Some investors avoid China due to headline risk. But that itself may be the biggest risk of headlines: avoiding China. In this article I explain why.
In our latest Quarterly Asset Class Update, we break down global markets by the numbers, offering thoughts as to where markets could be headed as 2022 heads into the home stretch.
Smart beta products using common factors like value, low volatility, quality, and small cap experienced an underwhelming performance from 2005–2022. On average, long-only factor portfolios built from a wider set of global factors identified in the finance literature generated significantly positive excess returns across countries, suggesting diversifying across many factors is more prudent than selecting a handful that have performed the best.
Many investors say they “don’t invest in China” at all – despite having tens or even hundreds of millions invested in an emerging markets portfolio. These investors would be well-advised to understand the extent to which their EM portfolio is, in fact, invested in China.
Jason is making some predictions…and fully acknowledging that all of them could be wrong. There are only two sustainable options in investing: lose money fast, or compound returns slowly. Diversification remains the only free lunch in investing, and it has always been (and is likely to remain) the best way to successfully weather turbulent markets.
Stagflation fear sent stocks into a bear market in Q2, while bonds tanked as the Fed debated a full-point rate hike after June’s jarring 9.1% rise in US CPI. How might the fight against inflation unfold in the second half?
What will happen if our politicians pursue an economic “hard landing” that weakens employment for below-median households? What if Fed rate hikes crater consumption by further reducing their real income and wealth? If these things happen, we will achieve a Friedman-esque victory against inflation … but an ultimately empty victory for Main Street. At its heart, our current inflation is a political problem. It is going to require a political solution.
The so-called “fear premium”—the alpha opportunity created by fear-driven markets—is well-studied and understood. And yet, few investors have the discipline to avoid the behavioral mistakes caused by fear. Those who do will not only survive, but thrive.
For the past decade, many investors have been living in the Matrix. Buoyed by extensive quantitative easing and overseas production, their portfolios have ballooned. They believe in their illusory world, a place they have the ability to grow wealth unimpeded and without consequence. Unfortunately for them, this is the real world—and inflation is the blue pill.
We are quick to criticize other countries’ regulatory and fiscal missteps, but it would be foolish to imagine the US Federal Reserve and our other institutions are not similarly capable of self-harm. It could be out of ignorance, hubris, or politics. Regardless, the coming stagflation is cause for concern in the US.