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We crash test the world
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Overview Fixed Income

Upward trend in euro area ESG scores is stalling

27-09-2016 | Olaf Penninga, Rikkert Scholten

After years of widespread improvements, the ESG scores of euro area countries have started to show a more mixed picture. This can be concluded from the latest update of the RobecoSAM Country Sustainability Ranking. The information obtained from the ranking is used in investment decisions for the Euro Government Bonds fund.

Carry fund marks first anniversary with strong returns

26-09-2016 | Insight | Klaas Smits, Martin Martens, PhD, Shengsheng Zhang

The Robeco Global Diversified Carry fund was launched in August 2015 to take advantage of a quantitative investment strategy that searches for yield opportunities in different asset classes. In its first year it has delivered a strong return of 7.35%, resulting in a Sharpe ratio of 1.27. In this question and answer session, portfolio managers Klaas Smits and Shengsheng Zhang from Robeco’s Investment Solutions team explain how the fund works, and outline the reasons behind its success.

Absolute return strategies: the real diversifier

22-09-2016 | Insight | Klaas Smits

Klaas Smits talks about what is special about Robeco’s Absolute Return Strategies and explains the pro’s and cons of not following a benchmark.

Elegant twist shifts policy focus at Bank of Japan

22-09-2016 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

An “elegant twist” in monetary policy by the Bank of Japan has shifted its focus to controlling bond yields rather than printing money, says Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen.

Good times for investment grade corporates

15-09-2016 | Insight | Peter Kwaak

The ECB’s corporate sector purchase program has given investment grade corporate bonds a huge boost. Moreover, growth in ‘corporate hybrids’ and ‘reverse Yankees’ offers attractive yield pick-up opportunities.

The quality of low-risk credits

14-09-2016 | Research | Frederik Muskens, Jeroen van Zundert, Mark Whirdy, Patrick Houweling, PhD

Recently a new factor was added to the literature: Quality. In credits, we see Quality as a natural extension of pure Low-Risk. All our credit factor models have used Quality since inception, and have expanded its use over the years.

Closing our short position in sterling for now

13-09-2016 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

Over the past month, Robeco Investment Solutions has made a number of minor changes to its multi-asset portfolio. On balance, we remain underweight equities, as we see numerous risks which have been mostly ignored by stock markets, due to the natural upward drift during low volatility trading periods.

No news is good news for markets

08-09-2016 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

The old phrase that ‘no news is good news’ has been working its magic in the markets lately – but it may be the calm before the storm, says Robeco’s Lukas Daalder.

Avoiding unpleasant surprises: country risk in telecom credits

07-09-2016 | Insight | Jankees Ruizeveld, Mattias Müller

For many telecom companies, expanding into emerging countries can be very attractive. However, the telecom sector is highly exposed to country governance risk, such as changing regulations and bribery. For credits issued by telecom companies we assess this risk in a structured way to make better-informed investment decisions.

Robeco retains PRI’s highest A+ grade

08-08-2016 | Insight | Edith Siermann

Robeco has retained the highest possible A+ score for sustainability investing by the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI).

Investors welcome Bank of England stimulus measures

04-08-2016 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

The Bank of England’s rate cut and new QE stimulus measures is a positive package that will be welcomed by investors, says Robeco’s Lukas Daalder.

Emerging Debt fund celebrates five years of outperformance

02-08-2016 | Insight | Paul Murray-John

A renaissance for emerging markets on the back of a weaker US dollar is proving a very happy birthday for Robeco’s Emerging Debt fund.

Managing expectations for absolute return funds

01-08-2016 | Opinion | Klaas Smits, Shengsheng Zhang

Should absolute return funds always make a profit? Most investors buy absolute return products to realize positive returns, and to use them for diversification purposes. However, many often forget that these ambitions are realized over a business cycle, and drawdowns can happen just like in any other investment.

Lower liquidity, collective responsibility

28-07-2016 | Insight | Robbert Vonk

The financial industry needs to collectively deal with lower liquidity in bond markets, says Robeco’s head of risk analysis.

Multi-factor fund celebrates birthday with outperformance

18-07-2016 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD

“Putting your research to the test is always exciting, and if it then works out well, then that’s very satisfying.” That’s how Patrick Houweling describes celebrating the first anniversary of the Global Multi-Factor Credits fund, with an outperformance chart to go with the birthday cake.

Bank of England keeps rates on hold despite Brexit

14-07-2016 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

The Bank of England surprised investors by keeping its base rate unchanged at 0.5%, despite expectations for a cut following the Brexit vote.

Moving to underweight in European equities post-Brexit

14-07-2016 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. Like many, we had hoped that the word would soon fall out of fashion, following a (predictable?) victory by the Bremain camp, but we turned out to be wrong.

Integrating sustainability into factor credit strategies

12-07-2016 | Research | Frederik Muskens, Jeroen van Zundert, Mark Whirdy, Patrick Houweling, PhD

Our factor credit strategies have two main objectives: maximizing the portfolio’s factor exposure and limiting sustainability risks. How do we integrate these two goals?

The quarterly outlook for credits: remortgaging shareholder equity

05-07-2016 | Outlook | Sander Bus, Victor Verberk

American companies are levering up and central banks are providing ever cheaper money. With increasing debt, markets are becoming more vulnerable to volatility. We pursue a guerrilla strategy, adopting a neutral starting point and taking tactical positions where value pops up due to excessive fear. We start with a higher beta driven by the Brexit spread premium.

ECB bond buying drives long-end yield curve flattening

30-06-2016 | Insight | Marck Bulter

Robeco Global Total Return Bond Fund, Robeco Euro Government Bonds and Robeco All Strategy Euro Bonds are positioned for a flattening of the long end of the German curve. The rules of its own Quantitative Easing program are forcing the ECB to buy long-end government bonds only, which will cause the yield curve to flatten.

Mid-term outlook depends on any Brexit domino effect

29-06-2016 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

The mid-term outlook for investors depends on whether the Brexit either unifies or further breaks up the European Union in a domino effect, says Lukas Daalder.

Brexit impact on Robeco Global Total Return Bond Fund

27-06-2016 | Insight

Markets reacted strongly following the UK’s surprising vote to leave the EU. Yields of developed market government bonds came down significantly as investors fled into safe asset classes. Risky assets were under pressure. Credit spreads widened and the British pound experienced its biggest drop in 30 years versus the dollar.

Financial markets get a ‘nasty surprise’ from Brexit vote

24-06-2016 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt, Lukas Daalder, Mark Glazener, Sander Bus, Victor Verberk

Markets got the biggest shock from the Brexit vote since the financial crisis of 2008 and now face months of uncertainty, say Robeco’s portfolio managers for the major asset classes.

Britons stun the world by voting to leave the EU

24-06-2016 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

Britons stunned the world and sent financial markets into freefall after voting to leave the European Union in an historic referendum.

From the field: Accounting-based anomalies in the bond market

22-06-2016 | David Blitz, PhD

This study examines whether over thirty accounting-based fundamental variables known to be related to future stock returns are also effective for predicting future bond returns. The frequency of significant returns to trading strategies based on these anomalies turns out to be similar for the bond and stock markets.

How to achieve attractive bond returns in a low-yield environment?

21-06-2016 | Insight | Johan Duyvesteyn, PhD, CFA, Kommer van Trigt, Martin Martens, PhD, Olaf Penninga

Actively managing a portfolio’s sensitivity to interest rate movements is crucial for the returns on fixed income portfolios, as they are predominantly driven by changes in government bond yields. To forecast yield changes, Robeco developed a quantitative model in the 1990s, which has proven to have very good predictive power.

Three investors’ perspectives on Brexit

16-06-2016 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt, Lukas Daalder, Mark Glazener

On June 23, 2016, the British will vote whether or not they want to remain a member of the European Union. In this article, three investors – Lukas Daalder, Mark Glazener and Kommer van Trigt - give their take on the consequences of a potential Brexit for, respectively, the main asset classes, global equities, and global bonds.

Implementing factor strategies in corporate bonds

14-06-2016 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD

Research shows that factor investing strategies work well in corporate bonds, but actually building a portfolio requires greater care due to liquidity issues, Robeco’s quantitative experts argue in a new white paper.

Britons set to vote with their wallets against a Brexit

24-05-2016 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

Britons will vote to remain in the European Union, as the economic consequences of leaving it would be severe, says Robeco Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen.

Robeco Lux-o-rente: dynamic duration protects and delivers

23-05-2016 | Insight | Olaf Penninga

Yields are low, but they are still moving substantially. And that means that there are opportunities for Robeco Lux-o-rente’s dynamic duration model, says Olaf Penninga.

Fixed income quarterly outlook: Time to scale in emerging local debt

18-04-2016 | Outlook | Kommer van Trigt, Paul van der Worp, Stephan van IJzendoorn

Having been cautious on the asset class for years, we are becoming more constructive on local emerging debt because of its attractive valuations, the first signs of inflows back into the asset class and a recent improvement in fundamentals.

The dynamic duo: how to really understand the nature of your investment portfolio

07-04-2016 | Research | Alexander de Roode, Roderick Molenaar

The current volatile markets provide plenty of food for thought for investors. To make better-informed investment decisions, Robeco has further developed its Dynamic Strategic Asset Allocation and Stress Test tools. "These analyses help a professional investor to make his portfolio more robust to cope with different economic regimes.”

Is local emerging debt on its way back?

05-04-2016 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt, Paul Murray John

Having been cautious on the asset class for years, Robeco Global Total Return Bond Fund has recently built up a 6% position in local emerging debt.

The quarterly outlook for credits: we are on borrowed time

04-04-2016 | Outlook | Sander Bus, Victor Verberk

How much further can the US business cycle be extended? After seven years of economic expansion, profitability and leverage, data suggest that the end of this cycle is nearing.

ECB stimulus is ‘clever move’ to boost bank lending

10-03-2016 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

The European Central Bank’s latest stimulus package is a clever move to boost bank lending that was welcomed by markets, says Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen.

High yield remains our preferred risky asset

09-03-2016 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

February was a month with two faces. The first part of the month was terrible for risky assets. At a certain moment it felt like we were reliving the financial crisis of 2008.

Helicopter money flies into view

07-03-2016 | Monthly outlook | Lukas Daalder

Helicopter money is moving onto central banks’ radar as they run out of ammunition to stimulate economies, says Robeco’s Lukas Daalder.

US election race swings in Clinton’s favor

02-03-2016 | Insight | Léon Cornelissen

The US presidential election race has turned in Hillary Clinton’s favor after she and her Republican rival Donald Trump won big victories in the ‘Super Tuesday’ primaries, says Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen.

Robeco High Yield Bonds: getting more than you pay for

02-03-2016 | Insight | Sander Bus

In the volatile high yield bond market Robeco High Yield Bonds’ investment process has to prove its strength. Morningstar is convinced it can. “Because of its stable and experienced management team, solid track record and low costs, this fund deserves Morningstar’s Silver rating.”

Brexit fears in credit markets 'are overblown'

01-03-2016 | Insight | Victor Verberk

Fears that the credit markets will be adversely affected much further by a Brexit are overblown, or at least have been priced in to a certain extent, as fundamentals are unchanged, says portfolio manager Victor Verberk.

Flexible navigation through bond market turbulence

18-02-2016 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt

The choppy financial markets of recent weeks were a test for the investment strategy of Robeco’s Global Total Return Bond Fund.

Reducing our risk profile as markets sink

11-02-2016 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

If you believe in the January effect – the predictive power of the returns of the first month for the rest of the year – it is clear that 2016 is not going to be a very pleasant experience for a substantial part of the financial markets.

Keep your nerve in high yield!

11-02-2016 | Insight | Sander Bus

Keep your nerve – and you will be rewarded in high yield bonds. That’s the core message from portfolio manager Sander Bus as macroeconomic fears continue to wobble the market.

Beware the ‘self-fulfilling outcome’ of market sentiment

08-02-2016 | Monthly outlook | Lukas Daalder

Financial markets are in danger of creating a ‘self-fulfilling outcome’ that will send asset values even lower unless common sense breaks out, says Robeco’s Lukas Daalder.

Robeco Global Total Return Bond Funds leading approach to ESG integration

05-02-2016 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt, Rikkert Scholten

The Global Total Return Bond Fund aims to capture opportunities in fixed income classes around the globe.

Timing is everything in global bond markets

28-01-2016 | Insight | Olaf Penninga

Timing is everything in bond investing as yields constantly rise and fall, says portfolio manager and seasoned market watcher Olaf Penninga.

Investment experts: investors should steer a pragmatic course

25-01-2016 | Interview

Investors are still operating in a difficult, volatile market. Investment strategists Han Dieperink (Rabobank), Nathan Levy (ING) en Pim Lausberg (ABN Amro) agree on this, but they also each add their own interesting nuances to the outlook for financial markets and investing.

Fixed Income Quarterly Outlook Q1 2016: Be selective

19-01-2016 | Outlook | Kommer van Trigt, Paul van der Worp

How to navigate fixed income markets in the New Year? Being selective in terms of regions, sectors, maturities and seniority will grow in importance.

Thirteen things that could move markets in 2016

13-01-2016 | Outlook | Lukas Daalder

The annual predictions season officially kicked off the moment we tore the last page off our 2015 calendar. Anything from simply making future projections based on existing movements and trends to coming up with top-of-your-head ideas for ‘black swans’ – unexpected events that could have a major impact.

The three things spooking markets: rational or not?

11-01-2016 | Monthly outlook | Lukas Daalder

Equities are being rattled by three fears that are leading to an overreaction in markets, says Robeco’s Lukas Daalder.

The quarterly outlook for credits: zombies or creative destruction

22-12-2015 | Insight | Victor Verberk

Credit growth in China and Quantitative Easing (QE) in the US, Europe and Japan were medicines that worked for a while. Cheap money kept zombie businesses afloat and prevented creative destruction. However, the commodity cycle has rolled over and the credit cycle is proceeding. Funding pressure is increasing, the US credit market is full of animal spirits and volatility is back.

Factor Investing in the Corporate Bond Market

11-12-2015 | Research | Jeroen van Zundert, Patrick Houweling, PhD

We provide empirical evidence that the Size, Low-Risk, Value and Momentum factors have significant risk-adjusted returns in the corporate bond market. By combining these factors in a multi-factor portfolio, drawdowns and tracking error vs. the market are reduced, while the higher return and Sharpe ratio are preserved.

Global approach increasingly important for bonds

17-11-2015 | Insight | Kommer van Trigt

Flexibility is important. Don't get tied down. Keep searching for attractive yields, be selective and make sure you are rewarded for the risk you take. That is the mantra for bond investors in 2016.

Fixed Income Quarterly Outlook: Will she do it?

21-10-2015 | Outlook | Kommer van Trigt, Machiel van de Groes, Paul van der Worp

Is the Fed about to make a policy error by raising rates too soon? The whole of this year financial markets are obsessed with the question whether the Fed will start normalizing short-term rates. Fed policy makers have fueled the discussion themselves by speaking out intentions to do so.

Market malaise is a good time to add risk

12-10-2015 | Insight | Lukas Daalder

Whereas the industrialized world experienced a pretty solid second quarter, there is no denying that underlying momentum deteriorated during the third quarter.

Still more bullish than bearish

14-09-2015 | Outlook | Lukas Daalder, Léon Cornelissen

Charles Groenhuijsen interviewed Léon Cornelissen and Lukas Daalder on the main themes and issues of Robeco’s ‘Expected Returns 2016-2020’. Both are fairly optimistic about the world economy through to 2020. The re-emergence of inflation and rising rates will eat into sovereign bond returns, so both Cornelissen and Daalder prefer equities. They remain more bullish than bearish as the world continues to recover.

The double-edged sword of changing technology

04-09-2015 | Best read 2015 | Lukas Daalder

Changing technology presents a double-edged sword for the world economy. Disruptive start-ups will probably remain important, particularly if new products are deflationary or challenge established players.

Fixed income quarterly outlook: ESG integration leads to better informed investment decisions

22-07-2015 | Outlook | Kommer van Trigt, Machiel van de Groes, Paul van der Worp

In its outlook for the third quarter of this year, Robeco’s Global Fixed Income Macro team shares its views on Treasuries, credits and emerging debt and explains its positions in Rorento Global Total Return Bond Fund.

Strong market momentum for financial bonds

21-07-2015 | Insight | Jan Willem de Moor

Jan-Willem de Moor, portfoliomanager Financial Institutions Bonds, on the opportunites of investing in financial institutions

Robeco Lux-o-rente does it again: sell-off avoided

22-06-2015 | Insight | Olaf Penninga

In the recent-sell-off on global government bond markets, Robeco Lux-o-rente managed to maintain a positive year-to-date return with its active duration positioning. This illustrates the importance of an active investment approach.

Factor investing: five lessons for corporate-bond investors

16-06-2015 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD

Interest in factor investing – investing in systematic sources of return – is rapidly increasing. Up to now most investor interest in this area has been focused on equities. But what are the possibilities for applying it to credits?

Smart credit investing: harvesting factor premiums

12-01-2015 | Insight | Jeroen van Zundert, Patrick Houweling, PhD

Although most factor research focuses on the equity market, the concept and benefits of factor investing apply equally well to the corporate bond market. A smart way of investing is combining the factors into a multi-factor credit portfolio in order to diversify across factors.

Sensible approach to rising interest rates

22-12-2014 | Insight | Jaap Hoek, Lukas Daalder, Remmert Koekkoek

How should pension funds deal with the risk of rising interest rates on the capital markets? Is it sensible to hedge interest rates or should we focus more on inflation risks? Three experts highlight the interest rate related issues for pension funds in the light of the new Financial Assessment Framework.

How factor investing also works for corporate bonds

11-11-2014 | Insight | Jeroen van Zundert, Patrick Houweling, PhD

Two Robeco researchers have become the first to analyze the effect that factor premiums can have on corporate bond investing.

ESG integration, in particular for corporate bonds

08-09-2014 | Insight | Edith Siermann

Institutional investors are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that trends such as population growth, the scarcity of raw materials and globalization have an impact on a company's risks and opportunities. Under the pressure of regulators and investors, such as participants in pension funds, sustainable investing is slowly but surely evolving from a 'niche' to a general trend.

The liquidity pitfall of passive investing

25-08-2014 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD, Victor Verberk

Investing in ETFs can be very risky, especially during periods of limited liquidity. Patrick Houweling and Victor Verberk explain why and how active management and the use of derivatives can provide both a solution and an investment opportunity.

Duration model performs well in times of large yield changes

24-07-2014 | Research | Johan Duyvesteyn, PhD, CFA, Martin Martens, PhD, Olaf Penninga

Robeco’s quantitative duration model drives the performance of quant duration solutions such as Robeco Lux-o-rente and Robeco Flex-o-rente. We monitor the performance of the model and regularly investigate in which circumstances the model performs well and which conditions are more challenging.

When a high yield can be too high – beware the triple-Cs

13-03-2014 | Insight | Sander Bus

The search for yield can come at a price if investors chase bigger returns without factoring in the extra risk involved, warns Robeco’s Sander Bus.

How quantitative easing impacts the duration model’s performance

15-01-2014 | Insight | Johan Duyvesteyn, PhD, CFA, Martin Martens, PhD, Olaf Penninga

With its quantitative easing programs, the Fed has distorted bond markets, especially by reducing volatility. This has negatively affected the performance of the duration model.

Making better credit risk assessments

06-01-2014 | Interview | Patrick Houweling, PhD

Ground-breaking research by Robeco that changed the way the riskiness of corporate bonds can be evaluated has celebrated its 10th anniversary. This riskiness needs to be carefully calculated as bonds issued by companies have a greater chance of defaulting than government bonds. Their returns can also be more volatile, as they are linked to the underlying performance of the company that issues the bond.

Tailor-made for Solvency II: Conservative Credits

10-09-2013 | Insight | Patrick Houweling, PhD

Insurers need to have higher capital buffers against risk if Solvency II comes into place, forcing many to rethink the investments they are in. A potential solution lies in credits with a lower risk profile – as the clock starts ticking for investors to act.

Protection with the Zero-duration share class

11-07-2013 | Insight

How can corporate-bond investors protect themselves against a possible rise in long-term interest rates?

Residual Equity Momentum for Corporate Bonds

17-08-2012 | Research | Daniël Haesen, CFA, Jeroen van Zundert, Patrick Houweling, PhD

Residual Equity Momentum for Corporate Bonds

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