Seeking to generate value in a challenging market

2018 was an exceptionally challenging year for international investors. In some respects it has proven even more challenging than the big financial crisis of 2008. During the financial crisis some asset classes still managed to generate appreciable returns, particularly US Treasuries which benefitted from the “flight to safety”. In 2018 the prices of both equities […]

Between fortune-telling and careful strategic planning

One of the most striking aspects of the global economy is how complex it is and how it is influenced by an immense numbers of parameters which are often not well understood and hardly predictable. Although it incorporates mathematical tools and concepts from the sciences, the field of economics remains very much a social “science”. […]

Market Review, first-half of 2018

The first half of 2018 has been weak for virtually all asset classes except the particularly volatile commodity sector. In equities the S&P 500 was almost flat (+1.7%) and most other equity markets were flattish or down -3% to -5%. In fixed income the iBoxx Corporate Investment Grade index was down 4.3%. We view this […]

Staying awake at the helm

2017 ended up as another strong year in the decade long bull market. Almost all major asset classes produced excellent returns particularly the equity markets with the S&P 500 reaching a new all-time high. After so many years of strong performance and low volatility the challenge for many investors might be to stay awake at […]

Getting paid for illiquidity

If you follow financial matters and sometimes talk about this subject with others, one sentence you might have heard in the last 5-10 years was: “How can you make money when the interest in the bank is zero?” This resigned, cynical statement has surprisingly been quite widespread both among financial laymen and investment professionals. The […]

Entering the roller-coaster

The period following the big financial crisis of 2008, has been characterized by an extreme, almost abnormal level of stability for a long period of eight years. Markets have risen steadily and most of the major global economies were able to avoid significant downturns. Central banks made this possible through their determination to support markets […]

Brexit time

To the surprise of most observers the Brexit happened. The most immediate impact has been a sharp drop of the British pound which lost 11%, an exceptionally brutal move. The impact on the stock markets has been very limited. European markets initially lost 6% and have recovered half of the loss while the S&P 500 […]

Year in review

2015 proved a tough year for investors worldwide. All asset classes suffered declines with almost no place to hide. Bonds were affected by the expectation for the hike in US interest rates which the Fed finally announced on December 16. Equity in most developed markets were weak on the backdrop of both demanding valuations and […]

Living in a world of uncertainties

The November surprise happened! While the world has gotten used to it in the meantime, less than two months ago the prospect of a Trump presidency looked remote. This development was unexpected to most, both to political experts and to simple citizens, in America and abroad. The measure of the surprise is even clearer considering […]