Simon Ward

Economist

Simon Ward has worked as an economist studying financial markets for more than 30 years. He believes that changes in monetary conditions are a key driver of both the economic cycle and movements in financial markets; accordingly, a forecasting approach emphasising monetary analysis has a better chance of success.

Simon joined Henderson following its acquisition of New Star in 2009. He has also held positions at WorldInvest, Lombard Street Research, and Bank Julius Baer. Simon has degrees from Cambridge University and Birkbeck College.

Simon Ward has worked as an economist in financial markets for over 30 years. His forecasting process combines monetary and cycle analysis. Monetary trends signal the direction of the economy six to 12 months ahead; cycle analysis provides longer-term context and acts as a cross-check of the monetary signals.

Money growth in excess of the rate required to support economic expansion is associated with an increase in demand for financial assets and upward pressure on their prices (“money moves markets”). The relative performance of different assets depends on the direction of the economy and the status of the various cycles as well as popular speculative narratives that concentrate demand and can result in bubbles.

This online journal provides regular updates of the signals from the forecasting approach; it presents a selection of the research circulated by Simon Ward to Janus Henderson investment teams. Comments and questions are welcome.

Simon joined Henderson in 2009. He previously worked at New Star Institutional Managers, Lombard Street Research and Bank Julius Baer. He has degrees in economics and finance from Cambridge University and Birkbeck College, London.

Articles Written

Global V scenario moving from forecast to fact
Global Perspectives

Global V scenario moving from forecast to fact

Successive V-shaped recoveries are playing out in global economic aggregates, with labour market recuperation likely to follow, argues Simon Ward, Economic Adviser.

Why the cyclicals rally could extend
Global Perspectives

Why the cyclicals rally could extend

Traditional cyclical equity market sectors could sustain their outperformance of defensive sectors and start to overtake tech, argues Simon Ward, Economic Adviser.

OECD leading indicators recovering, note statistical meddling
Global Perspectives

OECD leading indicators recovering, note statistical meddling

The OECD’s leading indicators are giving a recovery signal but users should be aware of a recent methodological change that has increased monthly volatility, argues Simon Ward, Economic Adviser.

Industrial output rebound bullish for equity earnings
Global Perspectives

Industrial output rebound bullish for equity earnings

Unprecedented GDP falls greatly exaggerate damage to equity market earnings, which are geared to rebounding industrial output, argues Simon Ward, Economic Adviser.

Global monetary update: money growth still strong, lending slowdown to extend
Global Perspectives

Global monetary update: money growth still strong, lending slowdown to extend

Global monetary acceleration since early 2020 argues for an inflation pick-up in 2021-22 but the increase could prove temporary if money growth now normalises, argues Economic Adviser Simon Ward.

Will industrial commodity prices surge?
Global Perspectives

Will industrial commodity prices surge?

Simon Ward, Economic Adviser, argues that attempts to rebuild inventories against a backdrop of “excess” money could result in a sharp rise in commodity prices into 2021, complicating central bankers’ plans to maintain super-easy monetary policies.

Lagging Chinese money growth isn’t concerning

Lagging Chinese money growth isn’t concerning

Money measures have surged in most major economies. Narrow money outperforms broad money as a leading indicator of economic activity. Annual growth of the official M1 measure in June was 35.9% in the US, 22.0% in Canada, 15.2% in the UK, 12.6% in the Eurozone and 12.3% in Japan.

Equities / cash switching rule update
Global Perspectives

Equities / cash switching rule update

The “monetarist” equities / cash switching rule followed here recommends unhedged global equities (MSCI World index) only when the following two conditions are satisfied:
1. Six-month change in global (i.e. G7 plus E7*) real narrow money above six-month change in industrial output;
2. 12-month change in global real narrow money above slow moving average (currently at 5.6%).

Still looks like a “V”
Global Perspectives

Still looks like a “V”

The central view here remains that the global economy is staging a V-shaped recovery – or an italic V, at least – from the covid shock (not recession), with industrial output / GDP likely to regain pre-crisis levels in late 2020 / early 2021.

Bonds / equities aren’t giving different messages

Bonds / equities aren’t giving different messages

The strong rally in equities since late March contrasts with static longer-term government bond yields, causing some to argue that economic expectations in the two markets are out of sync, the suggestion being that a pessimistic bond market is smarter.

Chinese stockbuilding cycle aligned with global upswing

Chinese stockbuilding cycle aligned with global upswing

The global stockbuilding (inventory) cycle is judged here to have bottomed in H1 2020, probably Q1. The cycle acted as a drag on global economic momentum in 2018-19 but is now scheduled to provide a tailwind at least through end-2021.

Global data flow supporting “V” scenario

Global data flow supporting “V” scenario

Global six-month real money growth – on both narrow and broad definitions – is estimated to have risen to another post-WW2 high in June, based on data for the US, China, Japan, Brazil and India, which have a combined two-thirds weighting in the G7 plus E7 aggregates calculated here.