Feb 09, 2018
With volatility picking up, why don’t you consider owning gold? Trade idea – ETFS Physical Gold (GOLD)/ ETFS Physical Singapore Gold ETF (ZGOL) Volatility has returned to the markets Downside risks have increased dramatically Gold has been consistently one of the best portfolio hedges against geopolitical risk and inflation Below we take a further look at why you should be holding gold There are three reasons why you should own gold. 1) Portfolio protection against volatility 2) Inflation hedging 3) Event risk hedging Points 1 and 2 have recently increased from “no concern” or “neutral” in investors’ minds to “serious concerns” so we believe that all advisers and planners should be considering including gold in their client portfolios, as it’s one of the most historically reliable hedges in such circumstances. Gold protects portfolios against negative equity volatility Just last week we had an example of gold performing as an event risk hedge when equity markets plummeted and the gold price surged upwards. On 5th February, we saw global equity markets fall with the S&P 500 down 4.1% and the ASX 200 down 1.6%, meanwhile the gold price was up 0.5% in USD terms as investors were turning risk averse. The year-to-date performance chart on the right highlights the price actions of the day. (Source: Bloomberg, data as of 13th February 2018) Historical performance is not an indication of future performance and any investments may go down in value. Gold against inflation Gold is also widely viewed as a tool against inflation. Historically, the gold price tends to appreciate when inflation and interest rates are on the rise. The chart below shows how the gold price moves largely in-line with the inflation (CPI) of the United States. Event Risk Hedge Lastly, although there have been no significant geopolitical events this year so far, it only takes one to roil the markets. As the table below shows, being in gold in nine out of ten of the events below was a positive when held within an investor portfolio. Summary There are three reasons why investors should own gold and two of them have dramatically spiked in terms of relevance. We believe all advisers should at least consider owning gold through this late economic cycle, where the probability of inflation and volatility is heightened.
Feb 06, 2018
Stocks recorded their first weekly loss of 2018, with the S&P 500 Index suffering its worst weekly drop in two years. All global sectors were in the red as market volatility crept higher. The S&P/ASX 200 managed to end the week up 1.2% aided by positive gains in the financial sector. In Europe, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 3.4% while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped 3.3% for the week. In his first State of the Union address, President Trump called for greater investment in US infrastructure and reiterated his protectionist stance, although the net effect on US rates and the USD was negligible. The AUD lost 2%, ending just below US80c on Friday. Commodities broadly declined for the week with oil prices down 1%, ending at US$65/bbl and gold falling to 1,333 (US$/troy ounce) . BetaShares US Equities Strong Bear Hedged (BBUS) was the top performing fund for the week, posting a 7.12% gain, while the BetaShares Geared US Equity Fund - Ccy Hedged (GGUS) fell 6.29%. The domestic Australian ETF market saw strong net inflows last week of $85.9m. The largest inflows were into iShares S&P/ASX 200 ETF (IOZ) and into the BetaShares U.S. Dollar ETF (USD) while the largest outflow was seen in BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (AAA).
Jan 30, 2018
ETFSTrade idea – A Look Inside the ROBO Global® Index Our world is being transformed as a new wave of innovation, often technology-led, challenges every aspect of how we live and work. In the final article of our Future Present series, we have selected 5 stocks from the ROBO Global® index to showcase how different businesses are riding on this megatrend. The stock stories inclided are; Novanta - Precision Surgery Yaskawa - Industrial Robotics GEA - Food and Beverage Processing Xilinx - Programmable Chips Koh Young - 3D Inspection
Jan 26, 2018
The S&P/ASX 200 increased 0.74% last week with healthcare and materials sectors driving the performance. The S&P 500 continued its positive start to 2018 gaining 2.23%; the EURO STOXX 50 was flat and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index showed no sign of abating, returning over 3% for the week. The Australian dollar took advantage of the weakening USD and closed above US81c on Friday. The weaker USD helped commodities in general, up 2.55% as measured by the Bloomberg Commodities Index and gold ended the week at USD1,349/oz. Oil prices rose 4.37%, ending at US$66/bbl and bringing the YtD return to 9.47%. BetaShares Crude Oil Index ETF (OOO) was the top performing fund for the week, posting a 4.46% gain, while the ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) was dragged down 3.37%. The domestic Australian ETF market saw strong net inflows last week of $76m. The largest inflows were into iShares Core Composite Bond ETF (IAF) and also into the Platinum International Fund ETF (PIXX) while the largest outflow was seen in iShares Core Global Corporate Bond AUD Hedged ETF (IHCB).
Jan 22, 2018
How the Future Present series fits your portfolio Trade idea – ETF Securities Future Present series i. ETFS Morningstar Global Technology ETF (TECH) ii. ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO) Key Takeaways: Technology was the top performing sector in 2017, returning 39% for the calendar year and contributing 25% of the total global equity market return(1). The pace of innovation continues to grow and adoption of new technologies in fields such as robotics and AI is quickly spreading across many industries. Adding funds like TECH and ROBO to an otherwise diversified portfolio offers investors unique opportunities to capture any future growth in this sector, while also reducing overall portfolio risk. (1) Source: Bloomberg data as at 18 January 2017. Information technology companies contributed 5.73% to the total return of 23.06% of the MSCI World Index in 2017. Future Proofing Portfolios Investors looking to future-proof their portfolios in 2018 should consider the opportunities that are presented by investing in new technology and innovation. Fields such as robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (RAII), in particular, are forecast to grow massively in the coming years and impact almost every industry by providing key enabling technologies and new applications for existing technologies. Investments in technology have traditionally been viewed as high return/high risk, however in recent years the established players in the technology world have become highly cash generative and broadly entrenched in our everyday lives. This has given many technology companies defensive, counter-cyclical characteristics that are traditionally more associated with utilities and real estate investments and has changed the way many investors look at the technology sector. ETF Securities Future Present Range The Future Present range of ETFs allows investors to combine well-established technology firms with strong competitive advantages, using TECH, with highly innovative firms from the exciting world of RAII, using ROBO. The below study explores the impact of adding the Future Present range to a simple, diversified ETF portfolio consisting of Australian equities, international equities, fixed income, gold and property. Hypothetical portfolio allocations are detailed in Charts 1 and 2 below: Over the four years of available history, adding a 10% allocation to the Future Present range (5% each to TECH and ROBO), while keeping the allocation to equities constant, not only improves the overall total return by 0.84% per annum, but also reduces the portfolio volatility by 0.95%2. Charts 3 to 6, below, show the risk return characteristics of the two portfolios as well as each of the constituents over 1, 2, 3 and 4 years. Benefits to Your Portfolio Apparent from the four charts below is the strong historical performance of the Future Present ETFs, with the two funds ranking first and second on the basis of returns across all tenors. With regards to volatility or risk, as measured by standard deviation, TECH and ROBO are at the higher end, though not substantially more volatile than either the Australian or international equity ETFs or gold. In all four cases, however, diversification benefits are seen in that adding above average risk investments lowers the overall portfolio risk in all cases, providing investors with better risk/return profiles. This is particularly true for Australian investors with high portfolio allocations to the domestic market, which is very underweight the technology sector. Source: Morningstar Direct as at 31 December 2017. Benchmark index returns are used as a proxy for TECH and ROBO due to insufficient fund history. Returns in AUD. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. These graphs illustrate the trade-off between risk (standard deviation or volatility around the mean) and reward (expected or average return). The ideal position is within the upper left quadrant of the graphs. Placement here indicates that the portfolio returned more than the risk-free benchmark (typically the yield on high quality government bonds) with lower volatility. The bottom right corner is the least desirable, since this represents highest risk with lowest return