Posted inAbsolute ReturnMulti Asset

The winners and losers in the multi-asset revolution

Speaking at this week’s Lipper Alpha Expert Forum, the firm’s EMEA research head Detlef Glow emphasised the abundance of innovation among the likes of ‘all weather’ bond funds, UCITS income strategies, absolute return and smart beta.

That’s a fair point, with many variations of these strategies having made their bow in the retail space within the past year or so.

Certainly, there is more depth in that universe compared to 10, or even five, years ago.

But, what does it really tell us when the best-selling ‘asset class’ of this year is predicted to be, well, mixed asset?

Lipper’s fund flows data for 2015 has multi-asset at 31% of total sales across Europe, followed by alternatives at 25%.

Multi-asset and absolute return funds it seems will dominate for some time yet. Why? The potential for capital protection, not growth, must have a lot to do with it. Are investors really pushing to make money, or just scared about losing what they already have?

Perhaps that’s oversimplifying things, though the message coming from fund groups over the past five years has certainly been of a different tone from bull markets of old.

Part of the Bonhill Group.