While last year we seemed to move to a more growth oriented environment with investors moving out of bonds and bond-like equities into more cyclical equities, the search for yield is still very much alive this year. Besides position squaring behaviour, fundamental drivers firmly underpin this investment theme.
Despite a sharp shift in investor behaviour in many parts of the market, ING IM considerate that the appetite for assets that generate some sort of income has persisted.
Key beneficiaries of the search for yield this year
Theme is driven by long-term trends in growth and inflation
Different from the position-squaring behaviour that seems to drive many of the recent changes in market dynamics, the robustness in the search for yield theme might be more fundamentally driven. Not only have the recent couple of years been crisis-packed for investors, it is also becoming increasingly obvious that underlying trends in growth and inflation are still tilted down rather than up.
Especially in developed markets it is clear that the long-term trends in growth and inflation are at multi-decade lows and have yet to show convincing signs of bottoming.
Given that the combination of these two variables adds up to the total (nominal) income stream that ultimately underpins all financial assets, the intensification of the search by investors for increasingly scarce income sources can be well understood.
What is more, the need for income from an aging population is also increasing. Demand will remain strong for income producing securities including those that pay dividends as well as interest.
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