Government bonds produced good returns last year, but at the current starting position of lower rates, the cost of defensiveness is probably a limited payoff.
Author Archive | Jonathan Rochford
APRA’s letter to super funds highlights concerns about ‘cash’ investments. A lack of understanding might haunt investors when the next downturn comes as too many people forsake protection for yield.
As interest rates fell in recent years, there was a push into emerging markets debt, but as worldwide central bank stimulus reduces, many of these ’emerging’ countries are showing why they are poorly rated.
The high yield debt market is now much larger and riskier than just before the GFC. That doesn’t bode well for when the next downturn happens and investors have several options to de-risk.
What to do when you think a market correction is overdue? Instead of selling off everything, a viable option is to position yourself for an easier exit, although it’s tougher to implement in equities than fixed interest.
A sign that the strong credit cycle is ending is the funding of some emerging market governments that are more than likely to default, but demand is driven by desire for yield regardless of risk.
Investors seeking yield need to watch the margin contraction on so-called ‘high yield’ debt, especially since the protective covenants are weaker than in the past.
Bringing funds management in-house is a popular move for large Australian super funds, but the potential problems have been highlighted by Harvard, an early pioneer of the practice, returning to outsourcing.
Family offices and institutional asset allocators select their fund managers based on different factors, and it influences the quality and outcomes of their decisions.
The reputations of credit rating agencies took a hammering during the GFC, and while there are legitimate criticisms, they have an important role to play and are followed by most major investors.
Arrium’s collapse provides a case study on how Australian banks failed to properly monitor loan quality and company developments. Compensation for risk is one thing, but equally crucial is return of capital.
The increases in margins on Australian listed hybrids are prompting investors to ask whether the returns finally match the risks. Hybrids come in many forms so watch the finer details.
Second mortgages are far more common than is recognised, often in the form of expensive debt. These ‘silent seconds’ may sit unnoticed until market conditions deteriorate and payments cannot be met.
There are seven key factors that have had a positive influence on residential housing prices over recent years, but only one of these factors is expected to remain positive over the next five years.