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

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.

A “monetarist” perspective on current equity markets (July 2020)

A “monetarist” perspective on current equity markets (July 2020)

The previous quarterly commentary suggested that the policy response to the covid-19 crisis would lead to a strong rise in global money growth, in turn suggesting strong economic growth in late 2020 / 2021.

The business investment cycle is bottoming

The business investment cycle is bottoming

Annual growth of US broad money, on the M2+ definition* used here, rose further to 25.7% in May, the fastest since 1943 and more than 20 percentage points higher than a year earlier.

US monetary scenarios

US monetary scenarios

Annual growth of US broad money, on the M2+ definition* used here, rose further to 25.7% in May, the fastest since 1943 and more than 20 percentage points higher than a year earlier.

A long-term perspective on US money and wealth

A long-term perspective on US money and wealth

Recent posts on the “quantity theory of wealth” may have been heavy going, so what follows is an attempt to explain the approach more simply using charts of US data extending back over 100 years.

How strong money growth will boost inflation

How strong money growth will boost inflation

Global inflation is expected here to pick up significantly over the next 2-3 years. This would be consistent with the Kondratyev “long wave” price / inflation cycle, which implies a multi-year rise to a peak in the late 2020s, as well as current monetary trends – G7 annual broad money growth may have reached 16% in May, which would be the fastest since 1973.