2019 – a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook

2019 – a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook Key points Despite continued volatility, 2019 is likely to be better for diversified investors than 2018 was.   Recession is unlikely and so too is a long and deep bear market in shares.   Watch the US trade war, the Fed, global business conditions indicators, Chinese growth, politics and the Sydney and Melbourne property markets. Introduction 2017 was a great year for well diversified …

Market correction or market downturn?

Market correction or market downturn? It’s understandable that the recent sharp sell-off on financial markets has left investors feeling particularly nervous. The main concern has been the US Federal Reserve’s shift in monetary policy from low rates and printing money to rising rates and the withdrawal of that printing policy. But there’s also a lengthy worry list of issues that we hear continuously: the US trade conflict with China, issues around the leadership of President …

The US economy – does the flattening yield curve indicate recession is imminent?

The US economy – does the flattening yield curve indicate recession is imminent? Key points If you are worried about a major bear market, the US economy is the key to watch. While traditional measures of the US yield curve have flattened sending warning signs about future growth, it has given false signals in the past, is still positive and other versions of the yield curve point to rising growth. Moreover, apart from very low …

Share market volatility – Trump and trade war risks

Share market volatility – Trump and trade war risks Key points Worries about the Fed, trade wars (the risk of which has been significantly exaggerated) and President Trump generally have increased the risk around the global outlook but are unlikely to drive a major bear market. The key issue is whether the US is about to enter a recession and our assessment remains that a US recession is not imminent. The key for investors is …

Where are we in the unlisted commercial property cycle?

Where are we in the unlisted commercial property cycle? Key points Australian unlisted commercial property returns have been very strong this decade thanks largely to the “search for attractive yield” by investors. This return driver is expected to start to fade but rising rents, particularly in the south-east office markets, will provide an offset keeping returns solid for now. Commercial property yields still offer a strong premium relative to bonds suggesting we are a long …

The “gradually” maturing investment cycle – what is the risk of a US recession?

The “gradually” maturing investment cycle – what is the risk of a US recession? Key points With inflationary pressures starting to rise in the US the global investment cycle is starting to get more mature. This is likely to mean a further rise in bond yields and more share market volatility. However, there is still little sign of the sort of excesses that precede economic downturns, profit slumps and major bear markets suggesting that we …

Australian’s love affair with debt – how big is the risk?

Australian’s love affair with debt – how big is the risk? Key points Household debt levels in Australia are high compared to other countries and still rising. The rise is not as bad as it looks because its been matched by rising wealth and debt servicing problems are low. However, this could change as interest rates rise and if home prices fall sharply. The trigger for major problems remains hard to see but its worth …

Equities riding on fear not fundamentals

Equities riding on fear not fundamentals “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” said Franklin D Roosevelt at his inauguration as US President in 1933. I think “the only thing we have to fear is the fear index itself” is a better description of where investors are at right now. It’s been a wild ride on Wall Street and beyond of the past week – the worst in two years for the …

The pullback in shares – seven reasons not to be too concerned

09 February 2018 The pullback in shares – seven reasons not to be too concerned Key points The current pullback in shares has been triggered by worries around US inflation, the Fed and rising bond yields but made worse by an unwinding of bets that volatility would continue to fall. We may have seen the worst, but it’s too early to say for sure. However, our view remains that it’s just another correction. Key things …

Correction time for shares?

Correction time for shares? Key points The US share market is long overdue a decent correction. This now appears to be unfolding and may have further to go as higher inflation, a slightly more aggressive Fed and higher bond yields are factored in. This will impact most share markets including Australian shares. However, in the absence of an aggressive 1994 style back-up in bond yields or a US recession – neither of which we expect …