities had outperformed in four out of ten years.
But the actual answer is that equities outperformed in eight out of ten years. It just feels like fewer, which, of course, is the whole point of behavioural finance…
Click here to see a slideshow of photos taken at Expert Investor Deutschland.
Platinum members can additionally view a full breakdown of the event voting data here, as well as long-term comparison graphs on the main asset classes here.