Despite the near-boundless markets of 2017, there are four key drivers likely to power the year ahead. The Fed, tax reform, geopolitics and a return to volatility – and opportunity – are in line to support our cautious optimism, says Mona Mahajan, US investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors.
Long viewed as a retirement savings vehicle, Target Date Funds (TDFs) are experiencing something of an identity crisis. For plan sponsors and participants alike, account balances are being eclipsed by income projections as a TDF’s key indicator of financial wellness in retirement says Glenn Dial, Head of Retirement Strategy in the US with Allianz Global Investors.
Even as the Fed is expected to hike rates in December as part of its policy normalization, a majority of ECB governing members continue supporting the bank’s asset-purchase programme. Shifting central bank dynamics will make the landscape increasingly difficult for investors to navigate says Franck Dixmier, Global Head of Fixed Income for Allianz Global Investors.
The gradual reversal of expansionary monetary policies – at differing paces globally – will require some investors to adjust their approaches. Protecting purchasing power will remain a priority as official inflation understates real-world costs.
China’s latest National Party Congress wasn’t the model of transparency, but the market appreciated the overall sense of political stability and policy continuity – and the clear vote of confidence for the continued leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping, says Raymond Chan, CIO Equity Asia Pacific for Allianz Global Investors.
Investors have profited handsomely from FANG stocks and their Big Tech brethren, but Western regulators are responding to growing concerns about their behaviour. Neil Dwane, global strategist for Allianz Global Investors, says these masters of high-tech disruption may soon find themselves competing on a more regulated – and more level – playing field.
An abundance of oil, thanks largely to US shale, has pushed down oil prices and sector sentiment. But since that means less investment in new production sources, the bearish market may soon rebalance from fears of oversupply to concerns over shortages – which would push prices higher says Neil Dwane, global strategist for Allianz Global Investors.
President Trump has the opportunity to overhaul the Federal Reserve by appointing new Fed governors who align with his administration’s views – namely that the current Fed suffers from regulatory over-reach and is less independent than ever, says Steve Malin, investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors.
President Trump recently announced the framework for comprehensive US tax reform. Passing the bill will not be easy, says Mona Mahajan, US investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors, but it could simplify the current tax code, increase economic growth and support the US consumer.
In early September, strategists, economists and portfolio managers from Allianz Global Investors convened in New York for its semi-annual Investment Forum. Their goal? To explore the way forward for clients in a world where taking risk is necessary to earn a return, but where opportunities are getting harder to find.