The world has changed dramatically since 2008. The initial financial crisis, rooted in housing-market bubbles, especially in the US, and all the toxic assets acquired lock, stock and barrel primarily by the world’s leading investment banks, degenerated into a debilitating crisis of confidence worldwide with its epicentre in Europe: distrust initially of the banks, then […]
In arriving at scenarios for our tactical asset allocation for 2012, our team of macroeconomic analysts have sought to evaluate how the main asset classes are likely to perform depending on differing levels of volatility. Volatility is generally expressed in terms of theVIX Index that measures expected volatility on the S&P 500, the index of […]
As we do every autumn, Pictet’s Strategic Investment Committee’s October meeting was devoted to reappraising key underlying economic and market trends at work. Assessing what has happened over the last 12 months Broadly speaking, events of the last twelve months have unfolded in a manner more or less consistent with the secular trends we had […]
We have been pursuing an ever more defensive approach to investments in our portfolios since late spring this year, expressed in our steadily increasing exposure to US Treasury bonds and German Bunds. Yields on these benchmark government bonds had sunk from around 3.3% in late spring to about 1.7% by end-September. Such rock-bottom levels for […]
For some time now, we have been predicting a gold price of USD2,000 an ounce by the middle of this decade. Upheavals in financial markets this summer have already pushed the bullion price up towards that level: on 23 August gold hit a new all-time high of USD1,913. Should we now presume its bull run […]
Although markets have been bouncing back and forth during the first six months of the year, the performance of various styles of strategy has been frustrating for most investors.Take June, for example: between the 1st and 24th, the S&P 500 underperformed 10-year US Treasuries by almost 8 percentage points, but, in the last four trading […]
There are essentially two approaches to allocating assets in portfolios. One depends on a thorough macroeconomic and financial analysis to identify preferences for certain asset classes over others. Any such analysis can take quite varied forms technically and fundamentally, but it ultimately comes down to making decisions on the basis of forecasts. The second approach […]
Two exogenous shock-waves have struck markets in the past few weeks: the first, social and political, stemming from the democratic uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East; the second, seismic and nuclear, with the devastating earthquake and tsunami, and the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. These events have unfolded against a still bright […]
In the opening months of 2011 fast-moving events have reshaped the three dimensions – economic, financial and geopolitical – that frame the investment universe. Moreover, their complexity has amplified the sheer intensity of these developments. These events have raised four crucial threats to the recovery scenario which has been confirmed by several strengthening underlying trends […]
Macroeconomic analysis demands that a large quantity of statistics, often of questionable quality, be collated and processed.Therefore economists often resort to approximations in order to detect trends amid the fog of numbers, the primary sources being series of aggregated data.This approach leads to the conclusion that US households are over-indebted; but what would the picture […]
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