Bringing the Economy Back from Life Support
With recent data showing a coronavirus-driven recession in the United States appears inevitable, the question for many investors is how long it will last. Sonal Desai, Chief Investment Officer, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income, weighs in on the differences between this one and other recessionary periods—and whether policymakers can engineer a recovery.
Market Scout – Trusting Our Instruments and Covid-19 Update
Like a pilot relying on a plane’s flight-control instruments during an unfamiliar route with poor visibility, we are depending more than ever on our fact-based, unemotional investment methods. The overwhelming majority of our investments are in companies that we believe are built to withstand harsh economic shocks. Only on the margin have we slightly increased our trading activity.
The Full Extent of Income Support for Impacted U.S. Households Is Impressive
Global equity index futures are trading up about 4% this morning. The coronavirus data over the weekend was less bad. The growth rate in new confirmed cases over the last 24 hours globally was the lowest since March 17—a welcome sign that containment measures are gaining some traction in slowing the spread of the disease.
Navigating the Maze of Models
Once again, no one cares about the economic calendar. There are a few items with recent data – jobless claims, mortgage applications, and Michigan sentiment – but most reports are old news. Everyone is focused on the increase in coronavirus cases and deaths. There are plenty of predictions, each based on model from a reputable source. The variation is wide.
Mapping the COVID-19 Recession
Until there is a better sense of when and how the COVID-19 public-health crisis will be resolved, economists cannot even begin to predict the end of the recession that is now underway. Still, there is every reason to anticipate that this downturn will be far deeper and longer than that of 2008.
World Markets Update
All eight indexes on our world watch list posted losses through April 6, 2020. The top performer is China's Shanghai with a loss of 9.38%. Our own S&P 500 is in second with a loss of 17.55% and in third is Hong Kong's Hang Seng with a loss of 17.57%. Coming in last is India's BSE SENSEX with a loss of 33.12%.
Actively Managed Funds Fail When Needed the Most
Advisors had little use for actively managed funds over the recent bull market; index funds did exceptionally well. But just when those actively managed funds were most needed – over the recent market downturn – they failed to protect investors.
Convertibles: Providing Risk Management and Positioned for a Snapback
The stage is being set for what we internally call the “convertible trifecta.” The markets are uncertain right now. But when markets eventually calm, the team would expect to see the combined forces of equity upside, credit upside and convert valuation gaps closing, which can be very powerful on the way back up.
As Markets Burn
Major adjustments in capital markets around the globe have changed our long-term expected return forecasts for the 100+ assets we model. Before the corona crash we forecast long-term real returns for US equities to be only 1% a year. Now new, lower valuations suggest higher returns.