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Monthly Investment Outlook

Monthly Investment Outlook

We publish a Monthly Investment Outlook that highlights our convictions on equities and bonds, as well as recent asset allocation changes.



Summary

  • MONTHLY INVESTMENT OUTLOOK - Discretion is the better part of valor
  • GLOBAL TACTICAL ASSET ALLOCATION - Stay invested in a risk managed way
  • UBP ECONOMIC OUTLOOK - Ongoing recovery but fragilities remain
  • UBP ECONOMIC OUTLOOK - Navigating Q4 renewed risks
  • GLOBAL BONDS - Chinese government bonds add diversification
  • GLOBAL EQUITIES - Equity volatility likely to rise
  • RECENT VIEW CHANGES - Reshuffling protection strategies and adding China governement bonds

  • September saw risk assets succumb to their first bout of sustained selling with equities registering their first monthly loss and credit seeing spreads widening steadily for the first time since the March lockdown related lows.
  • Selling came along with a rocky transition from central bank led policy support to still reluctant fiscal policy momentum in the face of political distractions on both sides of the Atlantic. Absent this support, investors should position for the prospect of further two-way risk in 4Q.
  • However, 3Q corporate earnings visibility is high as improving economic momentum in the period combined with conservative expectations suggest another bout of upside earnings surprises is likely in the weeks ahead.
  • Looking into 2021, the new year holds the prospect for increased economic visibility as the multi-trillion in fiscal spending gains traction in US/Europe though 2021 earnings visibility may become more clouded as expectations appear elevated even assuming an increased US tax burden does not emerge post-election.
  • We continue to pair our long-cycle transformational growth positioning – focusing on technology, healthcare, and Asia/ China – across the portfolio with an increased focus on risk management entering 4Q. While the valuation gap versus value stocks remains wide, without a revenue/ earnings catalyst, we suspect this gap will remain intact.
  • Further policy easing combined with an expected strengthening in the Chinese yuan leaves Chinese government bonds an attractive opportunity for income investors. This complements our recent additions to Asian investment grade credit as well as local Chinese A-share equities for Asian transformation looking ahead.
  • Moreover, this continues a transformation of our fixed income exposure where we have sought positions that protect against the negatively asymmetric risk-return profile in the low risk bond space via European CoCos, long-short credit, and recent positions in Asian credit.
  • Having already extended our protection to cover the 4Q political uncertainty on the horizon, we have increased the overall level of protection via a new futures position in portfolios. This should shield the strong returns garnered to date as the backdrop of sidelined policy makers pose a potential near-term risk looking through year-end. At the same time, we rotate our on-going options strategies to retain upside participation should the political risks not manifest or should policy makers shift to a more pro-active stance.
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