Years of accommodative monetary policy combined with ample liquidity from central banks, remnants of the global financial crisis of 2008, may be coming to a gradual end. We are arguably entering a transition period in the economic environment from one of low inflation, low interest rates backed by unconventional monetary policy (quantitative easing), to one of higher inflation and the potential of higher interest rates. Adding fuel to inflationary pressures has been a global pandemic where supply chains have been disrupted like never before, heightened geopolitical risks with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, known as the breadbasket of Europe, putting price pressures on everything from crude oil, wheat to sunflower oil, and globalisation, the accepted mantra for economic growth for decades, which is now under increased scrutiny with talk of a deglobalised world.

Periods of transition from a market perspective are always challenging. They are characterised by increased uncertainty and subsequently increased market volatility. In such environments it is a balancing act between defense and offence. In recent years, an offensive game has been a clear winner, however defense has become increasingly important. While we do not have a crystal ball on how high inflation will be and by how much interest rates may rise, the likely trend is up. With this in mind, considering assets that can assist in navigating a higher inflation environment is important. While there is no perfect hedge for inflation there are assets that can benefit from a higher inflation environment. Some of these include real assets such as infrastructure and property, commodities including gold, floating rate notes and inflation linked bonds.

Within Lonsec’s portfolio suite, we have built up our exposure to real assets for a number of years and have included assets such as gold as inflation risk was growing. Within fixed interest we diversified sovereign bond exposures with short-dated bonds and credit exposures. Given the nature of the Australian equity market, domestic investors will also have a structural exposure to commodities via the market. In such environments it is important not to swing the pendulum too far in terms of focusing solely on defense. In uncertain times and periods of market volatility, opportunities do arise. With this in mind we have retained a bias to growth assets and we think that the ability to generate positive active returns has increased and greater price dispersion in markets will provide more attractive entry points for quality assets that may have previously been out of reach due to excessive valuations.

The winds of change may be coming but markets are always evolving and reviewing your game plan is prudent.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document is published by Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583, a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR 1236821) (LIS) of Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561 AFSL 421 445 (Lonsec Research).  LIS creates the model portfolios it distributes using the investment research provided by Lonsec Research but LIS has not had any involvement in the investment research process for Lonsec Research. LIS and Lonsec Research are owned by Lonsec Holdings Pty Ltd ACN 151 235 406. Please read the following before making any investment decision about any financial product mentioned in this document.

DISCLOSURE AT THE DATE OF PUBLICATION: Lonsec Research receives a fee from the relevant fund manager or product issuer(s) for researching financial products (using objective criteria) which may be referred to in this document. Lonsec Research may also receive a fee from the fund manager or product issuer(s) for subscribing to research content and other Lonsec Research services.  LIS receives a fee for providing the model portfolios to financial services organisations and professionals. LIS’ and Lonsec Research’s fees are not linked to the financial product rating(s) outcome or the inclusion of the financial product(s) in model portfolios. LIS and Lonsec Research and their representatives and/or their associates may hold any financial product(s) referred to in this document, but details of these holdings are not known to the Lonsec Research analyst(s).

WARNINGS: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any express or implied rating or advice presented in this document is limited to general advice and based solely on consideration of the investment merits of the financial product(s) alone, without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs (“financial circumstances”) of any particular person. Before making an investment decision based on the rating or advice, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness.  If the financial advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a particular financial product, the reader should obtain and consider the Investment Statement or the Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product before making any decision about whether to acquire the financial product.

DISCLAIMER: No representation, warranty or undertaking is given or made in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this document, which is drawn from public information not verified by LIS. The information contained in this document is current as at the date of publication. Financial conclusions, ratings and advice are reasonably held at the time of publication but subject to change without notice. LIS assumes no obligation to update this document following publication. Except for any liability which cannot be excluded, LIS and Lonsec Research, their directors, officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability for any error or inaccuracy in, misstatement or omission from, this document or any loss or damage suffered by the reader or any other person as a consequence of relying upon it.

Copyright © 2022 Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583 (LIS). This document may also contain third party supplied material that is subject to copyright.  The same restrictions that apply to LIS copyrighted material, apply to such third-party content.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) have been available on the ASX for over 2 decades, but in recent years, this category’s variety and representation within Australian portfolios have grown rapidly.

By offering exposure to different global markets, industry sectors and strategic themes, as well as non-equities asset classes like bonds and commodities, ETFs can provide relatively low-cost “building blocks” for a diversified portfolio.

However, as with any investment, it’s very important to understand what you are putting your money into, and to ensure that it suits your specific needs.  Here are five questions to ask yourself, or your financial adviser, before you purchase an ETF.

Question 1: Does it accurately capture the market exposure that I want?

You wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, so make sure to look beyond the ETF’s name to properly assess the underlying exposure of the product. Common misunderstandings include:

  • Mistaking a “picks and shovels” exposure, through owning suppliers and supporters of a sector, for that sector’s output. For example, a portfolio of cryptocurrency miners and exchange operators is not the same as a direct investment into cryptocurrency;
  • Confusion between ETFs linked to a commodity’s spot price, which is the price for immediate delivery, and those representing a futures curve, which will move with expectations for longer-term pricing; and
  • Overlooking exchange rate movements, which can influence your returns from anything not priced in Australian dollars. This impact can be neutralised with a currency-hedged ETF.

Question 2: Is the exposure active, passive, or somewhere in between?

Early ETFs were purely passive, usually linked to an equities index like the S&P/ASX 200, but now, there are also actively managed portfolios within an ETF structure. “Smart beta” portfolios which apply rules-based investment strategies are becoming more common too, for example, one might invest in a basket of stocks which screen well on quality factors. The exposure type affects fee levels and return potential, with passive ETFs tending to be the cheapest, but lacking the potential to outperform an index benchmark.

Question 3: How liquid is this product?

It is possible for the price of an ETF to diverge from that of its underlying exposure, particularly in volatile market conditions such as the COVID-19 panic in early 2020. To ensure that investors can get in and out of a product when they want to, ETF providers often employ a Market Maker, an institution which quotes separate prices to buy and sell units. Generally, ETFs with a smaller pool of units on issue are more likely to have poor liquidity, and this can show up in a wide spread between the buy and sell prices. Using “at-limit” orders when trading ETFs can help ensure that you receive the price you expect.

Question 4: How does the fee compare to alternatives, and what are the trade-offs?

Low cost is a major benefit of ETFs, but when you have several to choose from, it’s worth understanding why one’s management fee is cheaper. Active management usually costs more, and ETFs linked to a major market benchmark are sometimes priced higher because the index provider takes a cut of the total fee. Unusual products may carry a scarcity premium, while new or smaller-scale offerings may have lower fees, both to compensate for their initially poor liquidity, and also to entice more patronage over time.

Question 5: How does it fit with the rest of my portfolio?

Any new investment should be considered in the context of your existing portfolio. ETFs can provide valuable diversification, but they can also be a source of inadvertent overlap or concentrated exposure to certain sectors or factors. For example, ETFs linked to the S&P 500 index, the NASDAQ 100 and an actively-managed global growth strategy might overlap in high exposure to the Big Tech stocks, so this combination might not provide adequate diversification.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document is published by Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583, a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR 1236821) (LIS) of Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561 AFSL 421 445 (Lonsec Research).  LIS creates the model portfolios it distributes using the investment research provided by Lonsec Research but LIS has not had any involvement in the investment research process for Lonsec Research. LIS and Lonsec Research are owned by Lonsec Holdings Pty Ltd ACN 151 235 406. Please read the following before making any investment decision about any financial product mentioned in this document.

DISCLOSURE AT THE DATE OF PUBLICATION: Lonsec Research receives a fee from the relevant fund manager or product issuer(s) for researching financial products (using objective criteria) which may be referred to in this document. Lonsec Research may also receive a fee from the fund manager or product issuer(s) for subscribing to research content and other Lonsec Research services.  LIS receives a fee for providing the model portfolios to financial services organisations and professionals. LIS’ and Lonsec Research’s fees are not linked to the financial product rating(s) outcome or the inclusion of the financial product(s) in model portfolios. LIS and Lonsec Research and their representatives and/or their associates may hold any financial product(s) referred to in this document, but details of these holdings are not known to the Lonsec Research analyst(s).

WARNINGS: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any express or implied rating or advice presented in this document is limited to general advice and based solely on consideration of the investment merits of the financial product(s) alone, without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs (“financial circumstances”) of any particular person. Before making an investment decision based on the rating or advice, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness.  If the financial advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a particular financial product, the reader should obtain and consider the Investment Statement or the Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product before making any decision about whether to acquire the financial product.

DISCLAIMER: No representation, warranty or undertaking is given or made in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this document, which is drawn from public information not verified by LIS. The information contained in this document is current as at the date of publication. Financial conclusions, ratings and advice are reasonably held at the time of publication but subject to change without notice. LIS assumes no obligation to update this document following publication. Except for any liability which cannot be excluded, LIS and Lonsec Research, their directors, officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability for any error or inaccuracy in, misstatement or omission from, this document or any loss or damage suffered by the reader or any other person as a consequence of relying upon it.

Copyright © 2022 Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583 (LIS). This document may also contain third party supplied material that is subject to copyright.  The same restrictions that apply to LIS copyrighted material, apply to such third-party content.

Given the impact the Russian-Ukraine conflict has had on financial markets, Lonsec has surveyed relevant Global Emerging Market Equity managers to ascertain their exposure to Russian, Ukrainian and Belarussian securities through the months of December 2021 to February 2022. Where such exposures are identified, Lonsec has also ascertained the underlying holdings and what steps managers have taken given the equity market fall-out from the conflict.

In terms of products with exposures, Lonsec notes that throughout the month of February 2022 the situation was fluid and highly volatile. Key market events included the closure of the Moscow Stock Exchange for all trading alongside major foreign exchanges suspending trading of all Russian Global and American Depository Receipts (GDRs/ADRs). These actions severely limited the optionality of asset managers to respond and transact as desired.

In light of this, asset managers who held Russian equity holdings in mid-to-late February 2022 have been forced to write these off entirely following a period of these being severely impaired. These actions have already been taken and are reflected in unit prices. Additionally, such managers have typically placed hard limits on not acquiring Russian, Ukrainian and Belarussian securities for the foreseeable future.

This report aims to outline exposure levels and commonly held Russian stocks from those relevant asset managers within the Global Equities – Global Emerging Market sub-sector, an overview of the Russian equity market alongside a more detailed sequence of events.

Lonsec rated universe: Global Equities – Global Emerging Markets Funds Russian Exposure Weights
APIR Funds 31-Dec-21 31-Jan-21 28-Feb-21
ETL4207AU GQG Partners Emerging Markets Equity Fund – A/Z Class 15.1% 8.3% 1.3%
ETL3590AU Ashmore Emerging Markets Equity Fund 7.8% 6.4% 0.6%
ETL4930AU NB EME Select Trust – I Class 7.3% 6.1% 0.8%
ETL1713AU NB EME Select Trust – W Class 7.3% 6.1% 0.8%
LAZ0003AU Lazard Emerging Markets Equity Fund 7.2% 6.5% 2.4%
ETL0032AU Aberdeen Standard Emerging Opportunities Fund 6.3% 6.0% 1.5%
UBS8018AU UBS Emerging Markets Equity Fund 5.6% 3.3% 1.2%
VAN0221AU Vanguard Active Emerging Markets Equity Fund 5.4% 5.0% 1.2%
CHN8850AU Redwheel Global Emerging Markets Fund 4.1% 4.0% 0.2%
ETL7377AU GQG Partners Global Equity Fund – A Class 3.1% 1.8% 0.2%
PER0736AU BMO LGM Global Emerging Market Fund 2.6% 2.5% 1.4%
BTA0419AU Pendal Global Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund – WS 2.4% 4.9% 0.9%
ETL0201AU Legg Mason Martin Currie Emerging Markets Fund 2.3% 2.1% 0.2%
EMMG BetaShares Legg Mason Emerging Markets Fund (Managed Fund) 2.2% 2.1% 0.2%
FID0031AU Fidelity Global Emerging Markets Fund 1.9% 2.5% 0.4%
FEMX Fidelity Global Emerging Markets Fund (Managed Fund) 1.9% 2.5% 0.4%
FID0010AU Fidelity Asia Fund 0.0% 0.0% 0.8%

 

MSCI EM Benchmark 3.6% 3.2% 1.6%*

(*On March 4th, 2022, MSCI announced Russia would be removed from the Index effective March 9th, 2022)

 

MSCI Russia 25 / 50 Index constituents, index weights, performance and Lonsec Global Emerging Markets sub-sector portfolio representation as of 28 February 2022

 

Stock name Sector Index Weight (%) Performance (31 Dec 21 – 28 Feb 22) No. of funds holding
GAZPROM Energy 21.1% -51.5% 5
NK LUKOIL Energy 16.0% -45.1% 9
SBERBANK ROSSII Financials 8.9% -68.8% 7
GMK NORILSKIY NIKEL Materials 7.0% -38.7% 2
TATNEFT Energy 4.8% -47.5%
POLYUS Materials 3.6% -40.5% 2
TCS GROUP HOLDING REPR CLASS A RE Financials 3.6% -61.0% 5
SEVERSTAL Materials 3.1% -38.6% 2
NOVOLIPETSK STEEL Materials 3.0% -39.7%
MOBILE TELESYSTEMS PUBLIC JOINT AD Communication 3.0% -30.8% 2
NK ROSNEFT Energy 2.9% -64.1% 2
POLYMETAL INTERNATIONAL PLC Materials 2.7% -52.3%
YANDEX NV CLASS A Communication 2.5% -70.1% 5
SURGUTNEFTEGAZ PREF Energy 2.5% -41.2%
AK ALROSA Materials 2.3% -51.2%
PAO NOVATEK GDR Energy 1.9% -83.6% 3
SURGUTNEFTEGAZ Energy 1.8% -60.4%
X5 RETAIL GROUP GDR NV Consumer Staples 1.7% -54.7% 1
MOSCOW EXCHANGE Financials 1.7% -54.4% 1
INTER RAO EES Utilities 1.4% -50.0%
UNITED COMPANY RUSAL Materials 1.3% -41.4% 1
PJSC PHOSAGRO GDR Materials 1.1% -71.7%
MAGNIT PJSC SPONSORED RUSSIA RU DR Consumer Staples 0.6% -89.3%
OZON HOLDINGS ADR PLC Consumer Discretionary 0.4% -66.7%
MAIL RU GROUP GDR LTD Communication 0.4% -75.9%
HeadHunter Group PLC Communication 0%* -70.6% 1
Fix Price Group Ltd – GDR Consumer Staples 0%* -87.5% 1
Globaltrans Investment Plc Industrials 0%* -89.7% 1

* Not included with the MSCI Russia 25 / 50 Index

Timeline of events

January 2022

  • The build-up of Russian troops along the border of Ukraine and heightened tensions compelled some Managers to reappraise the geopolitical risks and pair back their associated Russian exposures throughout the month.

February 2022

  • Sanctions against Russia escalate throughout the month from the US, UK and EU. Asset managers faced increasing liquidity issues trading their Russian equities. On February 22, the US announced full blocking sanctions on several Russian banks and cancelled Russian sales of sovereign bonds on US money markets.
  • February 24, Russian troops invade Ukraine which brings further international condemnation. As a result, Russia’s local bourse fell 40%.
  • February 25, Russia’s Central Bank closed the Moscow exchange, suspending all stock and foreign currency trading.
  • February 25, asset managers begin to severely impair their Russian assets and introduce fair value pricing to calculate unit prices due to the inability to trade and accurately price Russian assets.
  • February 26, the European Union announces sanctions to limit Russia’s ability to access an estimated US$630bn in reserves to finance war and avoid the impact of sanctions being applied.
  • 27 February, the US and EU announce a ban on Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank transaction system which is the backbone of the international financial transfer system. The sanction cuts Russia off from the international banking system crippling their ability to trade with the rest of the world.
  • 28 February, major stock exchanges progressively introduced suspensions on trading Russian equity American Depository Receipts/Global Depository Receipts (ADRs and GDRs).
  • 28 February, the Russian Ruble succumbs to heavy exchange pressure, weakening by over 20% against the greenback. In an effort to stabilise the currency, Russia’s Central Bank called an emergency meeting and increased interest rates from 11% to 20%.
  • 28 February, asset managers begin to write down their Russian asset entirely.

March 2022

  • 1 March, S&P Global Ratings downgrades several Russian banks and placed the ratings of another 19 on CreditWatch negative.
  • 2 March, Russia’s Central bank desperately attempts to prevent a run on Russian bank reserves by announcing lower reserve requirements. The Central bank announced that the liquidity gap in the Russian banking system was US$68 billion dollars, a 27% increase in the gap in just one day.
  • 3 March, the International Energy Agency unveils a 10-point plan to reduce Europe’s dependency on Russian gas. Europe currently is immensely reliant on Russian oil with roughly 40% of its gas supplied by Russia.
  • 4 March, Major index providers, such as MSCI, FTSE and S&P begin to announce that the Russian market is “uninvestable” with indices recalculated by 9 March. All Russian assets were marked down to effectively zero.
  • 4 March, the Australian Federal government called on Australian superannuation funds to divest Russian assets. Australian superannuation funds confirm that they are set to encounter losses of up to A$2bn on Russian assets when trading resumes on the Moscow Stock Exchange.
  • 6 March, Visa, Mastercard and American Express announce that they will be suspending all foreign transactions associated with Russia.
  • 8 March, countless top brands and industry leaders such as Disney, Exxon, Shell, Apple and McDonalds either suspend operations in Russia or make plans to wind them down. Further, the US announced a ban on all imports of Russian Energy in addition to banning exports of oil refining technology making it substantially more difficult for Russia to continue the modernisation of their oil refineries.
  • 10 March, Russian companies begin looking into the possibility of relocating employees from Russia.

Conclusion

While share price movements have been severe in isolation, Lonsec notes that losses at an overall fund level have tended to be relatively contained given Russia makes up only a small proportion of emerging markets universe. There were however a small number of managers which had a material allocation to Russia through the early parts of 2022. While these exposures were progressively paired back in most instances, the write-off of the remaining holdings will however meaningfully impact Fund performance in the short-to-medium term.

Regardless of direct exposure, Lonsec highlights that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will continue to meaningfully influence financial markets for the foreseeable future given the long-lasting repercussions on global trade. The idea of a single and open global economy is now a distant dream given the geopolitical tensions between superpowers Russia, China, the US and NATO nations. This comes off the back of already fractured relations following the onset of the pandemic in 2020. The onset of war and related sanctions add fuel to an inflation bonfire initially lit by a resurgence in demand as the world emerged from the pandemic. Higher interest rates could well be imposed at an even quicker rate than expected, potentially stifling economic growth and asset prices in the process.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document is published by Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561, AFSL No. 421445 (Lonsec). Please read the following before making any investment decision about any financial product mentioned in this document.
Disclosure as at the date of publication: Lonsec receives fees from fund managers or product issuers for researching their financial product(s) using comprehensive and objective criteria. Lonsec receives subscriptions for providing research content to subscribers including fund managers and product issuers. Lonsec receives fees for providing investment consulting advice to clients, which includes model portfolios, approved product lists and other advice. Lonsec’s fees are not linked to the product rating outcome or the inclusion of products in model portfolios, or in approved product lists. Lonsec and its representatives, Authorised Representatives and their respective associates may have positions in the financial product(s) mentioned in this document, which may change during the life of this document, but Lonsec considers such holdings not to be sufficiently material to compromise any recommendation or advice.
Warnings: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information contained in this document is obtained from various sources deemed to be reliable. It is not guaranteed as accurate or complete and should not be relied upon as such. Opinions expressed are subject to change. This document is but one tool to help make investment decisions. The changing character of markets requires constant analysis and may result in changes. Any express or implied rating or advice presented in this document is limited to “General Advice” (as defined in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)) and based solely on consideration of the investment merits of the financial product(s) alone, without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs (‘financial circumstances’) of any particular person. It does not constitute a recommendation to purchase, redeem or sell the relevant financial product(s).
Before making an investment decision based on the rating(s) or advice, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances, or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness. If our advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of particular financial product(s), the reader should obtain and consider the Investment Statement or Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product before making any decision about whether to acquire a financial product. Where Lonsec’s research process relies upon the participation of the fund manager(s) or product issuer(s) and they are no longer an active participant in Lonsec’s research process, Lonsec reserves the right to withdraw the document at any time and discontinue future coverage of the financial product(s).
Disclaimer: This document is for the exclusive use of the person to whom it is provided by Lonsec and must not be used or relied upon by any other person. No representation, warranty or undertaking is given or made in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this document, which is drawn from public information not verified by Lonsec. Financial conclusions, ratings and advice are reasonably held at the time of completion but subject to change without notice. Lonsec assumes no obligation to update this document following publication. Except for any liability which cannot be excluded, Lonsec, its directors, officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability for any error or inaccuracy in, misstatement or omission from, this document or any loss or damage suffered by the reader or any other person as a consequence of relying upon it.
Copyright © 2022 Lonsec Research Pty Ltd (ABN 11 151 658 561, AFSL No. 421445) (Lonsec). This document is subject to copyright of Lonsec. Except for the temporary copy held in a computer’s cache and a single permanent copy for your personal reference or other than as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), no part of this document may, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, micro-copying, photocopying, recording or otherwise), be reproduced, stored or transmitted without the prior written permission of Lonsec.
This document may also contain third party supplied material that is subject to copyright. Any such material is the intellectual property of that third party or its content providers. The same restrictions applying above to Lonsec copyrighted material, applies to such third party content.

After several weeks of diplomatic tensions, over the last few days the word has watched in shock as Russia invades Ukraine. By way of background, the Ukraine was part of the former Soviet Union and gained independence from the USSR in 1991 following the gradual collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe in 1989. The recent tensions can be traced back to 1994 when the Budapest Memorandum was signed by the US, UK, Russia and the Ukraine when the Ukraine essentially agreed to give up their nuclear weapons and in return recognition of their sovereignty and ‘assurances’ of assistance should they face aggression. The west also opened the door for former Soviet states such as the Ukraine and Georgia to become members of NATO which was deemed to be unpalatable to the Russian government. Roll forward and we have seen Russian annex the Ukrainian region of Crimea in 2014 as well as making incursions into the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. The situation is complex and the coming days and weeks will provide us greater clarity on the direction tensions may take.

From a market perspective, we have seen markets price in the risk of a conflict with five-year credit default swaps blowing out for Russia and the Ukraine debt reflecting the additional risk for swapping out sovereign default risk. Equity markets are likely to be volatile until there is more clarity on the situation.

Russia & Ukraine 5yr Credit Default Swaps (bp)

Source: Capital Economics

Geopolitical risks are difficult to predict and even more difficult to manage for within a portfolio context. In recent years we have seen growing tensions between China and the US, North Korea agitate, and ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, such as the Syrian conflict. Typically, markets tend to react sharply and quickly to geopolitical events. If we look at how markets reacted during the Gulf War in the early 90s when Iraq invaded Kuwait, the S&P 500 feel sharply but also recovered quickly. The chart below shows the drawdown from previous peak in the market. While every conflict is different, markets like certainty and a clear direction. Until that time, expect markets to be volatile.

 S&P 500, Drawdown from previous peak (%)

Source: Capital Economics

As we see the Russia/Ukraine conflict escalate our expectation is that energy prices will increase given Russia is a large oil and gas producer and Europe relies heavily on Russian energy. A significant development has been the move to block Russian banks from the SWIFT global payments system and freeze the Bank of Russia’s reserves which are expected to severely restrict movement of capital from Russia. We also saw the decision by Germany to suspend the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, a gas pipe connecting Russian gas to Germany. This is significant because Germany essentially shut down its nuclear power stations opting for gas via the new pipeline. It will be interesting to observe whether this will be a catalyst for Europe to rethink their energy sources to reduce their reliance on Russian gas.

We are monitoring the developments in the conflict and are assessing what our potential exposure is to Russia and Ukraine within the portfolios. Our portfolios remain diversified, and we hold assets such as gold and alternative assets within the portfolios which have been included to assist in managing risk. Coupled with this, we continue to assess the impact growing inflation may have on our portfolios having recently held interim investment committee meetings as new information comes to hand.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document is published by Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583, a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR 1236821) (LIS) of Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561 AFSL 421 445 (Lonsec Research).  LIS creates the model portfolios it distributes using the investment research provided by Lonsec Research but LIS has not had any involvement in the investment research process for Lonsec Research. LIS and Lonsec Research are owned by Lonsec Holdings Pty Ltd ACN 151 235 406. Please read the following before making any investment decision about any financial product mentioned in this document.

DISCLOSURE AT THE DATE OF PUBLICATION: Lonsec Research receives a fee from the relevant fund manager or product issuer(s) for researching financial products (using objective criteria) which may be referred to in this document. Lonsec Research may also receive a fee from the fund manager or product issuer(s) for subscribing to research content and other Lonsec Research services.  LIS receives a fee for providing the model portfolios to financial services organisations and professionals. LIS’ and Lonsec Research’s fees are not linked to the financial product rating(s) outcome or the inclusion of the financial product(s) in model portfolios. LIS and Lonsec Research and their representatives and/or their associates may hold any financial product(s) referred to in this document, but details of these holdings are not known to the Lonsec Research analyst(s).

WARNINGS: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any express or implied rating or advice presented in this document is limited to general advice and based solely on consideration of the investment merits of the financial product(s) alone, without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs (“financial circumstances”) of any particular person. Before making an investment decision based on the rating or advice, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness.  If the financial advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a particular financial product, the reader should obtain and consider the Investment Statement or the Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product before making any decision about whether to acquire the financial product.

DISCLAIMER: No representation, warranty or undertaking is given or made in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this document, which is drawn from public information not verified by LIS. The information contained in this document is current as at the date of publication. Financial conclusions, ratings and advice are reasonably held at the time of publication but subject to change without notice. LIS assumes no obligation to update this document following publication. Except for any liability which cannot be excluded, LIS and Lonsec Research, their directors, officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability for any error or inaccuracy in, misstatement or omission from, this document or any loss or damage suffered by the reader or any other person as a consequence of relying upon it.

Copyright © 2022 Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583 (LIS). This document may also contain third party supplied material that is subject to copyright.  The same restrictions that apply to LIS copyrighted material, apply to such third-party content.

When it comes to choosing a good financial adviser, it is important to find someone that you trust, shares your investment ethos and who has experience investing for someone at your stage in life.

Whether you are nearing retirement or just starting your investing journey, asking these five questions will help you find the right adviser with whom you can build a good partnership.

Who is the adviser’s ideal client?

It is important to understand who their ideal client is, the market in which they operate and if that is for you. For example, if you are in pre-retirement, you want an adviser that has experience in this area as they will be more familiar with your needs.

Choosing someone who has experience with your life stage will also guide how they interact with you. For example, advisers dealing with younger clients are more likely to embrace video and other digital platforms.

You need to feel comfortable with how an adviser communicates with you and that you can understand and use the information presented.

What is the proposition?

You need to understand what areas the adviser is most comfortable with, their particular areas of expertise and how innovative and open to new areas of advice they are.

It is also crucial to understand their approach to ongoing advice, and if that resonates with how you want the relationship to evolve.

Other things to consider include how often they communicate with you to show how your investments are performing, how receptive they are to you contacting them and what you can expect from your review meetings.

What is their investing approach?

What is the adviser’s approach to driving income, growth and managing portfolio risk? For example, if your investment goal is to generate income, you should choose an adviser that can target this. Conversely, if you are happy to forgo returns to manage your risk more closely, an adviser that understands this is paramount.

Active or passive investments?

You should know the adviser’s investment philosophy for active or passive investments. Some advocate passive investments, such as index funds, while others favour actively managed portfolios.
Preferences for passive or active investments have an impact on costs, potential risks and returns. An adviser should be clear about these when discussing investment options.

Another thing to consider is how an adviser manages cash in a portfolio.

While returns from cash are negligible right now, it does have a role to play in a diversified portfolio. Asking about an adviser’s approach to cash can give you an idea into how they manage portfolio risk.

Listed or unlisted investments?

If liquidity and transparency of holdings is important to you, an adviser comfortable managing portfolios made up of assets with these characteristics may be more appropriate for you.

Holding listed and unlisted assets may have different tax and cost implications and may also impact the regularity of reporting. The adviser needs to have experience managing these in a way that is appropriate to your portfolio and life stage.

Working with a financial adviser is a partnership and asking these questions of prospective advisers can help you decide if you can work with them and trust them with your money.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document is published by Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583, a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR 1236821) (LIS) of Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561 AFSL 421 445 (Lonsec Research).  LIS creates the model portfolios it distributes using the investment research provided by Lonsec Research but LIS has not had any involvement in the investment research process for Lonsec Research. LIS and Lonsec Research are owned by Lonsec Holdings Pty Ltd ACN 151 235 406. Please read the following before making any investment decision about any financial product mentioned in this document.

DISCLOSURE AT THE DATE OF PUBLICATION: Lonsec Research receives a fee from the relevant fund manager or product issuer(s) for researching financial products (using objective criteria) which may be referred to in this document. Lonsec Research may also receive a fee from the fund manager or product issuer(s) for subscribing to research content and other Lonsec Research services.  LIS receives a fee for providing the model portfolios to financial services organisations and professionals. LIS’ and Lonsec Research’s fees are not linked to the financial product rating(s) outcome or the inclusion of the financial product(s) in model portfolios. LIS and Lonsec Research and their representatives and/or their associates may hold any financial product(s) referred to in this document, but details of these holdings are not known to the Lonsec Research analyst(s).

WARNINGS: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any express or implied rating or advice presented in this document is limited to general advice and based solely on consideration of the investment merits of the financial product(s) alone, without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs (“financial circumstances”) of any particular person. Before making an investment decision based on the rating or advice, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness.  If the financial advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a particular financial product, the reader should obtain and consider the Investment Statement or the Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product before making any decision about whether to acquire the financial product.

DISCLAIMER: No representation, warranty or undertaking is given or made in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this document, which is drawn from public information not verified by LIS. The information contained in this document is current as at the date of publication. Financial conclusions, ratings and advice are reasonably held at the time of publication but subject to change without notice. LIS assumes no obligation to update this document following publication. Except for any liability which cannot be excluded, LIS and Lonsec Research, their directors, officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability for any error or inaccuracy in, misstatement or omission from, this document or any loss or damage suffered by the reader or any other person as a consequence of relying upon it.

Copyright © 2022 Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583 (LIS). This document may also contain third party supplied material that is subject to copyright.  The same restrictions that apply to LIS copyrighted material, apply to such third-party content.

Volatility and market uncertainty is increasing as markets react to news about interest rate rises. We asked Chief Investment Officer, Lukasz de Pourbaix, to give us an update on whether the current market situation has impacted Lonsec’s dynamic asset allocation views and whether any changes will be made to the Lonsec portfolios’ positions.

Lukasz explains that as part of Lonsec’s Investment Committee oversight process the team will continue to analyse and closely monitor the evolving situation. Rebalancing portfolios will become increasingly important over the next 12 months however the portfolios have a good built-in diversification across investment strategies and styles and Lonsec is comfortable with the portfolios’ current positions.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document is published by Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583, a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR 1236821) (LIS) of Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561 AFSL 421 445 (Lonsec Research).  LIS creates the model portfolios it distributes using the investment research provided by Lonsec Research but LIS has not had any involvement in the investment research process for Lonsec Research. LIS and Lonsec Research are owned by Lonsec Holdings Pty Ltd ACN 151 235 406. Please read the following before making any investment decision about any financial product mentioned in this document.

DISCLOSURE AT THE DATE OF PUBLICATION: Lonsec Research receives a fee from the relevant fund manager or product issuer(s) for researching financial products (using objective criteria) which may be referred to in this document. Lonsec Research may also receive a fee from the fund manager or product issuer(s) for subscribing to research content and other Lonsec Research services.  LIS receives a fee for providing the model portfolios to financial services organisations and professionals. LIS’ and Lonsec Research’s fees are not linked to the financial product rating(s) outcome or the inclusion of the financial product(s) in model portfolios. LIS and Lonsec Research and their representatives and/or their associates may hold any financial product(s) referred to in this document, but details of these holdings are not known to the Lonsec Research analyst(s).

WARNINGS: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any express or implied rating or advice presented in this document is limited to general advice and based solely on consideration of the investment merits of the financial product(s) alone, without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs (“financial circumstances”) of any particular person. Before making an investment decision based on the rating or advice, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness.  If the financial advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a particular financial product, the reader should obtain and consider the Investment Statement or the Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product before making any decision about whether to acquire the financial product.

DISCLAIMER: No representation, warranty or undertaking is given or made in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this document, which is drawn from public information not verified by LIS. The information contained in this document is current as at the date of publication. Financial conclusions, ratings and advice are reasonably held at the time of publication but subject to change without notice. LIS assumes no obligation to update this document following publication. Except for any liability which cannot be excluded, LIS and Lonsec Research, their directors, officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability for any error or inaccuracy in, misstatement or omission from, this document or any loss or damage suffered by the reader or any other person as a consequence of relying upon it.

Copyright © 2022 Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583 (LIS). This document may also contain third party supplied material that is subject to copyright.  The same restrictions that apply to LIS copyrighted material, apply to such third-party content.

I hope everyone had the opportunity to have a restful break.

Markets have kicked of 2022 with a bang. Inflation is on everyone’s lips and we saw markets gyrate widely ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s meeting in January. What is certain is that markets do not like uncertainly and in this instance the market was trying to process whether the Fed will raise rates, and if so by how much and when. Additionally, markets were eager to understand the Fed’s direction on their liquidity support for the economy via quantitative easing (where the Fed buys government bonds), which has been an anchor for markets for the best part of the last decade. The Fed essentially indicated that inflation may increase further before it moderates, that a rate rise in March is possible and that liquidity support through quantitative easing will continue to slow down. In addition to inflation, the ongoing flow on effects from the pandemic and growing geopolitical tensions between Russia, the Ukraine and western powers has also contributed to market volatility.

As we have learned from previous periods of volatility, it is important not to react emotionally in such periods and focus on fundamentals. In periods of market volatility quality assets often get oversold. During the last two years we have witnessed a record level of new retail investors enter the market, as reflected by the surge in new online share trading accounts being opened and for many this will be their first encounter with a market downturn. No doubt there will be some nervous investors.

In our view inflation is a concern, however we don’t think that exiting the market and going into cash is the answer. Real returns from cash will be negligible and trying to time a re-entry point in the market is difficult. Despite the pull back in markets, assets generally remain in expensive territory. What has changed is that cyclical and liquidity/policy indicators have softened and some of the short term risk indicators have risen. As bond yields have risen the attractiveness of bonds relative to equities is improving.  In such environments diversification is important. Our portfolios have exposure to a range of assets and investment styles that can perform in a variety of market environments. Exposure to asset classes such as infrastructure can assist in generating real returns. Furthermore, alternative assets such as gold and diversified strategies should dampen overall portfolio volatility. We are also reviewing are overall exposure to different factors i.e. growth, quality and value to ensure that we are not overexposed to a single part of the market.

As we did during the previous ‘covid’ market pull back, we are holding interim and more regular investment committee meetings to assess the evolving market situation. We are also engaging with fund managers to obtain a range of perspectives on the current market dynamics.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document is published by Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583, a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR 1236821) (LIS) of Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561 AFSL 421 445 (Lonsec Research).  LIS creates the model portfolios it distributes using the investment research provided by Lonsec Research but LIS has not had any involvement in the investment research process for Lonsec Research. LIS and Lonsec Research are owned by Lonsec Holdings Pty Ltd ACN 151 235 406. Please read the following before making any investment decision about any financial product mentioned in this document.

DISCLOSURE AT THE DATE OF PUBLICATION: Lonsec Research receives a fee from the relevant fund manager or product issuer(s) for researching financial products (using objective criteria) which may be referred to in this document. Lonsec Research may also receive a fee from the fund manager or product issuer(s) for subscribing to research content and other Lonsec Research services.  LIS receives a fee for providing the model portfolios to financial services organisations and professionals. LIS’ and Lonsec Research’s fees are not linked to the financial product rating(s) outcome or the inclusion of the financial product(s) in model portfolios. LIS and Lonsec Research and their representatives and/or their associates may hold any financial product(s) referred to in this document, but details of these holdings are not known to the Lonsec Research analyst(s).

WARNINGS: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any express or implied rating or advice presented in this document is limited to general advice and based solely on consideration of the investment merits of the financial product(s) alone, without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs (“financial circumstances”) of any particular person. Before making an investment decision based on the rating or advice, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness.  If the financial advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a particular financial product, the reader should obtain and consider the Investment Statement or the Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product before making any decision about whether to acquire the financial product.

DISCLAIMER: No representation, warranty or undertaking is given or made in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this document, which is drawn from public information not verified by LIS. The information contained in this document is current as at the date of publication. Financial conclusions, ratings and advice are reasonably held at the time of publication but subject to change without notice. LIS assumes no obligation to update this document following publication. Except for any liability which cannot be excluded, LIS and Lonsec Research, their directors, officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability for any error or inaccuracy in, misstatement or omission from, this document or any loss or damage suffered by the reader or any other person as a consequence of relying upon it.

Copyright © 2022 Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583 (LIS). This document may also contain third party supplied material that is subject to copyright.  The same restrictions that apply to LIS copyrighted material, apply to such third-party content.

Welcome to the first in a new Lonsec Insights series called Manager in Focus. Manager in Focus aims to demystify the investment process and give access to the brightest minds in Australia’s investment community.

In this first Manager in Focus video, Peter Green, Head of Equities Research at Lonsec Research brings together Dushko Bajic, Head of Australian Equities, Growth at First Sentier Investors, Jared Pohl, Cofounder of ECP Asset Management and Stephen Wood, Principal and Portfolio Manager at Eiger Capital to discuss their qualitative research and investment processes, what they look for in target investments, how they have built and maintain their team and what they do when things don’t go as planned. Each of these managers run funds that have been rated as Highly Recommended by Lonsec Research in the recent Australian Equities review.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This video is published by Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561, AFSL No. 421445 (Lonsec). Please read the following before making any investment decision about any financial product mentioned in this video.
Disclosure as at the date of publication: Lonsec receives fees from fund managers or product issuers for researching their financial product(s) using comprehensive and objective criteria. Lonsec receives subscriptions for providing research content to subscribers including fund managers and product issuers. Lonsec receives fees for providing investment consulting advice to clients, which includes model portfolios, approved product lists and other advice. Lonsec’s fees are not linked to the product rating outcome or the inclusion of products in model portfolios, or in approved product lists. Lonsec and its representatives, Authorised Representatives and their respective associates may have positions in the financial product(s) mentioned in this video, which may change during the life of this video, but Lonsec considers such holdings not to be sufficiently material to compromise any recommendation or advice.
Warnings: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information contained in this video is obtained from various sources deemed to be reliable. It is not guaranteed as accurate or complete and should not be relied upon as such. Opinions expressed are subject to change. This video is but one tool to help make investment decisions. The changing character of markets requires constant analysis and may result in changes. Any express or implied rating or advice presented in this video is limited to “General Advice” (as defined in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)) and based solely on consideration of the investment merits of the financial product(s) alone, without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs (‘financial circumstances’) of any particular person. It does not constitute a recommendation to purchase, redeem or sell the relevant financial product(s).
Before making an investment decision based on the rating(s) or advice, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances, or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness. If our advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of particular financial product(s), the reader should obtain and consider the Investment Statement or Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product before making any decision about whether to acquire a financial product. Where Lonsec’s research process relies upon the participation of the fund manager(s) or product issuer(s) and they are no longer an active participant in Lonsec’s research process, Lonsec reserves the right to withdraw the video at any time and discontinue future coverage of the financial product(s).
Disclaimer: This video is for the exclusive use of the person to whom it is provided by Lonsec and must not be used or relied upon by any other person. No representation, warranty or undertaking is given or made in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this video, which is drawn from third party information or opinion not verified by Lonsec. Financial conclusions, ratings and advice are reasonably held at the time of completion but subject to change without notice. Lonsec assumes no obligation to update this video following publication. Except for any liability which cannot be excluded, Lonsec, its directors, officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability for any error or inaccuracy in, misstatement or omission from, this video or any loss or damage suffered by the viewer or any other person as a consequence of relying upon it.

Copyright © 2021 Lonsec Research Pty Ltd (ABN 11 151 658 561, AFSL No. 421445) (Lonsec). This video is subject to copyright of Lonsec. Except for the temporary copy held in a computer’s cache and a single permanent copy for your personal reference or other than as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), no part of this video may, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, micro-copying, photocopying, recording or otherwise), be reproduced, stored or transmitted without the prior written permission of Lonsec.

This video may also contain third party supplied material that is subject to copyright. Any such material is the intellectual property of that third party or its content providers. The same restrictions applying above to Lonsec copyrighted material, applies to such third party content.

Important information: Any express or implied rating or advice is limited to general advice, it doesn’t consider any personal needs, goals or objectives.  Before making any decision about financial products, consider whether it is personally appropriate for you in light of your personal circumstances. Obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product and seek professional personal advice before making any decisions regarding a financial product.

Increasingly, it is no longer enough for advisers to be reactive when clients ask about sustainable investing. It is vital that you have an ESG/Sustainable alternative as part of portfolio recommendations for your clients.

We have put together 5 questions you should be asking your clients when discussing sustainable investments ranging from how much clients now about ESG and sustainable investing to whether they need to see the sustainability credentials of underlying holdings.

  1. Do you want sustainable/ESG options?

An obvious first question but acting in the best interest of a client means delivering a solution that ties into a client’s interests. For some, it means investing sustainably, for others, it is not a factor. FASEA Code #6 states a solution must consider a client’s long term aims, which may involve investing sustainably.

  1. Do you know what ESG actually means?

This might seem like a simple question, but most investors are unaware that ESG is an investment process and not the means by which the “goodness” of a portfolio can be immediately assessed.

As an investment process, ESG takes into consideration the risk and downside potential of investing in a company (or investment) from an environmental, social or governance perspective. However, it does not mean that such an investment will not take place if the potential upside outweighs these risks. Understanding this difference is important to ensure you match investment suggestions with your client’s values.

  1. Do you want to make a difference to society through your investment choices?

Given that ESG is about investment process and doesn’t necessarily consider whether an investment delivers positively to society, unpacking this difference might narrow the selection of investment options. By narrowing these options, you will ultimately ensure that you are really acting in the best interest of your client by only suggesting solutions that match their views on sustainable investing.

The Lonsec Sustainable Managed Portfolios consider both ESG risk and sustainability measures. These sustainability measures focus on the goodness the funds included in the Portfolios and are underpinned by the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

  1. Are there specific industries that you would prefer to exclude?

Each client is different and what one considers inappropriate could be appropriate for others Having a good understanding of what lines cannot be crossed is important and once you have this information, you can then identify a solution that meets your client’s requirements.

The filter tool in Lonsec’s iRate® platform allows you to exclude ten specific controversial industries from your product selection.  In addition, our Sustainability reports give in depth reviews of how products support sustainable outcomes and the extent to which any controversial industries are included in a portfolio. This way you can screen out any controversial industries that you client specifically does not want to invest in.

  1. Do you want to be able to see how much “good” your investment is delivering?

As the number of ethical and Sustainable products have grown, many are not as green or sustainable as they claim. With some solutions it is difficult to see exactly how they are delivering on their sustainability claims as the underlying holdings or progress against sustainable goals are not clearly reported.

If visibility of an investment’s sustainability promise is important to a client, you must identify solutions that report openly and clearly on these factors. Lonsec reports on its delivery against its Sustainable goals. The portfolios actively report against a number of factors such as reduction in CO2.

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document is published by Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583, a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR 1236821) (LIS) of Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561 AFSL 421 445 (Lonsec Research).  LIS creates the model portfolios it distributes using the investment research provided by Lonsec Research but LIS has not had any involvement in the investment research process for Lonsec Research. LIS and Lonsec Research are owned by Lonsec Holdings Pty Ltd ACN 151 235 406. Please read the following before making any investment decision about any financial product mentioned in this document.

DISCLOSURE AT THE DATE OF PUBLICATION: Lonsec Research receives a fee from the relevant fund manager or product issuer(s) for researching financial products (using objective criteria) which may be referred to in this document. Lonsec Research may also receive a fee from the fund manager or product issuer(s) for subscribing to research content and other Lonsec Research services.  LIS receives a fee for providing the model portfolios to financial services organisations and professionals. LIS’ and Lonsec Research’s fees are not linked to the financial product rating(s) outcome or the inclusion of the financial product(s) in model portfolios. LIS and Lonsec Research and their representatives and/or their associates may hold any financial product(s) referred to in this document, but details of these holdings are not known to the Lonsec Research analyst(s).

WARNINGS: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any express or implied rating or advice presented in this document is limited to general advice and based solely on consideration of the investment merits of the financial product(s) alone, without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs (“financial circumstances”) of any particular person. Before making an investment decision based on the rating or advice, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness.  If the financial advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a particular financial product, the reader should obtain and consider the Investment Statement or the Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product before making any decision about whether to acquire the financial product.

DISCLAIMER: No representation, warranty or undertaking is given or made in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this document, which is drawn from public information not verified by LIS. The information contained in this document is current as at the date of publication. Financial conclusions, ratings and advice are reasonably held at the time of publication but subject to change without notice. LIS assumes no obligation to update this document following publication. Except for any liability which cannot be excluded, LIS and Lonsec Research, their directors, officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability for any error or inaccuracy in, misstatement or omission from, this document or any loss or damage suffered by the reader or any other person as a consequence of relying upon it.

Copyright © 2021 Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583 (LIS). This document may also contain third party supplied material that is subject to copyright.  The same restrictions that apply to LIS copyrighted material, apply to such third-party content.

The upward trajectory in equity markets has continued unabated. Markets continue to be supported by low interest rates and central bank liquidity support. The US Federal Reserve’s recent comments that that they would continue their asset purchase program and that interest rates are not expected to rise anytime soon has added fuel to markets. This is despite growing concerns of rising inflation, which has been a major focal point for central banks and investors alike. One of our observations is that markets are disregarding any negative news which is of concern as this is typical behavior in the late stages of a bull market. Uncertainty also remains as to the playbook the pandemic will follow. The spike in the Delta strain of Covid-19 has highlighted the evolving nature of the virus and, as we have seen domestically, it has had a material impact on Australia’s ability to ‘open up’, which has had a detrimental impact on many households and small businesses. Furthermore, geopolitical risk continues to flare up with the recent retreat of the US from Afghanistan creating a power vacuum in that region.

Our asset allocation positioning has been positive for investors as we have maintained an overweight exposure to risk assets such as equities. We are seeing that asset valuations in some sectors are looking stretched as the market has extended its rally. We are looking at ways to further diversify our portfolios as well as looking at opportunities to take profits via portfolio rebalancing where appropriate. The main challenge from a portfolio construction perspective at the moment is that bonds and cash do not look particularly attractive, so the hunt for other diversifying assets is a focus for us. Within our multi-asset portfolios, we have incorporated a range of assets such as gold and alternative strategies to provide diversification from equities and bonds.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document is published by Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583, a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR 1236821) (LIS) of Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561 AFSL 421 445 (Lonsec Research).  LIS creates the model portfolios it distributes using the investment research provided by Lonsec Research but LIS has not had any involvement in the investment research process for Lonsec Research. LIS and Lonsec Research are owned by Lonsec Holdings Pty Ltd ACN 151 235 406. Please read the following before making any investment decision about any financial product mentioned in this document.

DISCLOSURE AT THE DATE OF PUBLICATION: Lonsec Research receives a fee from the relevant fund manager or product issuer(s) for researching financial products (using objective criteria) which may be referred to in this document. Lonsec Research may also receive a fee from the fund manager or product issuer(s) for subscribing to research content and other Lonsec Research services.  LIS receives a fee for providing the model portfolios to financial services organisations and professionals. LIS’ and Lonsec Research’s fees are not linked to the financial product rating(s) outcome or the inclusion of the financial product(s) in model portfolios. LIS and Lonsec Research and their representatives and/or their associates may hold any financial product(s) referred to in this document, but details of these holdings are not known to the Lonsec Research analyst(s).

WARNINGS: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any express or implied rating or advice presented in this document is limited to general advice and based solely on consideration of the investment merits of the financial product(s) alone, without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs (“financial circumstances”) of any particular person. Before making an investment decision based on the rating or advice, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness.  If the financial advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a particular financial product, the reader should obtain and consider the Investment Statement or the Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product before making any decision about whether to acquire the financial product.

DISCLAIMER: No representation, warranty or undertaking is given or made in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this document, which is drawn from public information not verified by LIS. The information contained in this document is current as at the date of publication. Financial conclusions, ratings and advice are reasonably held at the time of publication but subject to change without notice. LIS assumes no obligation to update this document following publication. Except for any liability which cannot be excluded, LIS and Lonsec Research, their directors, officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability for any error or inaccuracy in, misstatement or omission from, this document or any loss or damage suffered by the reader or any other person as a consequence of relying upon it.

Copyright © 2021 Lonsec Investment Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 608 837 583 (LIS). This document may also contain third party supplied material that is subject to copyright.  The same restrictions that apply to LIS copyrighted material, apply to such third-party content.

Important information: Any express or implied rating or advice is limited to general advice, it doesn’t consider any personal needs, goals or objectives.  Before making any decision about financial products, consider whether it is personally appropriate for you in light of your personal circumstances. Obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement for each financial product and seek professional personal advice before making any decisions regarding a financial product.