Monthly fund manager comment

31/01/2019

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Macro backdrop

January was a remarkable month in which investors' appetite for risk rose, given the dismal December that preceded it. Equities, oil, emerging markets, and high yield and investment grade bonds, all performed well. Sovereign bonds also rose, albeit it to a lesser extent, bucking the usual trend of falling during a period where investors have a higher appetite for risk. We feel that the investment backdrop has changed. Not only did we have a bounce-back in risk appetite following the December panic, but sovereign bond yields continue to fall (and prices rise). Furthermore, German bond yields fell more than their US counterparts, while European equities continue to underperform their US equivalents. US credit markets were generally much stronger than European credit markets. Parts of Europe are now in recession, while global trade and Asian economic data is surprisingly weak. US data is generally mixed and confidence appears to be waning. Markets rallied on the hope, and subsequent over-delivery, of the changing outlook of the US Federal Reserve (Fed). Its Chair, Jerome Powell, performed a complete U-turn on the future path of interest rates, and indeed the size of the Fed’s balance sheet (it was shrinking on a pre-set course). In the press conference, Powell appeared remarkably dovish, citing numerous cross-currents of why markets and economies have weakened. Much reference was also made to the continued weakness of inflation, which remains subdued.

Fund performance and activity

The fund outperformed the peer group given its reasonable credit exposure combined with its long sovereign bond exposure. The significant Australian sovereign bond position was particularly rewarding as Australian housing data continues to weaken, activity is stagnating, and inflation is subdued. A full on housing crisis appears to be brewing and the tough talking central bank is under considerable pressure to change course. Elsewhere, German sovereign bonds also performed well given weak German trade and retail sales data. Financial and high yield bonds were also very strong performers, while investment grade performance was reasonable. In terms of activity, we added holdings in American Tower, Crown Castle, Verizon and Charter bonds for yield reasons. We also bought some Transdigm bonds at new issue yielding 6.25%.

Outlook/strategy

The Fed's change in interest rate outlook is highly significant and whether too much damage has been done to still engineer a soft landing, only time will tell. We feel vindicated in our sovereign bond positioning, in addition to the required credit exposure which is necessary to generate the income stream required for the fundholders. Now that the Fed has changed course, or at least gone into neutral mode, we expect this to give some cloud cover for other central banks to get more dovish (such as those of Canada and Australia). We continue to like selective diverging sovereign markets and await opportunities to increase our credit exposure should there be any material sell-off. Interest rates and inflation may have peaked, for this cycle, at record low levels, and this supports our Japanification (persistent low growth and inflation) view of the world. We continue to focus on providing a sensible and regular income stream for our unitholders without undue capital volatility.


Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested.

Any stock examples are for illustrative purposes only and are not indicative of the historical or future performance of the strategy or the chances of success of any particular strategy. Janus Henderson Investors, one of its affiliated advisors, or its employees, may have a position in the securities mentioned in the report. References made to sectors and stocks do not constitute or form part of any offer or solicitation to issue, sell, subscribe, or purchase them.

These are the fund manager’s views at the time of writing and should not be construed as investment advice.

Source: Janus Henderson Investors. Based on published NAV, net of fees, costs and other charges, but does not include initial charge if applicable.

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Important information

Please read the following important information regarding funds related to this article.

Janus Henderson Fixed Interest Monthly Income Fund

This document is intended solely for the use of professionals and is not for general public distribution.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax assumptions and reliefs depend upon an investor’s particular circumstances and may change if those circumstances or the law change.

If you invest through a third party provider you are advised to consult them directly as charges, performance and terms and conditions may differ materially.

Nothing in this document is intended to or should be construed as advice. This document is not a recommendation to sell or purchase any investment. It does not form part of any contract for the sale or purchase of any investment.

Any investment application will be made solely on the basis of the information contained in the Prospectus (including all relevant covering documents), which will contain investment restrictions. This document is intended as a summary only and potential investors must read the prospectus, and where relevant, the key investor information document before investing. Copies of the Fund’s prospectus and key investor information document are available in English, French, German, and Italian. Articles of incorporation, annual and semi-annual reports are available in English. All of these documents can be obtained free of cost from Janus Henderson Investors registered office: 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AE.

Issued in the UK by Janus Henderson Investors. Janus Henderson Investors is the name under which investment products and services are provided by Janus Capital International Limited (reg no. 3594615), Henderson Global Investors Limited (reg. no. 906355), Henderson Investment Funds Limited (reg. no. 2678531), AlphaGen Capital Limited (reg. no. 962757), Henderson Equity Partners Limited (reg. no.2606646), (each registered in England and Wales at 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AE and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) and Henderson Management S.A. (reg no. B22848 at 2 Rue de Bitbourg, L-1273, Luxembourg and regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier). We may record telephone calls for our mutual protection, to improve customer service and for regulatory record keeping purposes.

Copies of the Fund’s prospectus are available in English, French, Spanish German and Dutch. Key investor information documents are available in English, Danish, German, Finnish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish and Dutch. Articles of incorporation, annual and semi-annual reports are available in English. All of these documents can be obtained free of cost from the local offices of Janus Henderson Investors: 201 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3AE for UK, Swedish and Scandinavian investors; Via Dante 14, 20121 Milan, Italy, for Italian investors and Roemer Visscherstraat 43-45, 1054 EW Amsterdam, the Netherlands. for Dutch investors; and the Fund’s: Austrian Paying Agent Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Am Stadtpark 9, A-1030 Vienna; French Paying Agent BNP Paribas Securities Services, 3, rue d’Antin, F-75002 Paris; German Information Agent Marcard, Stein & Co, Ballindamm 36, 20095 Hamburg; Belgian Financial Service Provider CACEIS Belgium S.A., Avenue du Port 86 C b320, B-1000 Brussels; Spanish Representative Allfunds Bank S.A. Estafeta, 6 Complejo Plaza de la Fuente, La Moraleja, Alcobendas 28109 Madrid; Janus Henderson Investors (Singapore) Limited, 138 Market Street #34-03/04 CapitaGreen, Singapore 048946; or Swiss Representative BNP Paribas Securities Services, Paris, succursale de Zurich, Selnaustrasse 16, 8002 Zurich who are also the Swiss Paying Agent.

Specific risks

  • Investment management techniques that have worked well in normal market conditions could prove ineffective or detrimental at other times.
  • Some or all of the Annual Management Charge and other costs of the Fund may be taken from capital, which may erode capital or reduce potential for capital growth.
  • This fund is designed to be used only as one component in several in a diversified investment portfolio. Investors should consider carefully the proportion of their portfolio invested into this fund.
  • The Fund could lose money if a counterparty with which it trades becomes unwilling or unable to meet its obligations to the Fund.
  • When the Fund, or a currency hedged share class of the Fund (with ‘Hedged’ in its name), seeks to mitigate (hedge) exchange rate movements of a currency relative to the Fund’s base currency, the hedging strategy itself may create a positive or negative impact to the capital value of the Fund due to differences in short-term interest rates between the currencies.
  • 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.
  • The Fund may use derivatives towards the aim of achieving its investment objective. This can result in 'leverage', which can magnify an investment outcome and gains or losses to the Fund may 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.
  • Derivatives use exposes the Fund to risks different from, and potentially greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and may therefore result in additional loss, which could be significantly greater than the cost of the derivative.
  • Changes in currency exchange rates may cause the value of your investment and any income from it to rise or fall.
  • If the Fund or a specific share class of the Fund seeks to reduce risks (such as exchange rate movements), the measures designed to do so may be ineffective, unavailable or detrimental.
  • The Fund invests in high yield (non-investment grade) bonds and while these generally offer higher rates of interest than investment grade bonds, they 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. This risk is generally greater the longer the maturity of a bond investment.
  • Leverage arises from entering into contracts or derivatives whose terms have the effect of magnifying an outcome, meaning profits and losses from investment can be greater.
  • 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.

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