Morgan Stanley IM: "Risk-on" Is a Misunderstood Risk that Needs To Be Hedged
Jim Caron, Co-Lead Global Portfolio Manager and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Global Balanced Risk Control Team, shares his macro thematic views on key market drivers.
23.01.2023 | 06:29 Uhr
In a "risk-on" environment, investors tend to put more money into
riskier assets like stocks, and whenever I say "risk-on" is itself a
risk that needs to be hedged, I get funny looks.
But it is important to emphasize this is a market with two fat
tails. The right-tail is "risk-off," which many understand needs to be
hedged, and the left-tail is "risk-on," one less understood, but one
that also needs to be hedged.
As a result, the investment profile for 2023 is one of a short and
fat distribution of risk. By definition mathematically, volatility will
be higher than historical averages.
Context is important, where today a historically high $5 trillion in
cash sitting on the sidelines (ICI as of 12/31/2022) hoping it’s the
right place to be, but fearful it’s not.
It is important to remember that there are two types of investor
losses 1) a repeat of 2022’s negative performance, and 2) missing out on
a potential 2023 rally to recoup some of those losses.
So how to we invest in this type of market? Get balanced. One needs
to construct a portfolio that balances both tail risks and manages
towards the middle.
Diversification does not eliminate risk
of loss. There is no assurance that a portfolio will achieve its
investment objective. Portfolios are subject to market risk, which is
the possibility that the market values of securities owned by the
portfolio will decline and that the value of portfolio shares may
therefore be less than what you paid for them. Market values can change
daily due to economic and other events (e.g. natural disasters, health
crises, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) that affect markets,
countries, companies or governments. It is difficult to predict the
timing, duration, and potential adverse effects (e.g. portfolio
liquidity) of events. Accordingly, you can lose money investing in this
portfolio. Please be aware that this portfolio may be subject to certain
additional risks. Fixed income securities are subject to the
ability of an issuer to make timely principal and interest payments
(credit risk), changes in interest rates (interest-rate risk), the
creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity (market
risk). In a rising interest-rate environment, bond prices may fall and
may result in periods of volatility and increased portfolio redemptions.
In a declining interest-rate environment, the portfolio may generate
less income. Longer-term securities may be more sensitive to interest rate changes. Mortgage- and asset-backed securities
are sensitive to early prepayment risk and a higher risk of default,
and may be hard to value and difficult to sell (liquidity risk). They
are also subject to credit, market and interest rate risks. Certain U.S. government securities
purchased by the Strategy, such as those issued by Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. It
is possible that these issuers will not have the funds to meet their
payment obligations in the future. High-yield securities (“junk bonds”) are lower-rated securities that may have a higher degree of credit and liquidity risk. Public bank loans are subject to liquidity risk and the credit risks of lower-rated securities. Foreign securities are subject to currency, political, economic and market risks. The risks of investing emerging market countries are greater than risks associated with investments in foreign developed countries. Sovereign debt securities are subject to default risk. Derivative instruments
may disproportionately increase losses and have a significant impact on
performance. They also may be subject to counterparty, liquidity,
valuation, correlation and market risks. Restricted and illiquid securities may be more difficult to sell and value than publicly traded securities (liquidity risk).
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