- When, finally, the Fed does start to raise interest rates the impact on capital markets could be severe.
- Tom Elliott, International Investment Strategist at deVere Group, warns: Investors who are uncertain, should start preparing for this.
Uncertainty about the timing of a U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike continues to intensify. But, warns a leading global analyst at one of the world’s largest financial advisory organizations, investors should start preparing now for when the inevitable rise comes - and there are three key approaches to consider.
The warning from Tom Elliott, International Investment Strategist at deVere Group, follows Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota on Tuesday setting out his case for waiting until the second half of 2016 to start raising interest rates. This is contrary to the opinion of most Fed Policymakers, including the Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who believes that rates will need to start rising this year.
Mr Elliott explains: “Currently, the situation regarding when the Fed might move away from its zero rates policy of the last six years, is as clear as mud. However, when, finally, the Fed does start to raise interest rates the impact on capital markets could be severe. Therefore, investors who are, understandably, uncertain, should start preparing for this. I would advise investors to consider three steps.”
He continues: “First, find a multi-asset benchmark that you trust will deliver solid risk-adjusted returns throughout the business cycle. It maybe a 60 per cent global equity, 40 per cent global fixed income portfolio or a variation of that. Having such a benchmark should be a part of your long-term investment strategy.”
“Second, refuse to take active positions in what looks like a difficult investment environment. Hog the benchmark. Sitting on the fence is better than being caught on the wrong side of a central bank decision. Rebalance quarterly, forcing yourself to cash in winners and to buy losers. This discipline will protect you from rash decision making during periods of market volatility.
“Third, wait until the Fed has begun tightening monetary policy before returning to active bets.”
Mr Elliott adds: “Finally, if the need to take active positions is too strong to resist, I do think that Europe, excluding the UK, and Japan will continue to outperform. Europe, because of improved economic growth and the weak euro; and Japan because of rapidly improving corporate governance that is resulting in dividend and return on equity growth. It could be worth considering balancing this position with an underweight in U.S. large cap and emerging equities.”