Market Insight and Commentary

Francis Banzon, April 2024

The squeeze on fees

The current state of the discretionary fund management market Over recent years, asset growth has been a challenge for many discretionary fund managers (DFMs). And the rising popularity of cheap passive solutions mixed with the recent appetite for money market funds only exacerbated the squeeze on DFMs. We’re now in a “race to the bottom” paradigm where DFMs are being pressured to slash fees in order to compete for assets whilst still offering value for clients. The challenge for DFMs Advisers today have the luxury to shop around, typically with the DFM’s investment capabilities steering the adviser’s allocation decision. Yet,...

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James Penny, 28 March 2024

It's behind you!

Inflation: Staying down or rising back up? Any movie watcher will know that well-trodden scene in which the hero puts the villain to the sword, turns around triumphantly only to see the same villain rising ominously behind them ready for action. When it comes to inflation, we are at a point in which central bankers have effectively said inflation is now coming under control and thus we look forward confidently to lowering interest rates. In our movie analogy it’s that exact part where the hero thinks they have slain the monster and confidently turns around for a victory lap. What...

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James Penny, March 2024

'You have to know the past to understand the present'

As we approach the end of the first quarter, the first real milestone in 2024, it’s worth taking stock. It has so far been a year in which most stock markets have already met or exceeded their targets for the entirety of 2024. Some will see this as a sell signal and others, a buy signal. Well, that’s what makes a market. For me, I am still a little shocked at the step change in direction over the last two years. We certainly came from a dark place in 2022 with little to be excited about. Compared to now: a...

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Francis Banzon, January 2024

TAM Sharia: Where we've been and where we're going

Performance Review 2023 has drawn to a close and investors are beginning to open the bonnet of their portfolios to check which areas need tweaking. Predicting market outcomes was certainly a challenge last year. Investors have yearned for some form of catharsis, as a gauge of market direction has continued to elude participants. A game of scenario table tennis is the term I use to describe 2023, as speculators debated between a hard or soft-landing scenario, or attempted to forecast when interest rate cuts will take place. In fact, the divergence between predictions from strategists and investors with ‘skin in...

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