To gain insights on how to make asset allocation decisions in the midst of uncertainty, I took the opportunity to speak with Franklin Templeton Investment Solutions’ (FTIS) Ed Perks, Chief Investment Officer; Gene Podkaminer, Head of Research; and Josh Greco, Head of Institutional Portfolio Management. The FTIS team focuses on four pillars: growth, inflation, interest rates, and valuation, and conducts their own macro, fundamental, and quantitative research while actively incorporating the expertise of our independent specialist investment managers (SIMs). Some of their current views include:
- Current extraordinary inflationary pressures will likely abate by the second half of 2022 and not remain at recent high levels. However, inflation is likely to be higher than seen in the past 10 years and remains an important gauge when positioning portfolios.
- Global growth is slowing but expected to continue at above trend rates. Regional divergences will be accentuated by the pandemic’s effects and ongoing fiscal and monetary policy accommodations. Our expectations for the US economy point to positive momentum moving through 2022.
- Globally, monetary and fiscal policy are expected to remain supportive of growth, despite some level of incremental tightening in selected regions of the world. The improving growth in the United States will continue even with anticipated, modest Federal Reserve interest rate increases in 2022.
- FTIS believes assets that do well in a stronger economic environment offer better opportunity and thinks an overweight allocation to equities versus fixed income is warranted. They believe the United States and Japan offer investors the most attractive opportunities in equities, with Canada also presenting favorable characteristics.
- To better achieve income goals, the search in fixed income expands beyond US fixed income and US investment grade to other regions in both developed and emerging markets. Additionally, convertible bonds and equity-linked notes (ELN) provide opportunities as low interest rates depress traditional sources of yield.
For additional information on FTIS views, read their monthly Allocation Views publication. Additional resources are also available for financial professionals.
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The views expressed are those of the investment manager and the comments, opinions and analyses are rendered as at publication date and may change without notice. The information provided in this material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region or market.
Stock prices fluctuate, sometimes rapidly and dramatically, due to factors affecting individual companies, particular industries or sectors, or general market conditions. Bond prices generally move in the opposite direction of interest rates. Thus, as prices of bonds in an investment portfolio adjust to a rise in interest rates, the value of the portfolio may decline. Investments in foreign securities involve special risks including currency fluctuations, economic instability and political developments. Investments in developing markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors, in addition to those associated with their relatively small size and lesser liquidity.
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The views expressed are those of the investment manager and the comments, opinions and analyses are rendered as at publication date and may change without notice. The underlying assumptions and these views are subject to change based on market and other conditions and may differ from other portfolio managers or of the firm as a whole. The information provided in this material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region or market. There is no assurance that any prediction, projection or forecast on the economy, stock market, bond market or the economic trends of the markets will be realized. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount that you invested. Past performance is not necessarily indicative nor a guarantee of future performance. All investments involve risks, including possible loss of principal.
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