My bottom line for 2014 is that investors should be overweight global equities, underweight bonds. My biggest call? China's stockmarket could be the best performing.
There has been much talk about bubbles in recent months. But to work out whether an asset class is in a bubble, you first need to identify the talk you should ignore.
A year ago, the world was salivating at the prospect of current account deficits in the developing world. Now, it's terrified. It's a terrific investment opportunity.
The export of inflation by the US can do far more damage to China's effort to become a self-sufficient superpower than almost anything else the US could have thought of.
Five years on from the GFC, we are witnessing in many countries a slow-motion replay of the last housing-market train wreck.
We are introducing three new investment scenarios for 2014 - our base case, Low for Longer; our bull case Growth Breakout, and our bear scenario, Imbalances Tip Over.
Today's long period of very easy money and very low yields has distorted the financial system. This will cause unintended consequences in the near future as QE ends.
What's a very good long-term return from equity markets? What's fair? Take for example, Sigma Pharmaceuticals.
Efficient market theory claims you can't beat the market. Seductive as it is, this claim is incorrect, as research makes clear.
It's now time to start looking into alternatives to equities and bonds.
The Academy Spring Seminar 2013 featured four sessions: Mock FOMC meeting; The state of economics/investing and of long-term expectations; A global perspective to bottom-up fundamental research, an Insurance sector case study; and, Investing in property.
If I only had a dollar for every time I've read the US is safe from recession as "the yield curve is positively sloped."
Predictability of asset returns is one of the most important issues in finance. This year's Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was shared by three pioneers in the field.
Conference 2013 facilitated debate on the markets, strategies and investing with particular focus on how to better construct portfolios for the whole of an investor's life so that they are more likely to achieve their goals.
Advanced-country central banks are putting on the line their independence and credibility.
We've seen this movie before.Bubbles happen regularly - but why are we seeing so many bubbles now?
As one of the winners of this year's Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, I'm acutely aware of criticism of the prize by those who claim that economics is not a science.
The Australian equity market has lagged far behind the US this year. But the S&P/ASX200 is actually ahead since the GFC market lows.
The collapse from 2007 to 2009 of equity, credit, and housing bubbles led to severe financial crises and economic damage. Are we at risk of another financial boom and bust?
One Fed exit has become clear. Chairman Ben Bernanke will hand over to Janet Yellen. The second - exiting an era of ultra-loose monetary policies - is fiendishly difficult.
Three key shock risks will affect investors over the next decade, requiring a real difference in how we construct portfolios for retirement.
The US debt ceiling debacle sent a clear message to China. The US may have to pay a much steeper price for capital.
Gold's disappointing performance has been a topic of discussion at GaveKal. Most of us come down on the side of one of four possible explanations.
Central banks are likely to dominate investment news for years to come. Most of it will be noise. However, some of it will be critically important.
This article, and DFA's silence, prompted a storm of response - and contributes to understanding the "science" of portfolio construction.
What makes this cycle so different? Five reasons - two are quite conventional, three are not. With proper economic policies, good times could lie ahead for the West.
The US debt debate cannot be blindly dismissed as a short-term issue. It will be navigated, but with no real solution - the ingredients are being put in place for higher bond yields.
The history of good sovereigns defaulting is a rich one, going back to the Middle Ages and Renaissance period. What could replace US Treasuries as the risk free asset?
"Forward PEs look attractive" is often offered as an astute observation. It's almost a truism. But does using forward PEs to assess market valuations work?
So it was all a storm in a teacup. Markets have been going through a series of "taper tantrums” since Bernanke first mentioned the idea of tapering.
The recent Jackson Hole Federal Reserve Conference was my 10th or 11th. I saw a fascinating disconnect between policymakers and the markets.
I'm used to being alone and against consensus. I believe the next decade is going to see the strongest level of global economic growth anyone today has seen.
The Fed will have to think of a new strategy to reopen the availability of credit - and that is a problem. At present, all routes of Bernanke's QE maze lead to the same exit - deflation.
Abenomics brought rapid policy change to Japan and its economy is showing signs of improvement. More change is needed but it could work out nicely.
The view is that advent of Big Data is a transformative event. But there are two arguments against the importance of Big Data to the economy and advancement of social welfare.
Now you should be long housing - but it is exposed to some regulatory risks and headwinds we should understand.
There is intense speculation as to who will be the next chair of the US Fed.
For the past nine months, China has had a very new type of leader.
Investing during bear markets is like dynamite fishing. We're starting to see fairly large fish float to the surface.
Indonesia's rise is one of the big stories of the Asian century, a future great power in Asia, just behind China and India. Indonesia may matter as much to Australia investors as China and the US.
All of the Conference sessions are building blocks for this session which helps delegates determine the key takeouts from the jam-packed program and actions delegates should take when building investor portfolios.
Australians have sought offshore diversification for years. The logical extension is to think more deeply about how to make offshore exposures complement local ones.
Allocating to countries with net wealth rather than net debt can lead to superior portfolio outcomes.
The first argument for investing in emerging markets is that's where the growth is. That said, high economic growth does not necessarily imply high stock returns.
China needs to embrace a stronger RMB - can it become the EM's Duetsche Mark - while Japan has embarked on a structurally weak yen, with profound implications for the rest of the world.
Reforms undertaken after the 1997 crisis drive the economic resilience of South East Asia today. Going forward, cyclical risks exist, but the region is set to do better still.
China has a very new type of leader. It is in the sphere of domestic politics and economic policy, in particular, that the extent of Xi's power and his policy preferences are unclear. The signals have been mixed.
Australian investors can get better returns and increase the transparency of the companies they invest in, by including unlisted equity in portfolios.
To fill the income void, investors need not look much further than Australia's liquid and ever-growing bond market which, unlike the majority of the developed world, still offers positive real rates.
Recorded exclusively for PortfolioConstruction Forum, Sonal Desai argues it's vital to distinguish between sources of negative bond returns.
This paper examines the empirical relation between risk and return in emerging equity markets and finds that this relation is flat, or even negative.
Australia faces big economic challenges - meaning superannuation will inevitably feel pressure for reform which will encompass four key changes.
According to a recent survey, 37% of retirees cannot tolerate any portfolio losses in any one year. Even conservative portfolios would have failed that test over the past 25 years.
Via its QE program, Japan has committed $100 billion toward infrastructure spending. Is it a bridge to nowhere?
If "The Power of Zero" were a movie, we've just watched the end. The great rotation out of bonds has begun and the beneficiaries will be cash, property, and equities.
Big event risk is less important today than back in 2008 and 2009, when investing was all about whether the world was going to melt down. It's now important to focus on the micro.
Maybe the huge list of problems equity markets must work through is the usual wall of worry - but a simpler explanation would be a rising tide of bad omens.
We're not experiencing, as everybody thinks, a near-bursting bubble environment in bonds - and nor will the Fed trigger an uncontrollable rise in inflation when it ends its QE.
In this talk Larry Fink paints an interesting picture of the trends, challenges and issues resulting from retirement funding, and the impact on the global economy in future.
The EU faces another stomach-churching Summer and Autumn, while the Euro correction has started. At least Australian velocity of money is painting a pretty positive picture.
Diversification across asset classes didn't hold up well under the blowtorch of the GFC. Allocating across risk factors, rather than asset classes, can lead to better diversification.
Symposium facilitated debate on the three pillars of portfolio construction – markets, strategies and investing - to help delegates build better quality portfolios. This CPD Quiz is for delegates to complete, to receive Structured CPD Hours.
Cyberspace is the new frontier and just like the old Wild West, bullets (albeit electronic ones) are flying. It is a big learning curve for investors.
LatAm is a relatively unexplored investment landscape that has some long-term advantages compared to Asia or emerging Europe.
The Academy Winter Seminar 2013 features four sessions: Get micro about the macro - looking at big risks through the microscope; The Equity Risk Premium; A focus on Australian equities strategies in an objectives-based investing world; and, Equities and Inflation.
The Academy Autumn Seminar 2013 featured five sessions: Market risk; Is Chinese growth a ponzi scheme?; Risk profiling; The approach to risk profiling for retirees; and Using risk factors to evaluate investments and build portfolios.
The Academy Summer Seminar 2013 featured three sessions: Making sense of the noise; Making sense of macroeconomic data; and, measurement and mis-measurement of risk.
The Academy Spring Seminar 2012 featured four sessions: Believe it or not; Improving decision-making under uncertainty; Diversification - where it works (and where it doesn't); and The changing of the Chinese guard.
In 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa. His capacity for forgiveness and sense of humility is a shining example for all humanity.
I continue to be positive on the broader global economic backdrop - but buckle up and prepare for some turbulence over the next few months.
Some lament the end of the mining boom - but resources company dividends payout ratios may now rise.
When the GFC started, governments increased spending and hoped for multiplier effects. Six years on, it appears the critics have been right all along.
When all the risks are plain to see, investors understandably become cautious. But often, the very best time to buy is when the risks are well and truly known.
Parts of the private equity market are offering three times the return of high yield debt, for a third less risk.
Everyone knows what alpha is - right? Yet even experienced practitioners fall into the trap of talking about alpha as being purely outperformance.
The reaction of bond and equity markets in May highlights the almost impossible balancing act faced by the US Fed now the amount of monetary stimulus is so extreme.
Symposium facilitates debate on the three pillars of portfolio construction – markets, strategies and investing. Established in 2011, it is THE New Zealand investment conference of the year.
Last week I spoke to an adviser about how he turns one of his favourite recreational activity into new clients. It's simple and has paid big dividends.
Recent research shows that bucket strategies can result in less optimal retirement outcomes. So rather than invest that way, why don't we just report that way?
Often with investing, simple ideas work best. Last decade, the name of the game was to front run Chinese investors. For the next decade, the story is different, and even simpler.
A new research paper finds that there is very little difference between the cost of a FoHF and investing directly.
The key takeouts and actions to take when building investor portfolios.
Throughout Symposium 2013, PortfolioConstruction Forum Publisher and Symposium Moderator, Graham Rich, presented Video Thought Pieces in which leading global investment experts shared their thoughts on investment challenges. This video featured Mohamed El-Erian talking about how investing is fundamentally like being a surfer.
As the centre of the world economy is shifting towards the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia are facing great opportunities. But are we ready to embrace them? Or are we not even aware of them? Both New Zealand and Australia should embrace economic reforms to make the most of their favourable geopolitical situation.
Throughout Symposium 2013, PortfolioConstruction Forum Publisher and Symposium Moderator, Graham Rich, presented Video Thought Pieces in which leading global investment experts shared their thoughts on investment challenges. This video featured Niall Ferguson talking about the great degeneration.
Throughout Symposium 2013, PortfolioConstruction Forum Publisher and Symposium Moderator, Graham Rich, presented Video Thought Pieces in which leading global investment experts shared their thoughts on investment challenges. This video featured Nouriel Roubini talking about the two forces driving investment markets.
Five pillars of risk neatly encapsulate the main areas of risk and contagion that all investors should be watching. In the changing risk environment, the key is to determine which parts of the world are actually paying you to take risk, and which areas are definitely not.
Throughout Symposium 2013, PortfolioConstruction Forum Publisher and Symposium Moderator, Graham Rich, presented Video Thought Pieces in which leading global investment experts shared their thoughts on investment challenges. This video featured Nouriel Roubini talking about the gap between emerging and developed markets, and between real and financial markets.
Despite having much to worry about - a Eurozone in recession, a listless US recovery, Japan's QE, slowing China growth, North Korea - the S&P 500 reached new, all-time highs recently. Where to from here?
There is a new, evolving world order affecting asset prices. Game theory provides a framework for better assessing what’s happening and the implications for investing.
Throughout Symposium 2013, PortfolioConstruction Forum Publisher and Symposium Moderator, Graham Rich, presented Video Thought Pieces in which leading global investment experts shared their thoughts on investment challenges. This video featured Mohamed El-Erian talking about the interplay of the visible hand (QE) and the invisible hand (the markets).
Throughout Symposium 2013, PortfolioConstruction Forum Publisher and Symposium Moderator, Graham Rich, presented Video Thought Pieces in which leading global investment experts shared their thoughts on investment challenges. This video featured Warren Buffett and others talking about the lessons they learned from the legendary Benjamin Graham.
Nearly six years after KiwiSaver launched, there are now more than 2.1 million people contributing with $14.5 billion in the scheme. But many advisers are shunning KiwiSaver-only clients as large institutional advisers reel them in.
PortfolioConstruction Forum's publisher sat down for an exclusive one-on-one with PIMCO CEO and co-CIO, Mohamed El-Erian to what he calls a "fluid, unpredictable and artificial world".
Australia is looking at enshrining the term "financial planner/adviser" into law. New Zealand is already a step ahead. We look at the titles advisers are using, what the law allows, and what advisers may call themselves in the future.
Markets had a very good run in Q1 2013. But which parts of the world are actually paying you to take risk, and which areas are definitely not?
Global growth cannot tell you the best countries to invest in - but if 2011-2020 continues broadly as assumed, ERP is unlikely to stay at its current high.
Gold has traditionally been seen as a safe haven to provide insurance to portfolios - but on 11 April its price began to free fall. Why? And does gold have a place in portfolios?
What's the probability of a major risk event for global equity markets this year - and what are the major opportunities?
The Australian economy is affected only tangentially by fiscal problems elsewhere, but there are strong effects on markets. Currency is the lynchpin.
If Africa could behave more together economically, by 2050, BRICs would become BRICA. Plus, the $A is more and more on my radar,
We're seeing a significant correction in global equity markets and commodity markets including a staggering decline in gold. What does this mean for portfolios?
What Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda announced last week was quite dramatic. It is the first time I can remember Japanese policymakers truly and positively surprising markets.
With interest rates at historic lows, and likelyrate rises ahead, what are the implications for building the fixed income part of portfolios?
Despite the Cypriot tragedy, the next few years will see stronger global GDP numbers than in a very long time.
Exchange rate adjustments are likely to help the global recovery but the situation bears monitoring.
With cash no longer providing the same high returns and income required for investors approaching or already in retirement, Global Investments Forum 2013 brought together selected senior investment professionals spanning the major sectors, strategies and regions of the world.
This CPD Quiz is only open to those who attended Global Investments Forum 2013. Each question is compulsory and must be completed to receive your CPD accreditation.
How can a $22bn economy be the dominant global topic of conversation? Cyprus is the epicentre of strategic issues.
EU ministers understand the law but they totally miss the behavioural economic consequences of their actions.
In terms of raw value and potential upside, Japanese equities offer one of the more compelling opportunities.
Signs of a cyclical re-acceleration are emerging, but the upswing in China's economy is not firing on all cylinders.
On a 1-10 scale for irrationality, US credit and high yield bond prices are probably a 6 and moving up.
The talked-of Bank could have important implications for how economics and finance is changing.
Just because starting conditions are suboptimal does not guarantee that safe withdrawal rates will fail today's retirees.
Are the policy proposals of Prime Minister Abe a signal to re-orient portfolios to Japan?
Without some major shake-up, the Euro will fail. A monetary union between countries with no growth, rising unemployment and decreasing levels of trade with each other is just not credible.
Tom discusses why the corporate bond space offers positive real yields in a globally repressed rate environment.
RMB nationalisation and how it is becoming a trading currency, as well as political changes in Thailand, India and the Philippines and how these are triggering bull markets.
Stephen discusses the rise of income investing and the advantages of global equities for income seeking investors. As a global energy specialist, he discusses the US shale energy revolution and industrial renaissance, before concluding with insights on the eurozone, and why it remains a significant and underappreciated threat to a global recovery.
Ethan discusses why risk matters, the characteristics of a higher quality return stream and how size, scale, diversification, costs and non-market risks can influence the consistency and repeatability of an investment process.
Global central bank objectives in 2013, the impact on asset allocation, and avoiding mis-allocation of capital.
Bonds are negatively correlated to equities – so they make a great portfolio diversifier despite their low yields, right?. Wrong.
Adrian will discuss global fundraising and the secondary market including secondary market supply/demand, the market participants, key challenges, market catalysts and how to gain easier access to this much misunderstood asset class.
Sherlock Holmes would've been intrigued – there were critical things that didn't happen in markets in 2012. Will they, in 2013?
Is the consensus is correct in its assumption that equities are a good place to be right now?
This time Italy's political crisis really matters - and not just to Italy. For the troubled Eurozone, this means its crisis is not only back but worse than before.
Reform doesn't equate to austerity, as Italian voters have shown. US reform does not equate to austerity either.
Markets Summit 2013 debated and identified the key investment market and asset class opportunities (and risks) ahead, to help in the search for return and in building better quality investor portfolios.
The spotlight shone on the outlook for Australian equities in a 3-D world (deleveraging, demographics and (liquidity) damns - and the portfolio construction implications.
Pippa offers her unique insights and takeouts from program.
The key takeouts from the program and actions to take when building quality investor portfolios.
Our 10 markets experts debated their views and answered delegates' questions on the outlook for the global investment markets.
Our second equities speaker offered a contrasting view on the outlook for global equities - the most likely scenario for the three years ahead, key risks and signposts to watch for.
The spotlight turned to global equities - key scenarios, risks and opportunities for the coming three years - and the portfolio construction implications.
The outlook for developed sovereign markets, credit, cash, and bonds vs US bank loans and high yield debt - and the portfolio construction implications.
The outlook for growth market debt for the three years ahead - key scenarios, risks and opportunities - plus, of course, the portfolio construction implications.
The outlook for development market debt for the three years ahead - key scenarios, risks and opportunities - plus, of course, the portfolio construction implications.
The outlook for private equity and debt - key scenarios, risks and opportunities for the coming three years - and the portfolio construction implications.
The outlook for Asian equities - key scenarios, risks and opportunities for the coming three years - and the portfolio construction implications.
The outlook for global resources - key scenarios, risks and opportunities for the coming three years - and the portfolio construction implications.
The outlook for global infrastructure - key scenarios, risks and opportunities for the coming three years - and the portfolio construction implications.
Four economic experts debated the outlook for the global economy and portfolio construction implications.
The key market and economic risks and opportunities ahead - and portfolio construction implications.
Australia's national income per person is the 5th-highest in the world. But the drivers of success are deteriorating.
The US fiscal cliff; global slowdown; EU crisis; Middle East and oil prices; and contagion risk.
The key business and geopolitical risks and opportunities over the coming three years.
Every policy maker in the world is joining in the chorus of "Start Me Up." Woe to the investor who doesn't listen.
When looking at Australian stocks, it is important to look at how they're being impacted by shifts within the Australian and global economies.
When I transverse the latest data and policy issues, the prospects for so many countries are either worrying or exciting or perhaps both, depending on your state of mind.
The main areas of risk and contagion that investors may wish to consider in 2013.
Five themes define the opportunity set for asset classes and markets for the coming five years.
The catalyst for improved sentiment for commodity-based equities will be a return of confidence and more stable political and economic environment.
We are relatively optimistic about the outlook for global growth, and the US in particular. We see four main reasons why the market could become more worried about inflation.
Amidst the volatility and doomsday talk in China, Asia ex-Japan equities ended up as the best performing region in 2012. For 2013, the outlook for Asia continues to be positive.
Consistently higher commodity prices are a thing of the past. There are two paths the economy can now follow.
The growing yield-seeking flood of money is causing a growing divide between real and perceived values in the private equity market.
Major foreign policy issues face China's new leaders in regards the US, Japan, SE Asia, and North Korea.
What happens after 10% growth? History shows few economies last the distance.
I never quite expected to be asking this question. But at some point, the question is going to become very real.
For better or worse, 2013 is likely to be another year when the market's fate will rest largely with politicians and policy makers. For now, we remain cautiously optimistic.
It is shaping up for a period where the FX market is back, front and centre. An aspect at the forefront is the notion of so-called "currency wars". I'm dismissive of such accusations.
"The Hedge Fund Mirage" shows investors would've been much better off in US T-Bills over the past decade. We look at hedge fund association AIMA's "comprehensive rebuttal".
When Lance Armstrong finally confessed to doping, he received widespread condemnation. If only there was similar outrage over doping in monetary policy.