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Posted inFRENELUXAbsolute Return

expert investor belgium the tussles from brussels

A few fixed interest trends stood out: first, the sell-off in developed market government bonds has radically slowed down – presumably people have finally hit the bottom of their allowed allocations; second, appetite for high yield has overtaken appetite for both EM government and corporate debt; and last, almost as many people want multi-asset fixed income portfolios as want traditional long-only bond products.

Multi-asset trend

This move to multi-asset seems to be a trend across Europe, and is matched by the increase in absolute return-style portfolios, both in fixed income and equities: almost 60% of respondents said they were going to increase their absolute return weightings – twice as many as last year.

Normally a desire to move to absolute return would indicate defensiveness – but it seems not: the overall macro outlook was strong – around 70% of Belgian investors were optimistic about the future (almost twice as many as last year) and this was despite the fact that two-thirds of the room thought their government was not competent to manage the economy!alt=''

European stocks in demand

On the equity side, Europe stood out – to the surprise of many US-based investors and economists, there was a strong trend to increasing EU equity weightings – with value investing being the preferred route by some margin. The only other equity area where buyers outweighed sellers was Asian equities – but not general global EM.

Looking at US equity markets themselves, the main distinction was between the point of view of the US equity fund managers present – which was that the US was in a state of sustainable recovery, both in terms of corporate health and national fiscal management – and that of the investors in the room, who remained mostly suspicious and unwilling to commit more to this asset class.

Click here to see a slideshow of photos taken at Expert Investor Belgium.

Platinum members can additionally view a full breakdown of the event voting data here.

Dylan Emery

Dylan Emery is the group editorial director of Last Word. He is one of the founders of the company and he created International Adviser, Portfolio Adviser and Expert Investor. His primary responsibilities...

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