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Investment strategy 3rd quarter 2022

The financial markets had a rough ride in the first half of the year as monetary policies were tightened and inflation was further fuelled by the war in Ukraine. However, the months ahead could be calmer – inflation is expected to ease up, stock prices should return to more reasonable levels and there will be some attractive entry points on the bond markets.

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All eyes are on inflation

Central banks were a little too slow in normalising their monetary policies. After several decades of disinflation, it was hard for them to believe that in- flation would really take root. But the war in Ukraine changed everything. The surge in food prices looks set to last, and soaring energy prices has be- come a serious problem.

Rising energy prices have directly impacted indivi- duals’ and companies’ purchasing power, and the increase in transport costs has had a knock-on effect on the prices of other goods. Central banks are well aware of the risk of long-term inflation, and most have taken decisive action by raising key rates and reining in borrowing, at the risk of seriously hampering growth and bringing the macro cycle to an early end. But there are early signs that prices are levelling off. The many bottlenecks affecting supply chains sin- ce the COVID-19 pandemic are gradually starting to clear, which has had a positive impact on delivery times and should bring down the cost of goods. A sustained easing of inflation could lead to a soft landing for the world economy and extend the current macro cycle.

Consumer confidence has been hit hard by the rising cost of living caused by soaring inflation. But for the time being, consumer spending is holding up pretty well in developed countries – people have been building up considerable savings since 2020 and unemployment is close to its all-ti- me lows. China, the world’s second-largest economy, is a whole other story, however. The authorities there have brought in a raft of measures to boost growth after the slump caused by the spring lockdowns. Obviously, if Russia decides to cut off gas supplies to Europe, this could have a major impact on consumer and business confidence, so we will be keeping a close watch on what happens there. But an easing of inflation over the summer should calm fears of a global recession and provide a boost to the financial markets, which had a particularly tough time in the first half of 2022. Stock and bond valuations are now back at attractive levels, and some fixed-income markets are at last offering attractive returns. That is the case for the US market, as well as for Switzerland, where interest rates had been negative for years. We recommend starting to reinvest in Swiss bonds and have increased the Swiss franc’s weighting in all our invest- ment profiles. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) no longer seems set on rei- ning in the franc. We have, however, reduced our exposure to pound ster- ling. That’s because the UK economy is struggling to get passed Brexit, and Boris Johnson’s government is becoming weaker by the day.

 

Find the full analysis of the economic and market situation in our investment strategy as well as an update from our CIO, Daniel Varela, in this short video (in french) :

You can also watch the replay of our webinar on 13 April 2021 about our investment strategy for Q2 2021 (in french):

Do you appreciate our investment strategy and would you like to know more about our services? Contact us for a no-obligation consultation.

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