Don’t overdo benchmark consideration

Glenn Freeman | 28/06/2017

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Glenn Freeman: During your session, the point was raised about fixed income investors being benchmark aware rather than benchmark driven. Can I just get your thoughts on that?

Anujeet Sareen: Sure. So we are definitely of the view that the most effective approach to fixed income is actually be benchmark agnostic and what I mean by that is to recognize the fact that most of these indices way they are built doesn’t make a lot of sense for investors, right. They are rewarding the most indebted, most fiscally irresponsible countries in the world. Is that where you want to allocate capital? We think otherwise. We think you really ought to think about where you have the highest potential for return risk adjusted. Where are the opportunities, build portfolios up from a bottom up perspective in that fashion and focus less on what some of these indices are kind of forcing themselves to own in portfolios.

Freeman: And so where do you see some of the greatest threats and conversely some of the opportunities for fixed income investors.

Sareen: Maybe I'll start with opportunities. We think the most attractive opportunities are really in emerging markets these days and I mean local emerging market exposure. Mexico for example is a country where you can get a 30-year bond today at 7.5 per cent yield. Inflation long term is around 3 per cent to 4 per cent, that’s pretty attractive real yield.

So, we have pretty significant exposure there. Places like Brazil is also very interesting, inflation has fallen a lot and they are doing all the right reforms that we think will allow them to continue to perform in the period ahead. Some of the risks I think really are more associated with places, that might change their policies we think in a negative fashion. So, we worry about China. China is doing pretty well today and we expect it to continue to do well, but the risk is that they really tighten some of their policies on the monetary side and also on the fiscal side and that might derail growth in 2018 but that’s a risk it's not the whole case.

This report appeared on 2017 Morningstar Australasia Pty Limited

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