The Case for Alternatives
1 minute read
- Global trade will continue to be tested in 2023, as the world struggles to adapt to this new multi-polar environment, characterised by a more regionalised focus, higher (or less stable) inflation, and a baseline of interest rates that is likely to be higher than we have become used to in modern times.
- The expanding range of listed alternative assets has resulted in a significant deepening in market liquidity, offering potential for attractive income streams and exposure to many emerging areas of potential growth.
- The key for a successful allocation to alternatives is a clear definition of an investors’ respective goals and objectives and the duration of their investment horizon. This can help to ensure that any allocation to alternatives aligns with an investors’ overall strategy.
The world in 2023 is one dramatically changed from where it was 12 months earlier. A weakening in the drivers of globalisation, war in Europe and renewed rivalry between economic blocs has seen the world move towards fracturing orbits of influence. These changes have had strong inflationary implications, affecting competition, supply chains and leading to significant energy price volatility.
In this Case for Alternatives, we consider some of the factors driving interest in alternative allocations and give a brief insight into some of the options open to investors.
Please read the following important information regarding funds related to this article.
- Shares/Units can lose value rapidly, and typically involve higher risks than bonds or money market instruments. The value of your investment may fall as a result.
- An issuer of a bond (or money market instrument) may become unable or unwilling to pay interest or repay capital to the Fund. If this happens or the market perceives this may happen, the value of the bond will fall. High yielding (non-investment grade) bonds are more speculative and more sensitive to adverse changes in market conditions.
- When interest rates rise (or fall), the prices of different securities will be affected differently. In particular, bond values generally fall when interest rates rise (or are expected to rise). This risk is typically greater the longer the maturity of a bond investment.
- The Fund may use derivatives to help achieve its investment objective. This can result in leverage (higher levels of debt), which can magnify an investment outcome. Gains or losses to the Fund may therefore be greater than the cost of the derivative. Derivatives also introduce other risks, in particular, that a derivative counterparty may not meet its contractual obligations.
- If the Fund holds assets in currencies other than the base currency of the Fund, or you invest in a share/unit class of a different currency to the Fund (unless hedged, i.e. mitigated by taking an offsetting position in a related security), the value of your investment may be impacted by changes in exchange rates.
- When the Fund, or a share/unit class, seeks to mitigate exchange rate movements of a currency relative to the base currency (hedge), the hedging strategy itself may positively or negatively impact the value of the Fund due to differences in short-term interest rates between the currencies.
- Securities within the Fund could become hard to value or to sell at a desired time and price, especially in extreme market conditions when asset prices may be falling, increasing the risk of investment losses.
- The Fund involves a high level of buying and selling activity and as such will incur a higher level of transaction costs than a fund that trades less frequently. These transaction costs are in addition to the Fund's Ongoing Charges.
- The Fund may invest in contingent convertible bonds (CoCos), which can fall sharply in value if the financial strength of an issuer weakens and a predetermined trigger event causes the bonds to be converted into shares of the issuer or to be partly or wholly written off.
- The Fund could lose money if a counterparty with which the Fund trades becomes unwilling or unable to meet its obligations, or as a result of failure or delay in operational processes or the failure of a third party provider.
- SPACs are shell companies set up to acquire businesses. They are complex and often lack the transparency of established companies, and therefore present greater risks to investors.