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Text on screen: Geraldine Sundstrom, Portfolio Manager, Asset Allocation
Geraldine Sundstrom: So, what we want to do in an equity portfolio is to buy some resilience. Of course, there could be some bad surprises still to come, and we want to have an equity portfolio that could be relatively resilient. At the same time, PIMCO's forecast is also that we will have an economic recovery coming and we want to also benefit from the upside.
So, when we try to bring together those two attributes, the equities that will reconcile both aspects are in what we call quality-growth.
Text on screen: Equities: Asset class weighting dial and regional view sliders
And when we scan the world for those companies that have the steadiest cash flow, that have the highest return on equity, while at the same time having robust balance sheets, we find most of these companies in the United States. And therefore, this is the region that we recommend having an overweight.
Of course, some might be a little bit more optimistic about the outlook and would want to bring a little bit more cyclicality in the portfolio.
Image of Geraldine Sundstrom writing on a pad in a meeting
Images of a wind farm, solar panels and factory automation
And therefore, for those who want to have a bit more cyclicality in their portfolio we recommend sectors around digitalization, green sectors like electric vehicles or energy and also factory and automation, at large.
This then would point to countries like the United States, emerging market Asia, but also Japan.
Text on screen: Erin Browne, Portfolio Manager, Asset Allocation
Erin Browne: In equities we're really focused on driving value through growth equities, in credit we're really looking at value. And this is really because the drivers of equities and credit differ. Wherein in equities growth is the real driver for returns, in credit, solvency is the real driver for returns.
Text on screen: Credit: Asset class weighting dial, Sector view sliders
So, in corporate credit we're really focused on bend-but-not-break IG credit. And what we mean by "bend-but-not-break" is that we're looking at BB-rated credit or BBB-rated credit that we don't think has real risk of solvency concerns and that we think can do well in a weak environment.
Outside of corporates, we do see a lot of opportunity within non-traditional credit, particularly structured products like non-agency MBS that are backed by a real diversified pool of assets.
Within emerging markets, we are focused on external debt and local debt over emerging market equities as well as FX. And it's important to note that EM equities and EM FX are really driven by growth drivers.
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Please note that the following contains the opinions of the manager as of the date noted, and may not have been updated to reflect real time market developments. All opinions are subject to change without notice.
Statements concerning financial market trends or portfolio strategies are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate. There is no guarantee that these investment strategies will work under all market conditions or are appropriate for all investors and each investor should evaluate their ability to invest for the long term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Outlook and strategies are subject to change without notice.
All investments contain risk and may lose value. Investing in the bond market is subject to risks, including market, interest rate, issuer, credit, inflation risk, and liquidity risk. The value of most bonds and bond strategies are impacted by changes in interest rates. Bonds and bond strategies with longer durations tend to be more sensitive and volatile than those with shorter durations; bond prices generally fall as interest rates rise, and low interest rate environments increase this risk. Reductions in bond counterparty capacity may contribute to decreased market liquidity and increased price volatility. Bond investments may be worth more or less than the original cost when redeemed. Sovereign securities are generally backed by the issuing government. Obligations of U.S. government agencies and authorities are supported by varying degrees, but are generally not backed by the full faith of the U.S. government. Portfolios that invest in such securities are not guaranteed and will fluctuate in value. Inflation-linked bonds (ILBs) issued by a government are fixed income securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation; ILBs decline in value when real interest rates rise. Income from municipal bonds is exempt from federal income tax and may be subject to state and local taxes and at times the alternative minimum tax. Equities may decline in value due to both real and perceived general market, economic and industry conditions. Mortgage- and asset-backed securities may be sensitive to changes in interest rates, subject to early repayment risk, and while generally supported by a government, government-agency or private guarantor, there is no assurance that the guarantor will meet its obligations. REITs are subject to risk, such as poor performance by the manager, adverse changes to tax laws or failure to qualify for tax-free pass-through of income. Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs) may involve a high degree of risk and are intended for sale to qualified investors only. Investors may lose some or all of the investment and there may be periods where no cash flow distributions are received. CLOs are exposed to risks such as credit, default, liquidity, management, volatility, interest rate and credit risk. High yield, lower-rated securities involve greater risk than higher-rated securities; portfolios that invest in them may be subject to greater levels of credit and liquidity risk than portfolios that do not. Investing in foreign-denominated and/or -domiciled securities may involve heightened risk due to currency fluctuations, and economic and political risks, which may be enhanced in emerging markets. Currency rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time and may reduce the returns of a portfolio. Commodities contain heightened risk, including market, political, regulatory and natural conditions, and may not be suitable for all investors. Diversification does not ensure against loss.
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