Market Commentary

Brexit: A Case Study in Diversification and Downside Protection

The ‘Leave’ outcome was mostly unexpected, as polls run earlier in the week had shown the ‘Remain’ camp to be confidently in control. As a result, stock markets around the world reacted predictably to heightened uncertainty and potential hidden risks on bank balance sheets …

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One Factor to Rule Them All

Over the past few years there has been a loud and persistent chorus of complaints from market participants about the fact that markets are behaving like simple ‘risk on, risk off’ discounting mechanisms, where almost all of the risk seems to be emanating from a very small number of sources.

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BOE Paper Signals Worrisome Outlook for Equities Post QE

This article is about how central banks have orchestrated a large overshoot in asset prices, and what this means for likely future returns to stocks and bonds in particular. We’ve written on this topic before, but this article approaches the problem from the point of view of central bank policy rather than analyzing valuation metrics.

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Triumph of the Ostriches

Throwing caution to the wind has been very profitable – so far. But if history is any guide, there are many reasons for investors to consider taking a much more cautious stance.

Here are the facts: according to every valuation metric that matters (i.e. with statistical significance through history), stocks are quite expensive.

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What the Bull Giveth, the Bear Taketh Away

The question of whether to commit new funds to stocks here is nuanced and complex, not least because it isn’t obvious that traditional alternatives – bonds or cash – offer any better value. We are very near all-time low interest rates across most developed government bond markets, credit spreads are near all-time tights, and rates are negative out to 5 or more years in real terms.

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