Insights

Square Mile introduces the AXA Global Short Duration Bonds fund and M&G Global Floating Rate High Yield fund to the Academy of Fund

We are delighted to introduce two new fixed income funds to our Academy of Funds.

We are introducing the M&G Global Floating Rate High Yield fund with an A rating. The fund invests in a mixture of physical and synthetic instruments that pay coupons inclusive of variable and fixed rate components, with the variable component linked to the base interest rates in the country of issue. Unlike most bonds these instruments therefore protect against interest rate fluctuations.

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Changes to the Schroder Tokyo Fund

We have a high regard for the manager, Andrew Rose, and his very disciplined and sensible approach to investing in this market. However, the fund's objective is to outperform the TOPIX benchmark by 2.5% p.a. over rolling three years and to deliver top quartile returns within the IA Japan peer group. We think the index plus target is a difficult one to achieve on a consistent basis (for any manager) and especially when risk is being taken in such a measured and considered manner.

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Changes to the Jupiter Strategic Reserve fund

Following the recent news that Miles Geldard is going to step back from fund management at the beginning of next year, while co-manager, Lee Manzi, will assume the role of lead portfolio manager from September 2017, we have decided to suspend the Jupiter Strategic Reserve fund's rating.

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Outlook June 2017

Markets have made strong upwards progress so far in the year, though unlike in prior years earnings growth is coming through sufficiently strong to keep multiples stable. This is providing some comfort to us though we do wonder how long this EPS spurt can persist. Economic growth is unexciting but at least it is steady and broadly based. Recent data suggests that the US economy may be softening a tad but this is being offset by the pick up in Europe. Equity market valuations remain expensive but are unlikely to come under severe threat whilst conditions remain benign. This does not preclude the possibility of a summer correction and after the recent run, some back filling is now overdue.

We are baffled how interest rates can be maintained at negligible levels as the spare capacity created by the financial crisis appears close to spent. Experience tells us that we should be seeing wage pressure with inflation following on at its heels, though there is scant evidence of this happening. The slow down in productivity is another mystery and although arguably this predates the financial crisis, the scars created by the crisis may have deepened the trend.

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Fund Rating Removals

Following the news that long standing member of Henderson Multi Asset Team and portfolio manager, Chris Forgan, has decided to leave the group, Square Mile has decided to remove the fund ratings on Henderson Multi Manager Income & Growth, Henderson Core 3 Income, Henderson Core 4 Income, Henderson Core 5 Income and Henderson Core 6 Income & Growth.

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BlackRock Change Name Of 13 Passive Funds

BlackRock have recently announced that the following funds will change name, effective as at 30th June 2017.

BlackRock 100 UK Equity Tracker to iShares 100 UK Equity Tracker

BlackRock 350 UK Equity Tracker to iShares 350 UK Equity Tracker

BlackRock Continental European Equity Tracker to iShares Continental European Equity Tracker

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Square Mile introduces the Invesco Perpetual Global Targeted Returns fund to the Academy of Funds

We are pleased to introduce the Invesco Perpetual Global Targeted Returns fund to our Academy of Funds with an A rating. This is an absolute return fund in which the managers aim to achieve a return of 3 month LIBOR plus 5% gross of fees (equivalent to about LIBOR plus 4% net of fees) over rolling three year time periods with volatility of no more than half that of equities.

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Changes to the Henderson Multi Asset Team

Following the news that long standing member of Henderson Multi Asset Team and portfolio manager, Chris Forgan, has decided to leave the group, Square Mile has decided to suspended the fund ratings on Henderson Multi Manager Income & Growth, Henderson Core 3 Income, Henderson Core 4 Income, Henderson Core 5 Income and Henderson Core 6 Income & Growth.

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Fund Rating Removal

Following a prolonged period of review Square Mile has taken the decision to remove the MFS Meridian UK Equity Fund's A rating with immediate effect.

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Filling the Bath in the Dark

NAIRU is one of those nasty looking acronym beloved by economists. Typically, the concept works very well in theory but has an unfortunate tendency to breakdown as soon as you apply it in the real world. It kinda makes sense that if there is a sufficiently large pool of unused labour in the economy, wage inflation will remain under wraps. Only once that spare capacity is used up do workers have the power to claim higher wages which are in turn passed on in higher prices.

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