60 seconds with James Sym on the end of the current investment cycle

James Sym discusses the areas of the stockmarket which can prosper and those which may suffer at this stage of the cycle.


James Sym

James Sym

Fund Manager, European Equities, Schroders

I think it’s safe to say we’re near the end of this investment cycle. What do I mean by that? Well, this investment cycle has been all about risk free and the price of cheap debt. Now, we think that’s coming to an end, and I think the catalyst for that is inflation starting to come back from next year, part of which is based around the oil price but also general inflationary pressures in the economy.

That’s got huge implications for what sort of European equities we want to own. What we’ve been doing in our funds is to try to buy those assets that have been very out of favour. That would be things like financials, commodity stocks, telecommunications companies - companies that can really benefit from rising interest rates and the rising inflationary environment.

Now, I look at a lot of these stocks and I feel they’ve got 50 to 100% upside, so there’s potential to make some good money out of that. Whereas, there’s another part of the market that looks pretty expensive which is clearly the bond proxies1 which have benefited from falling inflation and falling bond yields.

So that’s my outlook. I think it is hard to call the market levels; I’m not particularly bullish on the market. But within the market, because of this change in leadership - this regime change into higher bond yields - I think there’s potential for a huge amount of rotation and some really good money to be made.

1. Bond proxies are securities offering income streams similar to that of bonds; however, the yields can often be higher.

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