Weekly Digest - INVESTEC
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Our Investment View
Further to a more challenging final three months of 2018, and a subsequent bounce in many financial assets, I hope it is helpful to provide an update regarding our short-term investment outlook.
We continue to expect further outperformance of risk assets over insurance assets/cash over the next eighteen months as confidence builds in an extended cycle driving earnings growth in 2019 and beyond.
Bear markets tend not to happen when earnings grow and, independent of political interference, the prospects for global growth, corporate profits and interest rates support future prospects of “risk assets” such as equities. We retain a positive view on the outlook for growth in the global economy and hence for corporate profits.
We do not see evidence of the complacency that prompted us to purchase some additional more cautious assets, such as US government debt, in 2018 (where appropriate). Nevertheless, we are not more adventurous in our positioning at present as our enthusiasm is moderated by still elevated geo-political risks, including three key judgments that we are making:
- a) America and China can reach an accommodation on trade. This is critical. Imposition of the full slate of threatened US tariffs upon China would be a global stagflationary shock
- b) China remains in control of its own destiny and, as the nexus of the wider emerging market growth story and an important trading partner for Europe too, absent an all-out trade war, will continue to grow solidly
- c) Europe will prove resilient to resurgent populism embodied in German elections, Italian challenges, French unrest and also to Brexit, whatever form it should take