The roadmaps followed by the three largest asset managers in Spain to navigate the market have points in common: the stock markets still have a path, despite the fact that they have become more expensive, while in fixed income it is convenient to step on the brake because many ballots that real profitability (after inflation is discounted) is negative with most types.
It is the market sentiment that represents 55% of the industry in funds, which is the share concentrated by the managers of CaixaBank, Banco Santander and BBVA -this percentage also includes the equity of Bankia Fondos, now part of CaixaBank AM- .
“There are many arguments to continue long on the stock market”, describes Jaime Martínez, global director of Asset Allocation at BBVA AM, “not to go against the central bank, fiscal stimuli such as a tailwind, and the flow itself of investors “, he adds – see interview -.
Inside the equity drawer, the eurozone already likes it more than the United States because of its greater bias towards cyclical companies, where countries such as Italy, France and Spain also fare particularly well due to their exposure to sectors such as financials, which is benefited, among other things, by the gradual rise in interest rates.
It is a sector that has now acquired more prominence in CaixaBank’s portfolios, where they have also focused on everything related to the old economy that is related to the cycle, such as materials or construction.
“For the first time in a long time we have a position in the Ibex”, acknowledges Cristina Rodríguez, director of Global Multiasset Solutions at Santander AM – see interview -. In addition to having elements in its favor such as banking , the Spanish stock market can also find another ally in Latin America, due to its cyclical component.
“There is an opportunity for Latin America to do better than Asia in the next twelve months and that has a second reading for the Spanish market,” says Jaime Martínez. At CaixaBank, Santiago Rubio, the manager’s investment strategy director, is also positive about Latin America: “The countries that export raw materials and, especially, metals Industrialists are among the great beneficiaries of this cycle, so we have increased the relative weight in the portfolios of Latin America and South Africa with respect to Asia. “
The conservative investor, a challenge
The alternative to equities is a fixed income with no return, which complicates the conservative investor’s options to make money to the extreme. “It is increasingly difficult to offer a positive return to clients of this profile,” says Cristina Rodríguez. The fear of a strong rise in inflation has caused investors to ditch this asset, with the consequent price losses that this causes so far this year for many bonds -see graph-.
The message they send from CaixaBank is that, for the most conservative participants , “the alternative, unfortunately, is liquidity and the minimum, but known loss”, and they go a step further for those fixed income investors who are willing to lose some money: “If you are willing to take a little risk,” says Rubio, “a combination of stock and liquidity is more efficient than any position in intermediate fixed income” – see interview -.
Jaime Martínez, from BBVA AM, explains, however, that they have seen “in the last 12-18 months a transfer of a lot of conservative participants that moves to moderate. They realize that they have to leave a very conservative profile because they don’t they are going to earn nothing. Managing very conservative portfolios has a very relevant challenge in the coming years because fixed income assets offer a very low profitability expectation. In the best of cases, you pass the measles and in the worse, you have significant losses in purchasing power. “
The task of educating participants, that they understand what the market situation is and how they should position their portfolio at all times is key, and in fund managers such as CaixaBank they already say they will see its fruits:
“If I compare the impact that we have managed to convince to customers that they do not sell and, even, in some cases that they increase risk, between the fall that occurred at the end of 2018 and that of 2020, I would say that an important improvement has already been noticed in how we have managed to reach the customers, keep them and prevent them from selling at a minimum, “says Santiago Rubio.
What the three managers also agree on is that none of them has plans to invest in cryptocurrencies. The National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) has opened this door to investment funds as long as they are daily trading cryptocurrencies.
Whoever wants to take the step must include an express mention both in the brochure and in the Fundamental Data Document (DFI) about this exposure and the risks that it may entail.