Fund managers and fund selectors alike are haunted by the prospect of Trumpian rule, but still deem a Clinton victory more likely. However, it’s paramount investors don’t leave themselves too exposed to the consequences of a Trump triumph.
Financial markets have lacked direction in recent months, with the main equity indices all very close to where they were at the start of the year. Macroeconomic data are not strong enough to reinvigorate the bull market, yet not sufficiently weak to stoke fears of recession.
The decision by the ECB to include investment-grade corporate bonds in its asset purchasing programme has led to a spike in issuance and to yields edging even lower. While this market response was anticipated by the central bank, its stimulus efforts threaten the viability of the asset class in the longer term .
Fearing that the current preoccupation with long/short equities will lead to short trades becoming too crowded, José Luís Borges insists on his long/short funds being market-neutral. However, the Lisbon-based head of institutional portfolios at BPI Gestão de Activos is otherwise happy to be overweight equities.
José Luís Borges is head of institutional portfolios at BPI Gestão de Activos in Lisbon. His favourite fund, in which he has been investing on behalf of his mainly pension fund clients for seven years now, is the Jupiter European Growth Fund.
Fund selectors in Portugal are far from concerned by the world’s equity markets’ rough start to the year. To the contrary, they see the current weakness as an opportunity to further increase their still relatively low exposure to equities.
Investors are in disagreement about whether high yield bonds are a good buy now. A quarter of European fund buyers plan to increase their allocation in the next 12 months, but an almost equally big share of them intend to decrease exposure. Fund flows have also been capricious of late.
With volatile market
conditions prevailing, many
investors are turning to cash
as a risk-reducing measure.
But are they really doing
themselves a favour?
As Greece is heading for a default, which would significantly increase the possibility for the country to be forced out of the eurozone, markets have plummeted. This is not at all surprising, considering Europe’s fund buyers have consistently been telling us they will decrease their allocations to both bonds and equities if a Grexit appears likely.
José Luis Borges, head of institutional portfolios at BPI Gestao de Activos, is now underweight government bonds, and tells EIE’s Tjibbe Hoekstra why he has been investing in equity long/short strategies as an alternative.