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November 4, 2022

Cash is trash. Cash is a melting ice cube. Going to cash is giving up... Ruffer investment director Duncan MacInnes says there's still life in the folding stuff yet!

Cash is trash. Cash is a melting ice cube. Going to cash is giving up.

Ruffer currently has the highest weighting to cash or cash-like assets in our history. We are concerned that liquidity is the new leverage and that a degradation of liquidity conditions poses an imminent danger to investor portfolios. 

So why, unlike other investment managers, are we comfortable owning cash today?

June 10, 2022

Who’d be a central banker today? Once, they were the masters of the universe, bravely slaying the dragon of inflation and slashing interest rates to save the economy in times of peril. Today, they seem powerless to control inflation, says Ruffer LLP’s investment director Steve Russell.

Who’d be a central banker today? Once, they were the masters of the universe, bravely slaying the dragon of inflation and slashing interest rates to save the economy in times of peril.

Today, they seem powerless to control inflation. Fearful of raising interest rates too far, they issue hollow calls for wage restraint. No wonder Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, admitted to MPs recently that “It’s a very, very difficult place for us to be in.”

May 20, 2022

Financial markets – with their twists and turns and unknowability – remind us just how hard it is to predict the future and just how wonderful perfect foresight would be, says Ruffer LLP’s Duncan MacInnes.

In the Back To The Future trilogy, the bad guy is a bully called Biff Tannen.

The megalomaniac mogul amassed his wealth because his older self travelled back in time to give his younger self the Grays Sports Almanac, a compilation of every sports result from 1950 to 2000. So Biff was able to earn a spectacular fortune from sports betting.

Financial markets – with their twists and turns and unknowability – remind us just how hard it is to predict the future and just how wonderful perfect foresight would be.

May 5, 2022

Globally, inflation is likely to be higher and more volatile. Inflation risk, an absent adversary throughout the careers of most investors today, will need to be priced once again, says Ruffer LLP’s Jamie Dannhauser.

In the late 1970s, the world was on the cusp of radical change. The ‘Deflation Machine’ was being born. Deng Xiaoping, having outmanoeuvred Mao Zedong’s preferred successor, began the process of reforming China’s moribund economy. In the West, liberal, free-market ideals were gaining traction, ideals that underpinned the subsequent regime of rapid, disinflationary global growth.

March 17, 2022

Inflation is running hot, even before wage-price pressures have begun says Ruffer LLP economist Jamie Dannhauser.

Inflation is running hot, even before wage-price pressures have begun says Ruffer LLP economist Jamie Dannhauser.

Central bankers tell us the current burst of inflation will be transitory and workers will not mind the temporary squeeze on their living standards.

In today’s full employment economy, this is not convincing. The implied policy response is flawed, potentially even reckless.

March 3, 2022

Increasing inflation volatility represents the greatest challenge to investors for a generation. A new regime and the collapse of the financial market status quo requires us to reimagine portfolios. No longer can we rely on yesterday’s logic says Ruffer’s chief investment officer Henry Maxey.

Increasing inflation volatility represents the greatest challenge to investors for a generation. A new regime and the collapse of the financial market status quo requires us to reimagine portfolios. No longer can we rely on yesterday’s logic.

“Inflation is the endgame. Just brace for inflation volatility first.”

This was the punchline of my 2021 Ruffer Review article.

March 30, 2021

The death of inflation has been greatly exaggerated. Its return will first scare, then maim, then ruin the traditional balanced portfolios have that served investors well for a generation. Investors need to prepare for a world of greater inflation volatility. And with it a monumental risk—bonds and equities falling in tandem.

The death of inflation has been greatly exaggerated. Its return will first scare, then maim, then ruin the traditional balanced portfolios have that served investors well for a generation. Investors need to prepare for a world of greater inflation volatility. And with it a monumental risk—bonds and equities falling in tandem.

Investors’ great fear

November 28, 2011

Ancient Mesopotamia knew how to deal with bankers. Every time a new monarch ascended to the throne, he would order all outstanding debts to be forgiven: the slates on which loans were recorded were literally swept clean.

Ancient Mesopotamia knew how to deal with bankers. Every time a new monarch ascended to the throne, he would order all outstanding debts to be forgiven: the slates on which loans were recorded were literally swept clean.

This was bad news for the people who advanced loans, but a relief to the common people, happy to pledge loyalty to their new monarch by way of return. The tradition began in Lagash, now in southern Iraq, in 2400 BC and lasted for generations.

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