lunes, 6 de abril de 2015

En 2050, el mundo contará con 2.000 millones de personas de más de 60 años ¿Cómo invertir?

usto cuando EE. UU. y el Reino Unido decidieron cerrar el grifo de la liquidez, primero Japón y, más tarde Europa, optaron por abrirlo. Las políticas monetarias también se están relajando en China, Canadá, Singapur, Corea y la India. Todos estos países han recortado sus tipos de interés, mientras que Australia es el ultimo en apuntarse a esta fiesta prácticamente mundial tras bajar sus tipos bancarios al mínimo histórico del 2,25%. Asimismo, existen bancos, aseguradoras y fondos de pensiones a los que, independientemente del coste, no les queda otra que comprar bonos más seguros. La regulación los obliga a ser bonistas, lo que aumenta el problema que vemos hoy en día. Se estima que de cara a 2050, la población mundial contará con 2.000 millones de personas de más de 60 años, el triple de la cifra actual. Algunos científicos creen que la primera persona que vivirá 150 años ya ha nacido. La combinación de estos dos factores implica que serán más los inversores que se decanten por deuda pública británica, alemana y bonos del Tesoro protegidos frente a la inflación. También mantendrán estas inversiones de poco riesgo durante mucho más tiempo y, como consecuencia de las políticas de los bancos centrales, navegarán en aguas más profundas (Justin Christofel, gestor del fondo BGF Multi-Asset Income)
(Original en inglés)
Justin Christofel, Portfolio Manager BGF Multi-Asset Income Fund

Who’d be a fixed income manager in today’s world? Faced with a double-whammy of changing demographics and unfavourable central bank policy, every low-risk asset that offers a yield is being sucked dry.
The sad fact of the matter is investors will have to get used to this environment. Yields from traditional fixed income assets are now half of what they were before the financial crisis and the effects of quantitative easing are set to be with us for some time.
Just as the US and UK decided to turn the money tap off, Japan and then Europe turned it on. Policy is also being loosened in China, Canada, Singapore, Korea and India. These countries have all cut their interest rates, and Australia is the latest guest to arrive at this near-global party after it snipped its bank rate to a record low of 2.25 percent.

Spill over
The ‘lower for longer’ trend has spilled over into the corporate world too. After the European Central Bank announced its EUR 60 billion a month asset purchase programme, investors showed they were willing to pay to park their cash in Nestle, one of Europe’s most highly-rated companies.
The week before investment bank UBS noted bonds issued by Shell, the oil company, had briefly turned negative. Once upon a time such an event in the corporate sphere was rare, but at the beginning of February the bonds of 100 high-quality companies traded in negative territory, at least at the offer price, proving investors are willing to lock in a guaranteed loss in exchange for security.
There are also banks, insurance companies and pension funds that, regardless of cost, have little choice but to buy safer bonds. Regulation obliges them to be holders, amplifying the problem we see today.
Greying globe
It’s not solely the impact of loose monetary policy investors will have to contend with for years to come. The globe is also greying rapidly, which could have a dramatic effect on demand for low-risk income-generating assets.
It is estimated by 2050 the world will have two billion people aged 60 – three times more than it has today. Some scientists believe the first person who will live to 150 has already been born. Blending these two facts together means greater numbers will continue to pile into gilts, bunds and TIPs. They will also rely on these lower risk investments for much longer, and as a result of central bank policy will be fishing in a shallower pond.

Opportunities…and the risks
Despite this, there are some opportunities to be found, particularly in comparison to last summer, when we struggled to find anything we wanted to buy.
For us, picking investments for the BGF Global Multi Asset Income Fund is all about finding income at the right price, about knowing when to invest and when to hold back.
We will never chase yield at any cost so in December of 2014, when the return of volatility tempted some investors back into high yield bonds, we decided it was best to wait. This paid off for us, and helped keep the fund’s 5.8 percent yield resilient. We have now increased our holding in high yield, though only selectively.
Elsewhere, we have been looking to structured credit for income and in particular to mortgage-backed securities (MBS). In our eyes, diversification has evolved from simply being a choice between equities and bonds. There are key themes and trends to trade and a selection of different instruments to choose to exploit these themes.
For example a theme we like is the improving housing market and the increased consumer spending story in the States. We chose MBS to exploit this theme because this asset class will benefit from households being more able to afford their mortgage repayments coupled with the rise in property prices. As US consumers have more disposable income then we would expect commercial MBS linked to hotels for example to do well as spending on holidays and other luxuries increase. Another way to play this theme would be to buy US real estate investment trusts (REITs) however valuations are very high and so we prefer MBS.
We have employed a similar tactic with financials. Why buy the equities which, given numerous scandals and bigger than ever fines, come with lots of volatility? More stringent regulation around deleveraging and the amount of cash banks must hold on their balance sheets makes their debt much more attractive.
Selectivity is still key for investors looking to snap up the debt of financials because banks have had the same issue as everyone else, with yields on ‘investment grade’ paper being pushed down.
We’ve targeted the middle of the capital structure – namely preferred stock – where yields are higher relative to the pure debt. What’s more, by choosing preferred stock we can still strike the right balance between the income we generate and the risk we take to get it. This is because the risk profile of preferred stock is still attractive relative to equities.
Lastly, we’re preparing for more bouts of volatility by ensuring we’re happy to hold all our positions to maturity and adding a liquidity buffer using exchange traded funds and credit default indices. We are also keeping our eye on consensus trades, particularly those linked to duration. Most expect the front end of the yield curve to absorb the bulk of the pain while the back end should remain well-behaved. This is our base case but we are very aware of any data releases that could change this outcome and will shift our portfolio accordingly.

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