Lonsec Research chatted with leading Fixed Income Managers to learn more about the sector, how they are approaching the changing investment landscape and what drew them to this sometimes overlooked, but very important, sector.

In this video, Isrin Khor, Lonsec Sector Manager of Fixed Income is joined by Anthony Kirkham, Head of Melbourne Operations and Investment Management/Portfolio Manager at Western Asset Management, and Sachin Gupta, Managing Director and Head of the Global Desk at PIMCO. The discussion focuses on the key qualitative strengths of PIMCO and Western Asset, particularly on business, people, and the process followed by a market outlook discussion.

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.
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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).
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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.

As always there will be many different opinions on what might happen to markets in the coming year, but by and large most will agree it is unlikely to top the volatility and uncertainty of 2020. Amid the stimulus packages, lockdowns, PPE and politics, COVID-19 also brought to an end one long running market cycle and ushered in a new one, offering investors new opportunities with the potential for new risks and returns.

We believe understanding and navigating both will be more important than ever.

One of the main risks that still carries over from the last few years is the concentration of the index in just a few mega-capitalization companies. In fact, when considering the S&P 500, the top 10 companies still account for around 28% of the index, and as of late December 2020 the top 6 were worth more than the bottom 372 companies.

 

 

Why is this a problem?

Well if you’re buying the index you’re buying very expensive companies that have already grown substantially during 2020 such as Apple 86% and Amazon 76%. What’s riskier is Tesla (TLA) is nearly 2% of the index but only joined in late 2020, so index investors didn’t receive most of the benefit of its 700%+ growth, but bear all the downside if the stock were to fall.

Investors usually choose indices for their diversity – perhaps now they need to look again.

In addition, while global stimulus and support packages have helped economies from falling off a cliff, they have also pumped a lot more liquidity (cash) into the system. This, along with low interest rates may well support inflation for the first time in decades which even in small amounts can have a profound effect on stocks. Stocks with high valuations that are dominating the index (technology) are more susceptible to the increase in interest rates that usually accompanies inflation, meaning to get your money back you need to wait years if not decades. This is less the case with other sectors.

Is this likely?

While the potential for inflation is there, so too are signs of a rotation away from the tech stocks to those less highly valued sectors of the economy. From September to mid-December 2020, the S&P500 Value index outperformed Growth by around 8%, driven by more certainty about the real economy restarting on the back of a COVID-19 vaccine. While we can’t predict the future there is precedent here going back to the dotcom bust of 2000, where in the following 5 years Value had a resurgence to the point where it outperformed over the 10 years pre and post the bust.

 

To add to this are current data showing a significant increase in activity in the bellwether ISM New Orders Index which measures manufacturing activity, up 40% since the lows of 2020 and its highest level in over 3 years. The opportunity here lies in those sectors and regions that benefit from this new cycle economy, sectors that have been neglected, and so are cheap, but stand to benefit from the surge of global economic activity as populations slowly become vaccinated. The rewards here could be substantial.

Added benefit of options

Finally, the market is currently experiencing an unusual set of dynamics. Volatility (uncertainty) is higher than the long-term average, but so is the market. Usually the market is lower when volatility is higher.

This represents both heightened uncertainty alongside optimism, which has been fueled by some arguably unsophisticated market participants.

This creates unprecedented opportunity for professional investors, and especially for Talaria’s process of using put options to enter stock positions because:

  • There is a greater contracted rate of return on the put options we sell, which can generate 3-4% p.a. more option premium into the portfolio p.a. all else being equal.
  • The opportunity cost of not being fully invested is materially reduced given low expectations for equity market returns.
  • Heightened volatility allows us to widen our buffers against loss and maintain our risk credentials.

As we like to say, certainty empowers you.

It’s been nearly a year since the world changed as COVID-19 took hold. Of all that has been written
about and said so far, the word ‘uncertain’ seems to be the most enduring.

Uncertainty is not many people’s preferred state, but for retirees in particular, it’s even more
concerning, coming at a time when the juggle and stress of raising kids and building careers should be a
warm but more distant memory.

We spend 40+ years working to build an asset base to support us in retirement and we need that asset
base to deliver three key outcomes:

• Income generation – but not at the expense of capital loss,
• growth – of outcomes, and
• certainty – of outcomes…

…and do all this for an unknown number of years.

So how has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted these three retirement needs?

While stock markets globally have largely recovered since March, the underlying economy and outlook
for businesses hasn’t. This means dividends have been cut or reduced by many companies – impacting
income. Meanwhile, other asset classes such as Fixed Interest, Bonds, and Property are also delivering
substantially less returns.

Ranjit Das, Principal at Rahali Corporation believes this is a significant problem because of the over
reliance on income since the GFC. “Even over 10 years, traditional income sources like Banks, Telstra
have underperformed the ASX200, so non-traditional income sources are essential in client portfolios,”
Ranjit said.

At the same time, there has been a lot of volatility – a direct outcome of uncertainty – across asset
classes and currencies. This means it’s hard to predict when is a good time to either sell assets if
required or buy back into them.

“Retirees are very nervous in nature as they have no means to rebuild lost wealth. Any sharp spikes to
the downside creates a fear that capital will erode, income will reduce and they will ‘run out of money’.
Any sharp upticks don’t provide any joy as retirees are ‘buy and hold’ – much more than younger clients
who may be tempted to buy/sell and rejig allocations,” said Das.

In addition, the recovery of many markets at an index level has been driven by a few – namely
technology and consumer discretionary stocks – that have skewed the index. This means that those
following the index have a greater risk by being less diversified. If you’re starting out or still in the
accumulation phase of investing this might be ok, but not for retirees as they have additional risks
namely:

Sequencing – incurring large losses early in retirement, endangering a comfortable retirement
Longevity – ensuring your investments are there to support you for the full journey; and
Inflation – ensuring the purchasing power of your investments doesn’t erode.

The culmination of COVID-19 uncertainty, loss of business, and government stimulus that is currently at
play is creating all three of these.

There are solutions however that are genuinely uncorrelated sources of income – from shadow banking
to catastrophe insurance to selling equity insurance. However, the first two are very difficult to access as
a private investor, whereas equity insurance is more accessible and easily available.

So what is it?

In a nutshell equity insurance is really a metaphor for selling put options to enter stock positions that
you want to own rather than buying them directly. This then generates a premium which is treated as
income for the investor, regardless of whether the stock is ultimately bought or not. As a result, the
process creates:

• More consistent income;
• A diversified source of return;
• A downside buffer to first loss; and
• Reduces portfolio volatility.

This means that in periods such as now, investors have somewhere else to go for income. Further, as
option premium increases with volatility, an uncertain environment in most cases increases income
from this source.

Helping to create more certainty in an uncertain world.

www.talariacapital.com.au

With central bankers around the world committing to keep interest rates low for many years to come, this creates an issue for retirees looking for income. Traditional defensive assets such as cash and fixed income which typically form a large percentage of retiree portfolios are producing levels of income significantly below historical averages.

In Australia, the RBA is keeping the 3-year yield for government bonds at 0.25%, in what is known as yield curve control. Interest rates have been suppressed for the last decade, however what is unique about the current economic climate, is that with inflation yet to emerge and central bankers focused on generating growth and employment, their signalling to the market has moved further out. Lower for much longer!

 

SuperRatings Executive Director Kirby Rappell shares the latest performance results for superannuation funds and the future outlook for the industry.

Members should be prepared for more ups and downs. However, a patient approach has paid off for members over the long term with the median balanced style fund returning 7.0% per annum since the introduction of superannuation in 1992.

 

 

 


Any advice that SuperRatings provides is of a general nature and does not take into account an individual’s financial situation, objectives or needs. Because the information that SuperRatings receives about superannuation and pension financial products is from a number of sources, it is not guaranteed to be completely accurate. Because of this, individuals should, before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness having regard to their own financial objectives, situation and needs and if appropriate, obtain personal financial advice on the matter from a financial adviser. Before making a decision regarding any financial product, individuals should obtain and consider a copy of the relevant Product Disclosure Statement from the financial product issue.

Although the secrets of a long life remain a mystery, there are now over 300,000 centenarians across the globe and the numbers are rising. Most of us will not survive to 100 no matter how many green vegetables we eat, but there is no doubt life expectancy is increasing. In Japan, 2.5 times more adult than baby diapers are sold. Australian life expectancy from birth is among the highest in the world with the average man living to 80.7 and 84.9 for a woman. It assumes no improvement in healthcare which can increase life expectancy further.

The following lesson is one of IML’s ‘20 lessons for 20 years of quality and value investing’, which were recently published by Anton Tagliaferro and the IML investment team to mark 20 years since IML was founded.

We chose this lesson for Lonsec Retire, as it highlights the need for growth assets in retirement, particularly for early retirees who typically have investment timeframes of 20+ years.

The lesson illustrates the benefits of compounding by showing how companies that reinvest back into their businesses can reward investors with increasing dividends and appreciating share prices over the long-term. Increasing dividends is vital for retirees facing significantly lower returns from popular retirement income streams such as term deposits and traditional fixed income funds.


#6 The Power and Benefits of Compounding Over Time in Equity Portfolios

Most people are familiar with the concept of compound interest when it comes to term deposits, where one can earn interest on interest by continuing to roll over a term deposit. However, many investors do not relate the concept of compounding to their investments in the sharemarket.
Compounding occurs in the sharemarket when income from an investment is reinvested back into the business, and investors are rewarded with the benefits of increasing profits and appreciating share price growth over the long-term.
For investors in the sharemarket, there are two ways compounding can work in their favour to enhance their long-term returns.

These lessons are available both in hard copy and e-book format. For a copy of the book please register your interest here or email iml@iml.com.au

**IML and Lonsec  Investment Consulting will be holding a webinar as part of Lonsec Retire Program on Wednesday, February 12th, find out more.

Real estate offers potential diversification away from traditional stocks and bonds, stable income, the possibility of capital appreciation and has historically offered inflation protection. The average Australian retiree is likely to have exposure to domestic residential real estate – through the family home, an investment property or holiday home – but these assets are likely concentrated in geography and in the residential sector. Commercial real estate can present geographic diversification to the US, Asia and Europe, and sector diversification into offices, shopping centres and industrial parks. The following article explores the investment choices for the commercial real estate asset class across the risk/return spectrum.

  • Real estate may provide investors with the potential to generate attractive long-term returns through possible asset appreciation and current income
  • Real estate also may serve as a hedge against inflation and offer diversification versus traditional stocks and bonds

Anyone who has purchased a home is a real estate investor — but there’s a big difference between taking on a mortgage and investing in office buildings, malls or industrial parks. In this blog, we explain the basics of real estate investing, the potential benefits, and the ways that individuals can add real estate exposure to their portfolio.

To find out more about this article, please contact:

Sam Sorace

Director, Wholesale Sales

Invesco Australia

Direct   +61 3 9611 3744

Mobile  +61 413 050 909

sam.sorace@invesco.com

In our first paper: “Balancing the Needs, Challenges and Dilemmas of Retirement Investing”, we noted that Income generation isn’t as easy as it once was. The fact retirees require income needs no explanation.

How should we think about generating income in retirement? In August 1991 the Budget address, by then Treasurer John Kerin, proposed the introduction of compulsory superannuation in
1992. At the time a 90 Day Bank Term Deposit was paying 9.75% p.a.

Bank Term Deposits are one of the reasons Australia is the ‘lucky country’ as today these are guaranteed, or true ‘risk free’ investments. Unfortunately, while the ‘risk free’ aspect
remains attractive, the investment returns compared to 30 years ago are not.

While cash remains ‘risk free’ relying on it as your only source of income risks quality of life in retirement. Therefore, to generate sufficient income to sustain a comfortable retirement, we are forced to accept some level of investment risk. In simple terms, the more risk we accept, the higher income we should expect to generate. While acknowledging this,
acceptance of risk increases the probability that the asset base we’ve spent 40+ years working to build is at some risk of diminishing.

How Much is Enough?
The Australian Financial Security Authority “AFSA” advises that a comfortable retirement for a retiree with the ATO Median superannuation balance 5 eligible for the Government Pension needs to generate 7.6% per annum. Once upon a time, generating this level of income was achievable using “risk free” approaches. This is an exceedingly lofty ambition today with cash rates closer to 1%. As we’ve noted investing for the specific needs of retirement is incredibly complex, while much of the commentary proposes solutions that only work for those with adequate assets to be self-sufficient in retirement.

There are various proposals surrounding the use of draw-downs to supplement income generation, such as the concept of a constant draw-down policy in retirement, which we’re supportive of. However, we are concerned that their applicability is limited to only those with Asset Bases sufficiently adequate to provide for a self-funded retirement, therefore risking overlooking the
issues facing a majority of retirees.

The following commentary attempts to investigate the issues facing those with Asset Bases around the level of the ATO Median 2016-17, where the issue is more stark. For these retirees drawing down their asset base guarantees a retirement well below comfortable.

For Retirees with asset bases at or below the level of the ATO Median their Asset Base is sacrosanct.

 

James Syme, Portfolio Manager, Pendal Global Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

After five tough years, we think the combination of a more benign US monetary outlook and some extremely compelling valuations makes for some powerful opportunities in the emerging market (EM) domestic demand space.
We see domestic demand — the sum of household, government and business spending in an economy including imports but not exports — as the primary area of opportunity in EM, particularly after the 2018 sell-off.
We emphasise an exciting combination of supportive top-down conditions, good quality companies and attractive valuations.

India in favour
India is currently our most favoured market, despite economic growth recently falling to a six-year low.
We like a number of domestic names there including mortgage lenders. Now that the global liquidity outlook has eased, there is the prospect of the Reserve Bank of India continuing to cut rates even as Indian credit growth recovers.
India, unusually in EM, has not had a credit cycle in the last ten years, so the current pick-up in credit could be enduring.
Alongside that, India has ongoing demand for 5-10m residential units per year that need financing.

Mexico and UAE good value
Elsewhere, Mexican equities look markedly cheap relative to history, despite growth being decent, implying some excessively negative market expectations for the political environment.
We also like property stocks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), particularly in Dubai.
Through its currency peg, the UAE effectively imports US monetary policy. Higher US rates coincided with oversupply of development properties to push real estate prices and related stocks down significantly.
As the Fed’s more accommodative stance improves financial conditions in Dubai, and helped by rising tourist numbers, the prospects for attractively valued Dubai property stocks look good.

South Korea and China
Turning to South Korea, the ongoing corporate governance revolution there is one of the main reasons for our overweight position.
China is a slightly separate story and continues to disappoint.
It has tightened monetary policy significantly in the last two years as the strength of the US dollar has put pressure on the Chinese renminbi, which has been a constraint on the People’s Bank of China’s ability to act.
Activity indicators remain soft, and we think that more stimulus through faster credit creation remains key to a recovery in China.

We’re bullish about:
• The EM domestic demand space offers an exciting combination of supportive top-down conditions, good quality companies and attractive valuations
• A more benign US monetary policy outlook

We’re bearish about:
• Potential for escalation in the US / China trade conflict
• Chinese growth continues to disappoint

Why allocate to Emerging Markets?
As cash rates head below 1%p.a. in Australia, the need for returns from growth assets to offset lower returns from income assets becomes very important for retirees. However in terms of portfolio construction, trying to improve returns without increasing risk becomes very important, due to the increased concerns of retirees around drawdowns. ‘

We believe that a discrete allocation to Emerging Market equities can assist retiree portfolios to achieve these goals because:
• Emerging markets tend to higher GDP growth than developed markets (DM) – and higher equity market returns (+2.46% pa over 20 years^)
• Despite this, emerging market countries are under-represented in most global equity portfolios
• The different growth profiles between DM and EM bring the benefits of diversification to a global equity allocation, without the need to try and time shifts between them.

Figure 1 demonstrates that a simple 50/50 split between MSCI World and MSCI Emerging Markets would have delivered a significantly higher return, at a very small increase in risk, than a purely developed market portfolio over the last fifteen years.

  • Figure 1: Risk-return profile since 1 Jan 2001

^ Calendar year performance of MSCI World and MSCI EM indices in AUD over 20 years to 31 December 2018.

Hear more about emerging markets as London-based portfolio manager Paul Wimborne of J O Hambro Capital Management presents an update in Sydney and Melbourne in November
Sydney (Nov 14)
Melbourne (Nov 12) 

DISCLAIMER
This communication has been prepared by Pendal Fund Services Limited (PFSL) ABN 13 161 249 332, AFSL No 431426 for the exclusive use of advisers and the information contained within is current as at 21 October 2019. It is not to be published, or otherwise made available to any person other than the party to whom it is provided.
PFSL is the responsible entity and issuer of units in the Pendal Global Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund (Fund) ARSN: 159 605 811 (formerly BT Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund). A product disclosure statement (PDS) is available for the Fund and can be obtained by calling 1800 813 886 or visiting www.pendalgroup.com. You should obtain and consider the PDS before deciding whether to acquire, continue to hold or dispose of units in the Fund. An investment in the Fund referred to in this presentation is subject to investment risk, including possible delays in repayment of withdrawal proceeds and loss of income and principal invested.
This communication is for general information purposes only, should not be considered as a comprehensive statement on any matter and should not be relied upon as such. It has been prepared without taking into account any recipient’s personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, recipients should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness having regard to their or their clients’ objectives, financial situation and needs. This information is not to be regarded as a securities recommendation.
The information in this communication may contain material provided by third parties, is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate as at its issue date. While such material is published with necessary permission, and while all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information in this communication is complete and correct, to the maximum extent permitted by law neither PFSL nor any company in the Pendal group accepts any responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of this information.
Where performance returns are quoted “After fees” then this assumes reinvestment of distributions and is calculated using exit prices which take into account management costs but not tax you may pay as an investor.

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.