Loading...
Loading...
Menu

Rational Exuberance - The Equitile Blog

4th February 2022

Posted by: Andrew McNally

When real rates turn

 

The spectre of inflation has spooked stock markets since the end of last year with headline rates in the US for example above 7% – the highest since 1982. The Bank of England this week suggested that the UK will see a similar rate by April.

There are clear reasons why this inflationary impulse has occurred. Central banks around the world have supported a significant increase in deficit spending through the purchase of government debt and so we have witnessed the biggest Keynesian stimulus since World War Two. The Federal Reserve has more than doubled the size of its balance sheet since the outbreak of COVID-19. Moreover, this massive monetary expansion has been accompanied, for the first time in history, by government policies to shut down large sectors of the economy and impose working practices that have made it impossible for businesses to function as normal.

The outcome has been supply-chain disruption such as we have never seen which, as economies have opened, has led to both price and wage pressure throughout the system. Commodity and basic materials have seen prices up 20-80% from their lows and wages in some sectors, especially hospitality, have been rising at more than 10% p.a.

There are signs that some of this pressure may be about to ease. Industrial production is stabilizing back to pre-pandemic levels, shipping rates are now collapsing, and basic material prices are rolling over (except oil and gas). There are also signs that wage pressure isn’t compounding quite as much as feared as labour participation rates pick up.

We wouldn’t want to get too confident on the inflation front but if it is close to a peak, what would this mean for investors?

Although several interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve are now priced in and bond yields have moved up this year, we still face the most negative real (inflation adjusted) yields since the 1970s.

Looking through a long lens in this chart going back to 1928, when negative yields have reversed it’s been because inflation has fallen sharply, not because bond yields have risen.

Once that reversal happens and real negative yields bottom out, it’s generally been a good time to buy the stock market with a long-term view. The grey bars on the chart show the ensuing 3 years market performance from the month that real rates turn.

Read more

29th June 2021

Posted by: Andrew McNally

Well off and well advised

 

We have written a great deal over the last few years on the wealth polarising effect of monetisation. Given the significant increase in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet through the COVID19 lockdowns, therefore, it should come as no surprise that the portion of net worth owned by America’s wealthy has increased again – nearly a third of all net worth in the US is in the hands of the Top 1% (see figure 1).

 

 

The most often cited cause of this is the Fed’s impact (although they largely deny this) on the price of assets held mainly by the well-off. There are, however, more subtle drivers too. The swings seen in asset markets, due to both COVID in 2020, and the longer-term effect rising leverage has on market volatility, has made it more difficult for the less-well off to hold on. In a bear market, as John Pierpont Morgan somewhat cynically pointed out, “stocks return to their rightful owners” and so if bear markets come more often and more sharply, then the rate of repatriation will only accelerate.

This might explain why, as shown in figure 2, the ownership of corporate equities and mutual funds in the US has become even more concentrated than for other forms of wealth. More than a half of all business equity, held either directly or indirectly, is held by the top one per cent of all owners. A trend that looks set to accelerate.

 

It may not only come down to the capacity to sustain losses, however. As in all western countries, good advice comes at a price. At Equitile we are not financial advisers but we talk to many advisers through the course of our business. As we see it, the crucial value of a good adviser is support and encouragement when the market has a set-back. A good adviser is in the best position to help investors overcome their natural behavioural aversion to loss, and to help plan their broader finances to make this easier. With good personal advice now scarce and expensive for those of lesser means, the ability to sustain losses floats ever upwards.

One intriguing move by the top 1% is their move away from bonds. Their holdings of debt assets (figure 3) has fallen from more than 60% to 40% of all debt assets in the last two decade - they sold aggressively throughout the COVID crisis.

With real interest rates in the US the most negative since the 1970’s, the potential for capital destruction through financial repression, for bond holders at least, is rising sharply. Perhaps the top 1% know this instinctively, or perhaps they are just better advised.

Read more
Categories
Twitter Feed
 
  • RT @MoneyWeek: Why we need to get a grip on our government https://t.co/L7SV8jJA3n https://t.co/2hE4qsPviB

    10 days ago

  • RT @reactionlife: In his historic 1974 speech, Tory intellectual Keith Joseph made this simple insight. In doing so, he fired the starting…

    10 days ago

  • RT @Citywire: In his latest column, @simonevancook explains why economies are like nature and how behavioural science has evolved into a mo…

    205 days ago

  • RT @cfauk: CFA UK welcomes Sylvia Solomon, ASIP as a new member of the CFA UK Board. Sylvia is Director of ESG & Business Development at Eq…

    219 days ago

  • Is inflation back? Twenty charts surveying the evidence on the most crucial investment question of 2021. #investing #inflation #economy

    over a year ago

  • Some thoughts on yesterday's FOMC statement from Equitile's CIO, George Cooper.

    over a year ago

Risk Warning

The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested and may lose all of their investment. The value of investments in the investment funds contained on this website may be affected by the price of underlying investments. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.

Nothing contained on this website constitutes, and nothing on this website should be construed as, investment advice or a recommendation to buy, sell, hold or otherwise transact in any investment. It is strongly recommended that you seek professional investment advice before making any investment decision.

You should consider whether an investment fits your investment objectives, particular needs and financial situation before making any investment decision. You should also inform yourself and seek advice as to (a) the possible tax consequences, (b) the legal requirements and (c) any foreign exchange restrictions or exchange control requirements which you might encounter under the laws of the countries of your citizenship, residence or domicile and which might be relevant to the subscription, holding, transfer or disposal of interests in any investment fund.

To the extent that this website contains any information regarding the past performance and/or forecast of investment funds, such information is not a reliable indicator of future performance of these investment funds and should not be relied upon as a basis for an investment decision

Equitile Investments Ltd (“Equitile”) offers no guarantee against loss or that investment objectives will be achieved. Please read the Key Investor Information Document, Prospectus and any other offer documents carefully and consult with your own legal, accounting, tax and other advisors in order to independently assess the merits of an investment.

Equitile Investments Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom and is a company registered in England, number: 09459099. Registered Office: 2nd Floor, Regis House, 45 King William Street, London EC4R 9AN.

By clicking “Accept” you confirm that you have read and understood the above information.

Accept

Register

Here at Equitile we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to send you monthly fund reports, news and marketing updates regarding Equitile and its funds. If you would like to receive monthly fund reports, news and marketing updates by email please fill out the form below:

Should you no longer wish to hear from us you can let us know at any time and asked to be removed from our database. You can find the details of how we process, store and protect your personal data at http://equitile.com/uploads/equitile-privacy-policy-may-2018.pdf

Register

Thank you for subscribing.