Market Insight 2020



November 2020

A generational opportunity for commodities?

News of vaccines coming in will likely prompt other big pharma companies to announce their successes as we move towards Christmas. Whilst that’s going to be a big boost to newspaper headlines for households across the world, I think on Wall Street, each new entrant announcing their success will lose a little market elasticity in terms of reaction size as investors move to a more pragmatic and measured approach to buying into the COVID relief rally.

Read the Full Note


November 2020

Now is the winter of our discontent

It is pretty rare to have a double boost for markets over just a couple of days which removes two large uncertainties and propels markets significantly higher. The two headwinds I am talking about are the US presidential election and a winner (Pfizer) in the proverbial race to find a COVID-19 vaccine. Is it a coincidence that one was announced just after the other? I will let the conspiracist within all of us ponder that one for the remainder of the year.

Read the Full Note


October 2020

In the thick of it: A view from the TAM execution desk

Investment managers have had to grapple with strong market forces in Q1 as volatility spiked to levels not seen since the 2007-2008 financial crisis, leading to tough and time sensitive decision making for asset allocators. The following quarters have also kept investment teams on their toes as we saw a strong rebound in asset prices while uncertainty over political events and the global pandemic remain high. Having a strategy to navigate these markets is nothing without a team to execute - meaning those at the sharp end of dealing and trading investments have also had their work cut out for them in 2020 just as much as the TAM investment managers.

Read the Full Note


October 2020

The rise of passives in ESG investing: It's risky business

We have long been advocates of active investing over the alternative of investing passively into the market via an exchange-traded fund (ETF) or index fund. The recent rise in demand for investments that contribute towards positive Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors has been met by a rapid increase in supply of both active and passive investment options. For us, there is a clear danger in going passive in a market which relies on the integrity of the companies it invests in to keep driving change. What’s more, the traditional benefits of holding passive over active investments are not as apparent as they once were.

Read the Full Note


September 2020

The skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave

Back in the halcyon summer of 2019 I attended a fund manager presentation where gold was being floated as the asset class of the moment, with many shouting about its importance in portfolios. Aside from feeling pleased with myself for investing into the yellow metal nearly a year before the market, I asked the manager about the concept of investing into silver for higher risk clients as a way of getting a supercharged play on gold. I was met with “no, I wouldn’t buy silver, we are not that desperate”.

Read the Full Note


July 2020

US election: A game of thrones

Few would argue the US presidential election has always been the great spectacle of global politics and that’s with career politicians in the running, let alone a defending President with more experience in reality TV than politics. Make no mistake, the stakes are even higher this time around because Trump is already the sitting president so he’s moved from underdog to top dog and with that voters are going to expect him to up the stakes on the campaign trail.

Read the Full Note


July 2020

Six month review: One half, two very different stories

Q2 has been to the bull market what Q1 was to the bear market. Q1 saw the MSCI World down 20% in record time (a little over 5 weeks) propelled lower by COVID-19 and a synchronised oil market crash. Inversely, Q2 has turned into one of the best quarters on record for global stock markets with the MSCI World recovering strongly back to its pre COVID close. Irony abounds in this Q2 rally as history will likely show us the second quarter of 2020 was the quarter when the world entered a global recession, not to mention the large resurgence of trade war risk from the US and China.

Read the Full Note


June 2020

Brexit: High Noon at the Last Chance Saloon

Being at the “Last Chance Saloon” is essentially having one last chance to find a solution to a problem before it all collapses. “Last roll of the dice” would be a synonym. Whist the phrase is common place, what I didn’t know was its origin, according to history there was a saloon in the 1800s in what we know as the Wild West. It was called the Last Chance Saloon because this saloon was the last place to drink alcohol before a rider entered Indian Territory where alcohol was prohibited.

Read the Full Note


May 2020

Liquidity to insolvency in a zombie apocalypse

What is your favourite COVID programme? As many around the world hunker down, online streaming has come into its own. Be it new shows or recycled classics, everyone has their preferred “go to” genre to escape the reality of our self-imposed incarceration. As for me, recently it was a toss-up between the classic WW2 movie “Kelly’s Heroes” or an old series from my university years “The walking dead”. As it turns out, my 10 month old daughter took advantage of my indecision resulting in two hours of Peppa Pig, quite the step change.

Read the Full Note


May 2020

Ever seen a Trojan horse made of US dollars?

Perhaps some of you, like me, have been watching these markets rallying back to within range of their previous highs at astonishing pace. So much so that this rebound has been coined the most hated rebound in history. Why? Well, it’s caught most investors off-guard who are underweight equities, there also remain a huge amount of investors short of the market (investors who bet on the market falling) and finally, there are record levels of cash sitting on the side-lines not being invested.

Read the Full Note


April 2020

ESG investing: Loved on the way up and on the way down

Needless to say that the events of the last several months have caused large scale disruptions to lives of the global population. Perhaps one of the only beneficiaries from the enforcement of global lockdowns across the world is our environment. Our air quality has improved due to the fewer cars on the road, our skies are free from the condensation trails left by aircrafts, while in Italy, the Venice canals have never looked clearer, as motorised boats and giant cruise ships have disappeared.

Read the Full Note


March 2020

It's not about timing the market, but time in the market

With global markets staging a healthy recovery last week, investors hold their breath as to where we go from here – higher or lower as the game show likes to say. Central banks and governments the world over have thrown the proverbial kitchen sink at stimulating their economies, so now that silver bullet has been shot, all that remains is for markets to watch the progress of contagion and evaluate how effective the stimulus packages are in offsetting a severe recession.

Read the Full Note


March 2020

What goes down must come up

“The value of your investments can go down as well as up". Being investment professionals, you will all be familiar with that phrase because it’s plastered on every piece of literature in the investment industry. Whilst it’s unavoidably true, it’s a cold and sterile statement that entirely overlooks the emotional roller coaster that accompanies a major sell-off.

Read the Full Note


February 2020

The darkest hour is just before the dawn

Well, the markets have hit us all with a vengeance. Arguably, after a decade of rallying markets and handsome returns we can’t say we at TAM are surprised that we are now facing a correction event. The ‘how and why’ is the debilitating factor. One could argue the correction was, at some point, inevitable, and if it didn’t come from the Coronavirus outbreak then it would have come from something else.

Read the Full Note


January 2020

Feathering the throttle

'Feathering the throttle' is a technique used to apply the lightest touch to the accelerator propelling the car around the corner with the perfect balance of speed and control without overshooting and crashing. As with everything that requires skill, it’s hard to do and prone to going wrong. The driver’s fine line between perfection and failure chimed with a question I had been asking myself.

Read the Full Note