Traditionally, Asset Allocation has meant choosing between a rigid set of definitions of different Asset Classes for investments: Equities, Bonds, Property, Cash, or geographic allocation between different currency blocks. The determinants of allocation between these categories often boil down to little more than interest rate expectations. At WHEB we believe there is likely to be so much change to the landscape for the economy and wider society over the coming decades, that there is a need for another dimension to the allocation decision – namely to understand which part of the economy an investment portfolio should be exposed to.
When you run electric current through a tungsten filament in an incandescent light-bulb, you waste roughly nine times the energy transformed into light, as heat. And those old incandescent light-bulbs always need changing: each one lasts around three months at average usage.
It is not often that one’s first meeting of the morning starts with an exquisite rendering of a 19th Century Danish hymn by a quartet of professional musicians. The singing along with a crisp, cloudless but decidedly chilly Copenhagen morning served to kick-start a day long discussion of how Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical company , should go about creating ‘sustainable value’.
The horse meat crisis continues to escalate since last month when Irish food inspectors announced they had found horsemeat in some burgers stocked by UK supermarket chains including Tesco. As it turned out, it was not only the UK and Ireland which had the problem. Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands are the latest countries to confirm the discovery of horse meat in frozen meals, and millions of processed meat products have been withdrawn from supermarket shelves across the EU.
Getting excited about the mass adoption of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) seemed a perfectly reasonable response to projections for the market in 2013 until a colleague pointed out that he could think of little else that would as surely send him to sleep. The comment reminded me of the quote from Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns. In the final verse of his ode ‘To a Louse’ he appeals for some power to give us the gift ‘to see ourselves as others see us’. It may indeed be that my colleague sees me as an energy efficiency nerd…
It is widely agreed that asset allocation accounts for the vast bulk of returns for most global equity funds. Within asset allocation, it is often regional bets that either deliberately or inadvertently end up driving performance. In my past experience as an Investment Trust analyst I saw this first hand as I met many managers of global funds who came to see me to explain their performance. Outperforming through stock selection in Japan was never enough to mitigate the effects of being overweight Japan whilst the market was falling in the early 1990’s.
On 1 February 2013, the IM WHEB Sustainability Fund will be available on the Cofunds Retail Platform.
It is often difficult to connect what seems like an endless stream of UN-sponsored multilateral environmental talks with actual change on the ground – let alone investable ideas for an asset manager. But look closely, and those opportunities are there.
It always strikes me as ironic that during the festive season, when we want to look and feel our best the dreaded norovirus as well as assorted cases of colds and stomach bugs strike. Over half of my team have been struck down in the last few weeks.
What is happening to the world of ethical funds? Over the past 8 years or so, ethical funds have been one of the few areas of growth in the world of equities investment almost trebling funds under management. Yet, in the last twelve months, several of the largest incumbent managers have made radical cuts to the resources they devote to these businesses.
Another year, another round of climate talks. This time – the eighteenth – the talks were in Doha and concluded with little fanfare on the 8th December.
Of all the issues that could have caused division in the UK’s Coalition Government, support for the deployment of onshore wind was not originally a leading contender. Indeed, in the early days of the Coalition, the environmental agenda seemed to be one of few areas of genuinely common ground between the Liberal Democrats and their Conservatives in what the Prime Minister anticipated would be the ‘greenest government ever’.