Three things the Equity Risk Premium is telling us about investment markets
One of the key decisions that investors must make is how much to respectively allocate to equities and bonds. This decision is made in the knowledge that over time equities have generated superior investment returns. Compensation for the additional volatility, the additional return equities earn over bonds is known as the Equity Risk Premium (ERP). The ERP, while persistent over the long term, varies over the short to medium term, with the direction of the variance having broad implications for investment portfolios.READ MORE
RBNZ banking rules shaping credit markets
Changes to banking rules are set to have a meaningful impact on New Zealand’s fixed interest market in 2019:
A proposed rule forcing banks to hold more equity capital will make the banking sector more stable, however, it will come with a raft of second-round impacts. Chief among those will be the impact on banks’ willingness to lend. This is what we are watching most closely;
Separately, we may see an explicit preference for ...
New Zealand equity market debt trends
One of the driving factors behind the global financial crisis (GFC) was high levels of company debt. High leverage and lower earnings coverage of interest costs heightened risk in the US equity market. Recently published research by a global investment bank[i] suggests that US company debt levels may be creeping up again. But are we seeing the same thing happen in New Zealand?
Research by Harbour indicates that the median N...
10 Risks to Watch in 2019
When investing in an uncertain world, it is useful to distinguish between a core view of the most likely outcome for economies and markets, and the key risks that could challenge that assessment.
In our most recent monthly Harbour Outlook we set out our core view.  Markets have experienced goldilocks conditions over the past 5 years, with solid economic growth, low inflation and low interest rates. Through 2018 we have see...
Postcard from Colorado – outdoor retailers
Harbour’s Managing Director Andrew Bascand and Senior Research Analyst Oyvinn Rimer travelled to Denver, Colorado for the Retail Outdoor conference.
Why did we attend the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market?
The Outdoor Economy in the U.S. alone is 3x bigger than the entire GDP of New Zealand
The Outdoor Economy is growing and is a source of global growth
Trade war and tariffs are impacting on the Outdoor Economy directly
Investment Horizon: Harbour Macro Research Day
Our internal Macro Research Day is a chance to re-visit the research that anchors our medium-term view.
Locally, we expect economic activity to moderate rather than slow sharply, and the RBNZ to remain on hold for a considerable time ahead to provide the best chance for core inflation to lift above 2%.
Globally, we see interest rates rising, but with monetary policy still supportive for financial markets while global inflation...
Harbour Investment Horizon: Fiscal Policy Outlook
There is growing coverage in the media that a slowing economy could force a fiscal tightening to stay within the government’s fiscal responsibility rules.
There is little evidence that the market is concerned with this risk, with the New Zealand government bond yields trading below the US for the first time in 25 years.
While providing important political discipline, there is also some flex in the fiscal responsibility rules, ...
Investment Horizon: Interest Rate Cycles - Endings and Beginnings
As expected by the market, the US Federal Reserve lifted the US Fed Funds Rate this week to 1.75%-2.00%. This was the second hike in 2018 and a continuation in a cycle that began in late 2015. In a post-GFC environment where interest rates are eventually expected to settle at lower levels, it’s natural to ask how far away the US Federal Reserve is to the end of its interest rate cycle. At the same time, in New Zealand, the ...READ MORE
The state of Infant Milk Formula in China
Harbour Senior Research Analyst Oyvinn Rimer recently took a trip to China, to investigate the state of the Chinese consumer milk market.
Disclosure: Harbour owns a2 Milk in a number of portfolios.
Having regularly visited China for a decade now, it never ceases to amaze me the sheer scale and speed of their development. Despite frequent visits, there are always noticeable changes to the land and cityscapes.
Two weeks ago, ...
The Changing Face of the New Zealand Credit Market
Over recent years the New Zealand credit market has been going through something of a quiet revolution. The borderline between bank lending and fund management is becoming blurred. Fund managers are stepping into areas traditionally dominated by banks, as regulatory reform has imposed higher capital costs on banks. Fund managers are broadening their investment choices and the range of bonds issued has become more varied. There...READ MORE
Quantitative or qualitative equity research?
At Harbour, we believe it is best to use a mixture of quantitative and qualitative equity research to make investment decisions. Quantitative research is used as a filter to break down the investment universe, pick potential outperformers and underperformers, and support analyst and portfolio manager views with tangible numbers. Our qualitative research looks at a firm’s business model, competitive advantage, corporate governa...READ MORE
Goldilocks: Not too hot, not too cold
After strong year for returns from Australasian equity markets, investors are asking: what does 2018 offer? Are the ‘goldilocks’ conditions of solid economic growth, low inflation and easy monetary policy settings likely to continue to support equity market returns?
While we believe the near-term outlook for local equity returns remains positive, two scenarios may challenge these goldilocks ‘not too hot, not too cold’ conditi...
Dispelling the myth that a dual mandate implies easier monetary policy
In the economy section of the new NZ government’s Coalition Agreement, the top of the list is “Review and Reform of the Reserve Bank Act”. Given the preference of Labour and NZ First to give the RBNZ a dual mandate for both inflation and employment, the market has interpreted this as implying lower interest rates to encourage job growth. In our view, while the inclusion of a full employment objective will enable the governmen...READ MORE
Lessons from RBOHA
On 8 October, a large number of retail investors will breathe a sigh of relief, as they receive their principal of $900m back on what was New Zealand’s largest retail bond issue when launched ten years ago. It has been a bumpy ride for these investors. Many lessons have been learnt. In a world of low yields and interest rates, they will face one remaining question of how best to put their principal back to work to generate inc...READ MORE
Quantitative Investment Styles and when they perform
Factor investing as a style has become increasingly popular in the last decade with the rise of Smart Beta funds globally. These strategies are expected to outperform the market over the long term. Each different strategy selects companies based on favourable characteristics defined by the strategy. There are many different factors such as risk based factors (value and size) that command a premium, fundamental factors (growth ...READ MORE
Raising Inflation Targets?
At the press conference following the US Federal Reserve (US Fed)’s most recent interest rate decision, Governor Janet Yellen made an admission that marks a significant change in tone from the US Fed. She acknowledged that the debate over whether to raise inflation targets is “one of the most important questions facing monetary policy”, and encouraged further research. While we still believe there is a low chance of the US...READ MORE