Investment Note

Market Insights 2013


All Tapered Out at year End

If incoming information broadly supports the Committee’s expectation of ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and inflation moving back toward its longer-run objective, the Committee will likely reduce the pace of asset purchases in further measured steps at future meetings.

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Reflections on a good year

Reflections on a good year  "The recent trading environment has felt something like walking into a place and having a sense that something is wrong and dangerous but not knowing exactly what will happen or when”. Paul Singer, Elliott Management

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“Default Crisis”; what default crisis?

Investors and commentators alike are understandably getting a little anxious over the current US shutdown and potential default. The media have latched on the affectionately named “drop dead” date of 17th October when the next Treasury payment is due although this would probably pass through even without a resolution in the meantime.

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Summer's gone

So President Obama's favoured choice to take over as Federal Reserve Chairman, Larry Summers didn't fancy the fight then? To be fair, it’s been a difficult month for President Obama, encumbered as he is with the curse of all recent Presidents - a foreign war.

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Overheated summer daze

“…and the stock market has its best week since July…Take that, Karl Marx”. From the film “Uncle Buck” 1989. What a scorcher! And the weathers not too bad either. Murray is champion, Froome is victorious and the cricket is all sewn up. For those yet to depart on holiday, the stock markets aren't looking too shabby either.

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Fed hawks, feral hogs, wild turkeys….and cold turkey.

“I don’t want to go from Wild Turkey to cold turkey overnight” - Narayana Kocherlakota, hawk, President of Minneapolis Fed. “We haven’t forgotten what happened to the Bank of England. I don’t think anyone can break the Fed… but I do believe that big money does organize itself somewhat like feral hogs. If they detect a weakness or a bad scent, they’ll go after it.” - Big Fed hawk, Richard Fisher, Dallas Federal Reserve

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Play it again TAM

The idea that the future is unpredictable is undermined every day by the ease with which the past is explained. Everything makes sense in hindsight, a fact financial pundits exploit every evening as they offer convincing accounts of the day’s events. And we cannot suppress the powerful intuition that what makes sense in hindsight today was predictable yesterday. The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economics, Daniel Kahneman (2011).

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TAM waits for no man

Citywire’s Wealth Manager magazine recently interviewed six investment management firms and asked how they were getting on with transferring their clients’ current investments to non trail-paying fund classes. While the rules have allowed some legacy investments in retail classes to remain, some investment managers have publically stated a commitment to convert all their clients’ investments to RDR compliant share classes. For those that make the full switch, the cost savings for clients are significant.

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Sell in May and go away? Not today anyway…

The pernicious school of thought advocating selling in May and going away has, in these short sighted times, built up something of track record. In the last four years, equity markets have been shaken out of their complacency by any number of scare stories circulating around the markets in the first few weeks of spring.

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Red Herring Alert

As news of erroneous fish stocks entering the food chain across the US and Europe appear to have attracted little attention, so too have a few red herrings that have recently entered the headlines threatening to derail the rally in equities.  Last week, while the financial news stations ran 24 hour commentary and discussion about whether the Cyprus bailout could lead to a disastrous bank run across the eurozone, the S&P 500 index of leading shares hit an all time high in the USA with just one stock, Apple, holding it down.

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Is cash still king?

“It may not be rational to start a bank run, but it is rational to participate in one once it has started.” Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England

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The man with the plan?

“In the wake of the UK losing its AAA status, does the Bank of England governor elect have what it takes to get the UK economy moving quickly?

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TAM Outlook for 2013

“As last year, our elected (and un-elected) leaders will be faced with tough decision to ensure the economic recovery remains on track.” – Lester Petch, CEO TAM Asset Management Ltd

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