Consider the evidence for long term returns
Glenmore Asset Management
Market commentary June was a very weak month for equities globally, driven by continued investor concern around the quantum and pace of interest rate increases and a weakening US (and global) economy. Central banks (correctly in our view) appear committed to reducing inflation via aggressively increasing interest rates, even if it means reducing economic growth in the short term.
In the US, the S&P 500 was down -8.4%, the Nasdaq fell -8.7%, whilst in the UK, the FTSE fell -5.8%. In Australia, the All Ordinaries Accumulation index fell -9.4%, whilst the Small Ordinaries Accumulation index was down -13.1%. On the ASX, the best performing sector was consumer staples, whilst resources was the worst performer, impacted by lower commodity prices and growth concerns regarding the Chinese economy. The underperformance of small/mid cap stocks vs large cap is not a new situation and has indeed occurred in all of the months in the last five years where the ASX has seen large falls.
Whilst we agree that inflation, interest rate rises and weakening economic growth are all valid current concerns for investors, we also believe the falls in stocks across the board have been quite material and hence from a stock specific basis, there are now some very attractive investment opportunities for investors willing to take a 2-3 year view.
As always during periods of market stress, it is very important to take a long term view and think about how long the current negative conditions will be in place over the medium term. Whilst concerns around an economic slowdown are warranted currently, we believe in 12-24 months time, this risk is likely to have reduced as central banks are further down the path of interest rate hikes.
It is also important to remember that on average, bear markets last for 12-15 months, hence the current challenging conditions will not be in place permanently. Also, we would stress over the next 12- 18 months, whether Australia and/or global economies actually have a recession is not the key issue (even though it will generate a lot of media discussion). Rather for investors in the Fund, the key issue is the investment opportunities that are thrown up from the sell-off in equities, that can provide the basis of investment returns over the next 3-5 years.
It should also be noted that as the stock market is very forward looking, stock prices historically fall well ahead of any economic downturn, in particular small/mid cap stocks on the ASX.
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