Getting a decent return from a diversified portfolio is getting more difficult by the year. According to Morgan Stanley’s calculations, « a traditional 60/40 equity/bond USD portfolio will see 4.2% per annum over the next decade, while the same in EUR fares only slightly better at 4.7%, and GBP at 4.9%; only the JPY 60/40 portfolio sees above-average expected returns, driven by elevated equity risk premiums. »
The anatomy of bull markets since 2009 differs greatly among regions. GS did a good job deciphering the drivers of rising equity markets in different countries, which show the contribution of both valuation (P/E i.e. investor psychology) and fundamentals (i.e. real corporate profits).
After the Brits, the French are making the headlines, not for the best. The market is slowly pricing the possibility that a far-right movement (Front National) might win at the next presidential election.
The risk here is that such a vote might provoke a sharp market correction that could have global ripple effects, since France is the 2nd largest economy of the eurozone and has been at the core of the European project since the 50s – something the Front National is openly questioning by promoting the « Frexit ».
According to SocGen’s strategy team, this is how the French market might react if French government yield were to rise slightly:
Short answer: lower returns.
Currently, the proba is about 20% according to Morgan Stanley…
With interest rates being negative for most of the bonds traded and issued around the world, the opportunity cost of cash is very high. But it’s probably the most valuable yet contrarian asset to own to help diversify risk in a portfolio.