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July 19, 2022

Inflation oscillates: it’s an idea when it’s not about, and a defining feature when it is, says Ruffer LLP chairman Jonathan Ruffer.

Inflation oscillates: it’s an idea when it’s not about, and a defining feature when it is. The only other word which comes to mind with similar status is ‘war’. Irrelevant or inexorable – the human mind finds it hard to make a judgement between the two extremes.

July 4, 2022

“Private equity forms the major part of the economic fabric of many developed countries. Therefore, it shouldn’t be viewed merely as an alternative asset, but rather a building block in the constitution of a portfolio – much like bonds,” says Edouard Nouvellon, founder of European financial consultancy Risk Return.

Private equity-backed companies are a vital part of the economy and a significant driver of economic growth. In France, for instance, 120 of the most promising startups are doubling their turnover every year, according to consultancy firm Roland Berger. By contrast, companies in the CAC index are growing at just 3% a year on average.

June 30, 2022

Recession fears and central-bank tightening are driving market volatility. Equity markets are oversold and US core inflation has likely peaked. This should help markets stabilise and possibly recover over the second half of 2022, says Andrew Pease of Russell Investments.

Recession fears and central-bank tightening are driving market volatility. We think equity markets are oversold, and believe US core inflation has likely peaked. In our view, this should help markets stabilise and possibly recover over the second half of 2022.

June 14, 2022

With interest rates near historic lows, public equity market valuations elevated and bond yields providing slim pickings, it has been extremely challenging to generate returns in traditional assets in recent years, says private markets investment platform Titanbay.

With interest rates near historic lows, public equity market valuations elevated and bond yields providing slim pickings, it has been extremely challenging to generate returns in traditional assets in recent years.

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.

April 21, 2022

Inflation-linked bonds are a key defence in a world of deepening negative real yields, says Jasmine Yeo, investment manager at Ruffer LLP.

What was the real return on the US ten-year bond over the past two years? Flat? Down a little?

Wrong – down a lot. The bedrock of the balanced portfolio has delivered a real return of -20% over the past two years [1].

That’s the worst inflation-adjusted performance since 1981 [2].

Traditional balanced portfolios rely on equities and bonds fulfilling their roles – equities for good times, bonds to cushion the bad. But after a torrid three months for markets, investors are being forced to tear up the rulebook.

April 7, 2022

Events in Ukraine are to be seen, first, through the lens of humanity. Through the lens of finance, Russia’s invasion is having the same effect as Covid-19: it is accelerating trends which are already in place. And those trends are inflationary says Ruffer LLP chairman Jonathan Ruffer.

Events in Ukraine are to be seen, first, through the lens of humanity. Through the lens of finance, Russia’s invasion is having the same effect as Covid-19: it is accelerating trends which are already in place. And those trends are inflationary.

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