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The Vintage Investment Committee held its latest quarterly review meeting on 5th September.  Here we summarise the main points that were discussed during that meeting.

Market Review

Following a strong start to 2019, global equity markets consolidated gains over the previous quarter.  The main indices remain well ahead over the year to date, however taking into account the sharp falls in Q4 of 2018, annual returns up to 31st August 2019 have been negative in the UK, Europe and Japan, with only modest gains in the USA and China.

Equity market volatility increased noticeably towards the end of the quarter, serving as a reminder that investor sentiment can change quickly.

Market Outlook

The committee considered the factors currently having a negative impact on investor sentiment and identified the following concerns at this time;

The Committee retains a reasonably optimistic view over the medium to long term, however in view of the geo-political and economic uncertainty in the world’s largest economies, short term volatility is likely to remain high.  The Committee considered whether, against this backdrop of uncertainty, investors should adopt a more defensive stance.  The Committee concluded unanimously that this was not necessary and that investors should ride out any potential storm.  As was the case last year when global equity markets fell sharply in the final quarter, before recovering in the first quarter of 2019, we feel that any significant market fall will be short lived.  Selling equities in anticipation of a fall carries the risk of missing out on any subsequent bounce, and as history shows that the biggest rises often follow the biggest falls, such a strategy could prove costly.

The other point to remember is that there might not actually be a market correction.  If, for example, the USA and China announced a trade deal in the next few months, global equities could rally from present levels.  It is far from certain that this will be the case, but with 2020 being a Presidential Election year, the pressure will be building on President Trump to avoid a recession in the USA.  Therefore we wouldn’t be surprised to see him soften his stance with China and hopefully find some middle ground that enables an agreement to take place.

The Committee concluded that the most suitable strategy is for investors to focus on the longer-term benefits of a diversified investment strategy, rather than take unnecessary risks trying to time the market.

 

The information in this guide was correct as at 5th September 2019 and may be subject to change. This article does not constitute as personal advice and guidance should be sought to ensure that any investment meets your individual circumstances including risk tolerance and capacity for loss. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you pay in. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance.

 

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This post was written by Steven Hodgson