Asset Allocation

Current views - January 2019

Our investment team assesses the prospects for a range of asset classes and currencies

09.01.2019

Key

Asset classes

 
 
 

Equities

Improved valuations and solid fundamentals, but peak earnings growth led us to be neutral on equities.

 
 

Bonds

We prefer USD bonds versus EUR and GBP bonds. More attractive valuations in inflation-linked and high yield bonds.

 
 

Alternatives

Attractive diversification characteristics compared to equities and bonds.

 
 

Cash

Cash has defensive and opportunistic qualities in uncertain and volatile markets.

 

Equities

 
 
 

UK

Brexit uncertainty continues to weigh on sentiment, especially on domestically-oriented small and mid-cap companies.

 
 

European

Slowdown in domestic economic growth and increased trade tensions could hamper earnings.

 
 

North American

Economic fundamentals are solid with relatively attractive earnings growth versus rest of world.

 
 

Japanese

Progress on corporate governance offsets some concern about the upcoming consumption tax hike.

 
 

Asia Pacific

Trade war remains a headwind but a weaker dollar should be supportive.

 
 

Emerging markets

Valuations and fundamentals look attractive relative to developed markets, and a weaker dollar should be supportive.

 

Bonds

 
 
 

Government bonds

US Treasuries are relatively more attractive given the normalisation of yields that is taking place.

 
 

Investment grade

Returns are likely to be driven largely by government bond markets. Relative value is returning as corporate spreads have widened to post 2009 averages. UK spreads have been particularly affected by Brexit concerns.

 
 

High-yield

Significant spread widening, particularly in Europe, has improved the risk/reward outlook.

 
 

Inflation-linked

US inflation-linked government bonds are particularly attractive compared to conventional ones and will outperform if inflation expectations rise again. Elsewhere they are fairly valued.

 
 

Emerging markets

Emerging market bonds offer good value, selectively, and would benefit from a weaker US dollar.

 

Alternatives

 
 
 

Absolute Return

Increased volatility and dispersion should provide opportunities. We favour trend followers and long/short strategies.

 
 

Commercial property (UK)

Post-Brexit concerns have resulted in the marking down of property valuations, but income characteristics remain attractive.

 
 

Commodities

Gold is attractive as a diversifier, portfolio insurance and an inflation hedge.

 

Author

 

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Alexander Prinz von Hessen

Alexander Prinz von Hessen

Geschäftsführender Direktor alexander.hessen@schroders.com