Half of investors convinced market's troubles are over
Many investors have interpreted recent stimulus measures as the green light to move back into equity markets, but Fidelity’s Daniel Roberts claims nothing has changed.
Almost half of FE Trustnet
users have upped their exposure to risk on the back of QE3 and the new bond-buying programme in the eurozone, according to our latest poll.
Forty-three per cent of the 708 respondents view the measures taken by Ben Bernanke and Mario Draghi as positive for markets, and have exited safer havens as a result. The remaining 53 per cent are content with the risk they already have.
While Patrick Connolly, head of communications at AWD Chase De Vere, agrees that last week’s measures are encouraging for equities, he is surprised by the number who have actively increased their risk exposure so suddenly.
He said: "I thought there would be a certain number of investors who would go on impulse and up their risk exposure, especially with Japan’s announcement of market liquidity, Bernanke’s QE3, Chinese infrastructure changes and the ECB’s bond-buying scheme."
"Although there are certainly reasons for investors to be bullish at the moment, it is surprising there is such a high number as the poll only stated two issues."
A number of high-profile fund managers have told FE Trustnet
that they have upped their risk exposure in recent weeks.
Co-head of multi-manager at Cazenove Robin McDonald has sold out of defensive star managers
– including Neil Woodford
– in favour of their more cyclically focused rivals.
Even FE Alpha Manager Francis Brooke, who has been cautiously positioned for some time now, has recently upped his exposure to more economically sensitive names in the oil and property sectors.
, who heads up the Fidelity Global Dividend
fund, believes that recent macro issues have made usual ‘safe havens’ such as corporate bonds a riskier investment.
"The actions of Ben Bernanke and his band of central bankers have pushed down yields on corporate and government bonds to unprecedented levels; and I don’t use the word unprecedented lightly," he said.
He highlights the Netherlands’ 10-year government bond yields, which are at their lowest in the country's 495-year history.
However, the manager remains sceptical as to whether decisions made by the Fed and the ECB will create substantial market growth and has retained his exposure to defensive dividend-paying stocks.
"Bernanke’s rationale is that it will drive asset prices and create a wealth effect that will kick-start consumer spending and hopefully investment spending by corporates, but I am sceptical as to whether this will work in practice," he said.
"His rhetoric is far more aggressive than we have seen before; his is effectively 'all in' now. However, I am very sceptical as to whether this will create any yield benefits to the wider economy, and it hasn’t removed any tail risks. I can’t see how this measure will push asset prices any higher than they already are."
He is more positive about the ECB’s short-term government bond-buying programme, but still feels that adding risk exposure at this stage is unwise.
"OMT has removed tail risks with the performance of European markets by 25 per cent. However, I don’t think the ECB’s decision will generate any growth in the economy," he added.
According to FE Analytics
, Fidelity Global Dividend has had a good start since its launch in January this year, returning 8.63 per cent compared with 6.57 per cent from its IMA Global Equity Income sector average.
Roberts has headed up a number of funds in his career, including equity income portfolios at Gartmore, Aviva and Royal Bank of Scotland.
He has performed well against his peer-group composite in all markets, but has a particularly strong record in falling ones, outperforming in 2007 and 2008.