After a historic 2022 in negative terms, the beginning of this year surprised by a strong start that fund managers did not expect until mid-2023. The business has achieved some really remarkable data, which feeds the great expectations. According to a survey conducted by the Inverco Observatory, 97% of investment fund managers expect positive returns at the end of 2023 and 56% even predict that they will be higher than 3%.
As detailed in the citation
or study, in the chapter of subscriptions good results are guaranteed. In February, the 17,171 million euros of 2022 had already been equaled, so we are on track to meet what a third of the managers surveyed predicted: exceeding 20,000 million. This would mean an annual growth of more than 16.5%. Apotheosic, compared to the 40% drop recorded last year.
Among the categories with a better performance are guaranteed funds (more than 944 million euros) and those with target returns (more than 1,570 million euros).
However, both lag behind fixed income.
, whose net inflows reached 7,907 million euros at the end of the first quarter. This equates to nearly 87% of the money that went into the funds during that time period.
This category has become the great asset of savers, despite the fact that until about a year and a half ago they barely offered profitability. Now, on the contrary,
Their yields range from 2% to 3%
Paradoxically, the economic situation has not exactly been favourable for fixed income. After all, bond prices have fallen sharply, at a rate commensurate with interest rates rising in order to counteract high inflation rates, exacerbated by the war between Russia and Ukraine.
CHANGE OF CYCLE.
However, after the storm there is calm in the form of easing the monetary policies of the main central banks. In this sense, the president of the US Federal Reserve (Fed), Jerome Powell, pointed out at the beginning of this month of May a possible "pause" in rate increases.
For this reason,
Experts foresee a road with fewer curves
. If the forecasts are met and, indeed, interest rates begin to loosen, the perfect scenario will debut for investors to choose fixed income products, since they will take an additional return.
"For the first time in a decade,
Fixed income is once again attractive and positioned as a true investment alternative to other assets
", say from the Markets Strategy team at Banca March. They also clarify that, in terms of duration, "it is not recommended to adopt positions in the long tranches, given that yield curves remain very inverted and core inflation rates will take several months to normalize."
In the same vein, Alejandro Vidal, head Investment Manager of Deutsche Bank Spain: "Given that it does not seem that interest rates are going to rise as much as we thought a month ago, as a saver
It seems a good idea to bet on short-term fixed rates
, up to two or three years." However, "if I had to borrow in the long term, I would clearly opt for the variable rate at this time."
Along the same lines, Álvaro Galiñanes, Investment Director of Santander Private Banking Gestión, argues that, in the long term, equities "have always proven to be the financial asset with the best results from the point of view of profitability and risk; without losing sight of the fact that it has daily liquidity and that, in certain market moments such as those we have had to live in recent years, takes on special relevance".
For example, adds Galiñanes, "
if we had been able to invest $100 in the Standard & Poor's 500 index in 1928, it would have become just over $650,000 today.
, while those same $100 invested in Treasury bills today would be worth about $2,200." For all these reasons, he concludes, "there is no other asset equal" to equities, although it is "very loaded with volatility and like all assets they must be actively managed".
In any case, the experts of
Banca March believes that "the pauses in the Federal Reserve's rate hikes are not necessarily good
" for equities, "since for the stock markets the evolution of the economy is much more decisive and, in particular, whether or not the brake on rates will be accompanied by a recession". For this reason, they reiterate that fixed income will be the main protagonist of 2023.
Despite the delicate situation, Spanish investors have not been guided by fear. It is true that, "right now, some low-risk options and not too long duration offer very adequate levels of risk-adjusted return, so obviously the market has an appetite." In this regard,
There is great interest in debt instruments and short-term deposits
, "but not out of panic, but simply because the returns they offer are attractive to many savers and to some more conservative parts of investment portfolios."
For Raquel Blázquez, head of Investment Management at Ibercaja Banca Privada, it is possible that after a very complicated 2022 at the level of behavior of the financial markets, "the investor now demands more certainty in their results". Hence, he adds, that "
Solutions such as investment funds with a profitability objective
, while not guaranteed, are proving to be a very good option for more conservative investors."
In any case, stresses the expert, "the pillars of diversification, advice and professional management must be the keys so that investors can navigate with confidence and tranquility in any market situation".
For the remainder of the year, Banca March's Markets Strategy team forecasts "a year in which risk should increase, but
bearing in mind that everything has a price
and that, for the time being, we must wait and remain cautious in equities, taking advantage of and capturing the positive effect that higher base rates have on fixed income."
TIME TO BET ON CONSOLIDATED MARKETS
After a complicated 2022 for funds, with almost all categories with negative returns, the situation in 2023 is different and green predominates.
In the firm market data
explain that investment in
The Eurozone is proving to be one of the most profitable
, both in monetary assets, as well as RF and Equity (RV).
"It is a good time for the values of the euro zone, although those who wish to enter categories of other geographical areas (USA, emerging ...) They can do it with funds with the currency covered, "they recommend in this firm.
Hans Marious Lee Ludvigsen
, fund manager
DNB Nordic Small Cap Fund
, gives a good account of Europe's appeal. "We highlight the Scandinavian market (
Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Finland
), as Nordic small- and mid-cap companies have outperformed others because of their strong fundamentals and
stability of the economic and political environment
Ludvigsen explains that small-cap companies grow faster than large ones and that this is most evident in Northern Europe. In addition, the
Small Nordic firms can generate excess profitability through acquisitions
, "since there have been 850 acquisitions registered since 1998 in this area with an average acquisition premium of 34%", highlights the manager
However, after the generalized rate hikes, sovereign and corporate bond yields are at levels not seen, in many cases, since 2008. "Thus, the
US 10-year Treasury yield is around 3.5%
and that of high-yield bonds in euros exceeds 7%," he recalls.
Francisco Simón, Head of Discretionary TAA at Santander Asset Management.
For Simón there are great opportunities in the Fixed Income (RF) markets. The most conservative should go to sovereign and corporate RF of high credit quality in developed countries, with medium-low risk and low sensitivity to the variation of returns.
And the most aggressive will be able to benefit from
Greater potentials by turning to emerging, sovereign and corporate funds
, as well as others of high duration and sensitive to types.
For those who tolerate the risk better in the
oportunidades en fondos de RV europea estilo value
, gestionados de forma activa.
Sin embargo, en un escenario de tipos más altos por más tiempo las empresas de valor suelen comportarse mejor en bolsa que las de crecimiento.
"Ahora que los tipos han subido, los bancos europeos, fuertemente regulados, se benefician de un apalancamiento operativo y financiero en el que el alza de los ingresos repercute directamente en la rentabilidad", exponen en Schroders.
¿Y qué sucede con los perfiles moderados? Para ellos los expertos de esta firma británica ven
oportunidades en RF corporativa europea
, especialmente en crédito de alta calidad.
"El endurecimiento de la política monetaria trae un alza de los rendimientos de los bonos y un entorno muy atractivo para la RF en cuanto a valoración. De hecho,
los bonos son cada vez más atractivos
, lo que ha elevado la demanda por parte de los clientes este año", indican desde la firma.
En el caso de la deuda corporativa, los fundamentales de las empresas europeas son sólidos ante la desaceleración que acecha a las economías. Por su parte, para los inversores conservadores están los fondos de deuda soberana americana, "con volatilidad reducida y niveles de rendimiento atractivos", dice en Schroders.
LA INVERSIÓN SOSTENIBLE ECHA RAÍCES A PESAR DE LAS TRABAS
En medio de uno de los contextos financieros más complejos que se recuerda en los mercados, el patrimonio de los fondos españoles de inversión sostenible
se disparó el pasado año hasta un 60% respecto a 2021.
Las cifras de Inverco muestran que, por primera vez, los activos gestionados bajo criterios ESG alcanzaron los 100.000 millones de euros (a día de hoy ya superan los 117.000 millones). Eso se traduce en que estos productos ya
abarcan un tercio de toda la tarta de los fondos españoles.
Con estos datos sobre la mesa, la fotografía pone de relieve que este nicho, cuyo patrimonio apenas rozaba los 8.000 millones de euros allá por 2017, ha logrado anclarse con gran rapidez en la realidad financiera. Todo ello, a raíz de que se produjeran
"sensaciones muy positivas durante la pandemia"
, indica Joaquín Garralda, presidente de Spainsif. En ese periodo quedó patente la resiliencia de muchas de las compañías que suelen conformar estas carteras y los altos rendimientos reportados por la mayoría de ellas.
Hasta ahí todo bien. Sin embargo, el cóctel que supuso la entrada de "
la compleja taxonomía europea [para definir qué es sostenible] y el conflicto de Ucrania han frenado el auge
", afirma Garralda. Un ejemplo de la menor rentabilidad registrada tiene que ver con los efectos de la guerra y las subidas de tipos de interés en las industrias del futuro, muy presentes en estos instrumentos. "Muchos fondos ESG habían invertido fuerte en las tecnológicas, que antes iban como un tiro pero ahora han sufrido una gran pérdida de valor, mientras que otros ligados al petróleo y al gas han subido", arguye.
Aunque en términos generales es difícil comparar la rentabilidad de la inversión verde con la tradicional por la amplitud de estrategias que abarca, la realidad del pasado año es que
solo 19 de los 247 fondos sostenibles en España tuvieron resultados positivos,
Cabe recordar que el Reglamento de Divulgación de Finanzas Sostenibles (SFDR, por sus siglas en inglés) categorizó estos vehículos en sus artículos 9 (productos con objetivos explícitos), que son los más puros en sostenibilidad) y 8 (sostenibles pero más laxos), que representan el 99% de este segmento. Y son las gestoras las que autoclasifican sus fondos en una u otra categoría.
Eso ha allanado el camino al ecoblanqueo o
En algunos casos de manera intencionada y en otros no, según explica Garralda: "
La UE ha hecho fórmulas muy complicadas, que dificultan la vida a las gestoras
. Algunas están desesperadas, porque la indefinición las obliga a decidir el artículo antes de que las empresas tengan que declarar sobre sus actividades que son elegibles para la taxonomía".
Ya sea por este motivo o por ecopostureo, el regulador de la UE
ha endurecido su posición hasta provocar una oleada de reclasificaciones.
Y no solo eso, porque la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) ha avisado a los fondos incluidos en el artículo 8 que su manera de explicar los criterios ESG está siendo genérica y poco precisa.
Las propias gestoras perciben
un escenario "de luces y sombras"
, as Juan Aznar, executive president of Mutuactivos, believes. While acknowledging that "capital flows have been reoriented towards sustainability for some time and that regulation is being an accelerator", he adds that this "regulatory tsunami is leaving many fronts open". Similarly, it warns that
"Nor is there an obvious change in
investment preferences on the part of clients". Alberto Matellán, chief economist of Mapfre Inversión, clarifies that
Those who do express that concern "demand more explanation and sophistication, and that is good to purify the market.
This expert believes, like many studies, that thematic funds perform better than generic ones. Along these lines, the Responsible Inclusion fund of Mapfre Inversión itself, dedicated to people with disabilities, stands out. In his opinion, "
It is among the most profitable in the portfolio of funds of this manager
". And he adds that in recent years "the focus is increasingly being placed, both on supply and demand, on the S [social] part of ESG, although it is true that
It's much more complex to manage."
In Mutuactivos they demonstrate their commitment to the energy transition with a fund of article 8 that
Invest in renewables, electrification, mobility and energy efficiency
, as well as in transversal topics (hydrogen, batteries or digitalization). In his opinion, "the investments of enormous magnitudes required by the energy transition will benefit numerous companies on the stock market".
THERE IS ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT BEYOND CRYPTO ASSETS
In today's uncertain times, few assets are weathering the storm better than alternatives. While inflation and market volatility have been primed by traditional investments, unconventional ones have continued to offer returns to investors. And everything indicates that
This trend will continue, although with some nuances
The most difficult behavior to predict is that of crypto-assets. When it seemed that they would never be as stable as these last years,
the new MiCA Law, recently approved by the European Parliament, could offer them a second chance
. This regulation, which brings order to a world that had remained outside the regulation governing markets, is based on four basic pillars: guaranteeing more security and protection, offering regulatory clarity, positioning the European Union as an attractive market for this type of investment and recognizing digital assets as a unique typology.
"In the next 18 months, crypto-asset service providers will be able to apply MiCA requirements, which
will give access to 27 markets
with a common regulatory framework", explains Javier García de la Torre, director in Spain and Portugal of the company specialized in these assets Binance. He adds: "Europe has a great opportunity to attract the next wave of tech and fintech companies."
Beyond crypto assets, the alternative investment that currently shows the greatest potential is
that related to thematic funds
. The entities specialized in its management try to make these investments profitable through firm bets on the main macrotrends.
As Karen Kharmandarian, chief information officer of Thematics AM (a subsidiary of Natixis), points out, thematic options "have grown exponentially since the beginning of the pandemic." To the point that the total assets managed under these formulas has reached
A global valuation of more than €730 billion
, based on Morningstar data.
TECHNOLOGY AND SPORT.
Kharmandarian says that the thematic funds that arouse the most appetite are
those linked to sustainability and technology
. It is precisely in this area that Rolando Grandi, manager at La Financière de l'Echiquier (LFDE), believes that one of the financial niches that will offer the highest returns over the next few years will be generated: "The technology sector will be the architect of the great advances of the next decade, as
, which is an indispensable change for companies,
Migrating to the cloud
, which is currently limited to 33%, and the boom in
Another area that most seduces investors is sports. Specifically, two subsectors stand out from the rest:
"Fitness and football"
, as explained by Íñigo Pérez, executive director of Catenon.Of the first, this expert highlights "the recurring generation of cash, because
Gyms charge fees in advance
And that gives certainty to investors."
In turn, the business surrounding football continues to be a pole of attraction for private capital. "Teams can be
An interesting alternative to obtain returns above the market
, assuming, yes, a greater dose of risk, "says Pérez. And he concludes that, in addition, "it is an industry outside the economic cycle."