Pyrford Perspectives: Our views on the market

Geopolitical skirmishes dominate current headlines – the US and China, the US and Iran, the US and Russia, the US and Mexico, the US and North Korea.

Risk Disclaimer

Views and opinions have been arrived at by BMO Global Asset Management and should not be considered to be a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any companies that may be mentioned.

The information, opinions, estimates or forecasts contained in this document were obtained from sources reasonably believed to be reliable and are subject to change at any time.

Geopolitical skirmishes dominate current headlines – the US and China, the US and Iran, the US and Russia, the US and Mexico, the US and North Korea. Note the common denominator. And then there is the domestic political turmoil in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Venezuela, Indonesia, Turkey et al. It is probably easier to list those where calm reigns. Despite all that is going on, the financial markets remain relatively untouched – providing you can describe the steep fall in bond yields as being “untouched”.

Nevertheless, it is important to retain perspective as there are few moments in history when all sorts of troubling “stuff” isn’t happening. If we ignore all of this and look purely at market valuations, there is little to induce excitement. Fixed interest provides next to nothing, whilst equities continue to look expensive – relative to history and our expectations for forward-looking growth.

Sometimes this investment management lark is a tough gig. We are expected to entice with all sorts of exciting propositions but about all we can offer at this time is more advice about staying defensive.

We have noted, nevertheless, a revival in the price of bitcoin and general increased interest in blockchain technology. Even Facebook is planning to introduce its own digital currency. We have admired blockchain technology from the start but separated that admiration from any particular digital currency offering. We see no reason to alter that stance. Blockchain is clever and it is here to stay, and it must furrow the brows of central bankers around the world, but there will be plenty to choose from in this field. Perhaps in 20 or fewer years it will dominate the global payments system and reduce the influence of the US dollar. But these are early days – be careful.

Risk Disclaimer

Views and opinions have been arrived at by BMO Global Asset Management and should not be considered to be a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any companies that may be mentioned.

The information, opinions, estimates or forecasts contained in this document were obtained from sources reasonably believed to be reliable and are subject to change at any time.

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