Every year at the beginning of May, investors are faced with the question of whether they should leave the stock exchanges and take the profits generated up to that point, and return at a later date in autumn. But is the old stock market adage “Sell in May” still valid?
On 14 March our Investment Committee met, and as always, we started out on a discussion of our risk stance, i.e. our risk assessment. From my point of view, four findings of the discussion are worth bringing up here:
To most people, the notion of the performance of shares relates to changes in the share price. This does not take into account the second component of return, i.e. the dividend. Simply looking at the share price development seems too one-sided to me. After all, dividends may account for up to a third of total return, as is the case for example for the shares listed on the Vienna stock exchange. However, shares with strong dividends do not generate the highest total return in every phase of the market.
Fears of rising interest rates are back. Was the recent 9% correction in global equities just a market blip, amplified by technical factors related to the trading of volatility products? Or something more serious – a regime shift signalling the end of the equity bull market as many have argued?
China has been increasingly opening up to the global market. Last year the Renminbi was taken into the currency basket of the International Monetary Fund in October 2016. Now, another step towards liberalisation has followed. China has cleared A-shares for international trade via trading platforms.
Shares (equities) and equity funds – the same or not? Only a small minority of Austrians invest directly or indirectly (via equity funds) in shares. Is it the fear of losses or the lack of knowledge about this asset class that make investors shy away from it?