Equities have without a doubt benefited from falling or low interest rates in the past. Along with company earnings, the level of interest rates is indeed a crucial driver of dividend-paying shares.
Having defined and explained various management styles in equity management in part 1, we will now have a look at the specific styles and their return/risk ratio over time.
A clear sense of style is not only important in fashion, but more and more so in equity management as well. But what does “style” mean in equity management? Do stylistic preferences change over time, like in fashion? If so, what triggers those changes? Questions upon questions, but before we go into detail in part 2 of this series, let us first clarify what we mean by style(s):
“SELL IN MAY AND GO AWAY (BUT REMEMBER TO COME BACK IN SEPTEMBER)”
Who has not heard of the old stock exchange rule “Sell in May and go away” – sometimes complemented by “but remember to come back in September”. We had a closer look at this adage and have analysed the performance on the global stock exchanges over the past 48 years. To this end, we looked at an index that measures exactly that: the company MSCI launched its MSCI World index on 1 January 1970, This is also the start date of our analysis.
Many investors focus on capital gains while disregarding the significance of dividends. And are wrong in doing so, from my point of view. The total return of a share is after all the sum of capital gains (i.e. rising prices) and dividend income. Income from dividends is of particular relevance for investors with a long-term investment horizon.
Another year has passed, and it is time to look back. The year on the stock exchanges started out worse than in a long time. After only a few trading days, losses averaged 10%. The fear of economic turbulences originating in China dominated the markets. Meanwhile the currency of choice during a crisis, gold, was picking up speed, gaining 20% within a short period of time.
Equities got off to a terrible start into 2016. At the end of February, a short but intense sell-off was triggered by the emergence of concerns over a slump of the global economy in connection with China. However, since mid-February the international indices have been on the rise without any significant breaks. Not even the much-feared Brexit vote managed to dent the upswing. Although share prices were down in the immediate wake of the decision of the UK to leave the EU, they rebounded very swiftly. Read more
Real estate has been in high demand from investors for a while. The keen interest in “concrete gold” has also moved the shares of real estate companies into the limelight of investors.
The Japanese equity market has been among the weakest ones in the year to date. At -15% (as of 12 July 2016; source: Bloomberg), the Nikkei index is one of the worst performers. For euro investors, the bottom line is not as abysmal: adjusting the loss for the development of the Japanese yen vis-à-vis the euro, the performance improves to -4% (Bloomberg). In spite of the negative sign, the net result still outperforms European equities.